Sewing for Miss M · Sewing Series

1st Japanese Sewing Week | And a Giveaway

It all started with Sara (from MadebySara) …

You see, she had this (clever) idea of setting a Japanese Sewing Week and invited a few friends to join the fun. Earlier this year, I had decided that I would limit my participation in sew-alongs and tours in order to work on other projects (at the time, sewing more for myself sounded such a great New Year’s resolution …), but I have ZERO will power when it comes to Sewing Fun 🙂 Plus, it included Japanese books, (uber)fantastic ladies and there was this great (Japanese) pattern in my (sewing) pipeline for too long!


From the moment, I wrote my name in the registration form, I knew I wanted to work with a plaid fabric I had been saving forever (not really “forever” as in “it’s been in my stash for as long as I can remember” as I only got it last year but never come around to actually use it) and that I believe would be perfect for this pattern from the Girls Style Book by Tuttle Publishing. Isn’t it perfect? Love the puffed sleeves and front pintucks.


Of course, I failed to anticipated a (minor) problem: my girl!

When we try to get kids involved in the sewing process, most of us really expect it to be something like this: your girl/boy picks the fabric, have a say on the pattern and a lovely piece of garment is made and warmly welcomed by the lucky recipient. Still, In real life, it doesn’t always goes like that (I’m sure you knew this already)!

The true was my girl didn’t like this fabric (“it would be perfect for babies pajamas“, she said, showing me the diplomatic alternative: making a pajamas for her baby cousin), and my/our Japanese sewing week project was set to failure before it even started (on a side note, I had a plan B, but I really really wanted to use this fabric …).

Then by a stroke of luck, my friend, Maria João, on her review of the new Citronille book, included a lovely dress using a very similar fabric. Of course, I showed it to my girl and she decided that, maybe, just maybe, we could use the plaid … Obviously, she didn’t had to say it twice…


I had already made a top from this book (and love it to bits) and  this smock blouse was also in my sewing-list. This book is a translated version of the original Japanese sewing book and although the aesthetic is quite similar and there are no major changes to the original version, it’s so very helpful to be able to follow the instructions in English.


Usually, Japanese sewing books have only a couple of instruction yet due to the clever use of illustrations/sewing diagrams they are actually very easy to follow (note: you do need to add seam allowances to the patterns before tracing them).

I made a size 128 cm for my 7-years old girl with no major mods. The pattern itself was quite easy to follow and I no no major issues understanding all the steps.

My original idea for this 1st Japanese Sewing Week was to sew a simple plaid top that could be worn over the holiday season and well into spring, but (as usual) I got a bit carried away …


Although I didn’t even enough yardage to add a trim to the bottom of the blouse (as indicated in the book picture), I took advantage of the few inches I had left and add it to the sleeves with a satin ribbon.

The sleeves are my favorite part of this blouse, yet because I was adding the lace trim, I made a small mod to the original and made a simple hem sewing the lace trim on top, instead of adding elastic at the bottom.


The top front also features a couple of pintucks (again quite easy to make) that ensure a lovely drape and make it perfect to wear on a daily basis.

Of course, after adding the trim (and tiny bow at the front), I wasn’t sure if my girl was going to approve it (she did say yes to the fabric, but everything else could be a bit too much …).


She did love it ❤

She doesn’t look very happy in these pictures, because of the book she’s holding in her hand – I had given it to her just before the photo session (my mistake) and she was eager to start reading it (she’s an avid little reader!).

The back of the blouse is gathered and closes with a single button loop – again a clever feature that doesn’t restrict the movements while playing 🙂

Japanese Sewing


As I tried to get a closer look of the blouse front pintucks she seized the opportunity to check her new book (again) …


Maybe next version would be a simpler one …

I did run out of stock of these lovely trims and I’m not allowed to shop more until next year – hope it sounds convincing :).

As mentioned in the beginning of this post, several amazing bloggers are lined up to inspired you to sew (more) from Japanese sewing books, so don’t forget to check their blogs. It’s only day 2 of the 1st Japanese Sewing Week, but we’ve all been very busy …

Day 1 – 16 novIn a Manner of Sewing  |  Conversas de Hermanas  |  Pequenos e Verdes  |  Climbing the Willow
Day 2 – 17 nov: Bartracks and Singletrack  |  S is for Sewing  |  Sew Happy  |  Mamacosesola
Day 3 – 18 novFairies, Bubbles & Co.  |  Sewing Like Mad  |  As it Seams  |  Sewing For Mini Me
Day 4 – 19 novLa Folie Sewing Booth  |  Just Add Fabric  |  Blogless Anna  |  Sweeter Than Cupcakes  |  Needle and Ted
Day 5 – 20 novMiss Castelinhos  |  Made by Toya  |  Lil Luxe Collection  |  House of Estrela
Day 6 – 21 novPatty Made It  |  Paisley Roots  |  Rita Pirolita  |  Call Ajaire
Day 7 – 22 novSo-cal Sewing Mom  |  Kiwi Crafty Chemist  |  Sew Shelly Sew  |  Made by Sara

Plus, there’s a Giveaway running along with this tour thanks to our amazing sponsors!

There will be three lucky winners among all of our lovely readers. Each winner will win one of the following prizes:
– One pack of 2 two Japanese Sewing books from Tuttle Publishing
– One pack of 2 two Japanese Sewing books from Tuttle Publishing
– A $40 fabric voucher from Urban Sew
All you have to do is entering the Rafflecopter bellow. The more entries you validate the more chances you have to win! The giveaway will be open from Nov. 16th to the 25th (just click the Rafflecopter link bellow):
And finally, if you feel like joining the fun by linking anything you’ve made this year using a Japanese pattern, follow this link
Happy (Japanese) sewing,
Ana Sofia

35 thoughts on “1st Japanese Sewing Week | And a Giveaway

  1. Gorgeous fabric! My kids had outfits with that same print for Christmas! Love the sleeve detail! Gosh, I need to make so many things from that book, this blouse is one of them! ❤

    1. Thank you Andreia! I’m embracing her (pre-teen) requests – instead of a plaid (Xmas) dress, a tunic that can be worn with jeans! Obviously I couldn’t resist the sleeve trim …

    1. Thank you Rita – It’s still a work in progress (I only changed the template, but will definitively make more mods as soon as I find the time). Yes, it reminds me of Xmas as well – she’s already wearing it now and hopefully will wear it well after Xmas is over.

  2. I love when you can bring your kids around to your plan when first they refuse- it’s so rare yet so wonderful! Lovely top- this is just the inspiration I need to stop being afraid of this book on my shelf!

  3. She looks so very sweet in her plaid top, I’m glad she came around!. I love that pattern too!

  4. This is such a precious top!! I think I like it more without the elastic in the sleeves. I love that the pleats are on the wrong side too. It gives such a clean front finish.

  5. This is beautiful and yes my kids are the same way, at least yours was willing to take a photo 🙂 even if she was wishing to read her new book.

  6. How lovely! The fabric is a terrific choice for the pattern and your sewing looks very professional. I’ll be making that blouse too now that I’ve seen your version!

  7. This pattern is one of my favourite ever and I’m happy to know that I helped M accept to use the fabric, it worked beautifully!
    The sleeves modification turned out so pretty! Love this blouse 🙂

  8. Your little reader looks perfect in her new blouse…I’m so glad she liked it! The attention to detail is wonderful. duchick at gmail dot com

  9. Lovely Ana Sofia! This is 100% your style, and ever so pretty. I’m so averse to using trims and always err on the side of “too plain”. Glad we could be lacy/pintuck twins in this blog tour!

  10. Olá Ana, escusado será dizer que eu também adoro este molde 😀
    As mangas são o meu detalhe preferido! Também já fiz sem o elástico, como tu, e adoro o efeito. E o tecido é muito giro, ainda bem que a tua filhota se convenceu 😉 Fica-lhe super bem.

  11. As mangas… as mangas! Estão demais! Como havia ela de não gostar do resultado final! Fica linda!

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