DIY, fabric store, fashion, life, process, sewing, style, travelMartha PorterComment
FRONT BLOUSE ON instagram.jpg

Last spring, we spent 16 days in the North of Japan. We started and ended in Tokyo; it was a dreamy trip. I could easily write a post on each small town, ryokan, onsen, and senbei shop we visited….but one of my favorite destinations was Nippori Textile Town in the north of Tokyo. Nippori reminded me of Midtown Manhattan in that it is a concentrated area of fabric and notions stores. Some are high end, and some have boxes of buttons on the floor, all were full of textile treasures. Unlike Midtown, the goods in Nippori were unfamiliar in the best way: different prints and textures and processes to get your fabric cut. One of my favorite shops was Tomato (pronounced Toe-MAH-toe) - there are 3 locations in Nippori, one of which is 5 stories of glorious fabric!

I bought four cuts of fabric in Nippori, including this pink floral, which I found at a shop directly across the street from the main Tomato location. This fabric is crisp but soft, it feels traditional yet modern, feminine but not girly; it reminds me of cherry blossoms. It has a jacquard woven chrysanthemum pattern that has been clipped away to reveal a base cloth that is sheer. Then the fabric is overprinted with a floral pattern of pink - leaving the flower shapes white, but accenting them with an opaque white pigment printed on top. I think about how, when working with mills as a textile designer, it’s tricky to convince them to combine so many techniques. It is only 34” wide, and I purchased 3 yards.

I thought about making a dress, but came to my senses when I remembered how narrow the fabric is. I decided to make a flounced, springy blouse. I’m dreaming of wearing it with high waisted jeans in Kyoto, surrounded by cherry blossoms. This is McCall’s 7687, a pattern I know and love. Full review below. XO

Pattern Description: "Fitted tops have front and back princess seams, back button closure, and sleeve variations." I made view A.

Pattern Sizing:
For Big 4 blouses and fitted bodices, I usually make size 12 (upper bust 34”, full bust 36”). For this top, I make 14 with a few modifications. 12 would fit fine, but I like having the extra bit of wearing ease when buttoning myself up in the back, and if I am very careful, I can slip this over my head and only un-do the top button. This is my third time sewing it. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, plus my changes. I love this pattern; it goes together easily. There is a misprint on the tissue: piece 5 is the Side BACK (it is labelled as front).

Fabric Used: 
I just told ya! ;)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
• Bodice is View A, cut at length of View D.
• Cut all pieces at 14, except center front panel, where the width only is cut at 12.
• Eliminated neckline facing, made self bias binding instead.
• Cut sleeves per pattern until the elbow, and flared it out slightly. Shortened sleeves 3.5" and sewed a hem casing for 3/8" elastic at cuff.
• Interior seams are finished with 3 thread narrow overlock.
• I went to Jonathan Embroidery Plus in Manhattan for my buttonholes, because my machine that does good ones is waiting to be serviced. Totally worth it! 7 buttonholes were completed in about 2 minutes, and I was charged $4.55.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
This is my 3rd make, and won't be my last. I have also made View C. Yes, I recommend it enthusiastically.