The dress that got stuck in my head

This is a true story of an obsession with a dress. A picture of a dress I saw at Shelley’s house while browsing through her Japanese sewing books, I couldn’t remember where and when but the picture of the dress was stuck in my head. I didn’t even know which book or where to begin looking, so it was not till I went to her house again and found the book and the picture, and of course I had to run off and buy my own copy :)

I made the first dress for my 3 yr old out of a fabric I bought from Japan, but I felt that the colors were not bright enough. And the cutting was pretty fitting which meant it was pretty snug for her ;) And I made the mistake of forgetting to add the seam allowances to the skirt frills… so the dress craving was not satisfied. The odd thing was, the fabric pictured in the book, was something I already had! I bought it from Japan but I only bought 0.5m because I was intending to make a bag with it. So it was not enough for the dress.

Looked through my stash and took out this pretty fabric which I have not had the guts to cut.

Sarah Jane Children at Play fabric

But today I decided that in order to get the dress out of my head, a little heartache was necessary. No pain, no gain. So I cut it…

Sarah Jane Children at Play fabric

Look how beautiful the illustrations are!

Cut fabric

After the first snip, there was no turning back. This time I was more careful, and precise. So here’s my stack of fabric, waiting to be assembled by the magic of sewing…. into this!

Love love love love love it! (and yes I noticed the crease down the middle. I should have ironed (or photoshopped it!) but I couldn’t wait to take pictures of it!

Close up of the frilly skirt.

R loved it. She said it made her feel like a princess. I have always wanted to make a skirt like that.  I guess I could have figured it out without a pattern. But this was different. The pattern was very well made, nicely fitted at the waist, not loose and straight like some of the other patterns I’ve tried.

My instructions to the model were – show off the skirt! :)

The fabric is designed by Sarah Jane, and the fabric line is called Children at Play. I made some cushions out of it previously. If you google it you should be able to find many online shops carrying it.

The book is called クライ・ムキの子供服―Simple+one by Kurai Muki.  If you need any help deciphering Japanese sewing books, do check out my other blog at

Now I need to make another one in a larger size for my little one. Maybe I’ll hunt down the fabric featured in the book and make one exactly like the one in the book!

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  • February 14, 2012 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Your daughter looks so pretty in the dress. The fabric is perfect for it. Love the photo of the skirt.
    By the way, it was my hubby’s idea to thicken soup with ground soya bean. First he soaks the soya beans, Then he grinds them into small bits and just adds them to the soup. If you don’t like the bits, I think you can add them into the soup by using a tea bag or a bouquet garni bag. The soya beans give the soup milky look and a bit of flavour too.

    • yifarn
      February 23, 2012 - 9:03 am | Permalink

      Thanks :) She loves the dress too and I think I am getting more of this fabric :)
      Great tip on the soya beans, always thinking of ways to sneak in more fibre into their food! hehe

  • Pingback: Book Review – Kurai muki no kodomofuku : Simple+one » Japanese Sewing Books

  • February 23, 2012 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    I LOVE this dress! Great pattern, great fabric and great sewing skills!!!

    • Cotton Candy
      November 7, 2012 - 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Thank you! :)

  • abigail_lois
    November 6, 2012 - 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I love your blog, I’m really interested in sewing but i’m not how to begin. Would it be possible to give me some advice? :)

    • Cotton Candy
      November 7, 2012 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Hi Abigail, I literally learnt from the internet and books! There are books that go through the basics of sewing from threading up a sewing machine to the basic type of stitches. Buy books that have more diagrams that show you the steps, or search for free online tutorials and sew-alongs (there are lots!) that provide you with the patterns and guide you along. There are also many youtube channels or videos dedicated to sewing. So sometimes when I get stuck on making something, I google it and most of the time I can find an online tutorial or video that helps. Start with small projects and build up your confidence. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on sewing forums (or you can ask me here!) and in no time you will be able to move on to more complicated projects. Hope that helps you get started! :)

      • abigail_lois
        November 9, 2012 - 11:01 am | Permalink

        Okay! Thank you :) Do you have any recommended books for beginners?

  • abigail_lois
    November 9, 2012 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    May I ask what brand of sewing machine you are using?

    • Cotton Candy
      November 15, 2012 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Hi Abigail, I’m using a Janome MyExcel18w. It’s quite an old model.

  • February 4, 2013 - 5:44 pm | Permalink

    wow! you’ve made a stunning dress!
    great job!

    • Cotton Candy
      February 13, 2013 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Liz! :)

  • June Cauldwell
    September 22, 2013 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    This dress is absolutely gorgeous! I can see why you were keen to make this for your daughter!

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