Tag Archives: Japanese sewing book

Biking clothes

16 Sep

Today we woke up to a cool crisp fall morning.  Perfect weather for H. to don her new fall Little Red Riding Hood Cape.  I made this a few weeks back and haven’t had a chance to post post it. H. loved the cape I made her for the spring, so I thought it would be fun to make her another one she could wear during the fall.

I made it reversible.  For one side, I used red velvet.

For the other side, I used this super soft pink and red corduroy from the fall Little Lisette line.

H. decided to wear the corduroy side for her bike ride to school this morning.

Speaking of biking, at the end of the summer H. asked me to make her a pair of shorts she could wear on weekend bike rides.


Using one of the many Japanese Sewing books (ISBN 9784529045261)  I have but rarely use, I made these simple shorts.


I used fabric by Michael Miller for the shorts and organic cotton from Cloud 9 for the yokes on the pocket


H’s Princess Birthday Party

31 Jul

H. is 5 today!

This year, H. requested to have a princess party, and I was more than happy to oblige. H.’s request for a princess party happened to coincide with the release of Heather Ross’s Far Far Away II fabric collection, so I used the new line as my inspiration. I purchased a few yards of Sleeping Beauty in plum and Rapunzel in natural.  I loved the weight and softness of the double gauze in Far Far Away I and was rather surprised when I discovered the heavy weight of the linen and cotton blend (one of the downsides of purchasing fabric online). I let H. choose which print she wanted for her birthday dress.  She chose the sleeping beauty.  Along with half a yard of pink roses and Favorite Things Little Prairie Girl Dress pattern, I made H. this:

I knew the weight of this fabric was all wrong for this dress, but I was determined to make it work.  Instead of lining the skirt, I added on the trim at the bottom to mimic the hem of the lining peaking out from beneath the dress. H. loves the dress. I think it turned out nicely and will make a great dress for the fall.

While I was sewing the dress, we were in the midst of a good ‘ole Boston heatwave.  I started to panic thinking this dress would be way too hot for H. to wear to her outdoor party. Enter princess party dress number 2.

Using the Princess and the Pea print from Far Far Away 1 and one of my handy Japanese sewing books (ISBN 9784579109708 ), I was able to whip up this simple sundress in one night.  I think the weight of the double gauze is much more appropriate for an outdoor summer party. H. loves this one even more since her back sticks out.

I was planning to make a birthday crown, when I stumble across this nifty tutorial on how to make a princess birthday hat.  How could I not make this for a princess party? Using lovely wool felt I picked up during a recent trip to Purl and some lavender and pink tulle from JoAnn’s, I made H. her own princess hat.  I added batting to help the hat keep its shape.  I also lined it with Castle Peeps fabric. I decided to add H.’s initial instead of 5, so that she could wear it long after she is 5.  While H. was playing with the tulle, she requested that the hat have a very long veil.  I have never seen her so happy to wear something I made for her as I have with this hat. She was simply beside herself.

With the extra fabric from both dresses and a few half yards from Lizzy House’s Castle Peeps, I made H. another birthday banner (without the lettering this time around).  We did reuse her banner from last year.

As we have these past few years, we celebrated H’s birthday with family and friends at a park. Aside from playing on the playground and in the baseball field in the park, we set up a craft table where guests could decorate crowns.

I picked up this hilarious hand painted Bowling Knights set at Grasshopper in Portland.  The object of the game is to knock all the knights down without tipping over the princess.

The last activity we had for the kids was brief recap of Cinderella where my husband incorporated little toys for each child to go and find.  My husband hid toys all over the park and distributed a card to each child. On each card, he had drawn representations of the each toy with a brief description of where they could be found.

After that, we all enjoyed chocolate and vanilla cupcakes I had made.

Guests left with party favor bags filled with castle-themed stickers and a castle scene rolled up and tied with gold ribbon, a crown-shaped lollipop, and castle-themed silly bandz (has this strange phenomena hit your child’s world?)

I think H. enjoyed her 5th birthday.  I know I did.

Happy birthday, Princess H.

School Version of the Modified Dress C

15 Feb

H. is going through another growth spurt and outgrowing a few of the school clothes I made for her.  Making a few modifications to the dress C pattern, I finished a new dress over the weekend. H. should (hopefully) be able to wear it through the spring,  summer, and fall.

This time around, I cut the collar on the fabric’s bias, adjusted the sleeves, so they aren’t as angular, and created a pleat both in the front and back of the dress. Even with these simple changes, I ended up ripping and re-sewing the collar and parts of the dress 2-3 times before I was satisfied with the fit.  I still keep seeing things I can adjust, but I am tired of making little tweaks.

For this dress, I used filigree print from Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks line.

Purple Haze

12 Feb

Using fabric by Robert Kaufman, I made H. dress C from another one of my Japanese sewing books.  Girly Style Wardrobe by Yoshiko Tsukiori (ISBN 9784579111329 or ISBN 457911132X) has so many adorable patterns.

Since I don’t read Japanese, I tried to pick out a pattern that I could follow along fairly easily by looking at the illustrations.  Dress C fit the bill. It has angular raglan sleeves, a sweet little pleat in the middle, and bow at the neckline.  I made this in the 110 cm size for the ever growing H.

Since this dress was so easy and quick to make, I cut fabric to make another one that H. can wear at school.  I am going to make slight modifications to the pattern.  Additional details are soon to follow…

More and more fabric by Anna Maria Horner seems to be creeping into my stash.  I adore her new lines!  I recently purchased some prints from her Little Folks cotton voile line.

Out for the two purple prints, I made these two scarves.

This one is a bit thicker.

I made this one longer and thinner.

Thinking of Summer On One of Our Coldest Days

29 Jan

I am ready for warmer weather!  In the midst of the current New England cold spell, I have started thinking about clothes H. can wear in the summer. I’ve been looking through my patterns and coming up with a mental list of items I want to make for H.’s spring and summer wardrobe.

Since I am a sucker for Japanese sewing books and have an entire book shelf to prove I have an unhealthy obsession with them, I’m determined to make most of her new clothes from the books I already have.

A few years back, I purchased this lovely little book by Junko Okawa

I held off making something from it since all of the patterns start for 4-5 year olds.  Make Good Books has been translating Japanese craft books into English and recently translated this one.

Using some a light blue and white striped fabric and a white on white polka dot print  from my stash, I made the dress with ruffle trim from this book. The hems of both the ruffle and the dress are unfinished. When I washed the fabric, the selvedge for the white polka dots had a nice even fray to it, so I used that for the ruffle and the lining.  I went ahead and finished off the hem of the dress since I had added a longer seam allowance when I was tracing the pattern.  For the button, I used a navy blue button from my vintage button stash. The pattern called for the adorable ruffled sleeves, but I left those off.  Now, the dress is totally reversible.

Here are photos for the blue and white striped side with the polka dot ruffle peeking out:

Here is H. trying on the white-on-white polka dot side of the dress:

I made it for a 5 year old.  Even though the dress is still a bit big in the chest area, I think I could have made the dress a bit longer.

Do you recognize the hat H, is wearing?  I made this bobbled tam for me last year, but H. has claimed it as her own.  I think it looks much better on her than it did on me.