Saving the planet... one garment at a time!

... and one upcycle at a time... Welcome to my blog: A place to have an "over the fence conversation" about sewing, altered couture, upcycling, and all kinds of crafts using found objects, beads, ephemera and other vintage finds!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Dress from a Japanese Pattern Book (in English)!

I have a fascination with the many pretty Japanese pattern books available now in English.  I pin them to my Pinterest sewing board, Sew Inspired. I collect them (I think I have a half dozen or more). But, until now I have not really tried to sew anything from them. I love the simple yet elegant lines of these patterns.  I admit I was a little intimidated by the talk online that these are difficult to sew.   I decided to ignore all naysayers and start with the Sweet Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori.

The patterns that come with these books are generally to be found in a pouch in the back of the book.

One needs to remove the desired sheet, flatten it out, and trace the desired pattern pieces.  I used freezer paper, which is one of my favorite pattern papers.  Keep in mind that the patterns are without seam allowances, so you'll need to add an allowance to each pattern piece.

The pattern I chose is IC, a loose fitting dress with french sleeve and lovely pleats at the neckline. I used an adjustable blind hem foot to make perfect little pleats.

Here is the finished dress on Betsy, my trusty dress form.

This dress was fun to make, and not at all difficult.  I am loving how it came out.  I wore it out to coffee yesterday, and I can tell it's going to be a staple part of my summer wardrobe.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!  Have you tried Japanese sewing pattern books?


  1. That turned out adorable! I will have to take a peek at these books ; )

    1. They are very addictive! The fashions are loose and unstructured and comfy - just my style!