jackson pollock smock frock & japanese sewing books

i’m starting off the week with a guest post and a sew along together!

first, the guest post. Cherie of You & Mie, a good friend (we’ve met in person – TWICE!) and an amazing blogger (see awesome tutorials), is putting on her first ever series! it’s aptly named the Japanese Sewing Book Series and if you follow along, her guests will walk you through the entire process of finding, deciphering, and sewing from Japanese pattern books from start to finish! she’s got an awesome lineup – i’m the obvious lightweight of this group, lemme tell ya.

anyway, my post on the basics of Japanese pattern books – where to buy them, how to determine sizing (including a conversion chart), and the general structure of the books – is up today! go check it out!


Cherie asked us all to sew a project as a companion piece to our posts, and i decided to sew the apron from Carefree Clothes for Girls by Junko Okawa- it’s the best intro to Japanese pattern books because it’s written in English (no excuses!). and because i also wanted to sew along with the “art inspired” theme for the first week of Project Run & Play All-Stars, i went ahead and splattered it with paint a la Jackson Pollock!

jackson pollock smock frock

i sewed a size 4, which fits her now! last time i sewed from this book, i sized it down a bit and it was still too big. but now it’s perfect, which makes me want to sew even more of these. because if i ask her to jump and she does THIS, it makes me want to sew a million:

pollock smock frock

dance outside barefoot? sure!

pollock smock frock

anyway…so the Jackson Pollock part.  i really love the the first theme for the first week of this season of Project Run & Play – “Inspired by Art,” and had a whole bunch of ideas swirling around my head. but since i knew i’d be sewing for Cherie’s series too, i quickly narrowed down my artist to Jackson Pollock and decided to splatter some Essex yarn dyed black linen with fabric paint. i didn’t do any practice runs, i just experimented as i splattered with hot pink, metallic gold, and a little white.

pollock smock frock

the method i found to work was to dilute the fabric paint a little with water, then sort of flick it up the side of a tilted custard cup onto the fabric with a brush. just dribbling didn’t work so well. i started in the center and splattered outward, so the top of the apron has just tiny dots of paint but the hemline is pretty covered (and stiff). i’m curious how it’s going to wash up…but i love the a-line shape on her and the stiffness only helps that. i topstitched it with metallic gold thread, which she didn’t hold still long enough to get a good photo of.

pollock smock frock

i also made her leggings! i fiiiiiinally put together my Go To Leggings pattern that i’ve heard so many good things about, and i loved it! of everything i sew for Em, what she really needs is basic leggings to fit her growing legs, and i’ve been meaning to make some for months now.

pollock smock frock

these are made out of really soft stretch lace from Mill End and are quite see through, so she’ll be wearing them with longer skirts/dresses in the future. she loves them though, so much so that i had to hide them from her until the photoshoot! i love how the waistband is sewn, so simple and fast but really pro-seeming, and i’m excited to make more now that the ONE PATTERN PIECE is all cut out and ready to go. sheesh, took me long enough!

pollock smock frock

we were over at the beach for my dad’s birthday weekend, and both kids just loved being there. we got some nice weather, stayed in a beautiful place, and had a lot of fun. the view was pretty amazing.

pollock smock frock

be sure to head over to You & Mie to check out my guest post – i’m so excited for the rest of the guests this week – i’m a big fan of each one of them and am ready to be rekindle my Japanese sewing romance that has laid dormant for a couple years.

and i’m soooo looking forward to what the PR&P All-Stars sew this week!!  i have lots of friends in that group, and i know they’re revved up.

have a great week!

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49 thoughts on “jackson pollock smock frock & japanese sewing books

  1. lucinda says:

    Love the colors you chose! My daughter came over to look at the computer screen and asked, “Can we do that?” I think we can!

  2. Yeka says:

    Amazing and artistic looked! You’re awesome, Kristin! I love your creations for Film Petits series too, always look forward to seeing your beautiful projects!

  3. Nancy says:

    This is brilliant and so happy/vibrant, no wonder your daughter is doing jumps!! (I know you think Elsie Marley is good at hiding her kids faces in photo shoots but when I read that I had always thought that about your photo shoots with your children, so cleverly done).

  4. Venus says:

    I can’t tell you enough how awesome this series is. This will definitely open more doors for a lot of sewists to start sewing Japanese patterns.

    Okay… your Jason Pollack Smock Frock… you’re killin’ me! I am so jelly. I want one!!!

  5. Mae says:

    I really enjoy minimal and functional kids clothing, and that really fits in with the japanese style. I am really excited at the thought of being able to actually TRY some of the great japanese sewing patterns I have oggled over the years. This is a lovely apron and a great addition to the pr&p first week challenge. ❤


    • kristin says:

      Agree – I was worried my daughter wouldn’t like this “messy” top but I think she does. It’s got enough sparkle and pink to it to keep her satisfied.

  6. anna says:

    super adorable! gosh, it is so well done. I am always always impressed by your attention to detail. You always do it so well and not in an overdone way. I quick looked at the post for you and mie, I have to re-read it tonight, man, you did an amazing job!

  7. Olga Becker says:

    I LOVE how the fabric for the dress turned out! Beautiful work! Thanks for your post on Japanese books. I have one and I love it. I never know where to buy them. Thanks for the info.

  8. Rae says:

    ooh very cool, very Pollack!! Love the backdrop of these photos too, so carefree! Loved the post today on Y&M, thanks for that too!!


  9. gina says:

    super fun outfit!! i am using black essex in my PRP this week but i am not finished and no paint on mine. I hope you will do a post or a mention of how the paint washes and if the stiffness remains; i have been curious about the paint/stamping craze going on right now and how it washes up. Great job!

  10. Cherie says:

    Lightweight, my butt!! Thanks for your awesome post and really kicking off the series for us. I LOVE this apron and your Pollock inspired treatment. Those colors are amazing on that fabric and your lil model seems pretty thrilled too! As always, it’s been fun working with you 🙂

  11. melissa q. says:

    HOly MOley! That is so cute. And, thank you! The sewing god(desses?) are dancing right now because I’ve been cursing them something fierce when I try to figure out the japanese sewing books…even those in English. 😦

  12. monicaswift says:

    Very cute! I love the paint splatter look, and the movement of the top is perfect for dancing, twirling little girls. Your post over on You&Mie was fantastic, thanks!

  13. Ros says:

    Love it! My daughter would love this – she loves that part in the book ‘Olivia’ where she tries to recreate the Jackson Pollock picture at home after seeing it at the gallery 🙂

  14. rachel says:

    This is so awesome. When I saw the header on google reader, i was hoping it was a new fabric line. you are soo creative. i love it! and your little em was born to be a dancer. too cute.

  15. Stef says:

    I’ve been wanting to get over here and drool over this little frock. I guess I’m going to need to invest in custard cups because I just gotta get that splatter technique! You are a master – the colors are absolutely perfect!! And that kid of yours just makes me smile.

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