Happy Homemade Sew-along


This past week I’ve been participating in this sew along hosted by Meg and Cherie of elsiemarley and you&mie. Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids is a Japanese sewing book that has recently been translated into English and was the book we used to complete our project. I’ve had another Japanese sewing book in my stash for three years that I’ve never been able to figure out well enough to actually sew anything from! So when this sew-along was announced I positively jumped at the chance. Not only would it be my first (finally!) Japanese sewing book project but I hoped it would pave the way in helping me understand my other book well enough to start sewing from it.


The pattern we sewed was the Pull-over Parka. It’s a great gender neutral piece, workable for just about any season depending on how you execute it. I decided to make one for my daughter since I had just finished a pull-over for my son.


For my daughter’s parka I sewed it in size 110 (which is like a 4/5) out of Nani Iro fuccra rakuen and Robert Kaufman chambray union cotton in color indigo, with the pocket lining and drawstring cord made from ivory linen. I’m in love with this chambray! It’s lightweight, supple, soft, and simply wonderful for summery projects.


I did make a few alterations to the pattern. First I pieced together a sweetheart seam on the front of the parka and a scoop seam on the back. I like the interest they add plus it saved me from using a ton of my precious Nani Iro ;). Next I lengthen and flared the sleeves a bit so that I could gather them at the wrists with elastic. I also added some side seam pockets since my daughter has very little appreciation for anything I make her that doesn’t have pockets. Girl needs to store her treasures somewhere!


Finally I lined (a modification Cherie showed us how to do) and then quilted the hood. I just couldn’t get the idea of quilting something out of my head, so I did a little to satisfy my perfectionist… I mean artistic.. bent.


Sweetheart seam <3. I didn’t ask her to smile. Want to know why?


This is the face I get if I ask  ;D Like an adorable little pirate, Arrrrrrrrr.


Trying out her pockets.


I love that hood. So glad I listened to the crazy and quilted it!


Out for a stroll in her new parka. I’m really thrilled with how it turned out, and that I understood what I was doing the whole time! Of course having my hand held by Meg and Cherie made it just about impossible to mess up. I can’t wait to apply my new knowledge of Japanese pattern books to the one living in my stash. Yes, I think it’s time 😉

Anyone else conquer the mysterious Japanese sewing book, or any other trial in sewing you thought you just couldn’t ever get past?




13 thoughts on “Happy Homemade Sew-along

  1. Oh, this is so great! Love how you pieced the two fabrics together and has me rethinking a half yard of precious fabric I have. I love that chambray fabric paired with the Nani Iro and all the modifications you made. Side seam pockets were a great idea! Your daughter looks adorable wearing it:)

    • Thank you Lucinda! I’m so glad to have possibly given you an idea for your lovely half yard and I’d love to see what you do with it! And oh yes, chambray. A project just can’t go wrong with it, am I right? I have a pretty big crush on chambray right now in case you couldn’t tell!

  2. I do have this book, and must confess I haven’t cracked it open yet! I followed the follow-along – with my eyes, but not with my machine! And your version is absolutely my favorite that I have seen. I love the fabric combination so much. Well done.

  3. Oh, this is so lovely! I didn’t actually notice the princess cut color blocking you did there until now! And I’m also really digging the in-seam pockets. The quilted hood is great too! Such great details! Thanks for sewing along!!

    • Thanks Cherie! I sure am grateful you hosted the sew-along. I’ve always loved Japanese sewing books but they confuse the heck out of me! I didn’t even know they had started translating them into English until the sew-along. So… THANK YOU! 🙂

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