Monday, October 28, 2013

Japanese Sewing Patterns for Children - in English!!

 


It's no secret that I love Japanese Sewing Pattern Books. A quick search through the blog will show up many clothes that I've sewn from Japanese language books.

The popularity of these books meant that it was only a matter of time before English versions would be available. So getting a chance to review two newly published books from Tuttle Books was very exciting!


The first book is from the Happy Homemade series and is called Sew Chic Kids. It is a translation of a Japanese pattern book by the same author, Ruriko Yamada, and it's the first time I've used an English translation of a Japanese sewing book.



 
It's a cleverly planned and designed book where a number of basic bodice and pants/trousers pattern shapes are transformed into 20 different patterns for boys and girls aged 2 to 8 years. There are 7 patterns for boys including a shirt with a stand-up collar that I really want to sew.

In total, there are 7 dresses, 5 tops/blouses, 2 shirts, 5 pants/trousers/shorts and 1 skirt. Each pattern is identified with a letter of the alphabet, and this is used to find the pattern pieces on the pattern sheets that are included. Seam allowances must be added to the pattern pieces and the book includes information on how to do this, as well as illustrating the seam allowances on the fabric layouts for each pattern.
 
 


For anyone who has previously used the Japanese language sewing pattern books, you are in for such a treat!
Now, instead of skipping over the Japanese symbols, just admiring the beautifully taken photographs, and then turning to the diagrams and illustrations, you will have the pleasure of being able to easily read all the important and fun details that give character to a book.
 



Because I am so familiar with the Japanese versions of these books, it seemed a good idea to sew from this English language version.

I chose the first dress in the book 'a' and used a Liberty of London fabric with a linen solid for the yoke. Each step in the pattern instructions is numbered, with a diagram for each of the steps. This makes following and understanding instructions very straightforward.




The print is very busy, so I changed the application of the armhole binding by applying it to the outside for a pop of colour. The technique to sew the back placket was clearly illustrated so despite not having sewn one in a while, it was easy to sew.

 


The simple designs of the clothes and patterns in this book hide the varied and complex sewing techniques that are used in their construction. These techniques include the application of bias binding, sewing a placket, sewing pintucks, inserting elastic in a casing, sewing a faux fly, making buttonholes (see picture), and others. All of these techniques are clearly explained using numbered diagrams.
Both inches and centimetres for measurements are used throughout the book, and a chart for children's measurements makes choosing a size easy.




This book would be very useful for a beginner at sewing. It has sections on the basic tools that are needed, sewing machine tips and information on different fabric widths.
There is also incredibly helpful information on matching needle sizes, to thread sizes and to fabric types, which I haven't seen mentioned in many sewing pattern books.

I am sewing a silk chiffon top from the women's version of this book Happy Homemade Sew Chic, and will do a follow-up post on it once the top is finished

 

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11 comments:

  1. The dress is lovely! The solid yoke and binding are a nice complement to the Liberty print.:)

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    1. Thanks Cindy, the busy print really needed something to break it up!

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  2. Replies
    1. Chuleenan, glad you like the fabric. It is very much my daughters choice and took a while for it to grow on me!!

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  3. Beautiful dress, and a very detailed and informative review. I actually bought this book based on your review. One small detail though - I knew this when I ordered the book, but another reader may not- the sizes are 2-8 , which means the smallest size fits a 3 to 31/2 year old child , and so on for the larger sizes. Perhaps a chubby 2 year old might be able to wear the dresses with length altered accordingly. Always a good idea to check the child's measurements !

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  4. Beautiful dress, and a very detailed and informative review. I actually bought this book based on your review. One small detail though - I knew this when I ordered the book, but another reader may not- the sizes are 2-8 , which means the smallest size fits a 3 to 31/2 year old child , and so on for the larger sizes. Perhaps a chubby 2 year old might be able to wear the dresses with length altered accordingly. Always a good idea to check the child's measurements !

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  5. Hello Deepa, thank you for dropping by to comment. Ypu are so right, and it is very good advice to check the child's measurments. I had checked this book measurments against some other children's patterns, but didn't find a huge variation. This is probably because I sew with patterns from many different pattern companies and have found that they all vary. Burda children's patterns are slim-fitting, Ottobre are wider fitting, Oliver+S are more slim fitting, 'Big 4' tend to be big overall. Nevertheless checking children's measurments is so important and I will edit the post to mention it. Thank you again.

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  6. Ohh, I too love the contrasting yoke and binding, very stylish.

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment :-)

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