My daughter wanted me to make her this dress: her favourite from Akiko Mano’s book Fashionable Clothes Girls Like. When I suggested some of the fabrics groaning in my stash, she looked rather put out and I realized she really wanted the dress in the book. That meant finding some dark check flannel.
A tour of the Goldhawk Road shops threw up three choices: black and yellow, black and magenta or black and white. I chose the last of the three (in a wool blend, from Unique Fabrics) as it seemed the closest to the monochrome simplicity of the original…. though this of course will expose us to the danger of tomatoey pasta landing on, and staining, particularly the white squares!
What’s to like @ Pattern O:
Quick – the lack of a collar makes for a simple construction
Practical – the pockets are useful for hankies, etc.
Stylish – the pretty pleats!
Exact – you get what you see in the book
Cosy – for the wearer
Cuddly – when including the wearer!
What’s not to like: my daughter joked that the only problem is that there are so many buttons to do up. But I think she now only uses the top 5 and shimmies out!
One of the comments on my SPR review of the Playdress described it as a “live in” dress and this is so true: DD has hardly worn anything else these holidays, (except maybe pyjamas…)! That’s what’s so great about Akiko Mano’s book: the clothes are uniforms for the job of being a kid and that means playing in comfort, having fun, even spilling food. Forget jeans and sequins: make the girl in your life something from this book instead.
What next from Akiko’s Book?
After a few teething problems of learning how to use a Japanese Pattern Book, this dress and the collar blouse I also made (ed – post soon) have worked out so well that I’m encouraged to make everything before daughter grows up too much and I have to grade the patterns (she’s already on the biggest size). But my suggestion to her that I now make her the Reversible Gilet (above middle) was met by squeals of outrage and distaste!
“Don’t you think it would be cute to dress up as a little gentleman?!”