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« Molly's Sketchbook: Mother's Day Embroidered Scarves | Main | Whit's Knits: Springtime Bandana »

Molly's Sketchbook: Carefree Clothes for Girls Sundress

I am constantly inspired by the amazing craft books that come form Japan. We carry many of these books online and in our stores and even though I can't read Japanese I still find them endlessly fascinating. I know that it's possible to sew the patterns from these books using just their well drawn instructions but I've never had the courage to try. (Mari however did a great tutorial on how to figure out Japanese sewing patterns that you can see by clicking here.)

So when I first saw the new book, Carefree Clothes for Girls by Junko Okawa, with it's sophisticated clothes and uniquely Japanese style I assumed I would just be looking at it and wishing I could understand it... but then I opened the book and to my surprise it was in English! This book in fact has been translated from it's original Japanese so the 20 beautiful whimsical clothing patterns are much easier for English speakers like me to make!

I decided to make the very sweet White Cotton and Flower Print Sundress on page 21. I think it's perfect for summer and a perfect showcase for a beautiful fabric like the Liberty of London Tana Lawn in Pink Toria. I reversed the fabrics so I was using the print for the skirt and plain white for the top because I wanted to highlight the gorgeous printing and drape of the Tana Lawn. I also substituted some hot pink rick rack for the lace the author used at the bottom of the skirt because I wanted a little shot of color. I'm so happy with how it came out, so sweet and carefree, just like summer.

The pattern was easy to follow but I did need to do a few things differently than I am used to. For instance it has you add the seam allowances on to the patterns yourself which is standard with Japanese patterns. I was nervous about this at first but it proved to be very easy- I just added 3/8-inch to each side as I traced out the pattern onto the fabric. This particular dress is a good place to start because it only has 2 small pattern pieces (for the bodice) since the skirt is just made from a large rectangle. Overall I think the projects in this book are perfect for an intermediate sewist or an advanced beginner who wants to try out some new styles.

If you'd like to try your hand at making this adorable dress you can find the pattern in Carefree Clothes for Girls available here. You'll also need:

Happy Sewing! --Molly

Reader Comments (13)

this dress is so cute!
April 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwishful nals
Wonderful dress!
April 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill
OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH, those little girl's skirts makes me wish for a little girl. Beeing a mother of 3 boys, I never lived out the dream of pink and flowers ;-)
I love this book, every time I see it I wish the clothes were in adult sizes!
April 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
Hi! Its so funny that you posted this! I just started a sew a long for this book last month on my blog. This dress pattern is the one I posted for this month! That is so cool! Do you mind if I add a link in my next post about this post on your blog so people can use the free pattern you have and join the sew a long? Thanks!
April 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Okay, that is just too cute! I would love to find a copy of that book. Thanks for the information!
April 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Hi Stephanie-

Thanks for your comment! The book is available here: or by calling our website 800-597-PURL

Thanks again!- Molly
April 5, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
LoL how silly of me, I though there was a pattern attached! I should have read more closely! Anyway! I am so glad you did a review. I will be linking to it in a post this week on my blog for the followers of my sew along. Love your blog and thank you for such great info!
April 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Could you tell me whether the pattern contains directions for multiple sizes? I'd like to order the book and fabric to make this for my niece's birthday at the end of the month. She wears a size 8. Thanks so much. And I always look forward to finding your e-mail in my box each Monday morning! Thanks for all the ideas!
April 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
So sweet - just the perfect little dress for spring/summer.
April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoberta
Girls clothes are so easy to make carefree. The challenge comes with making carefree boys clothes!!
April 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy
Wonderful. So glad you had finally made this. Congratulations!
April 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDive Boracay
Thank you so much for this. I and new at sewing.I bought this book for ages, but never made nothing from it. I was just looking at it today and feeling very much confused how to use the pattern.
September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterXin

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