Book Reviews Girls Sewing Patterns Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review – Girls’ Dresses おんなの子のワンピース

February 1, 2012

This must be one of my most used books. At first glance it looks a bit dated, probably due to the style of the photograph on the cover. It was published in 2006, and the author is Mizuno Yoshiko (水野佳子).

So why is it my most used book? Simply because, there are 5 basic design patterns, with 23 different variations in all!

girls dresses contents

The first photo above shows a close up of the basic dress shape, followed by the different variations below. Most dresses are basically constructed of a bodice and an attached skirt. So by varying the way the skirt is attached, or adding sleeves and other details, you can make a whole lot of garments with just one pattern. I’ve also re-used the bodice patterns many times to create my own designs just by attaching a different skirt, for example a three tiered gathered skirt with a standard bodice.

This book is meant for sizes 90-130cm. The size chart is shown below.

By now you should be proficient in reading this (if you have referred to this) If not, the first column on the left simply means Pattern A/B/C/D/E, and the two measurements are Bust (バスト) and Length (着丈)  respectively. So pick the correct size to make!

The book includes photographs of all the basic versions as well as the variation, but I can’t post all of them here, so here’s an example of a variation of an easy one piece shift dress (pattern “A”) that is great for playtime!

A variation of it using heavier material and adding lace to the collar line.

This next basic pattern “B” is my favourite of all time. I’ve used it over and over again. It’s just a simple bodice with a gathered skirt. I’ve changed the skirt, or added ruffled sleeves, even a wide satin ribbon across the waist. This pattern alone makes the book worth it!

An a variation of the same pattern using a pleated skirt and adding a thin ribbon across the bodice for additional details. Frankly I’m not fond of the fabric 😉 But imagine it in your own choice of fabrics. Imagine it in a red with tiny white polka dots, and a white ribbon across. Cute? I find that alot of times photographs sell the book, but i’ve bought too many books with pretty photographs that I love, but I’ve not made a single garment out of it, simply because it was either not weather appropriate, or too loose fitting for my liking. Some people will make a dress from a pattern simply because the photo looks good, but you have to imagine the dress on your own child/or your ownself. If it’s a style she won’t wear or doesn’t look good in, then it’s really pointless to make it? Whereas for this, you may think the styles look old fashioned, but I think it’s just that the photographs and fabric choices are a bit dated. If you use your own fabrics and jazz it up, it can really look different.

Just two more examples of the dresses you can make from the book. One is a long sleeve dress pictured in a casual jersey style.

This is also a very versatile pattern. I’ve used this but replaced the ribbons with wide lace (the non scratchy type  of course), and I’ve also made another using frills for the sleeves instead.

And finally, the real reason why this book was one of my favourites. This is the book that taught me how to make a proper lined bodice with step by step photographs, using plain fabric with contrasting thread so that you can see every step clearly.

Book Title : おんなの子のワンピース
Author : 水野佳子
ISBN : 4-7762-0321-9

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  • Reply margarita November 12, 2013 at 5:50 am

    can you send magazines to Chile?

  • Reply Vanessa July 17, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Wonderful blog! Thanks for making the english sewing dictionary available, this has been invaluable to me in terms of translating the basics of some of the patterns in my patterns books.

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