I Am Shift Into Tunic (top) and I Am Cute Contrast (bottom) from I Am Cute Dresses.
Detailed illustrations accompany each pattern in I Am Cute Dresses.
Easy, Breezy Summer Dresses
is no secret that I am obsessed with Japanese sewing books. I love the
unique construction of the patterns, the clever design details, and I
even enjoy the challenge of decoding the instructions from the
illustrations (making a muslin first really helps!). Happily U.S.
publishers are increasingly offering English translations of these
popular cult books, making them so much easier to use.
One of my new favorites is I Am Cute Dresses
by Sato Watanabe. I have one of Sato's skirt pattern books in Japanese,
and I'm a big fan of her design style, so I was thrilled about this new
English translated book of her dress designs.
And just in case you were wondering, the dresses in I Am Cute Dresses
are indeed unbelievably cute. Seriously. It features twenty-five
simple-to-make dresses, each one cuter than the next. And with charming
project names such as I Am Hello Halter, I Am Jumper for Joy, and I Am
Sew Buttoned Down, these projects are impossible to resist. They are all
designed to be generally loose fitting, with lots of drape, and feature
simple construction with clever design details. These make the perfect
summer dresses and fit my top three criteria for summer fashion sewing:
comfortable, pretty, and quick to sew.
these dresses are full of fantastic drape they are perfect for
showcasing gorgeous summer prints or romantic, floaty fabrics. Far from
boring to sew, each project offers an opportunity to practice your
dressmaking skills and focus on constructing a key design detail. Try
your skills on a variety of collar styles including V-neck, bandeau,
mandarin, halter, and more. Experiment with different silhouettes such
as jumpers, drop-waist, empire, shifts, kimono-cut, raglan, and wrap
dresses. And then play with design details from pleats and tucks to
ruffles and pockets. And don't forget to add your own twist!
simple dresses are perfect canvases for adding embellishment such as
trims, buttons, appliqué, fabric painting and stamping, surface design,
hand and machine embroidery, and more. Or let the fabric do the talking
and play with mixing prints, cutting collars, cuffs, and hem bands on
the bias, combining solids with prints, or using a contrasting textured
fabric for accents.
one thing you will notice about Japanese sewing books is that they
focus more on how-to illustrations than written directions. Most of the
time, especially with simple sewing projects, you mainly need to know
the order of construction, where to put the seams, and how to finish it
off. This is why you can figure out the directions even when they are
written in Japanese because the illustrations are so fantastic.
sewists will love this visual approach to sewing with detailed
illustrations, construction diagrams, and call-outs. Experienced sewists
will have no trouble deconstructing how the dresses come together and
can focus on adding their own design tweaks.
love that each dress is like a little recipe. Once you find a favorite
pattern you'll want to make it up in lots of different fabrics! These
dresses will sew up fast, so you can have a new cute summer wardrobe in
So pre-order a copy of I Am Cute Dresses: 25 Simple Designs to Sew and have a ball making the cutest summer dresses around.