My First - But Definitely Not My Last - Hanami


Remember back in March when the Perfect Pattern Parcel offered a package of women's patterns from indie designers? Well, now it's the girl's turn! And I have to say that I was beyond excited to see what was included in this bundle. Now I should probably warn you that because I was a bit overly excited about the included patterns I made not one, not two, but three items from the bundle.  But rest easy, folks, because I'm only talking about one of them today - a Hanami dress that I made for O.

You've no doubt seen many versions of the Hanami dress floating around the internet (many of my favorite versions are made by Rachel) but what you probably don't know - unless you've already purchased the pattern - is that this is a fantastic pattern.  Yes, yes, the dress is gorgeous, but the really clear and well-written instructions are equally awe-inspiring as is the fact that there are a couple customizable options included in the pattern.  Excuse me while I give a big fist bump to An who is the lady responsible for writing such a fantastic pattern. 

** Fist bump **

Now let's talk about fabric selection for a little bit because while making this dress I realized that as much as I want to be the gal who has a simple, minimalist aesthetic I am so not that gal.  I mean look at this fabric?

It has raccoons all over it!  Racoons!  What four year old doesn't want a dress covered in raccoons (and what grown woman doesn't want to sew a dress covered in raccoons?).  I debated on what version of the dress I wanted to make but in the end I chose to include the peter pan collar and at the very, very last minute I decided to also include the flutter sleeves.  It was so last minute in fact that those were actually cut out for C's version of the dress so those are actually a size 2 sleeve stuck on a size 4 dress but I think it worked out just fine. 

I tried to cut the collar and sleeves so that they would have little raccoon eyes or faces on them and as a result O is now basically surrounded by little raccoons.  Fortunately, I happen to know that she loves this because I  often find her lifting up her arms and kissing the raccoon faces on her sleeves.

The bodice of the dress is just made out of a coordinating cotton quilting fabric and the lining of the bodice and collar is made from Anna Maria Horner voile left over from this project.

When I first started sewing I thought that hand sewing was the devil and I went out of  my way at every turn to avoid sewing anything by hand, but over the past year or so I've come to appreciate - if not love - some aspects of hand sewing, especially when it comes to making a blind hem on a dress like I did on this one.  Ah, blind hems, you do make me smile.

Want to make your own Hanami dress and pick up the other great patterns included in the Perfect Pattern Parcel or just find out more about this venture that includes a component of "pay what you choose" and donating to charity?  Check out the site - but just remember that the bundle is only available for a limited time.  And remember that if you pay at least $24 for the patterns you get a bonus pattern for free.  Woo-hoo!

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2


  1. i love it!!! of course, i'm a sucker for the raccoon fabric ;) thanks for sharing PPP! XO

  2. Never mind the kids, I totally want a dress for me in those raccoons!

  3. Gah! I love it, Carolyn! Every little girl would love the raccoons and the olive green mellows it out. It's perfect - and perfectly whimsical, too! Isn't this pattern the best?! Fist bump to An for sure! And hey thanks for saying you liked my Hanimis. That really means a lot to me. <3
    Have a happy weekend!

  4. Racoons!! So cute!! There is not a four-year-old girl in the world who wouldn't love this dress!

  5. That raccoon fabric...!!! So great.

  6. What a great Hanami! Love the fabric. It's such a great pattern!

  7. Oooooo such an awesome fabric combo! I've nearly bought that raccoon print a few times but now I might just have to. Love how you used it and the green is perfect too. Very nice, very nice.

  8. A great dress! I love the fabric. Sometimes I try to pick more subtle fabrics but somehow I'm drawn to things with a bit more fun and pop. And I agree about hand sewing- there's nothing as nice as hand sewing a hem or the bodice lining. If I find myself needing a new dress pattern I'll have to give this one a try. I've long admired Rachel's versions as well!

  9. Oh, I love this, Carolyn! Who needs minimalism, anyway? (Says the lady who can't ever get enough bright orange!) One word: Raccoons!!!!! O. looks absolutely delighted - I love the shot where she is trying to peek at her collar. :-)

    Can't wait to try the Hanami for Maggie - I want to do the crossbacked version. Next!

  10. I returned from a few days away with very little internet access, to find a bunch of gorgeous Hanami dresses!
    Your dress is so beautiful, Caroline! That fabric is just amazing, and I love how perfect those collar pieces and sleeves look. You're such a pro!
    Thank you for making my little pattern shine, and for all your kind comments about it. I am really looking forward to your upcoming Hanamis :-)


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