Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Kids Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Kids Yukata and Jinbei

July 9, 2014

I’ve received a lot of questions lately about the kimono, yukata and jinbei from different readers, and I realized that other than the seasonal pattern in Cucito Kids, I don’t actually have a book on making them or even tried making one. Well, the fact is that my kids will never get a chance to wear them, especially the pretty yukatas. But they have worn the jinbei when we stayed at certain Ryokans (some of the more family friendly ones offer them in kids sizes), and it is so comfy they can lounge around in them the whole day after their onsen.

What is the difference between the kimono, yukata and the jinbei? I’m not an expert but I’ll give you the layman’s explanation 😛  – A kimono is the formal, traditional Japanese garment worn for traditional ceremonies, whereas the yukata is more like a casual summer kimono made of cotton, unlined and is usually worn for summer festivals. The jinbei is a 2pc set with a wrap top and matching pants, usually worn as nightwear or housewear although they can also be jazzed up and worn for summer festivals as well.


This book was recently published in June 2014 by Boutique-Sha, which is also the publisher of Cucito magazine. Thus some of the patterns will look familiar as they have been featured in the magazine before, however, I bought it as it is a collection of many different variations of the yukata and jinbei patterns, for both boys and girls, and even some baby jinbei  patterns as well. The kids sizes range from 90-120cm and the baby sizes are for 70-80cm.


The different types of garments include – yukata, 2pc type yukata, yukata dress, jin bei, jinbei dress and baby’s jinbei. For each type there are a few pattern variations.


One piece Kids Yukata – for both boys and girls. Patterns for matching obi and accessories (e.g. bags, hair accessories) are all included in the book.


Another version of the one piece yukata


2 piece Yukata – Top and skirt sewn separately


Obi belt, matching bag and hair accessories patterns are all included.


Another 2 piece, with a wire frame purse accessory


I know I have this pattern somewhere in one of my past Cucito magazines, isn’t it sweet?  This is a Yukata dress, complete with lace and frills.


And a tulle sash!


Another Yukata dress. The fabric is adorable!


And now for the jinbei….


Very comfortable, casual loungewear, perfect for playtime.


The more fashion conscious girls may prefer this more girly style jinbei.


Baby jinbei…


Included in the book – how to put on the obi belt.


Tying of the fancy tulle sash ribbon for the yukata dress…


Most importantly, there are 3 detailed sewing lessons included in this book, namely for the 2pc yukata, yukata dress and the jinbei. Pretty much what you will need to tackle all the projects in the entire book.


You can’t go wrong with these clear, step-by-step photos.


As for the size chart, they have included quite a detailed one in here, with measurements for Bust, waist, hip, back length, sleeve length, pants rise, inseam, even weight and approximate ages.


There is also one full page on basic hand sewing techniques.


The individual project pages look pretty much the same as the usual how-to-make pages, but do take note the long list of materials, and that for a yukata, or a yukata dress, a lot of fabric is needed. A one-piece yukata requires 4m of fabric for the largest size (120cm). The 2-pc uses slightly less and the jinbei uses the least fabric. So do check carefully before purchasing your fabric.


A close up of the diagrams.


One actual size pattern sheet is included.


Title : Made of Cotton – Kids’ Yukata and Jinbei
ISBN : 978-4-8347-3767-7
Publisher : Boutique-Sha

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  • Reply Jen July 9, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Cute book! My husband describes both yukata and jinbei as the same as a t-shirt here (U.S.). That’s his description; in other words, casual all-purpose summer garments. Personally, I think yukata/jinbei looks a lot nicer! It’s a charming sight in the summer to see kids and young people going out in these outfits.

  • Reply Jennifer July 13, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Could I still use this book even if I can’t read Japanese? I really would love to make my little boy a jinbei set or two as well as a yukata…I do have experience sewing so I guess I am wondering if you think the pictures would be enough. Thanks so much!

  • Reply juanita November 6, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Hello. Thank you for your site. I am looking for a pattern for a Jinbei baby romper (one piece). I only speak English. Can you help me with this. Thanks.

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