I’ve been contemplating diving into the world of Japanese sewing books for a while. It made me a little nervous, after reading so much about having to add your own seam allowance and the lack of detailed instructions. But, now that I’ve been at this sewing thing for a while, I figured I was ready for the challenge. So I got my copy of the hilariously named (or translated, actually) Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids and started oooing and ahhhhing over all the photos of the gorgeous outfits to choose from. (Thankfully, this particular book has been translated into English.)
It was Lulu’s turn for something new to wear. Lately she has a deep and pressing need to wear dresses that are long and extremely twirly. In fact, if she tries something on that does not meet her length and twirlability standards, her face goes all crestfallen, and she cries “oh NOOOoooooooo!” (I’m serious.)
With this in mind, my first try was the Tiered Dress, aka dress “f” in size 2.
Happily, it was pretty easy to figure out and put together. It’s basically three rectangles that you sew together, gathering the tops of the bottom two pieces. There’s a drawstring at the neck that literally pulls the whole things together. Perfect for a summer day!
When Lulu put it on, she started twirling immediately, without skipping a beat. She twirled and twirled for at least 10 minutes.
The instructions in this book are a series of diagrams with very limited text. It took some study time before I was sure I knew what was going on. But once I felt like I had a handle on it, things went pretty well. The only real trouble I ran into was turning and pressing the U shaped notch where it ties in the back. The instructions imply that all you need to do it neaten the edges of the U, turn, press and stitch down. But I couldn’t figure out how to turn it without serious puckering, so I ended up clipping the curves (through my serged edge) and then zigzagging it all down so that it wouldn’t fray. It’s not the most beautiful looking thing, but the bow covers it up, so this’ll be our little secret.
We decided to initiate this dress with a trip to the zoo. Happily, it turned out to be more than suitable for carousel riding, animal viewing, picnicking and all the other requirements for a successful zoo afternoon.