19 11 2019

Officer Jenny Costume

Hello, it’s a bit late but I would like to share some photos of my Halloween outfit this year. This time, I’ve actually done a cosplay rather than designing my own outfit with a general theme. To celebrate the launch of the new Pokemon game, Sword and Shield, I’ve chosen Officer Jenny from the anime series. Her outfit seemed fun to re-create and challenging. It was a lot of effort to prepare all the pieces needed. I’ve made the hat, top, collar, skirt, bag, and gloves by referencing images from the anime and other people’s costume.

It took a few attempts to get the pattern right for the fitted top and skirt. I struggled with the cuffs the most because I was fussy with the way they hung in relation to the sleeves but I’m happy with the final result. The gloves took quite a few attempts too since it was my first time making fabric gloves but the sewing itself was not so difficult compared to getting the fit right.

The main blue fabric and the black fabric used for the bag are cotton drill. The red fabric and the black fabric used for the brim of the hat are cotton sateen. The gloves are made of white jersey fabric. I’ve bought the star shaped badge on the hat, custom made name plate on the collar, name tag used for the bag strap, and buttons used for the hat and pocket flaps all in gold colour. I searched for a web belt with a gold buckle as well. The covered buttons at the back of the top and the bag were made by me using the same fabrics as the outfit.

It was great fun queueing up for the limited time pop-up store, Pokemon Centre London, wearing this although it wasn’t the most comfortable outfit. I got noticed by other Pokemon fans and received many compliments while I queued for 8 hours and shopped in an ecstatic mood. My sidekick was wearing the Team Rocket James outfit I also made as well.

03 09 2019

Large Messenger Bag

I’ve been wanting to make a simple messenger bag for myself for small walks but I’ve been putting it off to do other projects. But recently, my sidekick has broken a collar bone and he can’t move one of the arms for a while. It seemed like a good time to make one for him before I make my own. This one is pretty big since it wants to hold a lunch box horizontally and a water bottle at least.

I’ve used cotton drill fabric in greyish blue as the main fabric and cotton fabric in pale smokey blue as the lining fabric. I’ve added one large pocket on the outside under the flap, another large pocket inside, and a small zip pocket inside as well. I used the lining fabric to add piping to the flap. I didn’t have a strap adjuster at home so I skipped it since I knew who would be using it and could measure approximately how long it should be.

You might think you mostly do things using just one hand, but actually, you need the other hand to hold the object very often. For example, How are you going to get things out of your tote bag with one hand when you’re walking/standing? You would need to put your bag down somewhere… Anyway, I hope this messenger bag will be useful! It took me about 2 days to make the pattern and sew it up so it was a simple project. I will be looking forward to making mine one day.

11 08 2019

Grey Flannel Tailcoat

I have finished making the commissioned tailcoat for my friend. It is a size bigger than the calico prototype and has slightly longer sleeves since she decided to keep the calico one for summer and have this one for colder seasons. The main fabric is a light grey flannel fabric in cotton polyester and the lining is cotton polyester in cerise. Black cotton velvet is used for the upper collar. I’ve used black plastic buttons to match it.

31 07 2019

Button Front Skirt

Sometimes, it’s fun to be inspired by the fabric to make something instead of buying fabrics for specific projects. I went fabric shopping the other day and found this lovely cotton linen fabric in the sale section by chance. It has large irregular dots in navy and flying birds in silver on a teal base. I later learnt that the fabric was designed by cocca, a Japanese textile label, and had to admit that I’m undeniably Japanese after all.

I had only bought a meter since it was still not the cheapest fabric so the design had some limitations. I couldn’t incorporate pleats or deep scoop pockets as I wanted and had to go with gathers and in-seam pockets but I’m happy with the result. I suppose it was better in the end since the pattern would be less broken up this way. While making, I realised that I have to take into consideration how the patterns would be placed when working with bold prints. Large dots clashing at the seams would be undesirable in this case. I’ve used mirrored plastic buttons that I had at home as I thought the shape and colour would match the print.

I don’t wear bold prints much and I’m not too keen on having animal motifs on my clothes but I fell in love with the colour combination and the hand drawn design. Somebody else chose the Mina Perhonen for Tokyo Skytree T-shirt for me when I was back in Japan. Of course, I had to pair the very few clothing items with animals on them.

30 05 2019

Tailcoat prototype

Hello, I am still alive. I’ve finally made a calico prototype for the tailcoat my friend has commissioned me a few years ago. The reason it’s taken so long is mainly because I’ve never made a jacket before and it was going to be a challenge for me. Since this particular friend always has something for me to make, this one got put off until it became the priority.

The order was to design and create a feminine tailcoat. The body and arms are relatively fitted and the hem draws a smooth curve from the cut off front to the knee length tail. It has a shawl collar and is double breasted. The final design might be altered but here it is to start with.

I used scrap calico where I could as long as it was symmetrical so there’s a subtle patchwork effect which I quite like. You can see it better in the close up photo of the lining. The four gold buttons are spare regimental buttons I had, but don’t know why I have them. The skirt is just a sample circular skirt I styled the jacket with and not part of the garment.