Cotton Friend – Spring 2015

日本語は英文の後に続きます。For Japanese readers, please scroll down to the Japanese text which follows the English.

I love Spring! and it is coming! and what Spring brings with it is a bunch of new releases for craft books and magazines:-)

Can it get any better?

The latest issue of Cotton Friend is here. Have I mentioned (probably yes, multiple times) how much I love this magazine? It is likely my favourite one so far as the pieces are simple to coordinate, simple to make and wearable:-)

Let’s dive in!

Spring colours on the cover makes me happy already:-)


The index tells you already there are a gazillion items to enjoy making.



I quite like this tunic. I am not sure whether i would wear mine knotted up but I like it unknotted like in 02 below.

03 is a culotte skirt – cute!


05 Lovely bolero! I think this is a great pattern to have in the spring /summer – something to have around for layering.


Big bag… I don’t know if I will get around to making it but it’s pretty nice.


Spring colour sewing!  I am usually a plain-colour (and usually safe, monotone colour) person… but looking at these colours make me feel cheerful… Don’t you think the spring coat 09 is nice?


I really like 11 from the front – and depending on the fabric it looks like something that can be worn to the office as well!


As a lover of classic and basic shapes,13 and 14 appeal to me very much!


16 – we have the culotte skirt again – as you can see it looks like a skirt at the front but are actually culottes!


I like 20 for the weekend but also quite like 21 for work. If you wonder what 19 refers to – instructions on how to make the parasol! how cool!


Same patterns we have seen above already -but in different fabric – I like the mint-colored blouse and the yellow top.


If you have ever considered making your own canvas bag, I think you would be heart-eyed like I am right now:-)


Cute little bits with cute fabric.


Here we have the patterns already seen above made up with modifications to produce something quite different.

I love the black and white dress!


Truthfully I am not a fan of the tie a knot at the front style, but I love this style of tying it in the back! Nice fabric too.

44 is great inspiration for how to use the piece of Jim Thompson Thai silk I splurged on in Bangkok :-)



A whole section on making aprons. I love these cute accessories too!


Did I already mention how nice this book is for people who like to make bags? I hope I will have enough time (and remember this issue) to make at least one!


As usual with Cotton Friend, something for everyone… Christmas gifts? birthday presents? Slippers for the home? Hat for summer vacation?

cottonfriendspring2015.30 cottonfriendspring2015.29


I need more sewing time… (I know I have said that on multiple occasions, but it is so sad to think that there are so many nice patterns I will accumulate over time that I would not have time to sew…)

On another note, I actually made up a top from a previous issue of Cotton Friend – I made a mistake (my fault) with the zipper hence it has become home-wear /unblogged, but the fit is quite good as well, without any modifications, which is rare for me even with Indie patterns.

I like the Female magazine which was published by the same publisher, but these days I like this one even more, and it’s too bad I did not discover it until last year.

Have you started sewing for Spring?

Cotton Friend Spring 2015 is available at Sew Tokyo.




ちなみに、実を言うと洋裁雑誌に載っているパターンだから、作り方の丁寧な説明やシルエット(サイズ)をそんなに期待しなかったですが、昨年購入した冬号の中のアイテムを作ってみたら、パターンを補正を全くしなくてもサイズがぴったりだったのでびっくりした。細かいサイズ展開のあるIndie patterns (個人のデザイナーさんが出しているパターン)よりサイズがあってるような気がするので、これからはさらに活用したいと思います。


Light Trails

日本語は英文の後に続きます。For Japanese readers, Japanese text will follow below.

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful start to the year so far.  My sewing pace has been slowing down as the temperatures decrease, so no new sewing projects to show yet though perhaps one soon (if i can “rescue” it)!

While this is still more of a sewing blog than anything, I find myself truly enjoying the comfort of knitting especially this winter.  I actually finished this sweater back in September actually, and briefly introduced it in this post. If you read the post you would know that initially I was a bit on the fence about it. However, since it has gotten colder and I have been loving it and wearing it every weekend, I thought that the sweater deserves a better introduction.


I used the pattern Light Trails by Suvi Simola – size 44 – made using some Ancient Arts yarns I got on sale. I love the lovely cables running from the shoulders to the arms. Although the whole bodice involved row after row of plain stockinette stitch which require a looooot of patience, I cannot say I did not enjoy knitting it because stockinette stitches are the best kind when you want to read or watch TV and knit at the same time:-)


The pattern was for three-quarter sleeves, but since I had a lot of yarn left I lengthened them by quite a lot. This was originally what I did not like about it, I thought with the long sleeves it looked sloppy and oversized. Is it possible that the weather can change your fashion taste very quickly? Now I love the sweater with its long sleeves and (in this cold weather) I am so happy I lengthened them!


This is completely off topic, but over the holiday sales I picked up some nice jeans (wearing in this photo) and jeggings. I rarely buy any clothes in the shops anymore – when I first started sewing, I made it a “resolution” of mine not to buy any clothes and try to make everything instead, but nowadays while I no longer impose any self-restrictions on clothes shopping, buying clothes is not so appealing for me (I really would rather use the money to buy some fabric, patterns or yarn:-) However, jeggings, jeans, pants and even jackets for work are still perhaps to advanced for me to sew (I do want to improve though), and I feel happy about finally having some new jeans in years:-)


If you look carefully, you will see that the “wrong side” is used for the sleeve to give the sweater varying textures – It was my first time to see a pattern call for that, and I think the result is pretty neat!


As usual, thank you for reading! I wish you a lovely remainder of January.


あっという間に1月の最後の週に突入。早いですね^^; 皆さんは楽しいお正月を過ごしましたか。



パターンがSuvi Simolaの Light Trailsです。ゆったりしたシルエットが今っぽいのが気にいりです。元のパターンのデザインが七分袖ですが、毛糸が余ってるという単純な理由で長袖にしました。やっぱり七分袖のほうがおしゃれだ、長袖だとだぼだぼにみえると、完成品を初めて着たときは後悔したが、いまは(寒いからか)長袖にしてよかった〜と重いっています(笑)




my new pullover and a review of Michiyo’s Knitting Workshop (book)

日本語は英文の後に続きます。Japanese text will follow after the English.

Hello! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas holiday if you celebrated it. I spent my Christmas at home with family, good food and a knitting project – bliss!

I did not get any sewing-related presents this year, but I am so excited about a book order I made which arrived after Christmas,  a copy of “Burda Vintage“:-)  I am so glad I read about it on Rike’s blog Draped in Cloudlets (must check out her beautiful blog if you have not already done so, the pictures are beautiful and her fashion sense is very inspiring!), and ordered a copy right away. Do you know this magazine? It is a Burdastyle magazine special edition, featuring only vintage patterns from the 50s!

I like almost all of the patterns but my favourites are the Balloon Jacket (Rosa), the Job Suit (Lola) and the Little Black Dress (Coco). I think the Balloon Jacket and the Job Suit are definitely going in the express lane in my long to-sew queue:-) What I especially like about this magazine is that they show the rendering (from the actual vintage pattern from those days), a picture of a model wearing the garment made up today, and some stories about the style, pictures of how it was worn in the 50s as well as how it can be styled today! I have been basically entranced with this magazine since it arrived at my house- I love vintage patterns and buy them on Etsy but a lot of them never get made because I am not sure from the rendering on the envelope if the style is something I would actually wear in real life – so the format of this magazine (showing the garments made up, worn by a model and styled in a modern way) is very helpful for me.

It’s the last day of the year and I want to squeeze this into my this year’s makes. It is from pattern #9 of Japanese knitwear designer Michiyo’s latest book, Michiyo’s Knitting Workshop. More on the book later in the post but first of all let me tell you about this make… it is a cape? pullover? basically two rectangle pieced together, but I love the effect!


The front looks like this.


And a beautiful thick cable runs across the back.


The balloon effect when viewed from the side is what I like the most.


I made it with 3.5 skeins of RainCityKnits Bulky in Navy Blue. The yarn is super soft and springy!! Every time I buy hand-dyed yarns I think about picking more unique/brighter colors but I am happy with the navy and the way the finished item turned out!


Not much more to say about the garment, really… It is not the most practical but definitely special! and did I say I love it already?


The back view:


The colour of the actual cape is closer to the previous pictures (dark navy) but I just put these pictures to show the texture created by the yarn.


The front view:


And here is the book! It has got to be the best newly released knitting book I have came across this season!


There are pullovers, turtlenecks, cardigans, socks, gloves, cap and even leggings and a skirt! Pretty much all one would need for a warm, knitted wardrobe. Most of the patterns are for knitting though there are also some crochet projects.


Here are some pictures of my favourites!

At first I was not sure I liked the length of this sweater (though I love the neck detailing) but now looking at it again I think it would look great as a tunic or even a short dress.


A poncho.  Not only are the patterns very much up my alley, I love the styling of the outfits as well!


I really like this shape! Wish me luck that I get through my current project in time to make this before it gets warm!


This cardigan also looks very chic, I think.



Aren’t these socks so cool? I never thought about making socks since I want to spend time to make clothes, but these cute socks are tempting me to make them…


This cardigan is what I am currently working on. It is definitely an interesting knitting experience with all the different textures!


My pullover:D One can also wear it the other side around too!


I really like the bolero/shrug in grey!


Don’t these leggings look so cool? It is one of the things I wanted to make the most when I bought the book, and I started to make them as I thought they would be a perfect addition to my me-made wardrobe which is missing pants/leggings. However, after completing half of it during the Christmas holidays, I realise I would probably not wear them out as often as I like, so I switched over to make the cardigan above instead.


This turtleneck is simple but is beautiful I think. It is also on my looooong (thanks to this book) to-knit list.


Okay, I am off to more knitting and perhaps finishing my sewing project (jacket) before opening the champagne to ring in the new year. I hope you enjoyed this review:-)  Thank you for your support of Tomatoes and Jasmine in 2014 and I wish you a wonderful 2015!

Michiyo’s Knitting Workshop is available at Sew Tokyo.


ご無沙汰しています。皆さんはお元気でお過ごしでしょうか。今年の最後の日なので、今年の最後のブログ更新をしたいですが、皆さんはBurda Vintageという雑誌をご存知ですか。洋裁雑誌のBurdastyleの特別版で、私がとてもの好きな海外ブログ Draped in Cloudlets のRikeさんがブログで紹介されているのをみて早速ネットで注文したが、ヴィンテージスタイルにご興味がある人にはたまわない一冊だと思います。素敵な50年代のデザインのパターンがいくつかついているだけではなく、その年代にまつわる話や写真、そのデザインを今風に着こなすアドバイスなども載っているので、雑誌が届いてから手放せなく何度も読み返しています(^_^;)。付属の12パターンの中に、バルーンジャケット*Balloon Jacket (Rosa)*とスカートスーツ*Job Suit (Lola)*、リットルブラックドレス*Little Black Dress (Coco)*が特に素敵で、限られている時間でいろいろ作りたいものがある中、いまはこのパターンたち(特にバルーンジャケットとスーツ)を一番先に作りたくなった!

今年の最後のme-made完成品を紹介します。[Michiyoの編み物ワークショップ]という本に載ってるパターンから作りました。編み物の本を本屋でみたりオンラインでみたりしていますが、その中に今シーズン一番気に入ったのはこの本でした。楽な形だけど素敵な模様のセーターやプルオーバーがすべて私の好みで、本のスタイリングもとても好きです。早速9番のプルオーバーを作りました。2枚の長方形を縫い合わせるというシンプルな作りですが、出来あがったプルオーバーの形がとてもおしゃれだと思います。使った毛糸はバンクーバーに行ったときに購入したRainCityKnitsのBulky (色はNavy Blue)です。ブロッキングしたときは若干の色落ちがあったのが少し気になったが、手触りがとてもやわらかいです!


a cozy Bernadette

日本語は英文の後に続きます。(For Japanese readers, Japanese text will follow after the English) Hello! I can’t believe it is already the beginning of December – Christmas decorations are already up everywhere in Tokyo. This year has really flown by for me! Talk about time flying, I finally completed a jacket I talked about starting way back in August, from the Bernadette pattern by Republique du Chiffon. bernadette1 bernadette4 I had cut the pattern in August and made a muslin, but found it too shapeless for my needs for a well-fitting jacket I can wear to the office (… my fault, for I had cut the size which corresponds to my measurements, though I had known from experience working with this label’s patterns that I prefer the fit in one size smaller… ). bernadette2 Long story short, I gave up for awhile but recently got interested in making a Chanel-type jacket again. I was mainly inspired by the colours and shapes of the brand Iro. When I found this black-grey wool tweed fabric, I knew I wanted to make a Bernadette!

This fabric is nice and warm, and perhaps a little thick and cozy-looking for this jacket, but I love it nonetheless, especially since it is quite cold already in Tokyo! I have relatively slanted shoulders so the jacket kept sliding off me when I first finished it, and my husband was not the biggest fan, so I kind of let the poor jacket sit on the back burner for awhile. Then one day I added shoulder pads, and voila… I think it sits much better now (these are “after” – with shoulder pads – shots), and it even received a compliment from the husband:-) I am very proud of this jacket and have worn it quite a few times to work already! The pattern instructions are very clear, and guides you to make a very neat, lined jacket. Look at the inside! I was so proud that I took off my jacket at work to show off the insides to my colleagues:-) bernadette5 Isn’t it neat? The first item I made in which there is no tell-tale trace of impatient finishing, etc. because it is lined and all seam allowances are hidden from sight! (the pattern calls for turning the entire jacket over through one of the sleeves – just like how I had to do when I made a bag for my niece – how neat!). I guess this is what they call a bagged lining? It also helps that the fabric would have camouflaged any mistakes anyways, hehe. bernadette7 bernadette8 I love wearing jackets to work! I am now making another one (classic one with collar) which I hope I can get done this weekend. It’s the time of the year to think about Christmas presents. I was so optimistic about making Christmas presents (clothes) for my loved ones after all my selfish makes, but looks like the timeline is a bit tight…yikes! Thank you for reading:-)  Are you planning on making any handmade gifts for your loved ones this year? ***Details*** Pattern: Bernadette by Republique du Chiffon Size & adjustments: size 34, added 2 cm in total to length. Added shoulder pads and stabilised the front edges with fusible interfacing tape. Fabric: Wool tweed (outer) / Rayon Bemberg (lining)



夏の終わりに作り始めたRepublique du ChiffonのBernadetteジャケットをようやく完成しました!







型紙:Bernadette by Republique du Chiffon


生地:表地=イタリアンウールツイード 裏地=ベンバーグ

Mrs. Stylebook AW 2014-15


Another Mrs. Stylebook came home with me from the bookstore – the Autumn/Winter 2014-15 issue. I am a fan of the autumn/winter issues because last year they had some great patterns, and this year the magazine also did not disappoint. Let’s start, shall we?

First my favourite section of the magazine, the designer patterns.

I love the colour of this coat by Japanese designer Keiko Suzuki.


This is also a great outfit (designer is Machiko Jinto London)


This magazine is not for the “coat-indecisive”… (me…) I loooove this off-white coat. In fact, I love everything about this outfit! (designer: Michiko Jinto London).


A pattern to make a stylish quilted vest? Yes, please!  (designer: KEI Hayama PLUS)


A T-shirt pattern and a bomber jacket pattern by local apparel shop Garde Collective.


There is also a pattern for a coat retailing at 165,000 JPY (approx. 1,600 USD)!  It is not something I would make personally but it does have a lot of colour blocking potential.


Let’s move to my next favourite section, more patterns by actual clothing brands.

I am a great fan of the styling and the color-scheme! The separates on the left are made of knits, and would make a warm and comfy work outfit (by French brand Georges Rech)


Other than the off-white coat above, this salmon pink coat is my second favourite pattern in the magazine (brand: Espie). I think it would look nice in classic dark colors, too. I saw the exact same coat for sale on the brand’s e-commerce website at 42,000 JPY (400 USD), which is what I might have considered paying for a nice coat before my sewing days – now I think about how many meters of fabric I can buy with that amount instead:-)


Then as usual we have the “wardrobe” builder section with many many patterns. As the magazine was released when it just started to get cold, I guess, it definitely has enough patterns for you to make a whole new wardrobe (or two) for the cooler weather!

Patterns for sewing with knit fabrics (I do quite like 3 & 12).



Jacket, dresses and blouse patterns




I do love the pant section – especially the pattern for shorts (#35) and slim pants (#40)


The skirts are quite nice, too. I prefer zipper closings over an elasticated waistband, and am happy to see two of the patterns (#30 and #33) have this feature.


While only drafting instructions (for the designer patterns plus wardrobe staple patterns) and drafting instructions + sewing instructions (for featured patterns) are included, Mrs. Stylebook always comes with some patterns that come with actual pattern sheets as well:-) I guess that is how they can cater to everyone from beginners to experts. This issue comes with 6 actual-sized patterns (plus a variation for each): a dress, a coat-dress, a flared skirt, a gathered skirt, a tunic and a jacket.  The variations (as seen in the bottom two photographs, involve a change to make the items more winter-friendly).






I always like that they include some patterns for accessories as well. This time there are some bag patterns. I especially like the square bag on the right!mrsstylebookaw2014.25

There are many more patterns and styling tips (pictures) which I always love and learn from.

Looking at this book always makes me wish I had more (a lot more) sewing time:-) I think I talk about learning to draft a sloper so I can use these patterns after each of my Mrs. Stylebook reviews, and I actually did try to draft one but gave up part-way. I have a standard Bunka sloper so I may just try to adjust it to fit me instead.

What do you think of this issue of Mrs Stylebook? Do you have your own sloper yet? (if so how long did it take you to make it?) 

Mrs. Stylebook AW 2014 is available at Sew Tokyo





Hello everyone, I hope you are well. I am back with another me-made item! Actually, I completed it a few weeks back but was quite tight, and I finally mustered up enough will power to alter it the past weekend.



This skirt is made from the pattern “Charlotte” of By Hand London, made using a Japanese wool pin stripe stretch fabric.


I still remember when I first read about this pattern from Reanna Louise on her blog – her “End of the World” skirt. I had always loved pencil skirts and want to make one exactly this shape and ending below the knee.

It was very simple to put together. I used the same sizes as for my Anna dress and it was fine in the muslin stage, but when I made it in the actual fabric and lined it, it became too small at the hip, so I took apart the sides and widened it by 1 cm on each side (meaning I had to sew with a 0.5 cm seam allowance on each side… yikes… a little scared when I sit down that the seam would not hold up but so far it has been fine).  Lengthwise, I shortened by 3 cm before where the kick pleat starts, and then hemmed off by turning 3 cm (zigzag stitched edge) to the inside.

The only adjustment I did was to add a kick-pleat (using the pattern instructions from this dress). I am glad I did! It is a bit restricting to walk even with the kick-pleat because of the shape of this skirt, I don’t think I would have managed to walk in this skirt if I had made it without a slit/kick-pleat, despite the fabric having stretch content.

Here’s the skirt with black shoes (this will become my office outfit:-). I am so happy with this skirt because I can wear it on and off work. My only dissatisfaction is with those funny wrinkles around the darts… I think it is because I did not line up the fabrics well enough, or stretched it when sewing? I tried to take the darts apart and re-sewed it hoping to eliminate this issue, but the wrinkles remain… I also made each dart 1 cm longer to see if it would change things… but the puckers/wrinkles remained.



If anyone has any advice on what I can do to solve the wrinkle at darts issue, I would love to hear from you! I hope to make more skirts from the same pattern and hopefully my next version would be pucker/wrinkle-free!




Thank you for reading! I wish you a wonderful rest of the week ahead:-)



今回使ったパターンがBy Hand Londonの”Charlotte Skirt”です。以前は一度同じデザイナーの”Anna”というパターンを使ってドレスを作ったことがあるので、前回使ったのと同じサイズでスカートを作りましたが、ヒップ部分がきつくて、結局両側を1cmずつ大きくしました(両側の縫い代がそれで0.5cmまで減ってしまったので、いつか破れないかドキドキ…いまはまだ大丈夫ですが(笑)このパターンをそのまま使うとできあがりが長過ぎると以前ほかのブログで読んだことがあるので、予めに3cmを(間中ぐらいから)カットしました。裾もまた3cmあげました。生地は表がウールストレッチを1mぐらい使って、中はベンバーグです。




jump for joy jacket

日本語は英文の後に続きます。For Japanese readers, Japanese text will follow after the English.

Hello again, we had a lovely sunny weekend and I spent a lot of time out running errands. The temperature in Tokyo is perfect right now, just chilly enough for a trench coat and the air smells sweet of fragrant olives (osmanthus). I love this time of the year! What is even better, from September to December each year, there are one or two public holidays a month:-)

Getting back to sewing, I am very happy to show my Jump for Joy jacket! I don’t name every item I sew but I really jumped for joy when I finished this, hence the name:-)


It is Jacket O. (Veste O.) from the Japanese pattern book Casual Sweet Clothes which is already published in French as Exclusivement Feminin and now also in English! It was one of the first sewing books I bought and it is still my favourite.


This was a super quick sew!  The whole project from tracing pattern to finish took 1.5 days! I really love this book… the instructions are so detailed, and the details of each item make them look special yet are so easy to make. The items look very chic yet are also great for work. With this one, I think the flounces make it look special enough to wear to a dinner party yet is also suitable for the office.

The back view… awkward taking a picture of self facing the wall…but for the sake of documentation:-)


I did not make a muslin and went straight to business because I made a pattern from the same book before and know approximately how the Size 7 (XS) fit, and also know that the instructions would “hand-hold” me enough to not require a practice run. I did between Size 7 (XS) and Size 9 (XS) (by measurements I am definitely Size 9) but since I have narrow shoulders and since the jacket is not supposed to close anyway, I went with the 7.

I think it fits well! The only adjustment I did is to lengthen the pattern by 3 cm (I thought by adding 1 cm at the armhole level which translates to an added 2 cm for finished armhole might make them too big, but they are fine to me).

Actually, the dress inside is from the same book (Dress A)! This is the 4th item I made since I learned to sew, and still remains in my closet and still gets a lot of wear – though I had not much idea about sewing at the time, by following this book I was able to make this dress which I am still quite proud of today:-)

I am happy I can wear this to the office, too!



I used a cotton satin, which is what is recommended in the book, in very dark, almost black navy blue. I am so glad I did because the flounces turned out exactly like in the book!



I have gushed about the actual quality of the sewing patterns /styles in this book but let me also gush about the styling in the book. Though many Japanese sewing books have great aesthetics, this one tops it in my book! I love the juxtaposition – ie. skirt with sneakers, dressy jacket with jeans, etc… (heart!)




こんにちは。週末は東京が晴れて気分も上々でした〜 自転車で近所を走って用事を済まし、近くのお祭りを少し見に行ったりしたあと、お菓子を買い溜めてソーイングを開始しました!






Vancouver and an oversized sweater

*日本語は英文の後に続きます。For readers from Japan, Japanese text will follow below.*

Hello! I had been sewing a lot, but while I wanted to write there hasn’t been much finished to show. I am almost finished with a project  – hope that I will be able to show it here soon!

I recently took another trip to Vancouver and a visit to my knitting Sensei (a.k.a. Mom) It was a relaxing visit and I loved going to buy yarn and talking about knitting with her:-)  I have a soft spot for hand-dyed yarns which are not so easy to come by in Japan, so I felt like I was running into a candy store when I went into the local yarn store Three Bags Full (which I also went to on my last visit). I really love this store – it carries many local yarns which I have never heard of online –  the yarns are all very beautiful and I had a hard time deciding which ones to take home.

I finally decided on these skeins from Raincity Knits. They are very squishy and soft. This brand actually has a lot of very saturated fluorescent colorways too, which would look cool for accessories, I think – the owner of the brand dyed her yarns in bright colors as “an antidote to the endless grey skies in the West Coast”:-). I bought enough for a sweater/shawl for myself and also a scarf for hubby, too.


I also had my eye on some yarns from Tanis Fiber Arts. The colours are stunning and I could not decide which ones to buy!  I am relieved they have international shipping as I probably want to buy some for my next project:-)

During my time in Vancouver I also finished the sweater I was knitting – Light Trails by Suvi Simola – using yarns I bought on my last trip to this city.  The actual pattern – a chic oversized sweater with three-quarter sleeves – is very beautiful. I decided to modify the sleeves and knit full-length ones to combat the cold. Now I see why the designer made her pattern quarter-length sleeved, they look much better that way! The veeerrry long sleeves on my version just make it look too oversized. I hope to show this again when I have gotten around to shortening the sleeves.


A close-up of my knitting Sensei’s garden – I am so impressed that there are still so many bright and beautiful flowers in October!


I started using the newly acquired yarn to work on my next project – a shawl/sweater from a Japanese pattern book. Hopefully an update and more pictures on that soon:-)


Thank you for reading!



この間はまだバンクーバーに行ってきました♪母親(私の編み物の先生)と一緒に毛糸が売っているお店に行ったり、編み物の話をしたりしてとても楽しかったです。母親は相変わらず編むのが早く、私が滞在した一週間の間に私のために編んでいたセーターを完成させました。日本ではなかなか見つからないhand-dyed (手染め)毛糸を販売しているお店が比較的に多いからバンクーバーでの毛糸を購入するのがとても好きです。私の一番のお気に入りのお店は以前も話しましたThree Bags Fullという、主に地元の素敵なヤーンブランドがおいてあって、質のよいスペシャルな毛糸たちといっぱい出会える良いお店です。

今回はずいぶん迷っていた結果、地元バンクーバーのブランド、Raincity Knitsの毛糸を、自分のセーターの分と旦那のマフラー分を購入しました。すごくふわふわした手触りで、完成品を着るのをいまから楽しみにしています^^今回は無難の紺色を購入しましたが、このブランドはこのような落ちづいているきれいな色のほかに、「雲の日でも元気になれる鮮やか」な蛍光色の毛糸も展開しています。その他、同じお店でTanis Fiber Artsというモントリオールのヤーンブランドの毛糸も気になりました。色が本当にきれいで、色を決めれず結局買いませんでした(涙)

バンクーバーに滞在していた間にずっと編んでいたLight Trails by Suvi Simola(こちらも前回Three Bags Fullで購入した毛糸を使って)を完成させました・・・が・・・袖が長い。このパータンの7分袖とオーバーサイズの感じがおしゃれで気に入ったのに、寒がりやの私がついデザインのバランスのことを忘れて長い〜袖にしてしまいました。やはりこのままだとだぼだぼでせっかくの素敵なデザインの台無しなので、袖を短くしてまたこの場でお披露目をしたいと思います。



life recently and COTTON FRIEND Autumn 2014

日本語は英文のあとに続きます。For my Japanese readers, Japanese text will follow the English.

It has been awhile since my last post and I quite missed updating this blog. Work is taking up a lot of my time these days. My job is enjoyable, but I hope to find a better balance to have more time to sew/knit and to work on this blog!

I had been working on two projects (another shirt for my husband, and a Republique du Chiffon Robe Marie from Un Ete Couture) but I could not stay on course to complete them. The former it was because the fabric shifted easily and the check patterns on the two fronts of the shirt ended up not matching, and with Robe Marie, I used a beautiful but delicate linen lawn, which combined with the difficulty of the pattern made for a sad fail:(  Oh well, now that it is coming to the end of the summer, I am looking forward to start making fall/winter items! I am almost finished making another shirt (this time in a good quality cotton chambray to save myself from check-matching:-), and I also cut the pattern for the Republique du Chiffon Veste Bernadette which is a Chanel-style jacket:-) so excited to get it done!! Another item I hope to work on soon is the Burdastyle Seamed Shift Dress 08/2014 #104B. So pretty!

My new work schedule has not discouraged me from spending time in the sewing book corner of bookshops in the free time I have. In fact, I think I have accumulated a lot of books over the last two months.


Here’s a peek at the latest issue of Cotton Friend. This is the first time I have really looked at this magazine, and I quite like this issue! It is different from FEMALE (by the same publisher and is currently no longer published) in that the style is more simple. My initial impression of the magazine (before I opened one finally) was that it was full of shapeless smocks, but I did find many items in there I like which attracted me to buy this issue.


cottonfriend092014_3 This checked shirt on the left-hand page is the first pattern which attracted me to buy the magazine. It will probably look nice in a crisp fabric for work as well.

cottonfriend092014_4I am a sucker for hoodie patterns:-)

cottonfriend092014_5The long jacket seems like a useful pattern to have, and I love the orangey ensemble! I don’t know if i have any use for it but I like the styling!!

cottonfriend092014_6This is one of the featured patterns – and it is turned into many different styles. I don’t dislike it at all:-) It is versatile like the Colette Laurel, which is actually one of the items I wear the most on weekends (I am thinking of making a black one to wear to work, perhaps with a belt).


cottonfriend092014_8Instructions for featured pattern (the top/dress above) comes with step by step instructions with photos!

cottonfriend092014_10 I like top #28 – those frill details add a nice touch!


I like #34 – kind of like a piece from A.P.C.:-) That shirt on #31 is cute too but it is RTW with no pattern included (the skirt, which is also very nice, is a pattern included with the magazine).



The hoodie again, this time in zip-up form! ^_^

Lastly, a good collection of cosmetic bags, pouches and purses which I would love to make for friends and family if I have the time! they all look so nice…





How lovely are these pin cushions and mini Le Creuset-like containers:-) heart-eyed…

cottonfriend092014_18I hope you enjoyed the review! Cotton Friend Autumn 2014 is available at sew tokyo.

Have you started sewing for Autumn yet or are you still working on summer items? (after seeing Cecili’s beautiful little white dress as well as Sarai’s white linen Laurel I am a little tempted to sway from my sewing plans and make my own Little White Dress before summer ends:-)



前回の記事を書いてから、旦那のためにシャツと自分のためにRepublique du Chiffon のRobe Marieの製作に励んでいたが、両方もうまく行かず失敗作で終わってしまった。まあ、もうすぐ秋なのでこれからは秋冬向けのアイテムに集中することにしました。

旦那のために秋冬用のシャンブレーシャツはもうすぐで完成、そして自分用のシャネル風ジャケット風ジャケット(型紙はRepublique Du ChiffonのVeste Bernadette)もいよいよ仮縫い作成のステージまでたどり着きました^_^ (身長があるので市販の型紙に「長さ」を足す作業がかなり時間がかかります。。。)時間があればBurdastyleのSeamed Shift Dress 08/2014 #104Bも素敵で作りたいなあ〜



Marine Top on Marine Day


Hi everyone!

It’s the end of the three-day weekend in Japan (Marine Day today!) Instead of going to the beach, I spent another relaxing day at home sewing and house-making:-) Sounds a little unbelievable especially for those who know me, but I start to enjoy doing chores quite a bit since moving to our new house.



Anyway, what  a better way to end Marine Day by sharing with you my marine knit top, which I just finished blocking today! It is pattern K from Kazekobo’s Simple Summer Knits and I used a Japanese yarn which is a cotton/linen blend, as well as a cotton lace yarn (the pattern tells you to use the colour yarn and the off-white lace yarn at once so you get a specked effect).  I made it exactly according to the book, in the same colours too! Not because I was lazy per say but I like this colour combination (my husband, however, has a different opinion^^;


It is super simple to knit but it was a pain to have to change yarns every 8 rows. Also, I don’t know what I did wrong but the neckline part is not the prettiest… there was a point I became so frustrated I thought about giving up but I am glad I followed through to finish it. It looked pretty puffy and like something I would not wear after I knitted it, thank goodness wet-blocking flattened it and made it a lot nicer!!  The pattern is one-size fits all, and I think the fit is not too bad:D


Sorry for the blurry pictures…. I was so excited about finding this new photo spot in our house! On the display on the camera they didn’t look so blurry…

And in case you are wondering why I am not wearing my shoes… I tried but couldn’t put them on in time for the 15-second camera timer:P





As usual, let me introduce the book I used while I am at it. I bought the book last summer and now looking back it is interesting to see how my taste changed in one year… the things I want to make now are completely different from those I wanted to make last year (though the Breton is still high on my list for this year too!)


This lacey vest was on my to-make list last year.


I still want to make this Breton top!


Love the waffle-ly texture of this vest/shawl.


On last year’s to do list.


Again, love this interesting texture…

marineknit18 hey, my top!





Love this retro-looking scarf.


I used to think that knitting is only for the winter season and there is no need for knitted items in the summer but I proved myself wrong! This year I have been wearing every weekend the lacey linen top I made last summer (and which I am guilty of labelling “meh, it’s not very me” in my 2013 round up…)  I am already planning another summer knit project for this year!

And how about you, any summer items on your knitting needles currently?

Kazekobo’s Simple Summer Knits is available at sew tokyo.





いつもセルフタイマーで写真をとっているのですが、今日に限ってほぼすべての写真のピントが合わなかった:-( また、今日選んだ靴は、履くのに時間がかかりすぎてセルフタイマーの最長時間(15秒)に設定しても間に合わなかったので、裸足で、、、(笑)