What would you do when you returned from a vacation in Japan and then realized that you simply miss the country? We took care of the problem by trying to recreate certain aspects of the house we rented in Kyoto. Most rooms in the house had tatami floor and it wasn’t hard to fall in love with the thick, soft rice straw mats. Although we liked the scent from the rice straw tatami, we ordered 3cm thick mats made by Japanese washi paper. The main reason for using paper is that we’ve got both friends and family who are allergic to grass.
We got the tatami mats delivered to us a couple of days before Christmas and my husband was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle them myself. “It’s alright, you have no idea how strong I can be if I really want something”, I said to him as he was getting ready for work. The delivery man who turned up with the two large packages didn’t look very muscular to me and he juggled them with ease so I thought that it would be a walk in the park for me to carry the mats up to the third floor. I was dead wrong. The weight of the darned packages was 30kg each. Luckily, my neighbour showed up to save the day!
The tea table is a real family project. My parents in law gave it to us since they didn’t really use it any more. My dad offered to sandpaper it (not by hand though, he’s got a machine). My father in law then helped us saw off the legs to make it shorter. I then stained the table in a wonderful dark-brown colour. Last but not least, my husband covered it with varnish to make the surface more sustainable. A lot of work but great result!
First of all, I’d like to wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy holidays!
One thing I’ve always liked about Christmas is wrapping gifts. Every year since I was a kid, I used to spend hours wrapping up the gifts. I enjoy that almost as much as receiving gifts myself ;)
For those of you who are doing some last-minute shopping or haven’t wrapped up your gifts already, I’ve got a quick and easy tip. Use some old fabric scraps to wrap them! If the cloth piece is large enough, use it as wrapping paper or just use it as ribbon.I really like how the string on the front gift resembles and obijime and the green fabric scrap an obi sash on top of the Christmasy “kimono” (a.k.a. regular wrapping paper).
Even though it’s pretty boring to do the same work twice, I’ve learnt the importance of making a muslin first to make sure that the fitting is good. For the muslin, I found a nice (and very cheap) cotton fabric at IKEA. I wouldn’t have minded a heavier fabric but on the other hand, this one was easy to work with.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with the fitting and I’ve only found two issues with the pattern that need correcting.
- Sleeve length – they’re just too long
- Hood size – too small for my taste
I’ve decided to shorten the sleeves 2cm and make the hood ~5cm longer. I’m too lazy to attach the cuffs to the sleeves so the 2cm is just a rough estimation. Hopefully it works out.
Minoru Jacket – front
I made a few alterations to the pattern before making the muslin. To begin with, I wanted a more “clean” front so I removed the outside front plackets. I needed to keep the inner plackets as they were because of the construction around the inner pockets and the fact that it wouldn’t look nice to have the lining go all the way out to the zipper. I adjusted the outside of the collar accordingly and kept the inside as it was.
For some reason unknown to me, there are no pockets to stuff your hands in when it’s cold. Pure madness, I tell you. To fix this problem, I’ve made a pattern for single welt pockets that will be added to the front (you see my sketch on the muslin).
Minoru Jacket – back (I was also too lazy to sew the elastic waistband but I think needles work just fine)
Since the metal zipper can feel very cold against the skin, I will have to add some protection. An extra piece of fabric on the inside should suffice.
I’m going to make another adjustment to the hood. To me, not lining the hood makes no sense at all since I need it for protection against the awful weather.
Minoru Jacket – Collar and Hood
Time for a summary of how my wedding dress turned out! It’s made from two different silk fabrics, a thin silk chiffon and a slightly shinier and thicker silk. The colour is off white. The thicker silk was used for the waist band and underlining the dress (corset and first layer of the skirt). The thin silk chiffon was used to drape the upper bodice and the two top layers of the skirt.
If your interested in following the progress of the dress, here are all the work-in-progress posts:
It’s time to start my next project, an autumn/winter jacket! Because I’ve never made a jacket before (not counting the wedding dress jacket), I thought it best to buy a pattern and I choose to go with the Minoru pattern from Sewaholic. This baby has been waiting for me ever since the delivery from fabric godmother earlier this summer and I’m super excited about finally getting started.
- Green cotton twill
- Red cotton tartan
- Black quilt polyester wadding