Yippie, it's time for Sew Japan with Mie again. I have made a top that I have wanted to make for a looong time plus a pair of ingenious culottes that are camouflaged like a wrap skirt. Say whaaaaat!

I love the flow of this top SO much. The fitting yoke and then the rest of the top and sleeves are gathered below. I have made my daughter two and they were instant favorites. This is a size 130 (cm) which does fit her height but we all know by now that Japanese sewing patterns are generous in size. One size smaller would probably have looked even better but this will last longer. And it's not like I think she is drowning in it, it's just a bit on the big side.

Here are the patterns and the books they are from. Both books are from a sunny spot, The Heartwarming Life Series and are some of my favorites. The Sew Japan with Mie, March edition was also with patterns from the bottom book in the photo above.

No one would guess those bottoms are culottes, would they!? So funny! I made them with navy blue Brussels Washer from Robert Kaufman. It's 55% linen and 45% rayon and is much more soft and has much more drape than 100% linen. I really really like this fabric. I skipped the buckle that they have in the book but since it's totally for show and has no actual function, then it was no problem at all. The fit is perfect and I made no other changes at all.

The top is made with this super lovely Yuwa striped seersucker lawn from Miss Matatabi. This quality is just perfect for this style...and so many others.

The top is not a super hard sew but it includes both gathers and buttonholes and we all know those things adds a bit of time to the overall sewing time but nothing too bad. I didn't follow their buttonhole placements with two buttons on the yoke. Instead I put one at the top and the next right under the yoke on the bodice (and continued all the way down with that distance). That particular (second) buttonhole I made BEFORE I sewed on the yoke which made it SO much easier since most sewing machines flip out when there is a seam in the way. The top buttonhole (on the yoke) I sewed with the placket wrapped the seam in tissue paper - I can't believe what a difference that makes. Try it if you haven't already!

Here is an iPhone shot of the top buttons and buttonholes. Just to show you that even though my yokes had shifted slightly apart in the real photo shoot photos, the stripes do in fact match up, hehe. And aren't those stripes buttons just fabulous?! I thought they would be too much but as soon as I put them on the shirt, I knew they were perfect. They are called ERICA from Lots of Buttons. Go to this THIS post on my blog for more info about vertical button and buttonhole placements.

Let's talk a bit about fusible interfacing. The pattern recommends you to add it along the center front/overlap of the yoke and center front bodice, where they buttonholes and buttons are sewn and I definitely agree and insist on those, but in my mind you need interfacing in a bit more places. I would seriously never sew a woven neckline without interfacing on either the main fabric or preferably on the facing/lining. You really need that area stabilized for a nice, pro and long lasting result.

I also added it along the bottom seam of the yoke - just to be able to withhold the added bulk from the gathers. If your fabric is very flimsy, you can also choose to fully interface the whole front and back outer yoke (or inner if you prefer that - no right or wrong answer there).

And NOW I think it is finally time to lift that front 'wrap' piece and show you that these in fact are culottes. Such a fun detail. You literally just sew that extra 'wrap' piece (already hemmed) into one of the side seams and part of the waist seam. I followed the pattern's instructions and simply just serged the edges, folded the wide SA and stitched it in place. You can obviously make it much nicer by finishing the edge with a bias tape or make facings in contrast fabric. I was just looking for a quick sew, so I kept it simple.

The only problem I had was to figure out which side of the 'wrap' piece was to be sewed into the side seam and which side was to be hemmed. I was definitely missing a notch or two to indicate that. Normally I don't need to be able to read Japanese because the illustrations and patterns are so clearly marked but this might have been a situation where it would have been an advantage. In the end I had to make my best guess and since the result looks great, I guess I made the right one.

There is an inseam pocket on the one side seam that does not have the 'wrap' piece sewn in and here I had another small problem. I could not for the life of me find the pocket pattern piece. I looked and looked and looked again. I ended up just drafting one (that is super easy) and again maybe the book contains some info about that is in fact what they want you to do.... but in Japanese, ha. Normally I just think to remember that they have the pocket pieces drafted on the pattern piece sheet. Oh well. HERE is a link to a beeeaaaautiful tutorial on inseam pockets from In the Folds.

And that is almost a wrap for July....pun intended, ha. Btw HERE is another crazy cute version of this top pattern from La Foile. Now let's we have to look at the featured post from last month's link party.

And I know I have featured Jillian from Sew Unravelled before but I'm sorry, I just had to do it again, because she made a COAT from a Japanese pattern...and not only that, it's her first coat ever....and it looks amazing!!

Besides it looking amazing (so does everything that was linked up, have no doubt about that), I also wanted to feature it because it is not the usual cute girls' dresses that we all know (and love!!) from Japanese sewing books. It's black, wooly and structured...and with a ton of amazing details when you look closer. Check out the post HERE.

A new link party is now open and we can't wait to see what you make. Again thank you for your support! Don't forget to tag your social media posts with #sewjapan and #projectsewit