Thrift Store “Score”—Japanese Edition

After a few fairly dismal visits in March and early April, I gave my local Value Village a break. When I popped over the other day, I hadn’t been since before Easter. I actually wasn’t hoping to do much other than get a bit of excercise, but sadly for my wallet (happily for for my stash) there were a couple of good fabrics, some more vintage notions, and, most intriguingly, a couple of Japanese pattern magazines.

Child Boutique

In specific, two copies of “Child Boutique”, which appears to be a kids’ spinoff from Lady Boutique, which I think I had vaguely heard of before. These are not, however, the sleek, ultra-classy, subtle designs I’ve come to associate with Japanese patterns. I can’t find a date on the magazines but from the fashions I’m guessing late eighties or early nineties. Words like garish, oversized, and sometimes plain odd come to mind.

As a lefty, it makes me happy that Japanese books run “backwards”. This is the way I’ve always filled my sketch books.

That fine line between cute and odd

The magazines are substantial things, more like catalogues. The front portion is full of photographs of the styles, with style numbers and what I eventually (mercifully) figured out are page numbers beside each. Yay!

A few select patterns have detailed illustrated instructions

Next, a few select styles have sized drafting instructions and cheerfully illustrated directions, kinda like the Burda Style sewing course. There are some accessory and hat patterns in this section, too.

Hair style directions

There’s a page or two of hairstyle directions. Some are pretty simple, but some I could probably have made use of when my kids had longer hair.

Measurement chats---thank goodness for diagrams!

There are several sizing charts, fortunately with diagrams so I can figure out which measurements go where. My kids appear to fit quite well within the age/sizes for Japanese children. Good to know.

Obviously this doesn't contain more than a fraction of the couple hundred styles in the magazine. I'm not sure which ones it does.

There is a single, not-terribly-dense pattern sheet included. Obviously this is patterns for only a very few of the styles illustrated. I haven’t figured out which ones, though.

Cute blouse photo

I really like this flowered blouse. I don’t think my kids are quite as enthused with it, though.

Pattern diagram for a cute blouse

This is its diagram. Most of the back of the magazine is full of sketches and diagrams like this; I presume you use their dimensions to draft out full-scale versions of the patterns. Most of these seem to be given in a single size, although it looks like a size-range is suggested. Probably it would all make sense if I could understand the text ;).

This one has crossed the line into odd territory.

I did mention some of the designs are really odd…

Oddly blonde Japanese girl

I like this outfit in the middle, too, but again it’s pretty twee for my girls. Also I feel oddly disturbed by this kid’s bleached-blonde hair. I don’t really feel like you should be putting that many nasty chemicals on a kid’s head. Maybe I’m being prudish, though.

Syo's favourite dress

Syo would like to show you her favourite dress. Somehow I don’t think I need a Japanese pattern magazine to make this one, a simple shirred-top dress with spaghetti straps. Finding such cool fabric, though, may be a feat.

I got a few other nifty things, too, but in the interest of stretching out my daily post material, I’ll tell you about them later.

I did succumb to some japonesque fabric at Fabricland, though:

Japonais Mum

Yes, I bought a print. Picking it was agonizing, too. I was only going to get a metre, to use for pocket linings, but it was on sale so at the last moment I became weak and got three metres. I’m thinking a skirt.

In Me-Made June news

Me-Made June day 3

I think this is a nice outfit but I was having trouble getting a decent picture, and it’s started to rain so I don’t feel like doing any more. But here it is.

Lacy dress
Springy little coat

Despite appearances, I’m not actually five months pregnant. That’s just the way my belly looks when I forget to suck in. 😛



Filed under Sewing

16 responses to “Thrift Store “Score”—Japanese Edition

  1. Thank the Lord! You DO have a bit of tummy pudge! Now I can stop being so darn jealous…OK, not really. 😛

    I wonder if you made up the cute blouse in a different fabric that one of your daughters liked if it would have a better reaction. I know that my hubby struggles with visualizing what things will look like in different fabrics or how a fabric would look as the finished product. The blonde girl’s vest-thing would be cute (either extended into a dress or paired with a skirt) if your daughters were going to be in a wedding or something…or even part of a “Renaissance-ish” Halloween costume?

    3 metres of that fabric should make an awful lot of pocket linings, even if you get the skirt made up, so you should be set. 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s amazing the things you can hide in photos! 😉 Which we should all remember every time we look at a magazine. You’re right about the visualization thing, the kids (and hubby) kinda stink at it…

  2. Hmmm…. all those kids are freaky looking. I’m also disturbed by the giant-fake-flower-as-piece-of-clothing concept, but that’s just me.

    I’m thinking 3 yards will get you (and your 3-month-pregnant-tummy-maybe) a skirt, a dress and five to ten sets of pockets. I totally LOL’d when I first read that you agonized over the print to make pockets linings. Is it really that much of a trauma for something no one but you will see? Then I saw the part about the skirt. 😉

  3. Ann

    Cool stuff in the magazines… or some might just be different 😉
    I really have to agree with you on the blond hair and kids. And the pompom’ish sumer outfit…. what the??? what!!!! Who in her/his right mind would put a little child in such an outfit??”!!!

  4. Blonde Asians and a flower bikini on a 3 year old… I’m disturbed.
    Glad to see I’m not the only one who forgets to suck in sometimes. 🙂 You still look fabulous.

  5. A PRINT?! I shrieked, before scrolling down to read your text!

    Yes, there is no shortage of cracktacular style over here, as well as the more refined stuff you mentioned. There’s a love of embellishment, girly and “princessy” , like I’ve never experienced anywhere else. Always plenty of gawk-worthy sights when out and about, and I’ve been living here for years!

  6. Joy

    I’m amazed at your thrift store find! There’s no denying the flower “garment” is disturbing, but I’m sure it’s easy to make, heh!

    I actually have a 2007 issue of Child boutique. It looks like it’s changed a little since your versions were put out. The layout of yours looks just like the (modern) Lady Boutiques I have. My pull-out pattern sheets have a number above the garment line drawing, which refers the garment number – the garments are numbered in order of how they appear in the magazine, starting at page 1.
    However, on the pattern sheet portion you show, I can see the 3-character symbol for “page number” between the 2 and 6. (Maybe you figured that out already). So I’m thinking it tells you which magazine page the garment is on.

    Have fun! I haven’t made anything from mine yet.

    • Thanks for the tip! I confess I haven’t examined the big pattern sheet as much as the rest of the magazine yet. I hope I do make something out of them… it’s such a neat thing to find.

  7. I love the fabric! M first hought was of a yukata, but I’m afraid such a bold print would make it look like a curtain (and I’m glad to knw I’m not the only one dreaming of super-cute pocket linings _ for, errrr, the day when I’m able to make pockets).

    I love the japanes magazine, too! One of my favorite mangas ‘Gokinjo monogatari’ is set in a fahion school in the early 90’s. I distinctly remember a page where the heroin (her hair is bleached, too) wears a green fake fur bra, one of her friends wears a lot of gingham with big scallops, a bit like those designs, so maybe it’s not so weird for Japan… just a super-edgy pattern magazine, maybe?

    • I imagine it was pretty normal for Japan at the time… I was just amused at how different it was from most of the more contemporary Japanese pattern stuff I’ve run across. 🙂

  8. I LOVE Japanese magazines — that is a serious score! It’s true that they have a more “costume-y” idea of fashion, but I find that I get detail ideas from some of the more whacked out clothes. We have a store around here that carries Japanese food, magazines, books, stationery, etc. so I sometimes pick up pattern books there as well as Gothic Lolita Bible. If you decide your kids can’t use the patterns, they also tend to sell well on Ebay.

    I have a picture of myself and my 2 close friends standing like you are standing, when I was about 20 weeks pregnant with my first. We were all sticking out our stomachs as much as we could. I do NOT look like the most pregnant person in that group, LOL. Something about that angle just accentuates the tum.

    I think that Japonais print would look good as a peasant skirt. I don’t know if you wear that sort of thing…but I’m thinking I’d play with the stripes, like have one tier horizontal and then the next tier vertical.

  9. Ok, you definitely do not have anything remotely close to a pregnant belly!

    And I’m proud of you for buying a print.

  10. Pingback: More patterns I don’t need | Tanit-Isis Sews

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