Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Kids Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Kids Clothes Sewing Lesson Book

October 12, 2012

I received this book together with the More! Handmade Wallets a couple of weeks ago, and I could not wait to share! This is a very new book also published by Nihon Vogue. I check their site out too often and I keep seeing new books that I want! The book title is 子供服ソーイング LESSON BOOK. Which literally means “Kids Clothes Sewing Lesson Book” The published date on this book is October 7th, but it is usually available before that in the bookstores in Japan, and I ordered mine through Kino’s bookweb during the 20% online sale, which was a fantastic deal given that this book  wasn’t even in the store yet so they had to order it for me 🙂

I was really pleased with this book, given that I only browsed through a couple of pages online before deciding. Sometimes you see a book with lots of promise on the cover, but you get disappointed with the contents. I love this cover, it really gives you an idea of what clothes are included in the book, and I think it’s because there are so many great projects it was hard to choose one to feature! One more thing to say before the jump. If there was only 1 book you can choose to buy for sewing kids clothes, this is the one to get. Or if you are deciding to get your very first Japanese sewing book (for kids), this is the one to get!

 This book has everything for both Boys and Girls, from normal cotton sewing, to sewing with knits. There are also tops, shirts, skirts, pants, coats, dresses, and 2 accessories! It is a thick book. 111 pages in all. But the real reason why this book is so useful, is that it is really structured like a Lesson book. It goes through all the steps in great details. Most other books will cover the basics in one or two pages, but for real beginners you need more information than that. And this book has covered everything, and mostly in diagrams and pictures, which makes it really easy to follow.

The book starts off by outlining the basic sewing steps that you will need to go through for a sewing project. From tools selection, fabric selection, pattern transfer, preparation before sewing, and sewing machine basics. The diagram above identifies the names of the different parts of the garments that this book covers. And the size chart has detailed dimensions for height, estimated age group, and more body measurements than the usual bust/weight/height given. It helps to estimate if the final product will fit if your child is above or below average size, so that you can make adjustments for certain dimensions accordingly.

This is just one of the pages for the basic sewing steps. All of the basic sewing steps come with either diagrams or photos.

There are 27 garments + 2 accessories in all, and there are 13 Sewing Lessons that have detailed step by step photos. Just sharing a few of them here.

lessonbook 13

Sorry about the blur photos. The book was thick and I had to press down on the pages with one hand to take a shot, leaving the other to balance a heavy DSLR with a flash unit. But I think you can tell from the pictures what kind of instructions are included in the book.

Now on to the projects themselves. Remember that the focus of the book is on sewing lessons. Learn to make the basic garments with proper techniques and subsequently, you will be able to make your own variations using these patterns as the basic building block. The possibilities are endless!

Anyway, here are a few of my favourite items.

Drop waist dress, with pin-tuck details and flutter sleeves.

Cute shorts! I need to make more shorts for my girls.

Well, this looks like a pretty normal tiered skirt, but wait…..

It’s actually a skirt+pants!

A quilted jacket with a hood. Looks wonderfully warm 🙂

 A proper shirt pattern with a collar and cuffs. Oh, and 4 pages of step by step photos.

And then there is the section for sewing knits, with a home machine. Perfect for those of you who don’t own a serger.

There are some special tools recommended for sewing with knits with a home machine. I had to buy a separate book on sewing knits to get this information, and now this is all included in just one book!

This is so useful I have to talk about it. The other books talk about knit fabrics, and basically show you all the different kinds of knits. But this one highlights the easier type of knits to sew with for beginners. It is so important to start with something slightly thicker and a little less stretch because trying to get slippery knits to form the shape you want is not easy for beginners. Not even with a serger! It does take some experimenting and practice to get it right. So this points you in the proper direction when choosing the type of fabric to use for your first project. Saves a lot of heartache (and fabric) this way!

Some of the projects under the knit section.

Love this cardigan!

Cute shorts for boys and girls. Did I already say I need to make more shorts?

Oh yay, sewing lesson for shorts with pockets!

What is this??? It’s actually a table of all the projects in the book (top row), and all the sewing techniques (first column on the left) required for each project. Interesting guide if you are intending to pick out projects that only use techniques you are familiar with. But of course, this page requires some translation with the techniques column. I can’t say that it will be very useful to all of you, but it was just something I have never seen in other books.

2 pages of actual size pattern paper included.

The back page.

I hope you liked today’s book review. This is a very good book both for the projects included as well as the sewing lessons as a reference. It covers everything from the sewing basics, but also includes complicated projects like constructing a proper shirt and inner pockets. And it covers knit fabrics as well. All for the price of one. It’s still pretty new so I hope it is already listed on some online stores. Happy sewing!

Title :  子供服ソーイング LESSON BOOK
Author : 片貝夕起
ISBN :  978-4-529-05076-0
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue
Buy used or new from Amazon

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  • Reply Claire October 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Hi, great review.
    I like the variety of designs, both for girls and boys. It’s really interesting that knits are not only mentioned but detailed and that some knits patterns are given too. I love the diagrams and pictures explanations; It looks easy to follow.
    I wish a similar book exist for women/men. That will be a must-have.

  • Reply sherry October 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Oh i didnt think i actually needed another book. now i have chanded my mind. so many lovely thinks to create. great review too.

  • Reply Aiymes October 23, 2012 at 7:56 am

    hi did you order through the kinokuniya online store in USA SF (San Fransisco ) ? im interested in purchasing but i want to make sure the site is legit please ?!

    is this the right address for it ?

    thanks 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 23, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Hi Aiymes, Yes the website is legit because it’s from the same domain I’m not sure if the ordering works the same way as the one we have over here though, because Singapore is so small if the books were available from their 3 different branches they will still be able to consolidate the order without difficulty. Maybe you can try emailing the San Francisco branch to check with them about ordering through bookweb? email :

  • Reply Lida Smith December 17, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Hello! Great reviews! I just got my book and am very pleased with it! Thank you for the reviews!

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  • Reply Khim October 26, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Is there an English text version yet?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 31, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Not yet, but I am going to suggest this book for translation 🙂

  • Reply Rita February 17, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Any news regarding the english version? That would be soooo nice!

  • Reply Niki Wilmore March 19, 2015 at 5:38 am

    I have written to you before a long while back. I have been happily translating but find myself in need of your help once more. It’s not so much a translation as a guide. Kids Clothes sewing Lesson book I am stuck on design I-1. Page 57. I cannot find the triangular shaped back home section anywhere! And on finding the ‘P1’ pattern for top its a round yome shape and not square as in photo. Am I missing something? Do I have to make this piece myself like sometimes needed for bias binding sections?
    Many thanks for any help

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books March 25, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Niki, I could find all the yoke patterns for I-1 on Pattern sheet side C. If you open up the pattern sheet such that the contents rectangle (the rectangle with the title of the book and the big “C”, as well as the list of the patterns on side C) is on your top right hand corner, you will find the triangular yoke pattern – third diagram from the top. It says I-1 前ヨーク。見返し.
      As for the rectangular yoke for the back, it’s to the left of the contents rectangle. Hope you can find it now! 🙂

  • Reply Niki Wilmore March 19, 2015 at 5:38 am


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