{Photographs by Sally J Shim}

One of my favorite dresses and the dress shown in my Oh Joy! closet & casa feature was made using a pattern from a nooy Japanese sewing book (ISBN 978-4-579-11298-2). (Please note I have never ordered anything from Amazon Japan but you can find instructions here.) I purchased this book last year at our local Kinokuniya bookstore and it is my favorite sewing book. Since I am a big fan of nooy it is not a surprise that I love the patterns in this book. The book contains 25 dress, tunic, skirt, pant and jacket patterns. If you are not familiar with using Japanese pattern books you should know that the patterns come printed on a huge sheet of paper with pieces overlapping one another. It is a bit tedious but you have to trace each pattern piece onto tracing paper (I use Birch Street tracing paper which I purchased locally at Modern Domestic). Once the pattern pieces are cut out the cutting of fabric and sewing of the dress comes together really quickly. Case in point, I made three dresses using this pattern in one weekend. For this specific dress I used the F1 pattern and a striped linen from Mill End. I usually wear a size 0 so I used the smallest size for this pattern. Most Japanese sewing patterns do not include a seam allowance but this has never been an issue for me because the styles I choose are very loose. Even though I used the smallest pattern size I had to take in the sides a good three inches on each side because it was too big. Also note that the pattern does not have any darts but because I have a small chest this is not an issue for me. There are only four pieces for this dress and I made the top portion so that the stripes were vertical and the bottom portion with horizontal stripes. My favorite part of the dress is the raw selvedge that I used for the hem of the dress. And for those who don't sew, I have a blog reader who bought the book and took it to a seamstress to have a few dresses made for her. So even non-sewers can have their own simple dress (although of course I want to encourage you to learn to sew).

Reader Comments (9)

I love this dress! The linen is beautiful.

10.19.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTammy

thanks so much for sharing!! the dress looks perfect for anything! and great fabric choice...

10.19.2011 | Unregistered Commentercasey

hi sally! i love this dress and the sewing book resource! i just wanted to let you know that when i try to pin your photos on pinterest it comes up with an error "no large images found" i would love to pin this picture with a link to this post for reference and to remember to buy this book! just thought you would like to know this is an issue...i am not sure if it's my work computer or something with you blog. thanks so much for sharing!! and good luck with the move!

10.19.2011 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie

TAMMY // Thank you!

CASEY // You're welcome!

STEPHANIE // Not sure what the problem is. Other people have pinned it and had no problem. Maybe try again on another computer?

10.19.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

sally~i will try from another computer. my one at work is kinda wonky! i am glad others can pin! thanks!!

10.19.2011 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie

Just a tip for anyone looking to order the Nooy pattern book: You can order it in English (with free shipping) on Yes Asia, here:


This is such a beautiful dress. Sewing is one of those things that never reaches the top of the to-learn list, but I love that someone took the book to a seamstress! It's a great way to use some of the beautiful patterns out there if you're time- (or talent-) deprived. Thank you for sharing!

This is such a gorgeous pattern. I too would make 3 in one week-end. Now off to see if I can find a copy of the book in English that can be shipped to Italy!

06.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJillian In Italy

Thanks so much - not only for the tutorial, but for the details about the pattern book. I've been trying to track this book down for ages, but had no idea where to start even. I'm so excited! Thanks again :D

05.16.2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne

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