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It was my husband’s birthday this week so we took the day off. Do you do that? I think wagging (as we say in Australia – playing hooky or cutting, if you’re from anywhere else!) is such a lovely luxury, even as an adult! Anyway, we spent part of the day strolling through the only ravine within central Tokyo (the Todoroki Valley). Luckily, as with most well trodden walks in Japan, it is well paved. So I could leave the hiking boots at home and wear my latest makes! The Kabuki Tee by Paper Theory and the Arielle Skirt by Tilly and the Buttons.

I made the top out of some lovely pink double gauze from my stash and the skirt from the Hillo Blue fabric by indie designer Mannine. It’s a sturdy canvas so I know this will wear the rough treatment clothes can often go through in my household. And I love that over a background of classic gingham, float these quirky characters that the designer has brought to life. Each with their very own story.

In the photo below you’ll see Ms Schnappviecher in the top left – she’s 21, a vegetarian and looooves fashion. She’s also in a love triangle with two of the four Warao brothers, but not the pink one near the top of my buttons!

The lining is an African wax print I bought while living in Liberia. I loved it at the time and made a skirt from it but hardly wore it. Living in Liberia was such a special time in my life and so this fabric still holds so much sentimental value for me so I wanted to use it AND wear it. Having it as a lining means I can still appreciate it every time I put it on but it doesn’t have to define my style.

Since I’ve used the material before, the lining has a couple of extra seams in it. But in the name of reducing waste and making the most of my fabric, I’m totally comfortable with that!

   

The asymmetrical placement of the opening and the buttons is the feature of this skirt pattern and it’s what I love most about it. I took a poll on my Instagram account and red buttons were the consensus to go with this print. I’m tempted to sub in something a little bigger for more impact, but we’ll see if I get around to it!

I left two of the buttons off to add a bit more fun but as hard as I try, the bottom doesn’t really flip. It’s probably for the best!

   

As for the Kabuki Tee, this was my second attempt at making it. I rushed through the first go and as a result, the main feature of this design – those corner seams at the front and back did not turn out well! This time however, I took my time and flipped the pieces over as I sewed them so that the main bodice piece that needed snipping was on top for easy access.

I have been itching to do some pattern hacking and so I made a couple adjustments to the top. I started easy and changed the neckline to a square one that mirrored the lines of the sleeve seams.

Then I lengthened the sleeves because we are at the beginning of a very cold winter in Tokyo! I kept the cuffs nice and wide (4cm) to go with the lovely wide hem.

I am SO happy with both the Arielle Skirt and Kabuki Tee! I am on a mission to increase the me-made portion of my wardrobe with fun, colourful, interesting shapes that fill me with joy every time I reach for them, yet are still super wearable  (because let’s face it, if they’re not, I won’t be reaching for them much!). I think these two pieces fit the bill!

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