Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Kids Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Kurai muki no kodomofuku : Simple+one

February 22, 2012
Cover of simple+one

It’s Wednesday and time for another book review 🙂

Cover of simple+one

Today’s book is called Kurai Muki no Kodomofuku : Simple+one. (クライ・ムキの子供服 Simple+one)
The author is 倉井美由紀 but she is known as クライ・ムキ Kurai Muki. She has written lots of books on sewing! I first came across this book at a friend’s place and was so besotted with one of the dresses that I had to get one of my own. I’ve already made two of the same dresses and received an order for another dress. You can read about it on my other blog here.

The book covers 6 basic patterns and provides multiple variations of each style. The variations are really creative, and not just attaching pockets, ribbons or frills, but real variations. For example, the dress above that I made was from a simple bodice and dress pattern. One of the variation is the one above, and another is shown below. It is an organza party dress with a real poufy skirt!

The techniques covered in this book are pretty advanced, and assume that you know the basics, so there are no instructions for beginners. But I like it because it really allows you to utilize one basic pattern (tracing patterns is the most tedious part of sewing for me!) and make many different garments.

There are patterns for boys too!

Cargo bermudas or jeans? Up to you, all with the same pattern. Sometimes being creative doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but this book will inspire you to explore using the same pattern with different materials, different finishes, to make a completely different garment. These two pants are basically cut from the same pattern, with the length adjusted to the height of the child, but with slightly different belt loops, different hemming methods, external pockets on the left but side pockets on the right, contrast overstitching on the right but not on the left. Play around with your own ideas and make more out of one pattern.

And check this out. A full set of formal wear for both boys and girls. All with the patterns from this book. Each outfit is made with a combination of two different base patterns. So basically this one book can cover all your clothing needs. From t-shirts, shirts, blouse, pants, dresses for both casual and formal wear.

As I mentioned earlier, there are no in-depth step by step photographs as this is not a beginner book. But there is a special how-to-make for the organza party dress as it is a little more difficult and requires the use of a serger/overlocker. There are 5 pages in all with detailed photos on how to make the organza dress. I need to make 4 bridesmaid dresses for my cousin’s wedding in december… so maybe a new serger is in order??? 😉

The rest of the book covers the pattern for each design variation featured in the yummy photos from the first half of the book. Most of them have diagrams, but also note that some of the how-to-makes cross reference to other pages for certain steps. For example, the dress I made included 3 references to other pages.

 Book Title : クライ・ムキの子供服 Simple+one
Author : クライ・ムキ
ISBN : 978-4-418-05124-3

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  • Reply Patty Jakob April 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I want this book, now that I see some pictures of it I might brave to buy it! Great blog and thanks for sharing it!

  • Reply Japanese Sewing Books April 22, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Hi Patty, I love this book. I’ve already made three of those dresses! I have been thinking about the organza dress “e” which is quite complicated because you need a serger to finish the edges as well as make the details on the organza layer. For that dress there are step by step photographs so it is not hard to follow. Frankly not all the steps are laid out clearly on this book because I had a friend who was struggling to find the missing pattern piece for the boy shirt “C” but hey I’m here to help! 🙂 So be brave! Nothing ventured nothing gain… The pieces here are not what I would recommend for a beginner but it is not impossible and the results are stunning!

  • Reply Book Review – Kurai Muki’s Basic Bag Making » Japanese Sewing Books July 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

    […] This book is called Kurai Muki’s Basic Bag Making. I bought this book while on holiday in Japan from the fabric shop Kanariya. It was sitting on the Top 10 Ranking table at the craft book section. I love Kurai Muki’s books. She has written many books on sewing, including clothes for adults and children. You can see the whole list of books written by her on her website. (The website is in frames so you need to click on the third link on the left hand navigation bar.) I have also reviewed one of her books on girls dresses called Simple+One here. […]

  • Reply Japanese Fabrics – Cotton Kobayashi » Japanese Sewing, Pattern, Craft Books and Fabrics November 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm

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  • Reply Bea March 15, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Hi I bought this book and it is on the way to arrive. In the meantime I you help to tell me the estimated fabric length for dress e (cotton version) for size 120 and the biggest size of the pattern please. Many thanks. And great blog.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books April 2, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Bea, sorry for the late reply. Dress e is actually made up of satin with an organza overlay. You will need 1.5m of the satin (inner layer) and 1.9m of the organza for the 120cm size.

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