Sew Chic Kids Pintuck Dress + Tunic + Giveaway! [CLOSED]


One of the benefits of obsessively making excessive amounts of clothes from Japanese patterns books is that the publisher of the English translations of said pattern books will contact you to see if you’d like to review their books. Since “Duh!!!” was not an appropriate answer, I responded with an enthusiastic yes.


Now, I have the Japanese version of Happy Homemade vol. 2, but I was curious to see what the difference(s) would be with the English translation, Sew Chic Kids. As you can see, the English version is slightly larger in size. There are a few other differences too, mainly that the Japanese book crams everything in to conserve as much space as possible, whereas Sew Chic Kids really gives both the instructions and the patterns pieces more breathing room. This means that the English version comes with 2 pattern sheets vs. 1 densely packed Japanese pattern sheet. I now realize that I should have taken more photos of the books for reference, but you can take my word for it.


By the way, this is completely random, but remember that huge gap between K’s two front teeth? After four months of braces, totally gone! Amazing.

Anyhow, I showed K my newly acquired book and asked her which outfit she’d like me to make. As she flipped through the pages, I kept saying “Oh wait, not that one because I’ve already made it.” It turns out that I’ve sewn 14 out of the 20 options, so this is a really really good book. Her choices were limited since the available selections were mostly images of boys, but she was excited about the pintuck raglan dress (pattern e) and requested it in white.


“I want to wear it as a nightgown,” she said. So I scrounged up some off-white linen, and it looks pretty dreamy, no? As always, K masterfully styled the photoshoot with her stuffy, it of the brilliantly original name “Elephanty”. There were some unintentionally compromising positions involving Elephanty as I snapped away with my camera, and those I quickly deleted.


I did find an error in the instructions as I was sewing this. It was super minor, however, and involved a switcharoo of the inch and centimeter measurements in the layout for the neck bias binding. Something to look out for when you’re using the book. I do find it helpful that they include the US/imperial measurements. I also liked the larger size of the book that I could lay flatter than my Japanese version, and the construction steps were a breeze to follow since I understood every word, though to be honest, at this point I automatically just look at the illustrations and rarely bother with the text. One other thing I wasn’t crazy about was that I had to hunt down the pieces on three separate sides (the pattern sheets are two-sided), which was a little cumbersome. This meant the pocket piece was on sheet 1, the sleeve and back on sheet 2, and the front on sheet 3. On the Japanese pattern sheet, all the pieces are on the same side. However, the English pattern pieces are much easier to find since they’re spaced out a lot more and clearly labeled.


The dress looks like it belongs in the Sound of Music, and as classic and sweet as it is, I felt it lacked some oomph. This colorful cotton is from lovely Cherie — I think she sent it to me a year ago? K immediately fell in love with this fabric, but I didn’t have enough for a full dress, so I modified the pattern to make a tunic. There is, in fact a blouse/tunic variation based on the pintuck dress in the book (pattern h), but I wanted to keep it simpler and just chopped the bottom length and sleeves. The other change I made was to cut a single neck bias piece rather than the two called for. I thought the original method of binding the front, pintucked section separately a little awkward and the fit is better with this tunic.


The chambray pants are also from the book, but I sewed them forever ago and it’s actually a little too short for her now, so we cleverly disguised this by rolling up the hems.


So bright and cheerful — I love this fabric!

I’m so honored to have the opportunity to review and try out the book (and more to come!). It was fun to compare the two books and I think Tuttle publishing got a lot right with the English translation. Of course, no one needs two of the same book even if they’re in two different languages, so I am offering you, my lovely readers, Sew Chic Kids as a giveaway!

I used Swedish tracing paper for the pattern pieces and carefully folded them back, so this baby is pretty much brand new.

For my giveaway question, I was thinking of a job I had back in the stone ages. I managed a team of artists and we would have to sit together drawing things on little stones for eight hours a day. We got to know every intimate detail of each others’ lives as the work didn’t require a lot of concentration, but we also started to make up little games for entertainment. One day, one of my artists told me that I was like a butterfly, flitting around all the time. This led to everyone trying to identify what kind of creature they would be. So my question is: “What kind of creature would you be?”

The giveaway is open until next Thursday, May 1st and I will announce the winner the following day. International entries are more than welcome. Good luck!!



47 thoughts on “Sew Chic Kids Pintuck Dress + Tunic + Giveaway! [CLOSED]

  1. love the outfits, it looks like a great book! as I sit here, my cat is curled up on the bed snoring away. I think, if given the chance, I’d make a great cat πŸ™‚

  2. Uh, that would finally give me a start to Japanase sewing books. This would be amazing. I guess I’d be a pretty weird mixture of a busy bee and a sleeping cat πŸ˜‰

  3. I was once told I’d be a mountain goat–sturdy but graceful, and stubborn. I think I’d prefer to be a deer, but the former is probably more accurate…

  4. These tops are so cute! I’ve been wimping out this far on the Japanese pattern books because of the language barrier, so I’m thrilled that they put this out in English.

    I’m not sure what kind of creature I’d be. Something family oriented in a cool climate. And loves to eat. Lol. How about a wolf? I like that.

  5. I love the patterns from japanese books, and always admire what you make from them. If I was to be an animal, I’d love to be a dog, but I’m probably much more like a chicken – always pecking around, clucking it up with my friends, looking for food, keeping busy…

  6. You’re right, that tunic fabric is lovely. Those pin tucks are lovely on both pieces.
    If I could be any animal I’d probably be some sort of songbird.

  7. I’ve been eyeing up this book for a while now, would love to win it. If I were an animal I think I’d be a meerkat, just for my daughter because she adores them!

  8. Gosh, that’s a great question. my daughter Becka says I would probably be a panda because she likes pandas. πŸ™‚

  9. I love this book! My Mom gave it to me for Christmas, and I’ve really loved everything I’ve made. And I agree with K…whenever I look at this pattern I picture it as a nightgown, too!

  10. I’ve been admiring this book (and all the creations I see made from its patterns) for years!
    I would be a spider — hardworking and good with my hands.

  11. i STILL have not tried out any of the Japanese sewing books despite wanting to for the last few years! silly me. hmmm. . . .i’m rather envious of my dog right now. she lounges around all day and seems quite content. maybe i’d trade places with her πŸ™‚

  12. I am a lion! I think the lioness does more of the bringing down the large prey and caring for the cubs, but then I wouldn’t have that rad hair do. So I am a lioness with lion aspirations, shall we say?

  13. I would be a shark. Not because of how like I am to sharks, but because I became obsessed with them as a kid and still love them. They are so cool!

  14. Oh goodness, if I were an animal I would likely be a rabbit. I can be on the move or quietly nibbling in a field of grass& I am certainly a bit nervous and flighty at the first signs of danger.


  15. Good question! I think I’d be a koala- lots of hanging out in trees and snuggling with loved ones. Plus, eucalyptus smells sooo good!

  16. I’d like to be a monkey since I’ve been into them since I was a kid. I guess that started when I found out I was born in the year of the monkey on the Chinese zodiac.

  17. Gee, I love everything you’ve made from this book, Sanae! And I love the inspiration I get from your blog – just wish I could be as productive as you! I suppose the animal I most resemble is a bear – I love to “hibernate” at home.

  18. Your giveaways are the best! I love the white dress very much, great choice for a nightgown – or a daygown! If I could choose an animal I would love to a robin, I love them so much. I donΒ΄t know why, but they touch my heart whenever I see one. Who knows, maybe my soul-animal… Personalitywise I would probably be a cat, very independent, purring one moment and lashing out unexpectedly the next πŸ˜‰

    1. And I am kind of sad to see the tooth gap go… I just love a gap between the front teeth! It is so charming. Makes me think of Vanessa Paradis!

  19. I think I’m a little like a cross between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Shih Tzu. Energetic, but kind of a snuggly lap dog too πŸ™‚

  20. Wow, I would love to check this book out! If I were an animal, I would definitely be a backyard bird, maybe a nuthatch or a chickadee. πŸ™‚

  21. I have (actually, had) that teal/green/pink fabric as well – loved what a cheery, happy outfit it made:) Thanks for doing a review on the English version of Happy Homemade. I actually considered purchasing it although I already have the Japanese version, but you’re correct in saying that the illustrations are enough to get through most patterns without too much problem. So I resisted.
    So I don’t think I should enter the give away because I already have it, but IF I were to pick an animal, I always thought the life of a cat was pretty ideal: napping the sun. Does it get better than that?:)

  22. Love your idea of turning the dress into a night dress, and the pants are a hit around here too. In fact my daughter has one in almost exactly the same colour. I love this book too (and so while I am not entering the giveaway, because I already have the Japanese version), just sharing some love for the book and the patterns it offers.

  23. Oh, my! I must get a copy of this book! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I love the dress! K looks absolutely lovely in it! As far as what animal I am, my husband says I remind him of the bunny on Monty Python since I’m cute, small, cautious and somewhat skittish, but the moment of any threat to my little, peaceful world and family, I will attack. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for the giveaway!

  24. I would love to see this book. Looks full of useful patterns. I’m probably most like a chipmunk…little with fat cheeks;)

  25. I love both versions of the dress. I particularly like the one with the fabric that Cherie sent you. It feels a bit like it was handpainted. Something very watercolor-like. Although, I do really like the serene quality of the first.

    I’m not exactly sure what animal I would be. My husband often comments on how cat-like I am but at the same time refers to how much I’m like a bee. My grandfather, since before I can remember, has always referred to me as his ‘libellule’ (dragonfly in French). So, I kind of see myself in all of them.

  26. I would like to have a japanese sewing book!!
    I don’t know what animal I more alike, but now I would like to be a koala, they are exotic, cute, and my daughter loves them… a “kolala” like she says…

  27. Beautiful sewing, Sanae! My favourite animal is a hippo…hanging around and relaxing most of the time but really fast and dangerous if need be.

  28. What a glamorous nightgown! Sleepwear is at the very bottom of my sewing list, but this nightgown might change my mind.

    I would be the proverbial fly on the wall.

  29. I want to be a cat, but only if I can be my cat. Which is sort of bending reality, but my cats have it really good.

  30. My mother used to call me “fawn” so I can’t think of myself as any other animal than that. I’m not sure if it really describes me, but it would be nice if it did…. I see deer as graceful and strong, and forest-dwellers. And the forest is probably my favourite type of nature… there is nothing like the smell of pine trees in Manitoba, the province where I grew up, and where lots of deer live.

  31. I would be a fox, though I’m not sure why. I couldn’t think of an answer so when my sister called I asked her. As I was asking “fox” popped into my head right before she said the same thing! I figured that was weird enough to settle the question πŸ˜‰

  32. How fun! I’m not sure what animal I’d be. But whatever it is…it would be an animal that would like to sew from a Japanese pattern book. πŸ™‚

  33. Great question. It strikes me that since I became a mum I’ve surprised myself with just how ferociously I’ll advocate for my children (we’ve had some health issues to deal with and doctors can sometimes be dismissive of Mum!) So my nearest guess is a lioness, fiercely defending her pack.

  34. I was born in the year of the pig (Chinese astrology). I guess I will go with that!

  35. Ohh, lovely tunic (and nightie, so sweet). I also like the pants – and I have skimmed through Sew Chic kids, so I understand how you have made so many pieces from it. It looks wonderful. In response to your question, I would like to think butterfly, but I am more of a ‘scan, see what I need to do/stop/start/grab/sew etc, and then swoop in and do it’ person… So, an eagle, but not a very big one… a Little Eagle!

  36. Love the adult japanese books I have and am sure would use this one a lot.
    Animal – squirrel , always busy, chattering, collecting …

  37. I’ve seen this book before and really like the patterns. It’s even better to see these designs in real life. K looks cute in these πŸ™‚ Thank you for the lovely giveaway. If I were an animal, I think it would be an elephant :p I’m not sure why. But I heard that elephants never forget things.

  38. Oh I have the Japanese version but I’ve never actually sewn with it because of the language/measurement barrier! I’d love to win the English one. I’ve always wanted to fly and flying dreams are my favorite, so I’d pick an eagle. A bird that is generally safe from predators. πŸ˜‰

  39. When I was little I wanted to be a snowflake, and then got a role of the fox in the kindergarten Christmas play. I felt peculiarly happy being that cunning creature, pulling all the strings for everyone in the play πŸ™‚

  40. I think I’d have to be a crow — bigger than you remember, prone to pulling tails, attracted by shiny things, and a bit of a joker.

  41. I have two little girls and would love to give this book a whirl! I think I’d probably be a deer… a quiet, family oriented herbivore who loves meadows and sleeping under pine trees…

  42. I don’t have any japanese sewing pattern book, but looking at those pretty garments you made makes me, a begginer sewist, want to give it a try ! I would love to be a bird with colorfull feathers. Greetings from Spain!

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