Finished projects

A Sakura Daruma Grainline Alder Shirt

Spring is here! Summer is around the corner! Let us all rejoice in the warmer temperatures! Let us rejoice in only needing to wear one pair of socks! And no more layers of thermal underwear! Yayyy!

Other than leaving behind the bleak winter, one of the best parts of Japanese spring is seeing the sakura (cherry blossoms). The blossoms have already come and gone as they only last about 2 weeks in April before the petals fly away in the wind.

I took the opportunity while enjoying the sakura to photograph a Grainline Alder I made last year in my pre-moving-to-Japan stash-busting sewing frenzy.

I had great luck with this pattern before (see dresses 1 and 2). I didn’t need another Alder Dress, so this time I decided to shorten it into a shirt. I was inspired by Sally’s (The Quirky Peach) adorable version here.

I can’t find my notebook with my notes about construction and I can’t remember how much I shortened the dress to make the shirt, but believe me it was easy. I think this is a straight size 8 and I may have shortened it 8 inches… maybe?

Anyway, I bought this pink Daruma cotton (maybe a blend?) fabric on my Japan winter trip in 2018. Check out Wikipedia’s page on Daruma if you’re curious what it is. When I saw it in the store, I originally wanted to make a travel bag for my shoes. The fabric was on sale because of a defect (which I couldn’t even see when the shop clerk pointed it out), so I ended up buying more than needed for a shoe bag. I did end up making that shoe bag, though…. actually 2 of them! And I use them all the time now since I have to lug my indoor shoes from school to school everyday.

I thought the bright color and cool fabric would go well with a warm-weather shirt. I was afraid it would look too girly, but I think it ended up being perfect! And I’m glad I could photograph it with the beautiful pink blossoms along the Oyabe River, too!

It was too chilly at the time to have worn it as is, so I wore my winter coat over this outfit while we walked to the river and I ignored the stares from passers-by when I was standing in the cold weather in no sleeves. I was getting over a cold at the time of photographing and unfortunately I relapsed for another week of illness the next day! But I think it was worth it to get pictures of the sakura… and to share another sewing make after so long! 😉

Since I have not been able to sew as much as I would like to, I got into watercolor painting to fill the sewing hole in my heart. Maybe I’ll share some of my art on the blog eventually! Sewing, embroidery, drawing, painting…. the list of hobbies is getting longer. And I love it. 🙂

‘Til next time,


P.S. It’s Sew RED-y’s 5-year anniversary! Happy birthday to me! 😀

2 thoughts on “A Sakura Daruma Grainline Alder Shirt

  1. Happy blogirthday!!! I can’t imagine anyone being surprised at wanting to be photographed among the cherry blossoms – beautiful shirt, beautiful setting, totally worthy being chilly for. I hope you’re warm and well now! 🙂


    1. Thank you! We actually saw a couple of people getting professional photos taken in front of the cherry blossoms in a different location. They’re the perfect backdrop!

      And I am definitely warm and well now… thanks for the well wishes!


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