Back in November I opened an email from a representative of Tuttle Publishing. He asked if I would like to review Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids by Ruriko Yamada, and I jumped at the chance. (The book had been sitting in my Amazon shopping cart for months, SCORE!) When it arrived I giddily ripped open the package and poured over every page.
I have always been intimidated by Japanese patterns because of the language barrier, but with this book it wasn’t an issue because it’s translated into English! Each page of the book is beautifully photographed. There are boy and girl patterns, which is fantastic. Each pattern is simple and elegant, with details in all the right places.
I decided I should make a dress for Charlotte, because she only has 2 dresses that she will wear at the moment. She has decided that the majority of her dresses are “too babyish” (because she’s almost 9 now after all). When I went shopping for dresses for her I was horrified at the choices out there. Everything at every store was either way too grown up looking or covered in sequins AND ruffles AND a bunch of other froo froo crap. Charlotte’s style is simple. I knew she wouldn’t go for that stuff.
- Fabric: Andover Chambray, Black tulle
- Trim: Scalloped faux leather trim (found at my local Joann Store, in the trims section)
There are two double-sided pattern sheets folded up in a little envelope in the back of the book. The pattern pieces are arranged for maximum space-saving, so be sure to check all four sides to make sure you have all of your pattern pieces! The first thing I noticed when tracing this pattern is that there are no seam or hem allowances. Don’t let that intimidate you, the author offers detailed instructions on how to add them. The next thing I noticed was the fact that the bodice of this dress wasn’t lined at all. The instructions said to finish the edges with a serger or pinking shears and then simply top stitch the trim on top! It seemed like cheating the sewing gods to do it this way but I wanted to follow the pattern since I am reviewing the book, and that’s how the book said to do it. I think the results pretty much speak for themselves!
I added a layer of tulle to the skirt pieces to make the dress a little extra fancy for Charlotte. She loves it! It came together so quickly I went ahead and traced the pattern in Ellie and Caroline’s sizes, so when I have a couple of hours I can whip some more up! I may have to go to my local Joann Store and buy the rest of that scalloped leather trim, I have a feeling if I don’t I’ll never be able to find it again!