Book Reviews Girls Sewing Patterns Japanese Sewing Books

Pattern Reviews – Girls Dress Patterns

February 18, 2013

Today’s review is not from a book, but single patterns sold in little packages like this one. I’ve always been curious to know what the “insides” are like, so during my Dec trip I made it a point to buy a few. Well, a few became 5 or 6. Some for bags and women’s tops. These are the ones I bought for Girls’ Dresses.

The one on top is by Polka Drops and the one below is from m-pattern. The first dress is a simple dress with square neckline, front enclosure, and frills on the sleeves.

The packaging is very simple. An A4 printed sheet that, when folded in half, acts as both the cover and the back. So that makes the package A5 size. The instructions and patterns are sandwiched in between this printed cover. The one from polka-drops is 550yen, and it contains the patterns for sizes 90-120cm. If you consider the usual price of the book which is usually from 1200yen and gives you at least 10 patterns, this may not seem like such a good deal. But it’s easy to get carried away as these are sold in the fabric shops, usually in a rack conveniently located near the fabrics suitable for the project, and sometimes just below the sample end product. ;P
All the sizing and material information is listed on the back. Handy reference when you are shopping for fabrics.

And here’s what it contains. Two pieces of instruction sheets with diagrams, and one large pattern sheet.

Close up of the instruction sheet – the cutting diagram.

There are no photographs, and the instructions are mostly in text, but there are diagrams to every step, like the ones above.

Instructions sheet 2, more of the same thing, I think there was just not enough space to fit them on sheet 1.

Close up of pattern sheet. The pattern pieces are actual size and because there is only one design, it is easy to locate the pieces you need, unlike those from a book where you have to squint and follow lines very closely to spot the correct patterns. 😛

This is the second pattern I bought. A tiered dress that you can use to create 3 different styles. This pattern was more expensive at 787 yen. I like to think of it as buying 3 patterns (since there are 3 slightly different variations)

Style I – stand collar, 3/4 sleeves, tiered dress.
Style II – no collar, cap sleeves, tiered dress.
Style III – no collar, 3/4 sleeves, tiered dress.

Size chart. For sizes 85cm-133cm. The terms on the left hand column (corresponding to the rows of numbers) are : –

  • Chest (chest circumference) – bare body measurements
  • Chest (chest circumference) – garment measurements  (approximate)
  • Height
  • Length | Garment dimensions (approximate)

Pretty similar to the first package, 1 instruction sheet, 1 actual size pattern sheet, and a questionnaire  postcard.

The instruction sheet was larger, but with alot more words and diagrams.

General overview of procedure. Indicated using diagrams and in point form.

Compared to the polka drops instructions, the paper is thinner and the instructions are more cramped. Have to follow the numbered steps carefully or you might get lost.

The pattern sheet is quite good quality though, it’s slightly glossy and thick. There is even a glossary of symbols used in the patterns.

Closeup of the pattern. I like how the numbers for the different sizes are indicated along the curves as well. Harder for you to make a mistake and end up following the wrong line while tracing.

These patterns are available in fabric shops in Japan, I have not seen them in bookshops before. There are no ISBN numbers for searching. If you know of any online source, do share in the comment below!

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  • Reply Patty Orellana February 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I have!!! I have 3 of this but don’t buy them much because they turn out to be more expensive than a book or a magazine. I buy books and japanese magazines for sewing and they are sent all the way from Japan so one of this patterns is becomes expensive if you live in Canada. Most of my projects are made out of japanese books or inspired by them, for some reason following instructions in english becomes more difficult than japanese!!!! Can you believe that? I think it is because they are so graphic with their directions that makes it so easy. Once again I love your blog and thanks for giving tips and links to all of us japanese books lovers!!!!! Cheers from Canada!!!

  • Reply Ashley February 19, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Thank you soooooo much for this post! It’s wonderful to see what is inside and what the pattern and instructions are like. It never occurred to me to buy patterns when I go to Japan on holidays (no idea why since I love sewing lol) so you have now totally changed what I will be looking for. 🙂

  • Reply Jaya February 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I have always wanted to know what was it like! thanks for the detailed review 🙂

  • Reply cJ February 20, 2013 at 11:07 am

    i like the first dress! will you be making it for your girls?

    being the frugal and cheapskate person i am, i tend to buy sewing magazines like cotton friend and cucito because these are more value-for-money X’D

  • Reply jaeng February 24, 2013 at 1:41 am

    I am going to Japan and I will go to fabric stores, hopefully I would find something interesting there. I am a fan of Mrs. Stylebook and Female. I have been interested in sewing patterns in envelopes. Thank you for the reviews.

  • Reply Carla Marques March 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm


    I have 5 kids and 1 adult M Patterns. I bougth them online here:
    I’ve only used one, and loved the end result:

    Thank you

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