Books + Magazines

Published on January 24th, 2011 | by Julie Finn


Green Crafter Book Review: Carefree Clothes for Girls

Carefree Clothes for Girls, by Junko OkawaPillowcase dresses and elastic-waistband skirts are all well and good, but now that my daughters have a full stock of those, it can be a challenge to find the kinds of unfussy, playful outfits that I enjoy sewing and that my girls enjoy wearing.

Carefree Clothes for Girls, written by Junko Okawa, is an excellent assortment of easy-to-wear outfits for girls. It’s light on the details and embellishments that my fancier daughter might prefer, but those that are added–the lace, the buttons, the patchwork pockets–are just the kinds of frills that she likes.

It is this kind of fashion ethic that makes Carefree Clothes for Girls such an eco-friendly book of patterns for children. Okawa prefers natural, unbleached cottons and linens, and vintage fabrics and notions when available. It’s nice to see the modern looks that a sewer can achieve with age-old fabrics and Okawa’s patterns.

All well and good, right? However, when looking through the book for the first time, my much less fancy older daughter didn’t find anything that she liked!

It was a classic opportunity for me to sit down with my girl and point out to her how much difference fabric makes to an outfit. Carefree Clothes for Girls contains plenty of sturdy, comfortable patterns for pants and tops along with those sweet dresses that my younger daughter prefers, and if my older daughter doesn’t like the look of them in unbleached linen and vintage lace, well, then why don’t we make them out of that awesome Batman bedsheet that I thrifted last Saturday?

Believe me, I had her at Batman.

Carefree Clothes for Girls contains the real-size patterns for its outfits in fold-out pattern pieces at the back of the book. Everything that I’ve made so far from the book has worked and is true-ish to size for my own four- and six-year-old girls. Both wear a size five in this book, and I only need to adjust for their differing heights if I’m making them pants. The book’s total size range runs from four to seven, which is the perfect distribution for my own kiddos.

You will now often find my girls in headscarves and apron smocks, although you may not recognize their outfits as coming from the same pattern, since one is done in flowers and vintage lace, and the other?

It’s done in Batman.

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

One Response to Green Crafter Book Review: Carefree Clothes for Girls

  1. Loehmannshopping says:

    I loved this article. The picture on the front cover is my favorite. Another idea is to buy something that you like from a store and try to recreate the pattern/idea. Once you have one you can duplicate and make many. Of course you want to be able to buy it cheap and recreate it cheap if you are in a budget. There are many discount designer clothes
    for children out there. Check them out and get creative! Maybe just browsing the departments will give you new ideas for material.

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