… or at least my interpretation of it.
When we visited Japan earlier this year (which indeed was outstandingly glorious, can recommend highly to everyone who's looking for beauty, the obscure, and / or serenity… to a certain degree) I was pleasantly surprised to find all my fashion prejudice met; boxy tops, floating dresses, elegantly wide skirts and trousers – all I had hoped for, all on show in the streets of Tokyo and Kyoto.
Inspired by the glorious Japanese fabric stores, I had no choice but to bring an own version of that particular style back home. And how to do this better than with a hand-selected piece of fabric, combined with a pattern for a pair of culotte that I wanted to give another try for quite some time.
Take the end of a Saturday night, add some small hours of the morning of a Sunday and here you go:
I do have to admit, that it is quite a chunk of a garment. But I decided that this is just the way it has to look, when paired with golden Birkenstocks (high heels = more elegance? I can't be bothered to find out, to be honest).
The "Milly" pattern is by "La Mains Victor" – a sewing magazine which I believe only now started publishing in English.
As you can see, I had a go at this quite some time ago, but wasn't too happy with the results (knit fabric, mistreated to now sitting way to tight at the hips, what can you do) so let's just forget about that. As to the pattern: Adding seam allowances to any pattern (as La Maison Victor requires, quite as a lot of European patterns do) is a bit annoying. It's pretty time consuming and (if not taken enough time to be done properly) more inaccurate than with those instructions that already contain the added centimeters. But okay, that's just how it is – and the culotte pattern as such is well constructed if you don't mind the extra floatiness of fabric due to added folds.
I hunted for the fabric at "Tomato" (one of them) in Tokyo – recommend by all the sewers I came across that already did their fabric shopping in the Japanese capital (and I shall herewith recommend them to you, too, dear reader). Wanna see how much fun I had at Tomato?
(Pretty nutty, I know).
At THAT visit (yes, there were more) I made tough choice and only went out with four of the BEST fabrics EVER:
The one in beige with the stripes has been turned into a sundress already – the flower printed one now is a Kimono-style jacket – and the rayon crepe obviously is the headline star of my new culottes:
And just to proof that they are what I say they are – see for yourself:
The pattern originally asks for a zipper and a button to close the garment.
But here comes a revelation; all tender objects (porcelain, souls, fabrics) wear out when being mistreated. By serging the edges I stretch the main body of the garment so much that the whole piece became super-wide. No sense in keeping the zipper – so I just tightened the elastic at the waist and hoped for the best (now, that method actually added to the bulkiness, as you can imagine).
But anyways, it worked:
And I got my lesson (a repetition actually, for those that don't learn the first time around) to be more delicate when handling (any kind) of fabric (actually).
So now, I'll be wandering the pavements of sunny Munich in my (almost) Japanese culotte, pretending I had nowhere better to be than just in the here and now. I brought six fabrics back with me… which now leaves me with three more garment options to go. Wish me creativity in the Japanese fashion.