It's all Japanese to me....

Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Wow, has it really been a whole week since I've come on here and posted inane blather about my life? Time certainly flies when you're absolutely flat out doesn't it?

I managed to get some photos of Anna wearing her new little shorts made from the Japanese sewing book I got for my birthday last month. They are the shorts with the gathered pockets made from the "Let's Go Out Girls" pattern book (ISBN 9784529048163):

It wasn't too difficult to sew these even though the instructions were in Japanese thanks to the illustrations in the book and this helpful sheet of Japanese character translations I found over at my little mochi. It took about two hours all up, including head scratching time and unpicking only two seams so a relatively successful project I think. I say 'relatively' because I did end up with two pattern pieces left over that I couldn't for the life of me work out where they are supposed to go, but the shorts look good and unlike flatpack furniture that you put together and end up with spare screws I don't think these are going to spontaneously deconstruct one day!

These are basically a standard elasticised waist shorts with cuff band, with a gathered pocket sewn to each side which are drawn in by a ribbon (or self fabric tie if you could be bothered sewing and turning a fiddly tube). And the fit is amazing! The measurements in the book correspond closely to Anna's, and the end garment was near perfect on her. I guess since she is part Asian she fits the body type that these patterns have been drafted for, unlike the Big 4 patterns which are always way too big but way too short for her.
From the front they have a delightful puffy appearance:

ISBN 978-4-529-04816-3-Japanese-sewing-book-puffy-pockets-shorts And you can see how the pockets wrap half way around the back too:

ISBN 978-4-529-04816-3-Japanese-sewing-book-puffy-pockets-shortsA bonus with these deep pockets is how much they can hold - Anna has just worked out that pockets are for putting things in, and has now started collecting bits and pieces that she finds about the place. Now when I'm looking for a lost earring or some loose change her pockets are the second place I look after checking under the lounge cushions!

ISBN 978-4-529-04816-3-Japanese-sewing-book-puffy-pockets-shortsDespite those two left over pieces, the shorts held up well during some adventures in the playground:ISBN 978-4-529-04816-3-Japanese-sewing-book-puffy-pockets-shortsISBN 978-4-529-04816-3-Japanese-sewing-book-puffy-pockets-shorts
although they do look pretty wrinkled which is because I sewed these from some grey linen fabric remade from a sheath dress I made for myself years ago. As much as I love this colour and the fabric, I made this dress before I knew what I do now and I didn't construct it all that well. I didn't line or underline it which meant it not only got crazily wrinkled but it also 'grew' during the day as linen has a tendency to do, so that areas under strain like around my butt would stretch out but my waist area would still be fitted, and the fit would just end up looking all wrong. I was going to pull it apart and remake it, but it is easier to start from scratch with some other fabric of which I have an abundance of and do a proper job from the beginning. But at least I could reuse the fabric, and since I did wear the dress alot despite those problems the fabric is already soft and comfortable for Anna to wear.

So, only three days until Christmas people! I have so much to do, and I'm doubtful I'll get it all done.....


  1. These are really cute! I also have a crazy long laundry list of things to do before Christmas, and am to the point of quite a bit to the wayside.

  2. She is so adorable! The shorts are completely cute too. :) Merry Christmas!

  3. Er, make that dropping quite a bit to the wayside. It's late here. Apparently I'm tired.

  4. Hello Kristy, always read your blog, I liked the short you made for Hannah, she seems extremely comfortable with it and you have eliminated a UFO, two birds with one stone. Congratulations.
    Eilan - Brazil
    sorry for any mistake, I'm using a google translator.)

  5. THose shorts would be practical on a warm day too, as they won't ride up when she goes down that hot slide and burn her butt-cheeks!
    About lining linen, since the stuff is so breathable, won't lining it remove the breathability?

  6. Those might be the cutest girls' shorts I've ever seen!

  7. The shorts are so cute! As I remember, pockets are of utmost importance at a certain age. Just watch out what ends up in those pockets.

  8. Adorable little shorts! I love the pocket and the fit.

  9. Best wishes for Christmas! The shorts look adorable.

  10. Gorgeous shorts and enjoy Christmas.

  11. Very cute shorts and photos. My girls are too old to sew for now. I miss those days when I could pick out fabric and patterns for their dresses especially for holidays.