My first Japanese pattern: A Feminine Wardrobe – A2 Top by Jinko Matsumoto

Nearly a year ago Rin, from Sew in Love, sent me A Feminine Wardrobe by Jinko Matsumoto.

Out of all the nice patterns Top A2 below caught my eye.

A Feminine Wardrobe by Jinko Matsumoto - A2 Top

Two things held me back (working on other projects not being one of them)

1. I was worried about not understanding Japanese…although there are drawings and I don’t read instructions unless they are well done…

2. I know that Japanese designs tend to be rather flowy…and feared of looking like a sack.

After finding some vintage fabric and buttons I decided to give it a go.

The result: A HUGE FLOP!

1. I look like a sack especially from the side

2. The unattached bow tie makes me feel like an Italian child’s kindergarden uniform

3. Pink gingham too makes me think of a girl’s uniform

Clearly the fabric was a bad choice in the first place…but the pattern is also not for me. I need a more fitted one.

The only positive outcome from this project is that I managed to understand the drawings….the neckline area was mind-blogging.

What really puzzles me is that Japanese women who are much slimmer than me look very nice in these designs.

What are your thoughts and experience with Japanese Patterns?

14 thoughts on “My first Japanese pattern: A Feminine Wardrobe – A2 Top by Jinko Matsumoto

  1. I haven’t tried Japanese patterns, although I do own a copy of Mrs Stylebook. It’s the fact that I’m bigger than their sloper pattern that is making me hesitant. I think I should just bite the bullet and grade their sloper and give it a shot!
    I don’t think this blouse is totally terrible, but I do find the unattached bow a bit odd. Perhaps it would have worked better as an attached bow. And you do have such a slim figure that I agree that you suit a more fitted style. I hope you don’t think I’m being rude!
    Is the fabric salvageable?
    The worst thing that could happen, I suppose, with my Pollyanna hat on, is that you’ve advanced your skills!


  2. How does it look if you shorten it 10-15cm Silvia? I think that might look cuter!
    I haven’t tried any Japanese patterns. I love the concepts and styling, but worry about the sack look too – it looks good on some people but not on me!


  3. I wouldn’t say it’s a flop. Based on the just visually comparing your top to the one in the book-the original looks like it was made in fine tweed-which has awesome longitudinal drape (I have some of the propah Scottish stuff that I ‘m saving for Dietrich pants XD) and at the same time is a bit weighty to it hangs/ swings well. The fit also looks like she’s wearing at least one size up and longer than necessary..So you could still make the pattern work in that sort of fabric or drapey jersey (or even silk charmeuse but the more weighty sort and with counter balance weights in the hem- I’d use the O-rings from old hard drives XD). I think trying to make this work with stiff fabric will only work out for stick figures XD
    Wrt saving the make you have now, you could put box pleats in the front/ back, shorten it and use it as a boxy top (over stovepipe pants/ a pencil skirt). Also if you have more of this fabric or a contrast fabric in with similar structure, use that to make the bow but maybe 40% more i.e. her bow is massive enough up top to balance out the width of the garment at the bottom..
    Hope that helps XD


  4. Silvia, I am with you. After two and a half years living in Japan I came to conclusion that most of the Japanese fashion suits only Japanese people. They know how to wear it and they look good in it! I own several Japanese sewing books and I tried to make couple of garments from them, but only one dress looks OK on me.

    On a separate note, this top is not that bad at all. I would narrow a bit side seams to make it look less baloonish. Also try to use the bow as belt?


  5. In effetti credo che un top come questo possa stare bene solo a una ragazza magra come un insetto (per quanto tu sia già molto esile). L’idea è carina, però anche a me dà l’impressione di essere poco portabile…
    Coraggio, sbagliando si impara! E se fossi in te proverei ad ascoltare il consiglio di Sherry e accorciarlo. Magari indossandolo con una gonna a vita alta diventa carinissimo!


  6. Honestly, that is what has held me from trying Japanese patterns. They always seem to look really cute on Japanese people, but I know that if they aren’t at least slightly fitted in my underbust/waist area, they will just make me look hugely pregnant…
    I’m with Perfectnose, though, I think it could be saved if you took in the back to fit?


  7. I found you on my wanderings around the internet and love your blog. I also love these Japanese sewing books and have a few that I have sewed from with little modifications here and there. They do like those boxy shapes that don’t work on everyone but I think this top isn’t a flop! It looks to be the weight of the fabric is what isn’t perfect for the cut but I agree it can be saved. I like both the belt idea or the narrowing at the side seams idea.


  8. Silvia, yo no lo veo tan mal! Igual la tela si que le da un toque infantil, tal vez con alguna tela mucho más ligera (para que no te haga silueta saco) y un estampado diferente iría mejor. Este tipo de blusa suele quedar muy bien con un pantalón pitillo (de esos que son estrechos en el tobillo).
    Lo más chulo de todo es el lazo, me encanta! Y la parte de atrás con los botoncitos también.


  9. Hi, first time visitor here, and am so taken in with your posts and photos. Had to comment on this one. Those Japanese models — they are waifs! With tiny waists, tiny wrists, tiny everything, everywhere. Volume looks good on them as it seems to give them “substance”, know what I mean? The big loose clothes, I think, are designed for their body build.
    But this blouse on you looks totally salvage-able as suggested above. From the front it doesn’t look too bad. I hope you can post pics of how you made it work.


  10. I wish I had looked for your review before I made mine in pink seersucker. I’m just puzzled that the original is made in silk seersucker (I have the translated version). First of all…silk seersucker? Never seen or heard of that.

    Anyway, I think the original is darling, but realistically? That bow on me? Plus the red/white seersucker reads as light pink and washes me out. Will google dyeing seersucker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally know the feeling. Sometimes I also forget to look for reviews around. The bow is very hard to wear…I never wore mine after taking these pictures and also the top has not been worn much. A pity but sometimes it happens. I hope you find a way to dye it.


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