Now for an exceptionally simple top!
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!
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!). 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. The flared style of the lower section is just lovely. I love how the back falls below the curved yoke. Not much else to say about this basic top.
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. The orange top has my name on it – perhaps in an emerald wool crepe I’ve been hoarding! I do like that simple plaid shirt with a collar stand and placket. I can see me wearing that a lot! Please pop over and visit Japanese Sewing Books – this is a great resource for these books. She has reviewed this book in full here. 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.
It is so simple but elegant! Love it!
I love simple clothes, simple doesn’t have to mean ‘plain’ – thank you.
Me too. I try to do simple and then add something to make it not simple!!! If that makes sense! It’s usually the fabric which does it, isn’t it? This fabric is beautiful!
Sometimes it’s best to just let the fabric talk… if only I had done with a shirtdress I finished recently… coming to the blog soon…
Lovely top! I like the orange top too. Might get the book for that pattern.
That top is incredible simple. I think it would take about an hour to sew. It’s shown in the book in wool & linen gauze.
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!
Beautiful classic top. Just love that curved yoke!
That is a lovely yoke curve. And thanks for linking to some more Aussie sewing bloggers for me to follow ;o)
I’ve recently discovered how so many of great bloggers and sewers are Australian. It can suck sometimes living overseas – since I can’t meet so many of them in person – but it has also made me so proud to be an Aussie.
Are you an ex-pat? we do have loads of great bloggers and they are all awesome sheilas as well!
Yes. I’m an Aussie living in Kuwait.
Wow that would be interesting… and probably a challenge!!
No problems at all! We all need to read more blogs and find yet more to sew! lol
it looks wonderful, so easy and yet the shape has an elegance to it that prevents it looking sack like.
It’s so easy to wear… it’s like wearing a sack!
Stunning fabric. Ethereal even. I bet you will get loads of wear out of this.
I think so! I’ve been very inspired by your recent Cynthia Rowley tops… I even got the pattern because of you!
I love the way this top drapes at the back, its quite full and very pretty. Not at all plain!!
and it’s achieved by a really gentle flare – no fancy engineering about this design – but it works beautifully.
I like the curved yoke too. A light touch, but classy.
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!
Love it! Simple and beautiful. Great way to show off a lovely fabric.
I’m glad I chose such a simple design as those embroidered motifs were quite chunky to sew through!
Ooh this is so pretty! I love the yokes too. Great job on picking an excellent fabric to showcase the lovely pattern!
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.
Beautiful! The embroidered cotton is just fabulous. I need that hooded coat in my life, too.
The coat is adorable… just trying to picture it in plaid…
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!
I felt like I cheated by picking such a simple make! LOL however it was great to test the sizing and also increase my confidence with the non-translated books.
Love this. It looks fab with the skinny jeans and it’s a perfect beachside (or city!) look. I love these books for their simple, but elegant pieces.
I’ve fallen hard for these books. So wearable and like you say they translate into all sort of lifestyles and locations. The best kind of sewing!
Perfect! Love the curved yoke
*whispers* and it was easy to sew!
Lovely indeed! Sometimes the simple designs have more impact than the detailed.
PS – I posted your pattern books today, hope you like them 🙂
Oh I can’t wait!
you do realise I’m going to be sprinting to the mailbox every day now?
A very lovely top. With a simple design, the beauty of the fabric can really be appreciated and is not lost in the style. I love it!
I’d love to have some more – however I just want this design in simple fabrics… I think the beauty of it will be lost in prints and just end up looking baggy.
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 🙂
I found the crepe in a charity shop… for $2. I’ve been hoarding it and that simple shape with a long-tee and jeans in winter really appeals!
Really lovely, Lizzy! The fabric drapes beautifully – good move with the seam binding too 🙂
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!
It really is beautiful. Fantastic fabric choice.
I’m a little envious of anyone who is small enough to use the japanese pattern books. So many of them are so nice, but way too small for me.
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!
Looks great!! I love the styles in that book, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t look so good on me…
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!
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!
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.
I love how it turned out! Your fabric choice is perfect…
Thank you! I’d been eyeing off the fabric for ages and then when I saw this pattern I rushed off to the shop!
That’s beautiful, the curved yoke and the way the fabric flows and drapes in the back is gorgeous. Understated elegance, as always!
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…
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!
Beautiful. I love how simple yet elegant it is.
Thank you! It will get a lot of wear I’m sure!
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.
oooh! I love that little curve in the front- its got a little whimsy and shape- very sharp!
Thanks Anne, it’s a bit of a departure from my usual makes… but I think I’m ‘sold’. Perhaps I need more tunics in my life!
Every now and then a top that gives us permission to slouch is very nice!
And eat a big lunch!
Such beautiful fabric needed to be made into something simple. Your top is perfect for that fabric.
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.
Thanks so much, I’m really enjoying trying some different shapes & looks lately. I’ve had so much fun sewing!
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
I do love this one, its simplicity is appealing 🙂 I thought you were making the overalls?
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