Japanese Children’s Vest

This vest is from the somewhat pointless, but oh-so-adorable files.

Japanese Vest

There’s a passage in one of Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks where she explains that she is a late-night Amazon shopper, always ordering cookbooks. I was channelling Nigella one late night when I ordered this children’s Japanese pattern book. It has about 12 different projects in it, each of which can be made in different versions, like a blouse that can also be a shirt or tank.

I decided to steer clear of the obvious dresses for KCWC and I thought I’d make her a pretty accessory, so I made this vest. It was actually a very simple pattern but it took me longer than it should have because, well, the instructions were in Japanese. There were plenty of illustrations, so I actually would have been fine if I’d followed them carefully instead of trying to think ahead two steps. But it all got figured out eventually once I decided to just do exactly as the pictures required and trust that it would come together. After reading Forsythia Design’s post about her Stylish Dress Book it occurred to me to check if the patterns have seam allowances, and I gleaned from the illustrations that they do not, so that is something else to keep in mind.

In the end, the garment construction was actually quite ingenious, and leads to a fully lined, reversible vest. I think it’s a cute way to dress up some of the brother’s hand-me-downs.

Japanese Children's Vest

I really prefer the black and white version, but getting any extraneous article of clothing on an almost 2-year old is a challenge, so I didn’t dare trying to convince her to reverse it for another picture. Might have to shorten those ties though. If I made it again, it might be nice to use a ribbon in a colour that compliments both sides as ties instead.