Monday Outfit: Sailor Dress + Giveaway! [CLOSED]


Good morning! One of the unexpected perks of starting this little online documentation of sewing and whatnot has been the relationship I’ve developed with Tuttle Publishing. Considered the largest publisher of “Asian-interest” books, they’ve recently been adding a slew of translated Japanese sewing books to their catalog. It’s been such a thrill to receive books before they’re let loose into the big world, especially when they’re the type of books I’ve adored and sewn from for years. Like this beauty by Yoshiko Tsukiori, who is one of the top designers of Japanese sewing patterns:


What makes this book especially appealing to me is that the sizing goes up to 140cm (roughly equivalent to sizes 8-10). For K, this means I could sew outfits from this book for another couple of years (she’s currently a perfect 130cm, and each size seems to last over a year with their generous proportions). I’ve gotten emails asking if I know of any teen-sized Japanese sewing books, and so far I haven’t been very successful in hunting down any. Then again, the smallest size from the women’s Japanese sewing books will probably be up to the task.


But back to this lovely book. This one takes the approach of offering up eight basic patterns, and each pattern can be modified in several ways (the modified patterns are called “Applied” in the book). I counted 18 variations, but the possibilities are limitless.


Here are a couple of spreads that I really liked:

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And when I saw the sailor dress, I was all over it. Anything nautical or sailor-themed makes me weak at the knees.


I had just the fabric, and though it’s described as midweight quilting cotton, it’s actually quite fluid in its drape.

dotted-sailor-dress6This book requires a lot of flipping back and forth to look for the illustrated or photographic step-by-step instructions, but it wasn’t too bad. In fact, the step-by-step photos were excellent, and as a visual learner, I appreciated them immensely. Also included are basic sewing tutorials that are heavily photo-based as well, and overall, this is my kind of book.


The trickiest bit for this dress was the front placket, and I had to put my full body weight onto the iron to get the bottom of the placket to lay flat because I managed to sew it all puckered. Looks nice and flat now, right?


As for changes I made to the pattern…I don’t like armhole facings, so I created my own bias tape instead. Appears much cleaner that way to me, and I imagine it’s more comfortable for K.

I love this dress! And I love this book!

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You, my lucky readers, can win your very own copy since Tuttle generously sent me two. And if you don’t want to leave things to chance, the book is available for pre-order now and will be officially launching in a mere two days on March 17th!

If you’d like to enter the giveaway, please leave me a comment with…let’s see…Okay, I have spring break on my mind, so how about a dream spring break location? If you could go anywhere in the world for spring break, where would you like to jet (or sail) to? Italy is sounding really good to me right now. Or perhaps New Zealand, because the season would be completely opposite and that would be fun.

The giveaway will be open until this Friday, March 20th, and I’ll announce the winner on the following Monday. International entries welcome as always! Good luck!





69 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: Sailor Dress + Giveaway! [CLOSED]

  1. So nice! Stylish and comfortable. I have always thought that I have too many patterns. This book is a concept book. Such a good idea. I have been wanting to go to London and droll over the Liberty fabrics.

  2. Great dress 🙂

    We’ve still got three feet of snow on the ground so anywhere with a bit sun and some green grass would be heaven!

  3. Hi Sanae,
    thanks for the cChance to win this sweet book, The pPatterns look very interesting and it would be a good starting point for the summer wardrobe of my lLittle Girl.

    To your question: My kids start to learn skiing in february this year, so instead of going to some warm and sunny place, i like to go back to winter for some days and going to ski some more with my little ones. That would be fun. And after that: summer and spring are very welcome

  4. Love the dress! The book looks great, my two girls are at the older end of the scale that these books normally go to so love the idea of one that would last a bit longer! I would love to go to the Italian lakes, it’s somewhere we often talk about going but not been yet. Can’t complain too much as we are off to France for a week with my parents in May, can’t wait!

  5. Dream spring break…probably somewhere in the Mediterranean. I haven’t travelled much, though, so I’d go just about anywhere!

  6. i think the perfect spring break would be to the isle of Mull. I love Scotland and this just ticks all the boxes in regards to wild nature and fresh walks.

  7. Nice dress! I’m looking forward to making one, too! I haven’t been to Japan in spring, but then again, any season is great to visit Japan …;)

  8. I’m tired of this cold winter. So for march break I would love to go to Australia or New Zealand. Or anywhere warm. Also it would be nice if there was a sewing machine waiting for me there. And I want a few fabric stores nearby… Hey, it’s my imaginary March break. 🙂

  9. Hi,
    Writing here from Germany! I was lucky to spend 7 years of my life on the beautiful island Cyprus!!
    So I know that spring is a very beautiful season in Cyprus, full of green fields and blooming orange and lemon trees…I wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else than there!!
    I have a daughter of 4 years , so would be grateful to own this lovely book!!
    Greetings from Berlin!!!

  10. I would go to the mountain…fresh air, bright colours and a “cristal” river surrounded by birds singing…. I can imagine myself liying on the grass while the sun heats my skin….. I think i really need some holidays

  11. That dress is so cute! I would go scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef, although Italy sounds pretty fabulous, too.

  12. We are starting to get some warm-ish weather here in the Netherlands and its definitely tickling me to go somewhere. What I would pick for spring vacation (if we had one) would be a rental house on tropical beach with white sand and one set of grandparents in rental house close to us (but not too close) available for babysitting. There would be plenty of restaurants which would all serve exceptional seafood and white vine. I would get to sleep the whole night, every night and would be woken up by sun filtering through white curtains. We would spend lovely days on the beach and there would be no jellyfish stings, scraped knees or crying in general. It would be most relaxing vacation post kids.
    Pity it won’t actually happen.

    As for the book- in unlikely case I’d win it, I already have it in Japanese and its lovely, but I don’t need two.

  13. Almost all of our vacations end up being used to visit family…I wish we could take a trip to visit friends on the east coast! Or go somewhere with skiing, since the Seattle ski season was basically non-existent this year.

    Would love to see this book…my girls are a 90, 120 and 150 right now. 150 is definitely hard to come by. Except for Ottobre it seems like an under served market. But would love this book for the smaller two 🙂

  14. I have looked through all of the spring break suggestions above and they all sound good to me. Portugal is most appealing of the above suggestions. But Cyprus sounds good too. I would normally be all over the isle of Mull, but I am feeling a bit like some sunshine. So if enough of us choose any one location, does that mean you have to go there?

    1. Hah! I wish I could go somewhere, anywhere for spring break! I’m in deadline mode for book #2 so am trying to stay hunkered down 🙂 But next year!!! I’m determined to travel in 2016. 🙂

  15. This is a fabulous dress! Nautical without being too costumy. Sounds like a lovely book. So glad Tuttle is bringing these great patterns to an English audience.
    If I could go anywhere for Spring Break it would probably be South Korea. I’d love to see how much of the language I’ve actually learned and see what it’s really like over there.

  16. Wait! I’d like to hear what K thought of the dress 🙂 I really enjoy reading her “reviews” and comments about a pattern (rather, the finished product that you’ve made)!

    1. Hi Jeannie! I love that you enjoy reading about K’s responses 🙂 So this dress was sort of a “meh” for her, but then her friend saw it and loved it so she changed her mind. Ah, peer pressure, the inevitability of youth. 🙂

  17. I’d love to go some place along the Mediterranean (Spain, France, Italy, Greece).

    Thanks for your review on this book. I’ve been afraid to try some of the patterns in the Japanese sewing books but reading about your creations is slowly giving me confidence.

  18. Great looking dress!

    Even just thinking of someplace warm without snow is nice( I had to shovel this morning…so done with winter!) For a trip–Bali. Beaches, interesting culture, and great food!

  19. We have friends that are going to be in Argentina. They run a missionary training school there part of the year. Since I speak Spanish I would love to pack up my kids and head over there with them. Would be an awesome opportunity for us all.

  20. Sanae, that dress is so cute! Your daughter is so lucky to have a mom who makes such lovely things for her.

    When you mentioned NZ for Spring Break, I thought, I would love that and not just for Spring Break. I have a friend I can visit, and maybe go visit LOTR sites – be a tacky tourist! 😉

  21. I love this book! I bought it in Japan about 18 months ago! It’s got a different image on the cover and is called “sewing recipe for girl’s”. So many good patterns and I love the size range too – my daughter is not quite at 100cm, so I have many years of use to come. Love the dress you chose to make. I love the little short sleeved blouse & variations. I don’t need to be in the giveaway!

  22. That dress is gorgeous. I’d love to try some of those patterns on my girls.

    I’d love to go any where warm…Mexico, Puerto Rico, Southern California. Just get me out of New England!

  23. The dress is lovely, and I like its clean lines. Sailor collars are my weakness too, though sadly not my daughters at the moment.
    Still winning a giveaway would be nice 🙂 And where I would like to go right now would definitely be somewhere by the beach. Maybe Goa?

  24. I have been hanging out for a Japanese sewing book that has large enough patterns to fit my 7 year old – this one looks perfect! I live in New Zealand so how about to be the opposite of you I would visit my brother in the US (Atlanta)!

  25. We are taking a dream spring break to Mexico City! Our daughter has been in a Spanish preschool and we want her to see the language in action. I have to pinch myself to believe it!

  26. Of course you’ve picked two of my favorite places. But I’ve actually been thinking a lot about Ireland, Iceland, and other places lately!!

    So let’s say Ireland!

  27. I have been eyeing this dress for a while! What a great giveaway, thanks!! I would head south for sure, maybe St Lucia.

  28. *sigh* Such a cute book!!! I definitely have a soft spot for sailor collars on little kids, I don’t think they’ve ever been out of style.

    I want to go everywhere, but my absolute top pick would be space. Cuz I’m nerdy like that 😉

  29. Wow this is a beautiful dress! I love the fabric. Our whole family is going to Japan next week and I get to meet Double Gauze and Nani Iro for the first time! We are actually going with three empty suitcases, with very limited essentials. This book is on the first page of my to-buy list!

    1. Fun! Have a wonderful time in Japan, Jing! And if you don’t find this book in nihon, there’s always an English version available online ;-).

      1. Thank you!, but sigh… all those Japanese sewing books, along with many many other things from are not shipped to where I live….I’m really counting on this trip. *toes crossed*

  30. I love the look of the book. I have a baby girl and I am really looking forward to making clothes for her when she’s a bit older. As for a spring break…I love the thought of somewhere in the Med…Greece maybe, or Italy, for sun and delicious food and wine x

  31. Thanks for the chance. Dream Spring Break? Bali or Tahiti or somewhere beach and warm – that’s all I ever want in Spring after NW wet winters.

  32. My dream spring break destination would be southern Italy, lovely food, wine and scenery!

  33. K’s dress looks lovely. I’ve got the Japanese version of this book (so I don’t need to be part of the giveaway ) and sewn a couple of things from it.
    This sailor dress really appeals to me whenever I look through it, but funnily enough the placket puts me off!

  34. The dress looks really lovely on K and I think your fabric choice is great. 🙂 My dream destination would be France. Thank you for the giveway!

  35. I have to have this book! So many cute clothes!
    I love the sailor dress you picked. So stylish…
    So many places I would love to visit on spring break it is hard to pick just one… Being realistic, I would love to spend a couple of days in the south of Portugal but if I could pick the place of my dreams then I would be going to NZ.

  36. Love the sailor dress! A’bay on the Big Island would be lovely – warm tropical air, gorgeous beach, sea turtles, palm trees and strawberry papaya for breakfast on the lanai!

  37. I’ve never sewn any children’s clothing before, but I’ve been wanting to make a few things for my toddler-aged cousin. This book looks like a great place to start!

    Let’s see, if I could go anywhere for Spring Break, I’d probably choose the Dominican Republic. I’ve never been there before, but I love beaches and the photos I’ve seen from there look beautiful!

  38. Although we were planning on going to Madrid for our six day Spring break, we are instead flying 12,000 kms from Qatar to Australia to visit my unwell mother-in-law. Although I had hoped to go exploring and fill more of my adventurous tank, we will be filling someone else’s tank at this time. More Spring breaks will come 🙂

  39. I adore sewing for my 6 year old granddaughter so this little tuttle would put certainly get a work out in my sewing room

  40. Love the sailor dress – looks like a great book. I’d love to pop over to East Africa – Zanzibar, perhaps – to stock up on beautiful African fabrics.

  41. You’re right – you had the perfect fabric for that dress! (though I also love it in the flax linen pictured in the book photo). Leave it to DryGoods to have the perfect selection for this dress 🙂 Great job with the placket – I would say you’ve become a placket master. Still hoping to use your thorough tutorial for the last placket dress you sewed. I hope K will get much use of it this spring – such a fun nautical flair!
    So my idea of the perfect spring break differs from that of my children, so once again we head to Florida. But if it were just me and my husband, I dream of visiting Paris in the spring. I know that sounds cliche, but I truly would love to be able to share that experience with him and show him all the cool things I discovered years ago when I visited.

  42. My spring break would have to be either Del Mar, California or the Bahamas. I need a beach and ocean!

  43. I would love this book! The things you’ve sewn for your daughters are always so beautiful and inspiring! I’d love to travel to NYC for fabric shopping, shows, and eating!!!

  44. Italy sounds good to me too 🙂 on the other hand, I’ve never been to Paris either…

  45. I am very grateful that we will be going to Florida, although the Bahamas sounds warmer and dreamier!

  46. I’ve been dreaming of a trip across the continent to New York. I love the brief times I’ve spent there. And I’d love to fabric shop now that I’ve been sewing for a few years!

  47. Such a lovely book; I see it being added to my birthday wishlist 🙂 As someone who is enjoying warm weather in New Zealand, i’d love to mix it up and head somewhere for a ski holiday: maybe Chamonix with a wee detour through Paris for some fabric shopping………

  48. Really a lovely dress – and still nice for teens.
    We’ll be travelling to Istanbul for spring break and I’m really thrilled as I’ve never been there. Must be a great cultural experience, lovely food, sunshine and hopefully some nice fabrics there …

  49. Hohhot, I would love to go to Paris, for a long weekend with my French-speaking partner. Perfect because it would be romantic and accessible, and not too long away from the children. Complete fantasy of course, but thanks for making me enjoy it for a few minutes…

  50. Sanae, that placket is really good! I’m so scare of plackets, and more the ones that go half way!. Blue really suits K. I love Japanese aesthetic and design, although I don’t own any pattern or book yet but I need to sort out the lack of Japanese patterns in my stash. About the spring break…let me think, I love to travel and go to new places, it is very exciting. I guess my first pick (obviously the dreamy one) would be Fiji! I want lots of sun and pretty sea!. A more realistic one probably would be go to Amsterdam again, really I loved visit it when I lived in Holland. Also spring equals Tulips, my favorite flower!

  51. Looks like a nice book.
    Our real Easter break will be fun. Historic country town, perfect autumnal weather, an Easter parade by the locals with much humour then the town egg tossing competition. Raw eggs are thrown on the main street with the intention that your partner catches it. The local dogs have a great time licking the road clean and the fire brigade make lots of money selling more eggs to those of us who can’t catch for sh!t.
    The kids love it!

    1. Oh, this is so funny that I just had to respond, Shelley! So K’s school has a “balloon toss” every year in which kids create contraptions with a water balloon in the middle of the so-called cocoon made out of recycled bits and bobs. These contraptions are then tossed from the top of the school building to see which balloons survive without bursting. But I guess the tradition was actually an “egg toss”. Without dogs to lick the remains clean, it became a nightmare event so they switched it to balloons. 🙂

  52. Hi, I found your blog from the Closet Case Files!

    Our spring break – if it was here for us – would be… I’d like to say Singapore… it’s not far to get there, our friends are there and I’d love to go to Sentosa or somewhere with a pool and warmth. And then I can go fabric shopping at the markets too!

  53. The sailor outfit looks good on her, I would probably sew up the same pattern first if I got this book. But then it wouldn’t be until I had got back from my dream vacation in Srilanka , a country that has captured my imagination for its beautiful temples , mysterious rock paintings and its reputation as an island of precious gems.

  54. That is a super cute dress.My girls would go bonkers for most of those patterns and I need a jolt of fresh ideas for them, thanks for the giveaway! I have been reading your blog for the past few months, found via the sew tessuti blog, and I don’t think I have commented yet,
    I loved your money and debt series and your book is very exciting!

  55. I love this dress! If only I could talk my daughter into non-pink fabric options….

    I have just come back from spending 5 days of spring break on an island off the west coast in BC, Canada and I that felt just right for me.

    Thanks for sharing

  56. The dress is so cute- and K is getting so tall!

    I think my perfect Easter Break would be a trip to Yellowstone National Park preferably with a magic travelling machine which would omit the trans-atlantic flight with a 3 year old and a baby. Then we could enjoy small family hikes and breakfast in front of our tent at a secluded camp ground. I loved travelling around the National Parks before we had kids and would love to share it with them.

    I wish you a great “real” Easter! xx

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