Customer Reviews


25 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - Beautiful, Easy Clothes, Great Springboard
I bought this book after browsing it quickly in the local bookstore. I have made one dress and the smock & trousers set shown on the front cover so far, for my 4-year-old. She loves all of them. They are truly carefree - I used natural fabrics (mostly cotton muslin, sailcloth, gauze, and light cotton canvas) prewashed on very hot and dried on very hot settings for...
Published on March 4, 2010 by M. Schreiber

versus
75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay...probably not worth the money
This book is okay. It has some basic patterns (full-size, you have to trace and add seam allowance) that you could use as a springboard for your own ideas, but you could also wait for a sale at Jo-ann Fabrics and get a Simplicity pattern or two for 99 cents for the same purpose. As for the unfinished hems and general 'shabbiness' of the finished products...well, I'm not a...
Published on October 20, 2009 by Serena


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay...probably not worth the money, October 20, 2009
By 
Serena (California) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
This book is okay. It has some basic patterns (full-size, you have to trace and add seam allowance) that you could use as a springboard for your own ideas, but you could also wait for a sale at Jo-ann Fabrics and get a Simplicity pattern or two for 99 cents for the same purpose. As for the unfinished hems and general 'shabbiness' of the finished products...well, I'm not a fan. I don't like threads hanging off of clothes. I prefer French seams and finished hems. From what I can see, this shabby look takes more work than having lovely French seams.

So far, I've made one thing, the bag, which doesn't have any pattern pieces, just measurements. The instructions are not good. One step is impossible unless you rip out some of what you've already done. I followed the instructions meticulously for the purposes of this review and was not impressed. I'm a fairly experienced seamstress and I've sewn a lot of bags, and I cannot fathom why anyone would put a bag together the way you're told to in this book. I felt like I was following the instructions of a six-year-old beginning seamstress. And the finished product looks like a six-year-old beginning seamstress made it. I deliberately followed the instructions so that I could see how the bag looked in real life (and, like I said, for this review), as opposed to cutesy-photos in a book. It's as, um, 'homemade' as I thought it would look. My three-year old likes it, though. It's her new library book bag. I'll definitely use these measurements to make another bag, but I'll put it together the RIGHT way and I won't leave any raw edges showing.

I'm probably going to make a few projects in this book, but I'm not going to follow the instructions. From reading through--not just skimming or glancing, really reading through--the instructions on several projects I can say that there's going to be frustration going on for those who aren't very experienced. Me? I know how to put pants together and do a (proper) facing and hem and, and, and. These projects are simple and basic, but if you don't have the know-how, it could get confusing.

The photos could be clearer, too, though I don't think this book is alone in that respect (I've seen plenty of sewing books that don't show enough of a project). I prefer clear close-ups of important details with a good full-body shot for the overall look. This book is nice to look at, but not great for the nitty-gritty. It's kind of like a magazine that happens to have some basic pattern pieces included.

If I hadn't gotten this book with a gift certificate and it hadn't gotten milk spilled on it the first day I had it, I probably would have returned it. It's a charming cover that promises something it doesn't deliver. You'd do much better buying a basic A-line dress pattern with pants from one of the Big pattern companies, or, even better, investing in some Sense & Sensibility patterns ([...]). The Sense & Sensibility Girls' Pinafore and Pantaloons pattern is great.

Overall, I'd say save your money. If you want the shabby look, you don't need the instructions in this book to achieve that (if you do, here they are: Leave unhemmed.). The patterns are basic and you can find something similar in any of the Big patten companies pattern books. For inspiration, there are a plethora of crafty blogs that have clearer instructions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - Beautiful, Easy Clothes, Great Springboard, March 4, 2010
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
I bought this book after browsing it quickly in the local bookstore. I have made one dress and the smock & trousers set shown on the front cover so far, for my 4-year-old. She loves all of them. They are truly carefree - I used natural fabrics (mostly cotton muslin, sailcloth, gauze, and light cotton canvas) prewashed on very hot and dried on very hot settings for maximum shrinkage. This ensures that you are sewing with the fabric you're going to get when you have clothes, and you need not worry about washing in hot for stain removal later on.

The book stresses that these garments are not supposed to have seriously ironed crispness - part of the charm and beauty of them is the inherent texture of the fabrics. I have never had to iron the things I made for my daughter. I purchased a bunch of little remnants of natural fabrics, and after washing and drying as above, you know your fabrics pretty well. Some fibers will completely crumple up and stay crumpled - don't make clothes out of these unless you WANT to iron them. Others will unrumple in a hot dryer if removed promptly, and they will keep their texture without being deformed beyond wearability. There are some remnants I chose not to sew with after washing/drying them because they were intractable.

The clothes are simple, boxy, untailored, loose-fitting - perfect for an active little girl. Some people (some of my friends even) did not like the designs because of the boxy look, but I think it is a really beautiful, sweet, natural look for a girl, and is a welcome contrast to the kind of...uhhh...MATURE-looking clothes you see in stores. I'm sorry, but I don't really want my 4-yr-old daughter running around in a David & Goliath Pink "You Can't Afford Me" Tank in sparkly writing across the front (and yes, I realize that the model is older than 4, but I have seen these things for toddlers too).

My only problem, and it's a small one for me, with the book was that the patterns come printed in very thin lines of contrasting colors on one large sheet of fairly heavy-weight (heavier than butcher paper) paper. Because of having to conserve space, the patterns overlap each other. So you have to be a bit vigilant when tracing the patterns. My response to this is to outline the pattern piece I am using in dashed lines with a Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Markers, 5 Colored Markers(30653PP)so that I can see it easily through my butcher paper.

Additionally, the patterns provide a unique springboard for experimentation. They are simple enough that changing a line here or there is fairly easy, and of course experimenting with decoration, fabric, etc is always possible. Someone else mentioned just buying a couple of Simplicty patterns, but I have to say (having sewn from MANY mass-market patterns over the years) that you will not find Simplicity, McCalls, or the like with this kind of style. They are so much more conservative and traditional - and of course there is a place for that, too.

However, this book offers much more in terms of creativity and style. If you are looking to sew girls' clothes that people will look twice at and that will ALWAYS get compliments (I have people asking me all the time where I got the little smock, which I sewed to be reversible from light to dark), this book is for you. I would go so far as to say that it is along the lines of Couture for children, and I HIGHLY recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it, so does my daughter, August 28, 2011
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
Carefree Clothes for Girls by Junko Okawa is, in my opinion, simply charming.

Not everyone will agree with that assessment. If you love french seams, dart fitting, couture techniques and heirloom quality sewing for girls, this is not the book for you.

If you like simple shapes, fun and irregular details and dresses that you won't mind getting dirty, this might be a great book for you.

It has 20 projects, and full sized patterns in the back under the flap for all but 2 of them. Unfortunately, my daughter is too big for those projects, but the simple lines are easy to size up for her (or yay! for me!) and some of the details and effects used in the garments can be used in other commercial projects.

Unfinished hems left to softly fray, scraps of lace and old doilies are all used to wonderful advantage here. The look is decidedly homemade. It's a very earthy, comfortable look. I was thrilled going through the book, bookmarking dresses that had details that I want to use in sewing for myself. It's patches and buttons, and reminds me of a favorite old stuffed animal or possibly a sweater you won't give up even after it's all darns and stitched up tears.

Which is why I say this book isn't for everyone. Some people prefer a very finished look. My favorite piece in the whole book was a Cinderella style, pretty fitted dress with mismatched buttons up the back. My daughter loved the whole book. It's inspirational.

Full size patterns in the back including an smock type apron that buttons in the back, a few adorable dresses, a chemise, a tunic and pants. Instructions for some accessories like hats and a patchwork scarf that would be perfect for fall.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!, October 19, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
In my opinion this book doesn't even deserve 1 star.
It contains 18 patterns for little girls' garments that are unflattering and just plain awful!.I was looking forward to the release of this book as I have purchased other translated Japanese craft books and have been happy with them. Not the case with this book. Everything looks unfinished with threads hanging and fabrics wrinkled. This could be a cool deconstructed look for adults but it is impractical for kids. These clothes don't look fun or "carefree" as the title suggests. I honestly think that if your kid wore any of these outfits they'd be bullied!!! I can not recommend that you buy this book without really looking through it beforehand. And if you do, ask yourself, would I honestly want my kid to wear the Black Linen Hat for anything other than some good dress-up fun? I'm actually returning my copy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've purchased, March 6, 2010
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
I ordered this book and was a little concerned with how I'd like it, since I didn't read some reviews until after I purchased it. I'm happy to report that I love it! I am a fairly experienced sewer, and I still learned some things from it. I know I'll reference it many, many times, and I already have a list of projects I want to make from it. Some of the other reviews I read were upset with the unfinished edges on some of the projects, which I don't understand. It's part of the design, but if it's not your thing, then it's certainly easy to sew a hem onto a garment rather than leave the edge raw. If a leather tie embellishment seems impractical to you, there are many, many other options to use for this detail (ribbon, sewn fabric, beads...take your pick). These clothes are definitely my design aesthetic, and they're what my daughter loves to wear, so it was definitely money well-spent! Great patterns, and each garment is a wonderful blank canvas just begging for personalization from the seamstress making it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, October 21, 2009
By 
Kae "Kae" (Denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
This is a beautiful book that, if you follow crafting blogs, is being raved about all over the internet. I guess not everyone has eclectic, funky taste. If you are into repurposing, vintage, simple and lovely clothes for your daughter, I think you will like this book, too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lush photos but patterns not up to images, May 19, 2011
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
This book has my biggest pet peeve in sewing books which is beautiful lush photos which do not really show the cut of the garments. This is not as bad in this book as in others because the patterns are largely unstructured and touches (such as vintage buttons) are shown sometimes in details.

If you sew well you can make similar items by modifying or draping what you have fairly easily. If you don't sew quite well I suspect this isn't the book for you because as one reviewer noted the patterns are just short of feedsacks. The "unfinished hem" was the one which began to get on my nerves.

There are a couple of gems, a tailored coat with vintage buttons and just the right shape for a slightly rumpled linen. The babushka hair triangle in the beginning is simple, but has lovely details of fringing the edges, more than one small piece of lace which would have been likely overlooked in a free tutorial or even most books for children's sewing. And this, is where the strength of the book lies, details and subtleties on some of the items. Unfortunately the books usefulness is limited by the vague photos and I suspect that the very unstructured pieces (most of the book in my opinion) are really at their most appealing in the mossy, lush, British landscape of the photos. Maybe there are some great patterns buried under the images.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, not Practical Clothing, December 3, 2009
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
This book is gorgeous and the clothes have a feminine but modern style that is unique. I'm happy to own it, but it was not what I'd expected. I expected "carefree" to mean clothes that are easy to wash or wear. Most of these designs would be comfortable for the child, but they wouldn't be carefree for mom at all! Lots of light fabrics and dainty trimmings would require these clothes to be for special occassions only. I wish their was a book with this fun, funky, feminine style - but the clothes were practical enough for play and unlikely to be ruined!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute modesty in a modern, grow up to fast world., August 16, 2011
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
I am the mom of a 3 month old, yes she's only three months, but I am la ready worried about how to dress her and boost her self esteem in a world were billboards and music videos rule a young girls look at how she should act and dress. My husband was leery of me making clothes for our daughter but I have already made her a few dresses from this book - I Co Co Channel'd them - and he loves it! I also love the fact that these pattens are not typical of American fashion and have made her some dresses from " I am Cute Dresses " as well. I love the modesty and the fact that I control the cut and the fit of the clothes. Japan Fashion designers bring on more books! plus, 2 yards of faberic per item is pennies compared to going out and buying clothes at the mall or even Walmart.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did not like the clothing designs, December 23, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life) (Paperback)
I thought the cover was darling and I purchased the book based on a blogger's recommendation, but the other clothing designs were not very cute. Some of the patterns required vintage lace, leather ties, and had unfinished edges, which I don't think are very practical for children's play clothes. I'm disappointed that I purchased this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.