Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Adventures in Japanese (Part One)

With an unexpected and rather large garden task suddenly taking over the lives of both Mr U-t-B and me....

The dream..
Image from 'Pinterest'

The reality
But not for long!

...I was disappointed to think I would not be able to find a big chunk of time to devote to my Japanese project this week.  

Next week and the one after that, and half of the one after that, I am finally back to teaching so time will again be limited.  But instead of feeling frustrated every time I see the lovely book or pass by the scrummy fabrics, I thought I'd break the project down into little chunks and try to fit in one every other day or so, otherwise I might not be able to make a start till 12th October!

The first thing I needed to do was to make sense of the instructions for the pattern I have chosen to make.

A set of instructions in this book begins with a page like this...

I decided that the only thing to do was to grab a pencil, my reading glasses and  the useful glossary supplied by 'M is for Make' and focus on trying to translate some of what lay before me.

I really needed my glasses for this task!  
I take my hat off to every last person who ever learnt to read and write in Japanese - it's so intricate and detailed.

After a while I seemed to get my eye in, and decided that this was what was included on the first page.

Then I set to making sense of my pattern, which will be this one.

(Did you spot my new scissor case there holding down the pages?  That was the result of a batch of notebook covers I was making... 

I decided to cut out quite a few at once, but forgot to think about the direction of the pattern for one pair of fabrics...

...so ending up with two long strips of 'Folklore Dala Horse' fabric that would look stoopid on books with the little horses balancing on their noses, legs waving in the air.  Duh!  

The solution was to use the strips for scissor cases...

Victory from the jaws of defeat!)

Anyhow, back to the pattern.

I established that first came the amount of fabric required for the different sizes - I underlined the sizes (from 100cm to 140cm in this book, which I reckon equates to 2-3 years up to 9-10 years). I need 1.6m for the smallest size which I intend to make.

Next came a requirement for 5cm wide gathered lace - again different lengths being given based on the size chosen. I'm not going to use lace on my blouse, but if I was going to, I would need 1.1m.

Next, buttons - 1.5cm in diameter, and I need 4.

Lastly (I think) elastic  - 6mm wide and I need 40cm.

Next will be preparing the pattern.  My tracing wheel is poised, but today I'm off in search of some old windows...


  1. Wow this looks adventurous! I have often admired some of those beautiful japanese sewing books but been too nervous to try! Good Luck!
    Love your journal covers and the sweet scissor keepers - you have been a very busy bee despite the garden project!
    Lots to catch up with on your blog!
    Gill xx

  2. Hi Alix, good luck with your project, it's looks very complicated. Love the dala horse scissor case, really cute. Hannah x

  3. OMG!!!!! and I never write that!
    Good luck...... looks so complicated

  4. Wow, you have more patience than I would ever have! Love the little scissor case - the fabric is really cute. M x

  5. Flippin' Ada!
    This looks very complicated.
    Can't wait to see the results of all your hard work

  6. Gosh, following a Japanese pattern - good luck! My daughter has just started learning Japanese at school but she hasn't progressed from "My name is Hope", so I don't think she'd be much use yet.

    Love the journal covers too.