Happy Friday + Randomness (+ An Unscheduled Sewing for Me Rendition)


Happy Friday! Old habits die hard, and I did sew something for myself this week, spurred by the need to create a sample for a class I’m teaching next month. I’m going to be frank — initially I wasn’t crazy about this dress once I sewed it up in this khaki linen-blend (I might have mentioned that I planned to create a slipcover with this fabric, so it’s a touch on the heavier side and I have yards and yards and yards of the stuff). I thought, “Oh no! What I have I done? I chose an awful dress to teach.”

I adored it on the cover of the book — it looks to be made out of a breezy light grey double-gauze:


It’s a deceptively straightforward-looking dress with no closures, 3/4 length dolman-ish sleeves, very generous ease. However, there are a number of panels wrapping around in unexpected ways, so the area under the arms was trickier than expected. When I finished, I felt underwhelmed by the sack-like shape. The placement of gathers above my bust seemed iffy, and I wasn’t sure if the color was giving me a pukey color cast or not. Mostly, I gasped when I saw my arms looking like ham hocks.


I put it aside, a bit bummed out that it would not do as a sample for the class, and left it hanging in the bathroom.


I don’t know if the steam softened the linen or something or if I just needed some distance from the dress, but I’m pretty much in love with it now. It’s very Japanese (you know how I feel about that), and so wonderfully comfortable. I’ve always been a fan of the 3/4 length sleeve, and though I’m still on the fence about the front gathers and the way the sleeve bunches up under my armpit, there are few things a well-placed scarf won’t solve.


There will be more versions in different fabrics of this dress coming up and they will be sent off to the fabric store as samples. I also need to make a version with pockets. Pockets would help the situation a thousandfold — I’m thinking welts? Anyhow, I really like my new khaki dress, but it’s still not sample-worthy due to some glaring imperfections in my stitching, so I will keep this for myself. I will be the expert I need to be after making a couple more (or so I hope). Hmmm…this probably isn ‘t inspiring a lot of confidence, but I do tend to over prepare for my classes, so let’s hope it goes well. More info on the class to come soon!


K is way into jokes these days…

K: Mama, mama, this is my favorite joke: what kind of horse has red polka dots, green stripes and white stars?

Me: Hmmm, I don’t know…

K: I don’t know either, that’s why I asked you!


Have a lovely, lovely weekend everyone! I have a lot of sewing to do and better get started!

KCW time
Are you all ready to sew?
Excitement abounds



21 thoughts on “Happy Friday + Randomness (+ An Unscheduled Sewing for Me Rendition)

  1. Hi Sanae, Your blog is so wonderful and creative. I just love it. The back of this dress is absolutely gorgeous! The simple dropped yoke and beautiful vertical seams! So Japanese. Have you tried it on backwards?

    1. Sweet Greta, thanks! The back of the dress is my favorite part too! And that’s a good idea to try it backwards, though with my top heaviness, it might make me look much more ample than I really am…but I’ll try it!

  2. the pleats on the back panel are my favorite feature – what a fun unexpected detail! Glad that you changed your mind about the dress – it looks lovely on you, esp. styled with that scarf. Best of luck with your class. Oh, the lucky Seattle-ites who live near you!

    1. Thanks Lucinda! I feel like I’m trying to juggle maybe a little too much these days, so let’s hope I don’t drop the ball on this class. Of course, I’m the one that feels lucky for all these amazing opportunities!

  3. Well, here come the next back-view-lover! And the front with the scarf – also very stylish! One more proof for the put-a-scarf-on-it-theory 😉 And yes, definitely pockets! I also find, that something I did not like at first will grow on me with a little time and distance. Now I might even try hangig it in the bathroom steam!
    And another class!!! I want to move to Seattle! I am sure until next month you will have mastered any underarmtrickyness and gathers on the front! Happy weekend and KCW planning!

    1. I’m going to print up a t-shirt with “put-a-scarf-on-it”! It’s the great solver of problems, I say 🙂 Thanks for the well-wishes, Ute!

  4. I’m so glad the tone of this shifted halfway through because I love this dress! I would wear it…a lot. I was actually really staring at this one, thinking of what I would do…(lower the neckline a bit…put a scarf on it, obviously 😉 This is a staple dress if I have ever seen one. I seem to really love the simplicity and perfect subtle touches of Japanese sewing patterns and styling. Fingers crossed that more come out in English. I also think for how simple and straight (erm…sac-like) this pattern may appear, it is somehow quite flattering. You look fantastic!

    1. Lowering the neckline/v is such a good idea, Monica! And I’m thinking of trying it as a tunic length to see how it works too. Definitely a staple dress that works across different seasons!

  5. I love the idea of wearing it backwards from above. I’d be curious to see how that would look. I love the drab khaki color. That’s one of my favorites. I also wanted to say congrats on your children’s book deal! I am so excited for you. I’ve always wanted to dip my toes in illustrating a kid’s book, so I would really love to hear all about the process. So cool!!

    1. I’m all about drab colors! Can’t get enough of them. And thanks for the congrats – I think you would make a fabulous children’s book illustrator, especially since you work with kids on a daily basis and know exactly what they love!

    1. Ha! Good old Stevie – I’m horrible with lyrics and I can’t continue the song beyond “No New Year’s Eve to celebrate; No chocolate-covered candy hearts to give away…”. 🙂 Thanks, Marit!

  6. Hello! I just discovered your blog last week after Googling one of my Japanese pattern books. Naturally, I’m drooling over your work and style and also thinking it’s pretty cool you’re are a fellow PNW gal. I’m North of you by about an hour, but went to college and spent many years in Seattle. 🙂 Just giving you a shout out and thanks for sharing your creations. Congrats on the book deal. I love your illustrations and I’m sure my 4 little and big boys would enjoy reading your book, too…as they are very adventure/nature minded and love stories and tales from around the world.

    As for the dress….beautiful. Love the gathers. I am a pocket gal. And a linen gal. I think large origami pockets are in order. 😉

    1. Go PNW-ers! I’m a transplant that fully considers Seattle my end-all be-all home now, I love it that much. Thank you for your kind comment, Amy – I’m hoping that boys like the books too!

      And origami pockets for the dress! Now, that’s a good idea…

      1. I’m totally serious. I would love a frock, apron or dress with origami pockets. We do a lot of basic kid origami around the house and I think it would be so fun to add some of that aesthetic to something for me.

  7. Ohhhh, this is so lovely!!! And pockets, I vote for pockets!! I really hope this is a clear sign of what’s to come for your next class, as I hope I can be as lucky to participate again! I had a wonderful time with your class in the fall and I learned so much. It was a pleasure to be taught some new tricks and tips by someone who has such a love for Japanese patterns…and has such amazing garments to show for it!

    1. Hi Shelley! I loved having you in my class – so fun. And yes, indeed! The plan is for me to teach this dress next month. Let’s hope it doesn’t get cancelled 😉

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