Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 8/26/2015
to Sewing Projects
Do you ever get so enthralled with a pattern that you sew it up several times over? For me, the Japonesque Top, now out of print, from The Sewing Workshop is one of those patterns. I have sewn so many of them that I have forgotten about some, given others to friends, and worn others out.
The first time I sewed this pattern was when it was not yet a pattern. By that I mean that I copied someone's yellow blouse while I was taking a class at The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco, about 20-25 years ago. Of course, it is much easier to sew from the pattern that I eventually bought and I have certainly gotten my money's worth by sewing it so many times. I would rate this as more of an intermediate/advanced sewing pattern, not so good for beginners.
I have had a piece of fabric, dark mustard in color, in my stash that was crying out to become a Japonesque Top. It is one of those pieces that I have had for so long that I don't remember where I bought it or what the fiber content is. An educated guess is that it is a wool cotton blend. This will be an ideal lightweight jacket for fall here in Southern Oregon and fall is right around the corner.
One of the nice things about this pattern is that it was never in or out of "fashion." It just has great style. It is asymmetric and loose fitting. You can use a lot of different fabrics successfully and the optional tabs, buttons and pocket offer a lot of design choices.
I sewed the red version to wear to a holiday party about 12 years ago and I have been wearing it around the holidays ever since. Years later, it still gets compliments, even though the sewing is far from perfect.
Although the pattern is out of print, you can still find them on Ebay from time to time. I recommend that you snatch it up if you see it for sale online as I suspect that it will be just as appealing 10 years from now.
I'm also going to sew a cute pair of cotton print pants to wear with the mustard version of the top. I should have those to show you next week.
Benita Bike Date 8/29/2015
Made this same top for a friend, using black wool with thin silver stripes and some repurposed obi fabric. It was really beautiful, and she loved the top. We're not close any longer, but I think she likely still wears that top!
Susan Liane Date 8/30/2015
I think I am going to wear this for a long time also. It just isn't going to be out of date.
Jan Crews Date 9/25/2015
I had such an "aha" moment looking at your mustard top - and a good laugh. I made one of these in a class with Nancy Shriber at The Sewing Workshop in 2000. I had that little hanging strap and always wondered what it was for. Now I see - it's a closure!!! What a novel concept. 😯 Thanks for the education. I think I'll go make another Japonesque!
DONITA VADEN Date 11/6/2016
Is there a pattern you can suggest that will be similar. I would love this style!
Mary Brennan Date 3/8/2018
I was determined to finish this top after a 15+ year delay. I have lost the pattern piece for the long tab and for the front pieces, so I have no idea where to attach the long tab.