Sewing for girls {school clothes}

Kindergarten is fast approaching. 
I'm starting to create Naomi's wardrobe for the fall. I started with a top from this Japanese pattern book.  I bought it at this Etsy shop last year and it is the first thing I've made from the book. Sewing from a Japanese pattern book isn't that difficult if you have experience sewing patterns, or even if you can figure things out by looking at pictures. This particular book has less detailed picture instructions than some others. I had to guess on a couple of the steps but considering I've sewn a shirt before I knew what to do. Pretty much. 

I think the top turned out very cute. I cut it a size 5/6. It is a tad big. Naomi has very narrow shoulders and is always complaining about shirts feeling "too big". She didn't complain about this one though, so that is good.

Turquois shirt 1
The fabric had such great texture that it lent itself well to a basic shirt like this.

Torqois shirt 2
It goes well with this skirt I made a few weeks ago, though I think it might be a bit boxy to go with this skirt. The skirt is already a bit big and will hopefully last through kindergarten. 

Turqois shirt 4
I think I prefer it paired with jeans. Love the gathering at the back.

Have you sewn much with Japanese pattern books? They really aren't that scary. I have a few suggestions to help you get started.

  • Find all the pieces of the pattern and trace them onto freezer paper (you can find this in most grocery stores near the foil). Label the pieces with all markings. When you are ready to cut out your fabric, simply iron the freezer paper pieces onto your fabric and cut out. This is actually my preferred method for all patterns. As a bonus, you can iron the same pattern piece over and over if you need to. I've used the same freezer paper pattern to cut out 7 or 8 pairs of shorts and it still irons on well.
  • Look over the pictures in the book that describe the steps to constructing your garment. Write out the steps for yourself in English, just loosely describing what to do. Even if it is just a few short words, this will help you later. You don't want to just start following the pictures and then realize at the end there wasn't a picture for a vital step. This way you can figure out any missing steps before you begin.
  • Pattern sizes are done in cm. If you are familiar with European sizing you should be able to figure out your child's size. 

Now go have fun sewing from Japanese pattern books!

Linking HERE


  1. says

    Lovely little blouse. I actually used a Japanese pattern book for this first time, yesterday! The freezer paper is a great idea, I used tracing paper. These pattern books are so adorable, and you are right, they are not too difficult to sew up.

  2. says

    I like the shirt with jeans too! They match perfectly.
    I’ve ordered a few Japanese pattern books which I’m looking forward to having a crack at :)

  3. says

    That shirt is so pretty. (Helps that your little model is so adorable) I can’t imagine following a pattern in Japanese!
    LOVE the skirt. Great fabric.

  4. says

    I really like this & the skirt is adorable too. Thanks for the tips on the Japanese patterns. Glad you linked it to Craftastic Monday!

  5. D'Linda Laird says

    I love the gathering in the back of the shirt, and of course the model is what makes it so adorable.

  6. says

    Very cute shirt! I will try the freezer paper thing next time. When I made Alyssa’s Easter dress I couldn’t figure how to fold back the larger sizes so I had to just cut out the smallest size of the pattern. A bit of a waste but I wasn’t totally in love with that pattern anyway.

  7. says

    Very cute little shirt. I love Japanese pattern and craft books. They have the cutest crafts in Japan. I think half the fun is figuring it all out!

  8. says

    I really need to learn how to use freezer paper, it has so many fabulous uses!
    Do you have any Japanese pattern books you particularly like?

  9. says

    Well done The blouse is lovely, and I NEED a Japanese pattern book. I love their simple style. The freezer paper tip is wonderful as well! Have a great day.

  10. says

    Cute, cute blouse. Love the simple and comfy look of that.
    I came here via a blog party. Hope you can visit me sometimes over at Pittypat Paperie.

  11. says

    I love the gathers in the back and front of the blouse! Can you give a tip on how to add them to an existing pattern? Like how does the extra fabric change the shape of the pattern? Or is that cheating and I have to buy the book (I can’t because I need better instructions than it gives, apparently!)
    Also, I too have never heard of ironing on patterns. Why have I never heard of this? What a fantastic idea! :) Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful project!

  12. says

    I love this little top! And thanks for the encouragement on the Japanese patterns – I’ve looked at them a time or two and been two nervous to give them a try. Now I will!

  13. says

    Wow… this is amazing.. she will be best dressed girl in kindergarten. I often imagined myself learning how to sew so I can make pretty things like this for my kids in the future. Too bad I never learned, nor would I have time right now to do it. The back is so beautiful that it would work great as a front too. I am imagining it in a ornate very thick almost curtain like fabric for fall or summer thin silk with large floral pattern. Gosh I need to learn how to sew asap. My twins are only 2 I guess I have some time till kindergarten.

  14. says

    What an adorable blouse you made! OMGosh, nobody does cute like the Japanese! Have you ever seen Cotton Time magazine? Mostly crafts but fun to look at. I know there are blogs that will translate some of the symbols, but I can’t find one right now. You might try “Crafting Japanese.”
    Since you like to sew for kids, check out “Ottobre Magazine,” too. It’s Finnish, I think, but the pictures are inspiring. Makes me wish my kids were still young enough for me to dress, LOL!

  15. says

    Thanks for linking up to Tot Tuesdays! Beautiful shirt and some useful tips. I hope you’ll join me again next week for another fantastic party! Have a great week!

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