Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: Carefree Clothes for Girls

Trumpeter Books has been releasing a series of amazing Japanese craft books translated into English. I enjoyed working with Linen, Wool, Cotton by Akiko Mano so I thought I'd give Carefree Clothes for Girls by Junko Okawa a try. The patterns are printed in the usual Japanese style, all piled in top of each other on one big sheet folded up in the back of the book. They are printed in two colors so it is a tad bit easier than you would expect. You either need to photocopy the patterns you want or tape the sheet to a window and trace onto other paper. I have not had any success using a tracing wheel and transfer paper as these big sheets always seem to shift around on me.

The photographs are fun and gorgeous and the illustrations in the directions leave nothing to the imagination. I found a wide range of skill levels to the projects as well. If you can't do the more complicated or time-consuming bits of construction, there are still a few cute pieces to make. I do have to add that some of these garments are a bit odd -- so coming from me,  you should probably take a look at this in a bookstore before you buy it unless you want to take a risk. You know my style is a bit out there. Some of these outfits have the kids looking like ruffians from a Charles Dickens novel. You just need to use your imagination if you like a more polished look. That's what's awesome about sewing your own stuff -- you can do whatever you want with a pattern -- or just use it for inspiration. There is certainly a lot of that to be found.

Do remember that these clothes are for girls -- not toddlers. The patterns are for sizes 4 - 7. I'd also recommend that you look at the measurements before cutting. Inches are provided for all of the patterns where fit may be an issue (you really should do that for any pattern). Luckily, my child is massive so when this deep freeze passes, I'm going to be making my little one a couple of pieces from this book.