A Book Review and a giveaway

Today, I’m writing a review of this book, “Sew Sweet -Handmade Clothes for Girls” written by Yuki Araki and translated to English. (And as you guess from the title of this post, I have a giveaway so please read through the last of this post!)


I received this book from Tuttle Publishing at the end of the last year. I already had it in Japanese version, but man who contacted me said it was okay so I said yes to his offer. Anyway, I had this book in Japanese version but I had never sewn something from this book yet. So I decided to make something from this book and write a review.

I didn’t have so many choices. Because it is winter and cold here, my girls definitely needed something with long sleeves. This book doesn’t have so many variations of the tops and dresses with long sleeves. Finally, I chose this shirt dress pattern.


Using a corduroy fabric for the main fabric, this would be a cozy dress, I thought. I chose purple corduroy which was the leftover from this Sally Dress and also used a leftover liberty fabric (leftover from this dress) for the contrast fabric.


It was a bit tricky to add a button placket onto the front and to sew the collar, but there was a photo instruction for those steps (this was the instruction of the sleeveless shirt dress but was same for this dress) so it helped me a lot.


The hardest part was sewing buttonholes 😦 It was almost like impossible to sew buttonholes after attaching a placket on the front and adding collars. I think you should do it at least before adding collars.

There wasn’t any picture of this dress with model wearing it in the book so I was a bit worried how it would look on my daughter.


As I wrote in this post about the author of this book, Yuki Araki, the sizing in this book is comparably smaller. My daughter is in between 110cm – 120cm and I chose 110cm but it turned out a bit small on her. It’s not small but it fits too well and I’m sure she won’t be able to wear this next season. So if you want your girls clothes live longer, you definitely should choose bigger size.


This dress looked much better on my model than I expected. Some of the patterns in this book are not worn by model but I’m now sure they would look more adorable on the model.


This book has 22 patterns varying from the camisole to the knit coat. It includes skirts, pants and even knit leggings, a hat and a bag. If you’ve been interested in Japanese sewing books, I recommend this book to start with. Because this is translated to English, it is much easy for you to understand. There are some notes about basic sewing and tracing patterns.


Since I already have this book in Japanese version, I’m giving away this English version to one of my lucky reader! If you would like to win the copy, please post a comment to this post. The theme is “what you want to sew in 2015”. I will choose a winner on this Friday and announce here.


Happy Sewing!

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19 thoughts on “A Book Review and a giveaway

  1. dianampais says:

    What a great gift! I have some japanese Sewing books (not this one) and love them. In 2015 I want to sew clothing for my kids and for myself. My goal is to have most of their clothes sewn by me and stop shopping for them, well, except for fabrics! 😀

  2. inspinration says:

    I like the dress and especially the collar en gathered fabric at the back. I do not have many explicit sewing plans for 2015 yet (besides sewing more, like most of us). I usually like to challenge myself and for the short term I want to tackle button holes, I have managed to work around that until now. Another thing I would like to do is sew some swimwear for my eldest (because she explcitly asked me) and a dress in woven (so no stretchy) fabric for myself. I would love to win the book, because lets face it one can never have too many patterns 😉

  3. Jenya says:

    I think anything looks better on a real kid 🙂 Your daughter’s dress is darling, despite some difficulties you have encountered while sewing it. I like the styles of these outfits as they seem practical and fun. I have a Japanese sewing book for ladies and I can’t wait to sew from it. I have heard so many good things about this book too that I would love to give it a go also. What I want to sew in 2015? Sewing more for myself is up there. I want to make a raincoat for LM and continue making most of her clothes.

  4. Hila says:

    I have this book! SO inspired and motivated to get it out and make something!

  5. Aukje says:

    in 2015 i would like to sew a more complicated project such as a coat for our daughter. By the way i think the dress you made in lovely!

  6. wowilikethat1 says:

    Awww your dress and the model are adorable. You did a great job. Thanks for sharing. I love sewing little girl’s clothes and would like to sew more little girl’s clothes but I don’t have any in my life now. Sometimes I make things just for making and give them away at work. Thanks for the great giveaway. I’ve also shared your giveaway on my Giveaway List for sewers & quilters at wowilikethat.com. Thanks again. (debbie at wowilikethat dot com)

  7. Els M says:

    I have to be honest, when i saw your dress without a child in it. I thought hmm.. bit too boxy; not really flattering. But it looks really good when it’s on her! For 2015 i would love to sew a bit more for myself and overal have more attention to detail and finish. Sewing for all those little cutiepies around me will always stay tempting, so you’re book would definetly come in handy 🙂

  8. Flavia says:

    I’ve been wanting to try some Japanese sewing books for a while, I think the garments are so simple and elegant for girls! In 2015, I want to sew some dresses, tops, shorts and 1 or 2 skirts for my nearly 4 year old daughter. Oh, and try some patterns for me too.

  9. Sarah says:

    I would like to sew quilts for my children, and some skirts and dresses for myself and my girls. I used to live in Japan and used books to make clothes for my Jenny doll 🙂 so I know how to use these books and love them. Having it in English would be a good bonus!

  10. Sarah says:

    I’m feeling ambitious, I want to sew my children’s whole summer wardrobe.

  11. duchick says:

    What an adorable dress on an adorable cutie! My plans to sew for 2015 involve making a table runner for each major holiday. I want to have one to pull out to dress up the table and be ready to celebrate!

  12. Your dress looks great Shino. This is one Yuki Araki book that I DON’T have!
    This year I want to keep sewing everything the kids wear and finally fit a proper dress for me.

  13. beckyja says:

    I love the purple corduroy! I have sewn from a different japanese translated book and also found I needed to size up, my daughter is tall for her age so two sizes. I would love some inspiration for some new skirt patterns for spring, so that would be my first venture.

  14. marisa says:

    Love what you’ve done with that dress – and I agree, it looks SO much cuter on your daughter than it does in the book.

    My sewing ambition for this year is to force myself to make some basics (t-shirts, leggings etc). I love making the pretty, special things but often can’t be bothered to sew the basics they need to go with them.

  15. Sarah La Rose says:

    This book looks to comfortable and stylish. I love sewing girls clothing!!

  16. fun says:

    The dress is so cute and the fabric you chose makes it even better.

  17. craftyone says:

    I think this would give my mom so many ideas.

  18. Dieni says:

    I want to build a handmade wardrobe this year 🙂

  19. Natasha Tung says:

    My goal this year is to sew something approximately every 2 weeks. This will be tricky with 2 kiddos around, but I’ll do my best! I would love to do more knit sewing this year, particularly leggings, dresses and skirts for my daughter, and shorts and tops for my son.

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