Japanese Dress for My Littles

My girls in Japanese dresses.

A recent trip to Uwajimaya to get some sticky rice turned into a stroll through the Japanese sewing book section. I forced myself to decide on only one title, and I picked this little beauty for the girls.

I wish I could share the title.

Sewing Japanese kids clothing is quite fun. The projects require very little fabric (this came entirely from my stash) plus I have been dying to try the ruffler foot we keep posting about, and I love working through the challenges of sewing in another language. I chose these two dresses to start:

Great basic shape, super simple.
Easy and comfy, perfect for summer.

I happened to have this vintage yellow flower fabric kicking around from a free bin someone dropped off at the store. It is super light-weight but while pressing it I discovered it couldn’t take much heat. I am not crazy about the feel of it, unsure of its fiber content, but it is super cute and sunny and I like the look quite a bit.

Big sister in yellow flowers.
Little sister, little ruffle.

First came the dress for the big sister, and then, a few nights later, came B’s. They both came out well. I started with simple pattern choices, as it has been awhile since I have worked from a Japanese book and I was unsure of sizing. I still made a few silly mistakes, like forgetting to address all the seam allowance variations in the cutting instructions. Oops. Turned out not to matter too much on the first dress, and I was able to get it right on the second one.

I can't read a single word of this.

In the end, I loved the results and sewing from pattern books where I can’t read a bit of the instructions challenges me to think a bit more about what I already know about sewing, which is fun and kind of puzzle-like. If you think you are ready to explore the fun and beautiful patterns of Japanese sewing books, we have a great class with Daniela Cain beginning in July. She will share her vast experience and knowledge in working with Japanese patterns by giving you great tips and tricks that can greatly reduce the learning curve if you have never worked with them before.

4 Responses to “Japanese Dress for My Littles”

  1. autumn

    oh, wow! i’m even more excited to take this class. those are great dresses, and now i wish i also had that book. i picked up three other titles a few weeks ago 🙂

  2. lupine

    Thanks Autumn! Working with Japanese patterns is great fun! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  3. leela

    are these two girlies the cutest things on earth? yes!!

  4. amanda


    my friend nana is here visiting from japan…. would she be of any help in this class????


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