Tuesday, 11 May 2010

my first Japanese pattern sewing - Happy Homemade Vol 2

It's day two of the challenge. Yesterday was spent tidying my sewing room - a very important job, I tell you, after the market rush. Still need to finish up arranging the little play corner for Mishi. So no sewing. 

But today, some lovely sewing time. So close to a finished item - I will have to show it to you tomorrow, as it still needs the bottom and sleeves hemmed. I was hoping she could wear it for bed tonight - perhaps I'll sneak back downstairs after dinner, while Sam showers them and stitch up the last few bits. Or perhaps she could wear it to bed unhemmed. Would that be so terrible. I think not. 

{Don't you love the details of these end papers - so sweet}

This is the first time I've actually made anything from one of my many Japanese craft books. I normally just spend time looking and oogling over the delicious styling. With thanks to the challenge, I've changed all that. And let me tell you - I cannot read a single character, but it is all so clear and easy.
I would suggest for a complete beginner perhaps it's a few steps too hard, but for anyone that has a basic understanding of sewing and pattern construction then you'll have no issues at all. The diagrams are so clear and concise, easy to understand and interpret. At one stage I double checked myself as the front + back did look almost similar. So, I looked at the characters in the book and the patterns sheet, and just like reading a puzzle it made perfect sense. 
{Jacqui has a great little tutorial for using Japanese pattern books}

I used regular baking paper for tracing the pattern. As I don't have Swedish Tracing Paper (which I hear of often, while around blogland, and just found available here).

The fabric is a lovely and soft, though not too thick, flannelette. It has little flowers and red dots. 

The pattern is from one of the books on this pile the other day. "Happy Homemade Vol 2 Everyday Clothes for Kids". It is such an excellent book - with both girl + boy patterns that are versatile and practical and super cute. The thing I really love about Japanese pattern books is the styling - of course, don't you too! The clean lines mean that imagining the designs in other fabrics is really easy, and adding extra details would be very doable as well. 

These is dress 'E' (on the left below), which I am making as a nightie.  It has little pintucks (you remember my love of), and binding details at the neckline. The real challenge now is if Miss Fusspot will actually wear it for longer than 3 seconds. So far she seems to like it.

There are so many sweet little pieces in here that I want to make for both my kids (ummm..... for me too - have a look at this purple ruffle top).

 ***I've also just found someone else who is using this book for the challenge.


  1. They really are quite simple to follow aren't they! But those links will be helpful (especially the pdf). Enjoy your sewing adventures this week :)

  2. Perfect challenge...I think you may have managed to inspire me to make something fun for my littlest one who turns 3 next week. Poor little hand-me-down kid, he really does deserve some handmade goodies all of his very own. Those books look wonderful!

  3. I love it when someone discovers how easy the Japanese Books are to use, it's a club that should include everyone imho! It looks like a good book that one, quite different clothes than the two I have which are much more girly and feminine. I've seen that ruffle top a couple times on other blogs though, it's a cutie! Your pattern looks like a perfect nightie style, can't wait to see it completed. The Swedish Tracing Paper place must have wondered what was going on the last couple days as I spent more time than I should have last night searching for a source and that one seems to be the closest, though there was a place in the US that sounded good too. Still not sure if I want to pay that much though... I might see if Spotlight has any cheapo sew-in interfacing first.

  4. Oh love that "sew" inspiration post Ellie!
    You make me wanna give a go at making something too :)Do you recommend (from your pile) a good book for sewing simple easy adult size clothes ;)??

  5. I too love the Japanese pattern books! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

    I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they've made to be worn. Stop by if you'd like!

  6. I use cheap $1 wrapping paper for copying my patterns on.. I works perfect!

  7. Vicki9:25 pm

    I've just bought Vol 2 in this series and thought i'd just whip up dress b....hmmm...maybe a little over enthusiastic...have spent the past 2 hours translating japanese symbols...can someone please confirm that seam allowances are 1cm? except for hems which are 4cm....muchly appreciated....

  8. I discovered these books yesterday and am thrilled. When my 2 yr old grand daughter arrived I scoured fabric shops and newsagents asking if pattern books were available nowadays as had a basic German one 30 years ago...anyway was told there were none...now after two years and messing around with one or two basic patterns at $14.00 each, I discover this and am delighted. Can someone tell me is there more than one Japanese book outlet available for English speakers to order as several of the interesting copies are sold out.Very helpful and practical comments above. Thank you ladies.


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