Finished projects

A Festive Fall Grainline Linden!

Last year, I made the most Christmas-y dress I could… with green velvet! I had some of that awesome fabric left over, so I made a top from it!

Check out my new Grainline Linden shirt:


I took these pictures in Takaoka, Japan. It’s about a 45-50 minute drive from where I’m currently living. DD and I went for a day trip to shop for essentials like a Japanese futon and pillow for him since he was/is a brand-new resident! We were just walking around town after shopping and happened upon this junior high school and park. I figured it would be a good spot to take some much-needed blog photos.


I actually made this shirt over the summer in Tucson when I was in a crazy sewing rush to use up as much fabric as I could as well as prep some clothes for Japan. It was the perfect weather at the time to wear it as-is, but now it’s a little too chilly. Maybe I can wear a turtleneck under it… once I buy or make a turtleneck…

I sewed the size 6 with an added 1 1/4 inches to the length. I also omitted the neck band and hems on the sleeves and bottom. I turned the neckline under after serging the edge and hand-stitched it down so it wouldn’t have an obvious hem line. I might do the same with the unfinished hems because the bottom hem kept wanting to roll up throughout the day, as you may or may not be able to tell from the photos.


This was a satisfying and super quick sew and I’m happy I can play with something I normally wouldn’t buy for myself. Although Japanese clothing trends tend to be a little out there… so maybe this will seem pretty tame as I get accustomed to life here. πŸ™‚


I still can’t get over just how green everything is – what a nice contrast to the desert of Tucson! I definitely missed lush vegetation and believe it or not, humidity!

Pensive at the light post

I know the dark green velvet isn’t the best to photograph and these pictures were somewhat rushed, but I think you get a good idea of it all.

As an added bonus, here’s a random cat we spotted while searching for blog photo backgrounds:


Isn’t he/she precious? So pretty!

And one of the things I love most about Japan is their creative use of English. I just couldn’t keep my emotion and got a little too exciting:


I plan on photographing another pre-move make soon since the weather warmed up a bit before the bite of winter is upon us. The trees have fall colors now and it’s one of my favorite things ever, so hopefully I can get some pretty backdrops to my next shared make!

As far as an update on life in Japan goes… I’ve just been busy with work and am frantically trying to get my Japanese language level up as fast as possible while getting DD settled more. It was a struggle, but DD finally got his own cell phone and we have a family plan now through one of the cheaper companies. I’ll have to unlock my phone and drop my big company contract soon so we can save money in the long run. The next big adventure is trying to get our Japanese driver’s licenses, which is a huge struggle for people from the USA (but not Maryland or Washington State, lucky turds). I have until summer to get it, but I want to get it over with as soon as possible, especially since the wait times get long in the summer since the other foreigners usually wait until then to get their licenses.

Speaking of being a foreigner, I highly recommend legally living in a foreign country if you have the means/ luck/ chutzpah to do so. It’s eye opening and helps you better empathize with the other legal foreign residents of the world. It’s also quite an experience to be in the minority population for once. Japan is a very homogeneous society, so us non-Japanese people sure do stand out (and get the attention that comes with being different, too)!

またね!(See ya!)


7 thoughts on “A Festive Fall Grainline Linden!

  1. Lovely top. Thanks for showing it and for the life updates. It’s fascinating to follow you adventures. I would never have the guts to live in a non-English speaking country, that’s for sure.


    1. Thank you! I hope I can keep things interesting for y’all. πŸ™‚ Although many people don’t speak English here, Japan isn’t a bad country to live in if you’re not so good at Japanese yourself. They are super helpful and very customer-service oriented, and generally very polite all around. Thank God for Google Translate, though! I have no idea how I survived without a smart phone 11 years ago, lol!


  2. Ahhhh new photo backdrop, who dis? πŸ˜‰ Glad you guys are both there and getting settled. (I cannot imagine the fresh hell that is applying/taking the test for a driver’s license in a foreign country–yikes! O_o Good luck to you both!! ) Love the new top too, but it’s hard to not focus on the whole “sewREDy in Japan!!!” thing…

    My dad and sister are actually in Japan *at this very moment* for a balloon event, although not in your prefecture. But still, it’s neat! And yes, I know exactly what you mean about standing out horribly as a foreigner over there; it’s like when you’re walking around in your home country and feel ugly/badly dressed/whatever and you *feel* like everyone must be looking at you but they aren’t, but FOR REAL THIS TIME.


    1. Yaay no more white wall with teal gate, lol! If I can keep up with sewing, I’d like to have all different backdrops for my blog photos. We’ll have to see how things go in winter, though, hah!

      Yeah from what I’ve heard and read online about the driving test in Japan… it’s not fun. And very expensive with all of the lessons I’ll have to take not to fail the test. Boo. But I want to get it over with as soon as possible so we can start focusing on more important things… like our future business!

      That’s cool that your dad and sister are here! A balloon event sounds fun! I hope they’re enjoying the tasty fall treats that are out now (yay for chestnut flavored everything!).

      When I got here, I was surprised at how little I got the “stop in tracks, stare with mouth open at foreigner, keep staring even when she glares back” here in Nanto. I got that all the time on Sado and even had people whip out their cell phones! But Nanto has a bigger foreign population (I admit I even stare when I see another non-Japanese person) so maybe they’re used to us. Or as my friend told me, they’re staring, they’re just sneakier about it. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I definitely need to get more hunter green in my wardrobe. Japan’s been an adventure so far! My students give me many funny stories to remember πŸ˜‚


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