Monday, April 26, 2010

Trip to Kyoto

Well, it's a long story. My husband and I were planning a trip to Rome for our 10th Anniversary, but the volcano in Iceland had a little something to say about that! So, without any kind of plan, we decided to head to Japan on a whim. Being a flight attendant has its advantages!

I speak some Japanese and lived there for awhile 20 odd years ago, so Japan is a pretty easy country for me to navigate. We decided on Kyoto because it is lovely this time of year, and there are a lot of historical sites to visit. As my husband aptly put it, "in Rome there are churches and ruins, in Kyoto, temples and gardens." He is quite right. We had a great trip, and it was wonderful for me to be able to practice my language skills. But the reason for this post is actually to show you my new Japanese pattern book!

I don't know why, but I've been hesitant to venture into the Japanese pattern books that are all over etsy. For one, they are a tad expensive, and even though I can read some Japanese, they still look a bit intimidating. Nevertheless, we found a bookstore on the main shopping street of Kyoto, Sanjo-dori. After asking one of the salespeople where to find the handmade sewing books, I found this little gem.

There are a number of adorable looking patterns, and to give you a sampling, here are a few of the patterns I am looking forward to trying. I think my favorite is this one with the ruffled top. I actually made a sundress that has this idea of the ruffling in the front, but I love it with the sleeves. I am thinking to use one of my new Amy Butler bolts with a coordinating solid top and ribbon.

I am grooving on these shorts too. Most kids love pockets, and these look like they would fit just about anything a little girl may want to put in them. Plus, they look ultra comfy! I have some french terry in all sorts of colors, and while it looks like they used a woven linen, I think I'll try them in knit. We'll see.

My big concern is with the sizing. I'm not intimidated with the centimeters, just worry that my all too American child (read: topping the growth charts) will be too large for the dimensions of the pattern. But...nothing to do but try. I can always adjust if necessary.

I'm hoping to have at least one of these dresses for my upcoming show at SOWA. Opening weekend is May 15th and 16th, and I'll be there with some old favorites and hopefully some new styles as well! And I'll let you know how my first foray into sewing Japan-style goes.

Back from a very short trip with very long flights, and glad to be home in New Hampshire,


Melissa said...

Glad to see you back! I love, love, LOVE those shorts and that little top with it. Let us know how the sewing goes!

icicle said...

Welcome back! (jealous x1000!) :)
You'll be just fine navigating that pretty little book -- you've got serious sewing chops -- I don't doubt it for a moment. But however did you manage to get only one?

littlegirlpearl said...

I know, only one, right? The thing was, my husband was with me, and I don't think he wanted to hang out in the bookstore all afternoon! It only cost me about $13!

Michelle W. said...

I have this sewing book and i don't speak any Japanese. So far I've made two pairs of the the shorts you pictured. They are so super cute!!! I find the sizing fits my daughters. Well, not the first pair of shorts I made for my 2 year old. I did't realize that I needed to add seam allowances. At least, that's what I figured out from the pictures. I'm making the top now. Hope your sewing goes well.

littlegirlpearl said...

Thanks Michelle W., that's good to know!

Sarah-Jo said...

Shame about your rome trip but glad to hear your Japan adventure was great!

Im shocked you havent tried the japanese sewing books!

Ive had one for over a year and have made so so many clothes from it they are worth every cent and I dont speak a word of japanese and am not the best sewer either
BUT they are super easy to understand as there are lots of diagrams

good luck with the sewing cant wait to see what you come up with


Sarah-Jo said...

oh yeah with the sizing I found it fine
I actually have one that starts at 100cm so around age 2-3 and goes up too 160cm
I started using it when my daughter was about 18mths and just used the tops as dresses for her with a lil tweaking here and there

now shes 3 and a very tall 3 yr old so she fits into the 110cm clothing

Georgia said...

Hi, I've been following your blog for a while now. It was actually your gorgeous dresses on etsy that inspired me to start sewing again after getting through the busy years of having 3 children under 3, including twins and no time for sewing. Thank you for your inspiration and I just love the Japanese book that you have. Do you have any links to places where it can be purchased or know what the English translation for the title might be? I've just started sewing a few patterns from Japanese books and found the following links helpful:
Thanks again for your inspiration and all the best with Japanese pattern sewing.

Georgia said...

Just found the book on etsy, so need to let me know.

isewinla said...

dont worry about not being able to understand japanese. diagrams help! i have been using centimeter all my life but after moving to the U.S i adapt to inch no porblem at all. If fact almost all coutries use centimeter but the U.S. weird?

Wholesale freshwater Pearl said...

I don't doubt it for a moment.Glad to see you back!