A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

Fall in Miyazaki: Nina Lee Bakerloo Pattern Review in Two Ways


Happy Holidays! Today's blog post will be chronicling my experience using Nina Lee's Bakerloo pattern in two ways. First, I made a patterned blouse using a cotton barkcloth from Kokka Fabrics. Afterwards, I used the pattern again to make a white dress version of the pattern. I had a good experience making both versions of this pattern, which I'll describe in more detail down below. 

I'm going to try and take a slightly different approach for this blog post today. My current method of writing these posts sometimes takes too long to complete, and I'd like to work through my backlog a bit more quickly than usual. So, I might be a little less detailed here and in some of my future posts. (Although I love providing lots of details and process photos sometimes- both to help others and as future reference for myself). 


The Nina Lee Bakerloo pattern seems to have taken the sewing community by storm as of late, and I first saw it after it was shared by another sewing blogger in the community. It consists of a large ruffled collar with gathered sleeves and comes in both a blouse and a dress form. The only closure is a button above the center back seam which is closed with a Rouleau loop made of the same fabric. Because ruffled collars and voluminous sleeves are definitely in trend at the moment, this pattern is the perfect choice if you like the style.

For those with sewing experience, the sewing process was extremely simple and straightforward- the only slight challenge was creating the Rouleau loop out of the barkcloth fabric I used. I finally had luck after I cut a longer strip of fabric than the pattern piece provided and then inserted a straw into the sewn loop to help turn it inside out. That may sound confusing, but here's a link to the Youtube video I saw this trick featured in. Having a loop turner on hand will make this step much simpler! 

I was pleasantly surprised that the pattern fit really well with no adjustments. I chose to dive right in without making a mock-up first, and fortunately, the pattern fit perfectly and true to size I was worried the sleeves might be too short, and although they are not wrist length (nor were they intended to be), they feel great when worn. I also really like the fit of the bodice. It's comfy as a blouse and perfectly fitted as a dress. 

The only change I made was to the skirt of the dress version. I split the skirt into an upper and lower tier and added fullness to the bottom for a tiered skirt. This was a super easy adjustment and required no complicated planning. 

Overall, I'd really recommend this pattern to anyone with some sewing experience. The sewing instructions are simple and the illustrations are easy to follow. Worth it all around! 


I used two different fabrics for each version of this pattern. For the dress, I used a basic white cotton that was inexpensive and somewhat unremarkable. But it has felt very comfortable every time I've worn it- so definitely better than many other basic cottons! I purchased it at my local Craft Heart Tokai, which I've mentioned in numerous posts here before. 

For the blouse version, I used a cotton barkcloth from Kokka Fabrics. The fabric collection is entitled Sopo Retro, and I purchased the mushroom print in orange. The fabric feels great and is a super fun print to work with. I actually found it last year in Okinawa at House of 66 Cents, a local fabric store that is chock full of a variety of different fabrics for different purposes. It consists of two buildings, and it reminded me more of American fabric shops than other fabric stores I've visited in Japan (probably due to the American presence in the surrounding area). For example, the store clerk was surprised when i asked for meters instead of yards. Highly recommend if you're in the area! 

A word of caution for the barkcloth- it's not very wide. I purchased four meters with the intention of making two projects out of it (this blouse and a separate dress). It would've been possible if the fabric had been a little wider. I started to cut both projects at the same time and then realized it would be impossible to fit both patterns, even if sacrifices were made to the grain and pattern direction. 


As always, styling and wearing the finished garment is the most exciting part of the sewing process! The blouse version of this pattern is heavily patterned and very colorful, so it's a bit more difficult to mix and match in my wardrobe. I paired it with my Mod Dolly jumper dress, which has embroidered heart patch pockets on the front.  I used to wear this dress all the time in college, and I really love its design! Unfortunately, I find the hemline a little too short to wear regularly where I live now (I run into my students everywhere!). Sadly, Mod Dolly closed its doors a few years ago, but I'm very lucky to have this piece in my wardrobe to remember them by. 

The brown boots I'm wearing are from Goodbye Macaron; I first discovered the company upon recommendation from Noelle Downing, a fashion blogger on Instagram. She said they were comfortable, easy to walk in, and high quality. Fortunately, they indeed are! If you're looking for boots like these, I'd highly recommend. They're a bit pricey, but there are often coupon codes around holidays and from influencers. (Also, I realize I've said "highly recommend" many times in this post, but I'm truly pleased with many of the things in this post- so please ignore it.)

I styled the dress version a few different ways. Because the dress is white, it's comparatively easy to style and layer. For the most part, I've been pairing it with a pink cropped sweater vest from Minga London. I chose this vest specifically because it had an embroidered heart on the upper left chest area. However,  the frilled collar is just long enough to cover the heart, so maybe this was a bit pointless. Of course, I can wear it with something else in the future. 

In most of these photos, I'm wearing my pink and white heart cowboy boots from YRU shoes. They're pretty comfy, but they were not the best choice for traipsing through muddy flower fields. Afterwards, I had to spend about an hour or so cleaning them off after. But this look also pairs well with my pastel Nike Air Force 1 sneakers and other pink/white shoes I've got in my wardrobe. I'm sure this dress could be paired with almost any shoe! 

Somewhat coincidentally, I had matching hair and nails to this outfit for a little while. It was originally my plan to photograph this dress with a proper photographer- something I've never really done before! I made a reservation with a photographer through an Airbnb experience, but unfortunately the photographer felt unwell and cancelled on me the day of. It's okay though-these things happen. But anyways, here's how I would've looked if the photoshoot had gone as planned. 

I got my hair done at Cotton Hair Akihabara in Tokyo, after stumbling upon pictures of their work on Instagram. Cotton Hair is a small hair styling salon that does a lot of braiding and lace hair work. It was easy to make a reservation through Hot Pepper Beauty online, and it was a totally seamless and positive experience getting my hair done. I showed them a photo of what I wanted, and they worked quickly to make it happen! I definitely want to go back sometime to try a new variation. I would also like to practice doing similar styles on myself, but there's no way I could work as quickly and effectively on myself as the two stylists did to finish up in under 45 minutes. 

I also got my nails done in Tokyo at the same time. I'm no stranger to gel polish, and I updated my nails about once a month right now, but I had never had acrylics of any kind applied to my nails. I wanted to go all out to try it once, so I chose Nails Gogo for the occasion. If you enjoy kawaii nail art, I highly recommend checking out their Instagram or making an appointment. Their prices are a bit high, but their salon is the biggest I've been to in Japan, and the nail artists are extremely talented. Make sure you check your messages before going, however- because they sent me a text the day before to try and reschedule, but I didn't see it (forgot to check my Japanese phone number). They were nice enough to oblige me when I showed up at my originally schedule time, but I wouldn't want to inconvenience them in this way twice. 


Here are some photos of the garments in various places around Miyazaki. I had hoped to take some fall photos in the blouse version, but the leaves died and fell before I got the chance! The fall leaves are wonderful here, though, so I was able to get a photo. 

I was finally able to visit the Totoro Bus Stop in Miyazaki. It's an adorable stop, and I recommend checking it out if you can. 

I paired it with my Lazy Oaf heart raincoat!

Fall is cosmos flower season in Japan, and there are flower fields all over the place. I really love all the pink and purple flowers everywhere (and the orange/yellow ones too!)


Thanks so much for reading this post! Ultimately, this pattern has brought a lot of joy into my life and I've enjoyed wearing both pieces. I know I say this every time, but I really do hope to write more next year! Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year! 

To see my other indie sewing pattern reviews, click here

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