Perfectly plain ‘Flared Pullover’ blouse – Clean and Natural


Now for an exceptionally simple top!

Flared Pullover from Clean & Natural (Japanese sewing book)

Flared Pullover from Clean & Natural (Japanese sewing book). Sewn in a light embroidered cotton.

This is my first ever make from a non-translated Japanese sewing book – and I thought it best to pick something really simple to get a feel how I would go just using diagrams – no instructions! Bingo. Successful top. This little pullover top has four pattern pieces, front & back yoke, front and back body piece. I did get a bit confused – I blame tracing the pattern at 11pm – and added the wrong seam allowances to the neckline and sleeves. Fortunately I noticed this before I cut it out and all’s well that ends well!

Curved yoke, Flared pullover from Clean & Natural

I love the gentle curve of the yoke.

I chose not to cut ‘self’ bias binding for the neckline – the embroidery on this fabric is quite heavy and chunky to sew through. I did not see a Battle of Bias being won by me. I used purchased white bias binding instead. I didn’t like how I could see the bias fold when I turned the binding to the inside (picky much Lizzy??). So I doubled it over as I folded it to the inside and achieved a very narrow neckline hem. This fabric is very sheer, a beautiful embroidered cheesecloth (?) style fabric from the only indie fabric store (for dressmaking fabrics at least) in Port Macquarie. Due to the fabric’s sheer nature I also chose to keep the sleeve hems minimal as I felt the slightly wider recommended sleeve hems would have looked heavy and out of balance with the neck binding. I didn’t French seam anything as the fabric is quite lumpy. Just sewn and then the seams overlocked together, rather than pressing the seams open and flat. In these photographs I’m wearing it with a ‘nude’ camisole – and always will for obvious reasons (unless it’s thrown over the top of swimwear!). top1 I must say, I do love this top. Yes it’s not sewing rocket science but it’s beautifully simple and easy to wear. It will get worn a lot as a result! I love the curved yoke and easy fit. It’s just ‘clean and natural’ in keeping with the book title. I do prefer simple tops with yokes, rather than the fabric just falling from the shoulder, I like the fit across the shoulders and upper chest, rather than just loose everywhere. Top 1 - Clean and Natural 10 The flared style of the lower section is just lovely. I love how the back falls below the curved yoke. Top 1 - Clean and Natural 2 Top 1 - Clean and Natural 1 Not much else to say about this basic top.

Clean & Natural - a Japanese Sewing Book (untranslated)

Clean & Natural – a Japanese Sewing Book (untranslated)

This book has patterns drafted for women 160cm in height, bust 79-91cm, waist 60-72cm & hip 86-90cm. Here are the makes from this book Clean & Natural. The designs are predominantly simple in nature and like Burda Style several makes are variations on a style – this top also has ‘cousins’ in a longer sleeved top, a dress and a long-sleeved long dress. makes3 The orange top has my name on it – perhaps in an emerald wool crepe I’ve been hoarding! makes2I do like that simple plaid shirt with a collar stand and placket. I can see me wearing that a lot! makes 1 Please pop over and visit Japanese Sewing Books – this is a great resource for these books. She has reviewed this book in full here. makes4 I confess I fell hard for this book when I spotted the hooded coat. I need that in my life! Whereas it was the onesie that sent Top Notch scuttling off to the bookstore when I was showing off my purchases at afternoon tea prior to Frocktails in September (I can confirm she is just as fabulous and stylish IRL, note: she would never scuttle just glide in some uber-fab heels).  Thank you to the lovely Kat of All the Whimsical Things who was not only my roomie for the weekend but also Ms Frocktails herself. She’s a beautiful soul (and is a true fabric enabler!). This was photographed on the same day as the Japanese t-shirt and the koala hunting trip – the kids asked to go to ‘the rocky beach’ at lunchtime so we took the opportunity to take these snaps while the kids searched for shells and pretty rocks on this little deserted part of paradise. Gotta love Port Macquarie. Pattern: Flared Pullover from Japanese sewing book ‘Clean & Natural’ purchased from Kinokuniya, Sydney Fabric: Embroidered cotton.

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74 thoughts on “Perfectly plain ‘Flared Pullover’ blouse – Clean and Natural

  1. Oh Lizzy I love this top! I just bought a piece of gauzy embroidered white fabric for a top and am inspired by yours! I think though your choice has a much better drape… So pretty!

    • I just love embroidered fabric but everything I have seen lately has had a very ‘regular’ pattern on it. I loved the random sizes and spacing on this one… can’t wait to see yours!

    • Thanks Gail, it adds a point of difference without being different for the sake of being different. It pops up in several of the other makes in the book… which makes them even more tempting!

    • I’m often drawn to the most basic makes in a pattern book… and I sometimes stop myself and think ‘Lizzy you should be sewing more complicated things that that…’ but I’m getting better at ‘sewing for me’ whether that’s complex or simple. It’s just got to be the right choice.

  2. Very lovely top, the fabric is perfect for the style. Congrats on the accomplishment of a non-translated book, I have done a couple of purses from the Japanese books, it is a workout for the brain!

  3. Emerald wool crepe! Can’t wait to see that one 🙂 The simple lines of this top really makes the embroidery stand out. Great pattern+fabric match 🙂

    • It was one of those moments when you think ‘now I’ve sewn this on and it’s going to be a disaster to unpick… what now??’ however as I said – all’s well that ends well! Thanks Sarah!

    • There are blessings and curses to all our shapes and sizes. I would love to sew the 50s vavavoom styles but I look ridiculous. I’ll never be admired for my curves – but I’m ok with that – I’m getting better at dressing for my size… which isn’t much bigger than my daughter’s friends and they are starting high school next year… in fact they get my hand-me-downs which I find a little depressing to be honest.
      However I just purchased the ‘I am’ cute’ Japanese dress book – and it’s actually too big for me – it’s sized for busts 35in plus. And the skirts book (name escapes me at the moment) you draft the patterns yourself based on your own measurements. I can’t wait to try that!

    • There are lots of things that might not suit me either. However if I get four or five patterns from the book… that makes it a good investment. I think this one will have several for me!

  4. i love the volume on this top! i like the idea of the fitted yoke up top to counter the volume at the hem. your neckline binding reminded me that i’ve seen a bias facing technique where you take your bias strips, press them in half, then sew it to the right side with all the raw edges together. then you turn it to the inside and edge stitch on the folded edge of the binding. seems similar to what you did, i think it’s supposed to be good for thinner fabrics. anyways, i really like this top and the book looks like it has some great patterns!

    • Thanks Lisa, that’s sort of what I did. I had the bias tape that has both sides folding into the middle so I sewed one raw edge down and the folded it over – it was the gap in the upside of the bias tape – where the edges met that annoyed me. I’m sure that people would not have noticed it but I noticed it!
      I think this top is sweetly genius because it hasn’t added gathers off the yoke which so many patterns do – so you achieve this nice fit across the upper bust and the gentle shape. Something simple is just the best!

  5. I absolutely LOVE the material you used! Why can’t I ever find anything as nice: the patterns are almost always too condensed.
    I might have to try drafting my own pattern (nice and simple since I am learning to draft now).

    • I know the feeling. I was thrilled when I found this fabric as the design was a little more random than usual with different sized motifs. I’m not a huge fan of regular patterns – I prefer abstract and modern prints but they are much harder to find.

    • Thanks VK. I was quite amazed when I put it on the first time – I thought ‘Wow, this looks so much better than I hoped… and now I want more!’ I do think a lot of this top’s beauty lies in that gorgeous simple fabric… I wish it was easier to get such lovely stuff…

  6. It really is a stunning top. I think that the simple look must be very hard to draft. And congratulations on surviving the instructions in Japanese!

    • Thank you! I think some elements of sewing patterns are universal, fold marks and so on… I decided that certain symbols on the pattern indicated back and front. I can’t wait to try something harder!

  7. That’s lovely and will be cool for those hot days on the beautiful beaches there. My son and I had a day in Port Macquarie on the school holidays driving back from Newcastle and it is indeed LOVELY!! We had a day on a beach and of course I was thinking of you (when I wasn’t thinking of my son of course!)

    • Oh you should have dropped me a line – people often drop by (even if I’m at work), I love to meet people. Maybe next time. And yes, it really is a very pretty town, we are very fortunate to live here.

  8. That is a stunningly beautiful top! I love that yoke and the tissue/embroidered fabric you chose. It’s a clean, crisp line, and lovely over other things. It looks great with jeans, too. Nice post, Lizzy.

  9. Just popping back to this post as I’ve dragged my book out again looking for some post holiday inspiration! This is such a nice top on you. I hope that you have indeed worn it alot. xx

  10. Pingback: Boat-Neck Top and a Review | tomatoes and jasmine

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