Friday, October 25, 2019

A Sushi Cat Dress for the Literary Sewing Circle

I've made my project for the Literary Sewing Circle! I had this one in mind all along, but wasn't sure if it was actually going to work out or just look TOO over the top ;)

I like it! I was inspired by Ruth and Oliver's trip to "The Liver", when they visit Arigato Sushi to get some help deciphering the letters that were tucked into Nao's lunchbox. Also by the presence of both Pesto and Chibi in both Ruth and Nao's lives, cats who are important to them.

My favourite motif
I bought this Michael Miller Katamaki quilting cotton at the thrift store quite a while ago. There was a 3m. piece of it, and it was so cute I couldn't pass it up. Because the print is so huge, I needed a really simple design with not many seams at all to avoid excessive pattern matching woes.

I found the perfect pattern when I made my first Liesl & Co Terrace Dress earlier this year. This pattern is simple, an a-line shift with pockets and sleeve variations. I loved the way it fit me the first time I made it -- the shape of it is just right. So this time I made it longer (just below knee length) and added the longer sleeve option.

I had a bit of fuss over the sleeves, though. First I tried it with just the cut on dropped sleeve; it looked okay but the proportions didn't seem quite right. So I cut the longer sleeve; even with shortening it, it came almost to my wrist. It was too long and overwhelming. I just kept folding it under and testing until I came to the right length, about two inches below my elbow. At this length the sleeve fits the style of the dress and the proportions are right. I really like it.

I made the simple sash belt with this version, both because a larger one would have pattern clashed, and also because I was running out of fabric. I was able to squeeze this sash in along the edges of fabric I had left, and I have just a few small chunks of "Katamaki" left now. I'm going to repurpose them for some little pouches, since I can't bear to waste any of this entertaining fabric.

Even up to finishing it, I had in mind that if it turned out to be too overwhelming I could just cut it up for quilting or something like that. But as it turns out, once I got the length of both dress and sleeve right, and put it together with shoes and the perfect necklace, I really love it.

And of course, with a print like this, I had to find the perfect photo location. I went down to the General Store, home of Mr. Kim's Sushi & Rolls. (I love their veg sushi!)

They kindly gave me permission to take photos in the store. It's a fun place, a mix of convenience store, sushi bar, and gift shop. Their Korean and Japanese bowls, cups and decorative goods are lovely -- here I am admiring a tea tin. They also sell pretty chopsticks so I had to buy some to match my dress while eating sushi.

I was really pleased with this dress, and also by finishing off a photo session with some delicious avocado-cucumber sushi. What could be better? Well, probably not being so distracted looking over your photos that you put a huge blob of wasabi on one piece of sushi and then pop it down...just saying. Couldn't see much for a minute with my eyes watering, haha!

I definitely recommend this pattern! I've made it twice now and love both dresses. It's an easy sew, with nice finishing, and it is great for prints. Just like in my last version, though, I did raise the pocket placement by over 2". So check that before you sew any pieces down! Otherwise, excellent and reliable pattern. I love it.

If you've made your project already, don't forget to link it up in our final Literary Sewing Circle post!


  1. That is an excellent print and your choice of pattern is spot on and very flattering. What a delightful dress. I need to get busy with my skirt.

    1. Thanks! I was so glad it worked out to be wearable :) Can't wait to see your skirt.

  2. Melanie this is a really fun sew, you look fabulous. I purchased some gorgeous cat fabric many years ago, but the cats all had mice or birds hanging out their mouths, so once purchased I wasn't sure what to do with it. I just loved the fabric. I ended up making an apron for a gift for a friend.

    1. Well, these cats only have sushi hanging out of their mouths LOL! I can imagine that you had to really think about what to make -- an apron is a great choice, all about eating after all ;)


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