Basic Black (in Colour): Tiered Over-blouse C

Basic Black by Sato Watanab

Basic Black is the soon-to-be-released English edition of Sato Watanabe's classic dressmaking book. As a person who loves Japanese clothing design but never wears black clothes I was intrigued when Tuttle kindly sent me an advance copy to review. I'm so happy they did as I may not have bought a copy myself otherwise. If you love colourful clothes, don't be discouraged by the title!

Basic Black

The designs in this book are beautifully constructed (or perhaps deconstructed) with elements of smart tailoring and great details including angular criss-cross darts, asymmetric hems and necklines, quilting, pleats, and hand embroidered panels. It includes patterns for A-line dresses, skirts, jackets, waistcoats, blouses, two fabulous coats and a gorgeous cheongsam. As the title suggests, they do all look stunning made up in shades of black but I think would also look good in brighter colours.

Tiered blouse and dress: Basic Black

I tried out design C, a tiered voluminous over-blouse with light tucks along the tiers. It was an easy pattern to trace out with only three pattern pieces – the tiers are measured and marked directly onto your fabric. 

Tiered blouse construction

I decided to use double-sided gauze with a small gingham check (another Worthing Market bargain) as it was the plainest piece of material in my fabric stash and I thought would best show off the concave and convex contrast effect created by the tucks. However it was a fast-fraying fabric to use and necessitated immediate vacuuming up of stray threads and fluff after sewing. I added an extra tier to the hem to make the blouse into a longer smock and shortened the sleeves to three quarter length. To finish I made bias binding from the fraying double gauze and bound the neckline, sleeves and hem with the contrast side of the fabric for further cheer.

Basic Black: dress C by Ivy Arch

I was going to use black and white photographs to show off my creation, but couldn't resist showing it in full colour! I'm now on the look out for some brightly printed fabric to make the cheongsam...

Sato Watanabe: Tiered dress

Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for theModern Wardrobe is published by Tuttle Books on 8th July 2014.