Bolero Cardigan/Shrug – Simply Sewn Book


This bolero cardigan/shrug was made from the Japanese sewing book of Simply Sewn: clothes for every season book by Michiyo Ito (the Designer of May Me). I saw Anna’s shrug and knew that I had to make one in a lightweight soft wool.


The shrug is quick and easy to make, only requiring one big rectangle for the body and two small rectangles for the sleeves. I made my rectangles bigger by a few inches as I wanted my shrug to be longer and more roomy. As the wool is lightweight, I hemmed my shrug using a twin needle for knits.


I must say that this book is fabulous! The 31 garments (easy to make and easy to wear) are split into chapters for each season, with styling suggestions on layering the pieces so they can be worn for both warm summer days and chilly winter weather.

Spring: Boatneck Tunic Dress, French Sailor Top, Bolero Cardigan and Boho Blouse.

Summer: Wrap Dress, Butterfly Blouse and Long Board Shorts.

Autumn: Classic Shirtdress, Wrap Jacket, Turtleneck, Baggy Capris and Quilted Vest.

Winter: Bolero, Sherpa Vest and Nordic Shawl.

I like that the garments are varied, not all smock dresses (as with some other Japanese sewing/dress books) and they are so my style. The patterns need to be traced and the seam allowances added.

I am sure that I will make more garments from this lovely book – watch this space!

Are you a Japanese sewing/dress book fan?


About Caroline

I am a sewing/dressmaking/travel enthusiast and blogger who loves modern Japanese style and vintage inspired style. I also like to travel/visit places of interest, countryside walks and musicals.
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5 Responses to Bolero Cardigan/Shrug – Simply Sewn Book

  1. Carolyn says:

    This is really lovely! very chic and elegant. I love Japanese pattern books, simple and yet stylish designs and of course the beautiful photography 🙂


    • Caroline says:

      Thanks Carolyn. I cannot get enough of Japanese pattern books at the moment. I have made another Japanese Apron Dress only this time in a soft corduroy (to be posted).


  2. Melissa says:

    Ooooh – nice one, Caroline! I have this book and there are some things there I’d like to sew! I’ve been occupied with many other things at the moment and I’m like the thirsty traveler crawling to the oasis of sewing! Hopefully soon. Looking forward to your next Japanese make!


  3. Susan P says:

    Wow. This is such a great idea and especially for beginners like me – or even for children. What a confidence booster to make a fashionable and practical garment with only a few cuts and some hemming! An inspirational ‘Show and Tell’ idea that would get everyone else wanting to try it out and bring in theirs!


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