Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hanami Love - Improvisational Pleats

I have wanted the Hanami pattern since the day it came out. StraightGrain was one of the first blogs I came across a year ago when I discovered this incredible online sewing world. I was pretty sure that my little Elena would look great in any of An's patterns because she is built just like her daughter - rather slight, very feminine little body and face. I didn't buy until recently as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel #2. This one's being in the parcel clinched the deal.

And then if I wasn't happy enough already just to get the pattern, An came out with a contest to use her improvisational pleating techniques. Oh, I love a good contest. I am way too competitive sometimes. I will be linking up later in May when the time comes. You can read all about it here.

This top is just beautiful, inside and out. I added the improvisational pleats to the bodice - no measuring or pre-planning. I hope they're irregular enough to look intentional and not just wonky. I was not drinking, I promise. I wanted the top third of the entire top to be pleated. The fabrics are things from my mom's old stash. All very lightweight cottons. I went with the zipper back (but not an invisible zip), the peplum length, the peter pan collar, and the tulip sleeves. Too much cuteness.

It might be just a little too dainty for Elena. As pretty as it is, if you know Elena, she is much more of a firecracker than this top would suggest. It is light and comfy so she isn't complaining at all, but she would probably prefer one in a brighter color. I'm thinking of some orange with tiny white polka dots I have leftover from this dress. I think I'll try the crossback and the flutter sleeves. That will be more her style.

The leggings are homemade too out of cotton lycra knit from Girl Charlee last year. I used elastic to ruche the sides a bit. They match the zipper.

Do you know what she is doing in the above picture? She is counting how many marshmallows she is going to get for these photos. Ah, the cost of doing business with a 2 year old.


  1. Fabulous! I bribe with chocolate. I should probably switch to marshmallows (less caffeine, more air).

    Thanks for linking up to Inspire Us Thursdays on The Inspired Wren.

  2. I'm such a huge fan of pleats and I just love that top! Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Sews at PiePie Designs!


Please leave a comment. I'll respond via e-mail if I can or here if that's not possible.