Book Reviews Girls Sewing Patterns Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review – Cotton clothing for girls

February 13, 2013

It’s Girls’ Dresses month but today’s book review is not just for dresses. It’s actually a book with patterns for girls cotton clothing in general. The reason why I am blogging about this book is because it is one of the oldest in my collection, and it contains one of my favorite dress patterns. One that I have used and re-used many times. I still have the traced patterns, they are old and crinkly now, but I can still use them!

The book is called 木綿の女の子服 which means Cotton clothing for Girls. (木綿 – Cotton) (女の子 – Girls) (服 – Clothes)  The book is published by Ondori which is a very familiar publisher to me because of all the Ondori cross stitch pattern books my Mum used to buy. I guess that is why I’m a big fan of Japanese craft books myself since I grew up browsing through my Mum’s collection!

This book contains patterns for 100,110,120cm.

And this is the dress. Project “e”. I have made many dresses out of this pattern. It’s a simple high waisted bodice dress with double straps. The skirt is nice and twirly. I’ve even used the bodice pattern and added a tiered skirt instead of a simple big skirt. Making it a tiered skirt gives it a bigger twirl and that means greater satisfaction for the girls 😛

It’s called a summer dress. The two dresses in the pictures are from the same pattern, just that the dress on the right has lace embellishments.

There are more dress patterns in the book of course, as well as some tops+bottoms+accessories.

 Centre Tuck Jumper Skirt. A very simple but versatile look. I can imagine this in a light cotton for summer, or a heavier weight like corduroy for cooler months.

Round yoke dress, with a matching purse.

Puff sleeve blouse, tiered skirt with matching headband.

3/4 sleeve dress with apron.

This is too cute. One of my favourites in the book but it’s sadly too thick to wear in our weather. I don’t think it will look the same in a thinner fabric.

Not a big fan of the skirt, but love the cute hat!

A simple short sleeved blouse and cropped pants.

The title says wrap skirt and culotte, I thought it was one piece, but it turns out to be two separate pieces. See detailed picture below. A culotte with a wrap skirt front is really quite a good idea. It allows the girls to run freely about as if they are wearing shorts but still look girly because it looks like a skirt. I am thinking of maybe combining the side flap into the side seam of the culotte but I guess that makes it a little more complicated?

There’s also a pattern for a bolero. See below.

The size chart for the book. First row from the top indicates size, followed by age, chest circumference, waist, sleeve length. All units in cm.

There is a short section on “Sewing Lesson” where they cover fabric preparation and some basics, but as it is all in Japanese, you may have to do some guesswork by looking at the diagrams.

There are also some useful hand stitching diagrams. Quite easy to understand without having to translate. Just follow the number sequence.

There are no step by step photos in this book. Considering this was one of my first books (and I had not learned how to read hiragana or katakana yet), I think I was feeling quite brave to buy this book! The above shows a typical project page, with the usual cutting diagrams, material list and making order.

A close up view of the diagrams.

Title : 木綿の女の子服
ISBN :  978-4-277-72255-1
Publisher :  Ondori


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  • Reply Norah Ho February 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I guess japanese books get more expensive these days. According to the price tag of your book, i’ts Y1200 = $26.30. Recently I bought a sewing book by Nihon Vogue at Kino, Y1000 = $28+. Sad 🙁
    Anyway, thanks for the review. It’s a great dress book for girls. 🙂

  • Reply Berniece March 16, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Great information. Lucky me I came across your blog by chance
    (stumbleupon). I’ve bookmarked it for later!

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