Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Japanese top revisited

I cleared out the Scary Understairs Cupboard last week, and sorted some of my sewing stuff. Do you remember the episode of Friend with Monica's cupboard? Well our scary cupboard is a bit like that except the rest of the house is a mess too. Things tend to get thrown in the cupboard. We keep rucksacks and large bags in there. I also hide toys in there on a rotational basis, for instance a large box of playmobil and the toy farm. I haven't put in a photo because it really is too too bad.

I filled two bin bags with too-small children's coats, fabric oddments, old clothes for a rag collection that raises funds for T's school. I sorted out two bags of fabric that were in the cupboard when they really should be somewhere else. And I found this top screwed up in (one of) the sewing bags. I made it at the start of the summer in a Nani Iro sewalong set up by Cecili. I enjoyed the whole process of making it but I didn't like the finished top at all. I think it was the brown neckband that just didn't look right to me. I unpicked the neckband in July and then altered the sleeves. They had a wide shape that looked great on the hanger but just wrong on my arms. I made a casing at the end of each sleeve and inserted elastic. I then got too frustrated with the whole process of neck edging and chucked it in a bag. I was also put off after a (non-sewing) friend came round and critiqued the top for me. Now, I like to think I can take criticism but this conversation just made me want to give up. Maybe advice is easier to take from a fellow sewer? Any opinions?

So, when I found the top again last friday I decided to try and salvage it. I have given it a narrow binding type of neckband in a patterned fabric that I had scraps of. Apologies for its unironed state and that is a glimpse of vest underneath as it is too cold now not to wear one. The top looks much better now I think, much less Nativity Play costume, and I will wear it now. It is loose and comfortable, though I am not sure if it will make me look three times bigger than I actually am.

There is something so appealing about Japanese pattern books. I keep browsing them over at M is for Make and thinking about getting one for Christmas. I have some idea that if I wore these clothes I would be a calm person living in a beautiful house, with minimal and tasteful decorations. I would waft around drinking green tea from a tastefully handmade mug and I would never, ever shout at my children....(who would also be beautifully attired and have exquisite taste in toys, no second hand barbies in this world) I most certainly would not possess a Scary Cupboard. Ahhh, it's good to dream. I will report back in case my life suddenly and drastically alters due to wearing this japanese top.


  1. Hi there. Thanks for your comment on my blog. So glad you agree with the sentiment Lame Everyday! Wouldn't life be grand if everyone did?

  2. Serene - that's the word that comes to mind when I look through the Japanese pattern books. Is this top working its serenity for you? It looks very comfy (you can't be serene if uncomfortable)& the lighter coloured binding works well doesn't it?

  3. If it works please let me know and i will be making myself a Japanese top too :) Hope the knitting is going well. Have a great weekend xxx

  4. Thank you for the comments,
    the trouble is it has turned too cold to wear the top now, unless it under a big cardigan which kind of spoils the effect. I need to work on my layering clothes technique a bit. Scruffy badger - serene - that is the word I could not think of! Thank you.

  5. I like this top and suppose you could put other layers underneath ? I too have been seduced by those Japanese books, but I'm not sure I would actually look good in the clothes.