Monday Outfit: Bicycle Dress


Greetings from snowy Seattle. Snow!! It’s been a winter wonderland for the past day or so, and this is highly unusual. The city stops dead in its tracks, uncertain of what to do with all this white stuff. K and M went sledding down a nearby hill yesterday, then returned almost immediately due to claims of “frostbite”. I stayed indoors (I hail from Los Angeles, need I say more?); basically we’re all wimps. And really, I should have been sewing puffy parkas and not a lightweight dress with bicycles plastered all over.


But that’s what we have for this Monday outfit, and I’m loving it. Doesn’t it feel fresh and, I don’t know, energizing? It almost makes me want to hop on a charming vintage bicycle for leisurely ride around the neighborhood. Almost. The little tie and keyhole opening add a sweet touch. It’s probably tricky to see but there are gathers on each side of the keyhole and in the center back. Small details that make the dress extra special, and the reason why I love Japanese patterns so much. The only changes I made were lengthening the skirt portion a touch, and ignoring the sleeve cuff snaps. The cuff snaps seemed unnecessary and K would end up fussing about snapping them (they had getting-dressed-for-school-meltdown written all over them).


I’m still confused about sizing though. This here is 120cm. I added a couple of centimeters to the hem as I usually do for this size, but it seems gargantuan. I know that it’s meant to be loose and generous in proportion, but I think K will be able to wear this till she’s fifteen.


The pattern is from this lovely book, and the fabric is a Michael Miller quilting cotton. The bicycle print is a nod to M, who is a die hard cyclist. He has one of those fancy schmancy bikes, and he can be found pedaling about all over town daily.

I threw in the chalkboard into the shoot for variety’s sake, but did you know that it’s virtually impossible to get a shot of the entire outfit when your child decides she actually wants to use the prop?


It’s very difficult. Although I couldn’t get a clear shot of the dress, this was one of the more painless photoshoots since she was enjoying herself thoroughly. She even asked me how to spell some words so she could write out a message for you:


She was quite proud of that one. She even signed it “K” without writing her entire name out. Without any prompting! That’s my girl…internet safety, baby.


Hope you’re having a wonderful start of the week!

25 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: Bicycle Dress

  1. This dress is amazing! Love the bicycles allover!
    (Thought, bicycle dress means dress for cycling, but it works in both ways i think!)
    Nice shoot, too. Thank you, K. 🙂

    1. Oh, you’re right, Sou Enim – I didn’t think of that wordplay. Of course, she could ride a bicycle in this dress, I hope 😉

    1. ha, too much snow is probably not as fun as I’d hope. We had rain today and all the snow has already melted away (except for a lone giant snowball that the kids made yesterday). Thanks Corina!

  2. Hi Sanae,

    Beautiful fun dress, love the prop and the message!
    As an aside, I also really appreciate and love your approach to your internet privacy for your family. It certainly doesn’t detract from your gorgeous work, and I think it’s refreshing to see such a mindful approach.

    Also, congratulations on your book! That’s so amazing (or not so much, as you’re extremely talented!) and I can’t wait to purchase to read to my kids.

    Thank you for the inspiration, as always.


    1. Thank YOU, Sophie – so sweet of you! We do try to protect our little K, but then there is the weirdness of plastering my own face all over the place. I figure that I’m not anywhere near cute as K, so I have no worries of strange predators 🙂

    1. We are ALL about layering, Courtney! I have yet to make her anything truly winter-appropriate so she looks like a little bundled up snowman in multiple layers everyday 😉

  3. oh, what a darling girl! love that last toothy grin:) I have this pattern book but have not yet made this dress. Love your version of it – that fabric is perfect for biker-conscious Seattle! And fresh, as you described this dress, is very much appreciated!

    1. She’s such a ham, isn’t she? Good thing that you now know the dress runs very big. I really like this pattern book, though I guess there’s no English version yet? I hear that volume 2 has been translated into English so maybe this one isn’t far behind. Most of the patterns are super simple in this book, but with this one, I was thrown that some of the pattern pieces are shaded but others are not. Also, the skirt portion (a simple rectangle) is provided as a pattern piece which is unusual. I kept looking for the dimensions of the skirt until I finally figured out that I needed to hunt down the pattern piece…

    1. Most of the time K is pretty cooperative, but lately she’s started to grouse about it a lot, so it was a special treat that she was so happy during the photo shoot!

    1. It’s so wonderful that the same delightful fabrics are being used all over the world – this one is such a happy print, isn’t it?

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