Balloon dress in lawn cotton

One of my favorite Japanese sewing books is Jolies Tenues pour Fillettes Coquettes by Akiko Mano. The cover alone is to die for: a beautiful picture of a gorgeous girl in a smashing balloon dress. Yes, the adjectives are on sale today.
As a self-confessed balloon dress addict, the first pattern I used from this book was, of course, the balloon dress featured on the cover. In contrast to the bubble dress I drew myself, this one does not have a separate bodice and skirt.
When Norah was younger, I made the dress a couple of times in midweight cotton. This time, a chose for a very thin lawn cotton: Nippon by Nani Iro. The fabric is a bit of a mystery to me: it’s an atypical design and material for Nani Iro, and when I search for it on Google Images, the only pics I find are from the Etsy shop where I bought the fabric (Kicoli). I don’t know from what year it is, or from which line.
The important thing was cutting the pieces in such a way that the half circles would match on the sides of the dress. This was quite the challenge, as the half circles are irregular in shape.
And the best thing: the fabric looks just as good in wrinkles as it does ironed.
By the way, Norah really liked her new dress, even though the pic below might suggest otherwise.
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9 thoughts on “Balloon dress in lawn cotton

  1. Ahhha! I have made this dress too, (which was a little tricky for me to figure out in the Japanese) in a heavy cotton that I had dyed. As you mentioned, it turned out a little flat, or deflated rather. I love this light and airy version that you made with the Nani iro cotton fabric, so airy and modern. It's amazing how crucial fabric choice can be particularly for a pattern like this one.

  2. This is divine! What size did you make? I've just cut out the 100 for my almost 4 y/o and it looks really short. From what I read, this would be her correct size based on her age and measurements, but it seems small…

  3. Thanks Kelly! I used the smallest size and then made the pattern smaller and shorter, because Norah was only two when I made it. Generally, my experience is that The Japanese sizes overestimate rather than underestimate, though. Did you add seam allowance?

  4. Thanks for your reply! Actually I realized I forgot to add seam allowances right after I wrote that comment, but I think even with them added I'll need to size up. I'll trace out the larger size and hold it up to her to get an idea. Thankfully I only cut out one piece so have enough fabric to try again.

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