Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Kids Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Sunny Day Recital Clothes

April 24, 2015

Have you noticed something different about the site? Yes! It’s the long overdue revamp I’ve been meaning to do. I know it was time for a reorganization of the navigation when I found myself unable to locate certain posts or book reviews. It’s funny how I have to resort to Googling my own website as a faster way to locate a certain pattern/book rather than flipping through the physical books. I guess that’s the beauty of a digital archive. But then again, I realized that many useful articles have been archived by date and will not be seen by most unless they know what they are looking for. So I’ve decided to do some housekeeping, literally trawling through more than 300 posts, and re-categorize every single one of them.

Turns out that I have not been disciplined enough when it comes to labeling my posts by categories, and some articles that are useful should have been kept sticky instead of being buried in the archives. I wanted to show more posts from each category up front so that it will be easier whether it is your first time or a regular visitor to the website.

The new homepage features the latest posts in the featured area, followed by the latest book reviews, book releases, and then the ever useful guides that I wrote long ago but are still relevant today. The last section displays, by thumbnails, all the sewing tutorials or sew-alongs that I have created. For each of the sub-sections, note that there is also a link that brings you to another page, showing you all the archived posts for that category. For example, there are way too many book reviews to display on one page, so I am only displaying the latest 4 on the first page.

Well, enough about the new layout, let’s get back to this week’s book review.


I bought this book on a whim end of last year, after seeing a really cute dress in a sneak preview of the book online. This book is called Sunny day & Recital clothes for Girls and Boys. Sizes 100-130cm, with 4 of the projects available in size 140cm. The cover displays the recital clothes, but check this really cute dress out that made my buy the book.


The Sailor Collar mini-dress in Diamond print

Within days of receiving the book, I went fabric shopping, but to my disappoint the local Spotlight did not carry any fabric like the one shown in the book. It really is just a simple square pattern turned on the diagonal. It is quite hard to find online as well. There are plenty of check patterns but non with such big squares. The other unique thing about this fabric is that the lines are not overlapping like on a woven check fabric. Since I promised my daughter to make this dress for her year end party in school, I had to buy something. So I settled on polka dots…again 🙂

purpledress (1)

The sailor collar on the dress is actually fake, i.e. not sewn on the dress. The ribbon in the middle is attached using a safety pin (like a brooch) and the sash ribbon is attached using two loops on the side seams, which means you can actually remove these and it will look like a simple dress. What my daughter has been doing, is to use the fake collar on other outfits as well. She just loves it.

Other than the dress I fell in love with, there are other very useful patterns to use for formal occasions such as piano recitals, or weddings?


Mini Puff Sleeves & Sleeveless Noble Dress (100-140cm)


This dress comes with a detailed step by step lesson, including how to make the organza rose brooch.


Ribbon and Frill Dress and Shawl (100-140cm)


Some color variations you can try if you are making them for sisters.


For the boys – formal Tailcoat with Bowtie


Variation of the sailor collar dress. In bold stripes..can’t find this fabric in Spotlight too 🙁
By the way, do note that this dress is a mini-dress, which means the skirt is short. So do measure your girls for skirt length before cutting, in case you want it to be longer.


School Fashion Style Suit Set (100-140cm)


Learn to make a proper Jacket for the School Fashion style suit set in Lesson 2


Pair up a pretty Tulle skirt with the formal Jacket


Hunting (refers to the beret) & Knickerbockers


For the boy : Glen Check Vest & Half pants and Necktie
For the girl : Tuck dress and Bolero


 The same garments without the vest and bolero.


Dress down variation of the previous pattern

More fun patterns for Special Events…


Halloween Set


Christmas Set


Alice in Wonderland style Collared dress & Apron


Minnie Mouse! Polka dotted skirts & Hair ribbons


No prizes for guessing the inspiration behind this dress.
Snowflake dress & Chou Chou (scrunchie)


Princess Dress for Ball & long Panier (petticoat)


Mini Polka dots Collared Dress (this is actually a variation of the Alice in Wonderland dress)


The How-to-make section begins with an introduction on the different types of fabrics used in the book.  For formal wear it usually includes lots of satin, organza, tulle and jacquard fabrics. For a list of commonly used fabric names, you can refer to this post


There are also pages showing you the basics such as pattern tracing, sewing tools you will need etc.


The size chart for the book. The leftmost column reads : size / height / bust / waist / hip


There are 2 detailed sewing lessons as shown earlier, and for the rest, they are laid out in the usual format.


A close up of one of the diagrams showing you how to insert a dress zip.


2 full size pattern sheets (printed on both sides)


Clothes recital and sunny days of a girl and a boy / Nihon Web Publishing
click on thumbnail to buy now from cdjapan

Title : 晴れの日と発表会の服 Sunny Day and Recital Clothes
ISBN : 978-4529053655

I hope you liked today’s book review. For me it was a great addition to my library, not just because of the sailor collar dress, but because you will always come across some occasion when you need to make formal clothes for your kids. Even if you don’t, you can always make them for dress up play and even adapt them for daily wear.


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  • Reply Jaya April 24, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    The large squares are called a harlequin pattern. Maybe the correct term will find them :). The book looks great for special occasion dresses. Thanks for reviewing this 🙂

  • Reply Clare April 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you for a great review. I wish my girl was still little enough for me to make things like this for her.
    Just one thing, though, I think that the 晴れの日 in the title, although literally it does mean “sunny day”, in this context, actually means “special occasion”. Think 晴れ着, which could loosely be translated as “Sunday best”.
    It is a lovely book, isn’t it.

  • Reply Lightning McStitch April 29, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Your purple dress is lovely and what a fun idea to put a collar on everything! My daughter would enjoy that too.
    Thanks for showing so much of the book. I wouldn’t have looked past the first few pages (shiny recital dresses not really being my thing) but then the blazer, those knickerbockers, the tartan school set, the check dress. There’s so much to love in this volume.

  • Reply Joanne Sim November 30, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks for the review, very helpful indeed and looking forward to more book review, I’m on the book craze buys lately. But I have a problem, i can’t read japanese… would like to ask if the translation requests is still valid?

  • Reply Katia August 18, 2017 at 3:17 am

    I absolutely love this incredible book!!! Is there the English version of it???????? I’m a mum of four children and I love sewing. I learned a lot with Japanese books. This one is fabulous!!!!!!
    Thank you! Your website is so useful! I’ve just discovered it!

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