Book Reviews Kids Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Straight Line Sewing Kids Clothes

July 8, 2013

Another book great for the Summer season. Straightline sewing books seems to be the flavor of the season in Japanese Sewing Books! On this trip I spotted at least 6 or 7 such books on display in the bookstores. I had to control my book purchases so I just went for those that I really really like. Like this one!

The title is – Straight line sewing Kids’ clothes. There are 4 sizes included – 90,100,110,120. My girls are both using 120 sizes (with the older one using an extended length most times) so this book may not be the best choice for me since I can only use one size. But while browsing the book, I was really attracted to the possibilites of making clothes out of straightline patterns. I can’t remember if I said this before, but straight line sewing, does not only mean sewing in a straight lines, but that the patterns in these books are constructed out of simple straightline diagrams with no curves. So the pattern construction diagram is provided, and you have to draw them out using the dimensions given and not trace from pattern sheets. Get it? 🙂

A quick peek at the contents page with just some of the garments. The Jinbei (number 15) is a classic Japanese nightwear /housewear that is very comfortable. My kids get them in really cute kids’ sizes on our trips to onsens, and they love lounging around in them the whole day. Really comfortable clothes.

 Here’s a cute little vest that both boys and girls can wear. Note how the armholes are are right angles. We did say no curves right?

 You can hardly tell that this was mad from straight line pieces could you? This is a raglan gathered dress.

 This looks like the fleece sweater pattern I made last year, but of course most sweaters look alike. This one is made using raglan sleeves too, so it’s pretty easy.

 Interesting pair of shorts? skirt? culottes? It’s called Gathered short pants. I intially thought that the two longer front panels were separate layers. It turns out that it is just a pair of shorts with a square crotch line. Hmmm… no curves remember?

 Some of the patterns come with variations. Make a blouse or a dress, depending on how much fabric you have.

 Another cute little dress fab for summer!

 The very stylo jinbei. Usually for magazines + books released in Summer, this pattern will almost always be included. This fabric looks familiar! Muddy Works!

Rain Poncho.

Pretty dresses made with nothing but rectangles, and prettified with lots of ruffles and a ribbon tie.

Thick fluffy “loop boucle knit” (ルップブークレーニット) coat. I guess this is more for autmun/winter but you can always get an early start.

A detailed size chart for your reference.

The terms from the top row of the leftmost column- Height/Bust/Waist/Hip/Back length/Shoulder width/Sleeve length/Rise /Head circumference. The additional numbers in bracket under the 120 column indicate girls’ sizes.

Another very handy bit of information – the size of the models. It helps to gauge the size to make, especially if you are sewing for someone who doesn’t stay with you. For example a granddaughter or a niece or a friend’s child.

An example of the construction diagram. In order not to give the whole pattern away, I’ve truncated part of the second diagram. Note there are 4 sets of numbers for each measurement. It is in order of the sizes 90,100,110,120. So if you are making 110, just take the 3rd measurement from each set.

 A close up of one of the cutting diagrams showing you all the pieces for one garment. Yes, there are really no curves.

 There are no step by step photos in this book, but as usual, there are diagrams, like the one above.

Seriously speaking, I have my doubts about some of the garments. I’m not sure that a square crotchline will feel entirely comfortable because of the odd angles and extra fabric bunching up the corners. There are quite a number of pants patterns+variations for kids in this book, but mostly baggy types, so the comfort issue brought about by a square crotchline is probably not a big deal. But it is interesting nevertheless to see the list of things you can make just using straight lines.

Title : 直線縫いの子ども服
Author : 渡部サト
ISBN : 978-4-309-28382-1

Next week, I will be reviewing Summer mags! Starting with Female, Cotton Friend, and the elusive Cucito Summer Edition if I can lay my hands on them!


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  • Reply kathy stroup March 4, 2014 at 4:32 am

    Brand new to Japanese patterns. I have one for 100,110, 120 and I am thinking that size 7 is a 130 so I added to the 120 pattern. I do hope that I am right. I do know, thanks to you, that I add the seams to the pattern. Your dictionary has helped me so much. Thank you, Kathy

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books March 4, 2014 at 9:16 am

      Hi Kathy, for size 7 I’ve seen height measurements about 122-125cm. But it also depends on the size of your child (check against the size chart in the book) and the pattern involved (whether loose or fitting). I think 120 is a good bet. If in doubt make a test piece with cheap fabric just to get an idea of the sizing and how much you need to lengthen by.

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