Kasuri Top

Just a quick post to tell you about one of my favourite tops!  


Over the last couple of years I’ve been taking classes in pattern making, on and off. I now have a set of blocks made to fit me, and this little top was drafted from my bodice blocks.

My absolute hands down favourite thing about this garment is the fabric! Those who know me well already know of my love for Japanese fabric, and for me this traditionally woven kasuri fabric is the pinnacle of amazing. I was inspired to make something from kasuri after seeing the gorgeous clothes from Crazy Wind, they make the coolest stuff.

A really great description of the complex process behind this fabric can also be found on the Crazy Wind website, here.

I found these vintage pieces of kasuri on EBay a while ago and ordered them with a top in mind. I actually made the top from two different fabrics, if you look closely you can see that the sleeves are a slightly different pattern to the body. This was more out of necessity than anything else since I didn’t have enough of either fabric.

The other thing about this fabric is that it is extremely narrow (40cm from selvedge to selvedge), the reason being that it was woven on a traditional Japanese loom. Hence the seam running down the centre front. I really had to eke this out!

 Despite this being made from my bodice block, when I first made it, it didn’t allow me as much arm movement as I would have liked. For a long time it hung unworn in my wardrobe (very sad), until I had the idea of retrofitting a box pleat into the centre back. 


Ta daa! Here’s a better photo taken on the dress form:

I love when a necessary adjustment becomes a pretty awesome design feature. Now this top gets more of the wear it deserves, although its ‘specialness’ does lead to me being extra extra careful when I do wear it.

One other cool thing about this particular fabric. Can you see the little repair on the sleeve below? That was on the fabric when it arrived in the mail, and I’m pretty sure it’s from this fabric’s former life as another garment. I decided not to cut around it as I like the reminder that this fabric had another life before this top. 


By the way, if you’ve been seeing any weird unfinished blog posts from me, it’s because of technical difficulties and I apologise. Time for a new computer I think!



  1. Wow, that fabric is stunning! I love the pleat in the back, its a really cool detail. Where did you learn to make your blocks? I’ve been thinking about having a go at drafting one…

    1. The classes I go to are run in the evenings at a high school here in Auckland, as part of their community education programme. The teacher (Sue Cox) has had decades of industry experience and still works as a pattern maker for a NZ label. I was so astounded/happy when I found her class! Those community education courses can be pretty great (and reasonable).

  2. wow … what a beautiful fabric … and the minimalist shape with the backl pleat is perfect for it
    ps. I wonder what happened with Crazy Wind the aw14 collection was her best yet …

  3. Woah! This is truly beautiful! You really make the fabric stand out with this beautifully simple design! And the box pleat and the tiny repair only add to that! Perfect!
    (The fabric reminds me a bit of woven ikat! I’ll go read up on that technique ASAP, so interesting!)

  4. Beautiful, well done on using some special fabric, mine languishes for years waiting for the right moment. That dark navy is a good colour on your skin.
    I’ve made blocks before from basic Big 4 patterns, but on Tuesday (26/5) I start 3 days of block development at Studio Faro, if anyone in Sydney is interested. I’ll blog about the highs and lows too!!

    1. Oh I am drowning in special fabric that I am too afraid to use! Every now and then I bite the bullet though… But only when I’m sure it’ll work. Enjoy your course!

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