Book Reviews Girls Sewing Patterns Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review – Sisters’ Clothes for Recital

November 2, 2012

I was asked by my cousin to sew 4  flower girls dresses for her wedding (2 are for my girls ;P). Well, the date was actually set early in the year, and she even passed me the fabric a few months ago, but I just procrastinated since it was something that will happen only at the end of the year right? Well, somehow the end of the year is almost here and I’m down to a 4 week countdown with no dresses to show! I had to quickly dig through my pile of sewing books for some inspiration. And I came across this book which was a gift from a friend. I never had the chance to use it though, but it seems appropriate for this occasion.

The title of this book 発表会のための姉妹の服 and it means Sisters’ clothes for Recital. It’s basically a book of formal gowns for girls.

The book covers patterns for sizes 100cm to 160cm.

Most of the dresses are very simple, with interesting details such as this band of flowers.

A variation of the simple bodice+skirt combination but with added pin tucks and details in the bodice.

Ruffles on bodice.

So simple but gorgeous. Pin tucks with a lace detail around the neckline. I love the baby pink sash. It’s so beautifully made.

The first thing I thought when I saw this is that Pauline (from the book Ballet Shoes) could have worn this for her audition to Alice in Wonderland!
(I read Ballet Shoes way too many times as a child ;P)

Round yoke dress with lace details around the neckline. Very cute for the younger ones, probably not so suitable for the older girls?

A variation of the round yoke dress.

High waist dress with a lace bodice.

A simple A-line dress jazzed up with embroidered beads. Yes, they are sewn on and the fact that it is an incomplete loop is also part of the design.

An interesting variation on the round yoke dress for older girls.

Round yoke dress variation with a drop waist bubble skirt. Cute!

All the projects in the book are based on these 4 basic dress patterns. There are multiple variations of each dress, covering 16 different dress patterns in all.

The projects are divided in to A,B,C,D and for each of them, there are step by step photo instructions for the basic version of the dress (i.e. A-1, B-1, C-1, D-1). See below.

The photos are unfortunately all in black and white. But they are pretty detailed.

One of the instruction pages showing the attachment of the zip.

The other variations A-2,A-3, and so on, come with diagrams instead of photographs. The main know-how is already demonstrated with the basic dress, so it is quite easy to follow. The diagrams only cover the variations in the basic design.

After flipping though, I decided to go for a simple bodice and layered tulle skirt. Probably due to the fact that I have to make 4 in different sizes (80cm,90cm,110 and 130cm) of which two sizes are not covered by the book. And also because even though I really like the pin tuck dress with the pink sash, I know that by dress number 2 I will not really care if the pin tucks are straight and then it will not turn out nice 🙂

So, I’m actually in the process of drawing out my own patterns so that I can hopefully share the patterns with you guys for a sew-along if I have time to take pictures of the process in between. Wish me luck!

Title : 発表会のための姉妹の服
Author : かわいきみ子
ISBN : 9784579112494

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  • Reply Aileen November 3, 2012 at 12:30 am

    I thought of Pauline too! I loved that book!

    Beautiful dresses, the one with pintucks is my favourite as well. I wish you well with your sewing!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books November 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      My favourite dress from the book is actually the black velvet dress with white collar and cuffs. I wish it was possible to wear velvet in Singapore! Way too hot here! 😛

  • Reply Rebecca November 3, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I made 3 bridesmaid dresses and 2 flower girl ones, so I know what you’ll be doing.
    I have a question: What is the seam allowance in these books. I’m about to start sewing from them. Our seams are usually 5/8 inches. Your answer would be greatly appreciated.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books November 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Rebecca,

      The seam allowances are usually 1cm unless it is specified in the diagrams (like what Angela said). For example the skirt hems are usually 1.5cm and they will put a number 1.5 on the diagram. Everywhere else is 1cm. The patterns attached to the book do not have seam allowances added so you will need to add them on after tracing the patterns out.

  • Reply Angela November 4, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Thaks for this wonderfully helpful review. The dresses are gorgeous!

    Rebecca, there are no seam allowances included. If you look at the picture, 5th up from the bottom, there is a diagram of a layout on the bottom left of that picture. The numbers (eg 1.5) indicate what seam allowances you should add.

  • Reply Rebecca November 5, 2012 at 12:01 am

    thank you both for your sewing helps. the little top I will start with only has one piece for the pattern, how easy can this get. I have three childrens japanese books now, so this is going to be fun. If I get stuck, I’ll be writing…..

  • Reply Elizabeth May 16, 2015 at 4:01 am

    I just saw this in a bookstore here in Taiwan, but I think I’m going to stick to the ones in English (or at least Chinese where I can at least read things like “front” and “back”) until I am much, much better at sewing. Still, this book was so beautiful I almost bought it for the pictures. Oh, how I love pintucks (especially on that green square-neck dress), but I am not sure I am up to doing them. Also, I can’t foresee my three-year-old needing anything more formal than an occasional skirt for church (and her Anna costume from e-Bay.) I also loved the “Shoes” books, and that blue dress is gorgeous.

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