When I heard that Sara from Made by Sara was putting together the first Japanese Sewing book blog tour and sewing week, I signed up right away! I recently won some children’s Japanese sewing books and this was the perfect time to sew up some of the patterns I’ve been eyeing.
My love for Japanese design goes way back to when I began my studies in architecture and design. I’ve studied everything from their art and construction to their attire and way of life. As with any book I’m in love with, I read through each of the books I won, front to back in record time, absorbing all the information, techniques and images.
As I read through Sew Sweet – Handmade Clothes for Girls by Yuki Araki, I came across this quote (pg. 29):
“Children grow. That’s why we should dress them in the size that suits them right now. Hand-made clothes that bring out how cute kids are right now – those are the clothes that are bound to be special.”
This really spoke to my constant dilemma of what to buy/make for my two girls wardrobe. Do I buy/make them clothes that are big so they grow into them or buy/make them something that will fit them now. This quote answered my question. It’s true, kids grow, but I would rather them be comfortable wearing clothes that fit them than risk the chance of them not growing into the clothes until they’re out of season and then not getting any use from them at all. As we are all different and a good majority of us don’t fit perfectly into “standard” sizes, I include a customize section so you can tailor your garment to fit your child in all my pdf sewing patterns. While the pattern books I have don’t offer this, I did find that the patterns had a simplistic design (which I love) and provided measurements that made it easy to adjust if needed.
So here we go with the outfits I made for my two little girls!
From Sew Sweet – Handmade Clothes for Girls by Yuki Araki
-U Neck Blouse page 48
-Two little bags page 78
From Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids by Akiko Mano
-Sleeveless Blouse page 56
The U neck blouse comes in girl’s sizes 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and women’s M/L with long or short sleeve options for girls as well as a blouse or tunic length, the women’s pattern is for a short sleeve tunic only. I made mine in a white herringbone embossed ponte knit from Joann’s so that it was more of a cardigan than a blouse. The only changes I made was to make a box pleat in the back instead of gathers and I used two buttons for the closure.
Next I made two little bags for my two little girls The pattern and instruction was pretty straight forward and included a crochet diagram for a front pocket. I opted to not add the front pocket which could be done with the crochet diagram or with fabric. My girls carry their iPads pretty much everywhere we go. I lengthened and widened the dimensions given in the book for the bag so their iPads fit perfectly inside. I used a leather eyelet lined with denim for the bag and thick, sturdy, braided yarn for the strap.
And now for my favorite piece, the sleeveless blouse. The pattern comes in sizes 4, 5, 6 and 7 with the option to add a ruffle bottom and sleeve ruffles. The book given instructions for a tie back closure but my girls hair likes to get itself in a knot with ties so I did a single snap button instead. The fabric is Melodies double dot in Orchid and Apricot from Michael Miller. The only change I made to the pattern was make a sleeve facing rather than use bias. Even though I made my own matching bias with the first blouse I made in orchid, it still felt a bit stiff to me so with the second apricot colored blouse, I made a facing and it laid much better in my opinion.
Have you been wondering about those flares?! This is your first sneak peek at the next Lil Luxe Collection pattern, the Northwest Flares!
I am in love with how these turned out! They’re a perfect combination of a trouser and denim jeans style. They feature a wide, flat front band with elastic back, front slash pockets, back single welt pockets sewn into a traditional jeans style pocket so you don’t have the extra bulk or fabric that a typical single welt pocket has. The flare is flattering to the slim fit without being too wide. They’re a quick sew in comparison the Slim Trousers and Mini Moto pants with no zippers or pleats! That’s right…these slip right on! Now in testing and scheduled to release soon!
These outfits have a modern yet vintage look that came out exactly as I had envisioned for my two little girls and I had so much fun sewing other patterns that weren’t my own They’re versatile depending on the fabric you use and perfect for layering. I hope you’ve been inspired…I love reading through my Japanese sewing books and I’m already planning my next sewing outfits!
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to enter to win your own Japanese Sewing books from Tuttle Publishing! The more entries you validate, the more chances you have to win! The giveaway will be open from Nov. 16th to the 25th