A month or so ago, my mother kindly purchased me Yoshiko Tsukiori’s “Stylish Dress Book.” See the book on Katya’s Amazon Affiliate Link here.
I was really excited about it, and then felt great disappointment when a few weeks later I took out the pattern sheets to make view “K” and discovered (so I thought) that half of them were missing. See, each folded sheet is marked “1”, “3”, and “5”, respectively, along with a list of the pattern pieces included on that sheet. I thought I was missing “2”, “4”, and “6”. So I sadly decided to do “what I could with what I had” and trace off everything I could for view “K” (everything but the sleeve) Imagine my sheepish joy and surprise when I discovered that “1” and “2” were just different sides of the same sheet! And that I had everything I needed, after all! It took a while to trace off, because I traced everything size 12 and under at once.
Now, just so you know, I measured out at size 12 by very, very close. All the reviews of the “Stylish Dress Book” told me to go down a size (or two!) from what I measured for. I decided to give Ms. Tsukiori the benefit of the doubt, and went with my measured size. I can’t say as I really regret it. I want to make another one, out of a drapier fabric, for public wear, so this was the muslin. And since I intended this to be a sleep shirt from the start, I knew it wouldn’t matter if it was too big.
I’m rather glad I didn’t go smaller. See, the blouse fits me well in the front. excepting the neckline, which only works here because I raised it by a centimetre, twitched it before taking the picture, and held still.
*But* it’s too big in back. Way too big. The back piece is cut on the fold, so the next time I make it I will pull it back from the fold two inches, and thus take four inches out of the back width. But as I said, this is a sleep shirt, so I don’t mind the extra ease.
This is a t-shirt that fits me close without stretching much, to show you the difference in cut.
Despite being a trial run, using cheap muslin from a thrift store grab bag, I took pains with this project. For starters, *all* the seams are frenched. This was my first time to french a sleeve, let alone a gathered sleeve, but it worked out really well. I only got mixed up once! :) This is the inside view.
I had a little trouble with the bias-tape: I don’t like how I sewed it on. But, as my mother says: “It will never be seen from a galloping horse.” So practical.
I think I made my hem too deep: My sleeves turned out longer than the hem of the shirt. (Which, BTW, I will be lengthening for public wear.) So I did something else I’d never done before: I put in tucks. They turned out well. The tucks made the sleeves more “poufy” though. They remind me of the costumes in “Anne Of Green Gables”.
Oh, and I put in a tag.
It made up fairly easily: The worst part was tracing everything off, and then adding seam allowances. I added my seam allowances to the tracing paper, so I could cut it out quickly. For view “K” they said to “open the sleeve and add 3 1/2 in. for gathering.” Implying that you should trace the sleeve off as-is, and then cut the pattern. I just added the width when I traced the pattern off. If I ever want the sleeve smaller, I can fold it.
The bias tape neckline-binding confused me when I went to cut it out. They layout just didn’t make sense. I’m not sure if I figured out what she wanted, but I got it to work. Turns out, to save space, the binding pattern is half the length you’ll need. So I cut it out excepting one short end, and flipped the pattern piece over that short end, and kept cutting, making a strip twice the length of the pattern piece. I had to open my fabric up, but it worked.
I wasn’t quite sure what they wanted with the placket, but I stared at the diagram for a while, and I figured it out. I’m a visual learner, and think in 3D sometimes, so you very well might fare better than me on that one.
The tailors tacks I put in, going by her dots, were *immensely* helpful for putting the buttons and button-holes in. It was the easiest time of putting button-holes in that I’ve ever had.
I’d say this is an intermediate pattern, or a patient beginner, because it give rather broad directions (e.g. “sew binding around neckline.”) *however*, it does reference you back to project “G”, on page 41, which give more instructions. If I had read those instructions, my bias tape would’ve turned out better.
In summary: I would definitely make this pattern again, and try other projects from the “Stylish Dress Book”. However, next time I make view “K”, I will:
- Raise and narrow the neckline
- Lengthen the hem
- Take the back in
Edit: See my second and improved attempt here.