Hey all, if you are wondering why the title of this post says that this week's sewing project is from a "Japanese" sewing book in quotation marks, it is because it is from a sewing book from Japan, but I can't claim credit for following Japanese instructions; I used an English translation.
(As an aside, this reminds me of when my husband and I lived in Montreal in the early 2000s, near a Rona hardware store. The slogan on the store was "Au "service" de notre clientele", which, translated, means "At the "service" of our clientele." We used to wonder and joke about why "service" was in quotation marks. Were they being facetious? They didn't really want to be of service? Okay, truthfully it was probably just a French language subtlety that escapes me, but at the time we sure thought it was funny.)
Back to the point of this post, it is week 4 of Project Run and Play, and the theme is "Your Signature Style". I decided that I would post this to the Sew-Along, because polka dots are definitely one of my favourites, and I love bubble skirts - I even have one myself.
Recently, it was my daughter's 4th birthday, and I wanted to make her a pretty dress, but one that she could still wear regularly. Here she is on her birthday:
I had always wanted to try a Japanese sewing book, because they have very cute, minimalist, tasteful and sort of voluminous or puffy styles. (I can't figure out how else to put it!) Although with bizarrely somber child models - no cracking of smiles there! But I was just not up to trying to broach the challenge of a sewing book written in Japanese.
Then I was at the bookstore and came across one translated into English - score! It is this one: the Girls Style Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori.
I swear I did not intend to make the dress on the cover so exactly. I bought the book here in Newfoundland, and then I took a trip to New York, where I visited the wonderful store Purl Soho. (Now, I swear, a year ago before I got into all this sewing whoo-haw, I would have sought out cool clothing stores on my first trip to the Big Apple. But now, this was pretty much my most exciting destination - what a gorgeous store with such gorgeous knitting and sewing supplies!) I saw this Nani Iro polka dot double gauze fabric and decided to buy it in blue. I must have had the book's front cover, which shows this dress in blue with white polka dots, in my subconscious.
I also made the matching headband, but my daughter didn't want to wear it for long:
I was proud of myself for figuring out the book and the pattern (even though it was in English). However, I am always nervous about making things too small, and so I ended up making it a bit too big. Since it has lining and I had sewed on the ribbon by hand already, I thought I'd do more damage than good if I tried to take the dress apart to make it smaller. So I just added some tucks around the bodice to tighten it up. It's still a bit loose, but she will grow into it, and will probably wear a long-sleeve T underneath for the winter.
Here she is in action, playing with a ball and scoop and looking stylish.... (The party shoes were quickly abandoned.)
Happy birthday, my sweetheart. xo