Make, Jane, make!: Boys' Jinbei: For two adorable little friends


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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Boys' Jinbei: For two adorable little friends

Sewing for boys... always a challenge. Especially when you can buy t-shirts, dress shirts and shorts for relatively cheap if you are shopping during sale periods. Lots of people ask me if I make many of the clothes for my boys - the truth is that I don't. I really don't see the point when I can buy them a shirt or pants for under $5 during clearance sales.

However, I do love sewing those little things that boys will wear for special occasions that don't seem to come in as many styles and varieties as girls' clothing. Like bowties, suit jackets, hats, etc. When I get the photos, I'll write a post about my boys' outfits for my brother's wedding. In this particular instance, I wanted to make a nice gift for a two brothers (three and one years old) that could be worn during the summer Japanese festivals... they being of Japanese heritage :)

I know that yukata and jinbei can be bought in our area with relative ease, but the idea of trying my hand at sewing a couple using some very Westernized fabric seemed like a good cause for starting from scratch. As with most boys their age, these two love vehicles of all kinds. I found some Thomas the Tank Engine fabric at Fabricland that had a smallish repetitive design that I hoped would translate well into a child's top and bottom and started to research.

Not having any examples at home or any working idea of how to make one, I turned to Google. (Google Is Your Friend) Most of the pictures and patterns I found were in Japanese, but I found a site that had measurements for a child's jinbei around the size I needed. The construction seemed simple enough and the measurements were clearly marked, so I set to work.

The finished product looks like the real thing to my inexperienced eyes. I also made some shorts to complete the ensemble.

The proof will be in the pudding when the brothers actually try them on. I hope not too many alterations are needed!

***UPDATE: The outfits were sized correctly and caused quite some excitement (boys and their trains :). But did anyone else notice the un-hemmed sleeves on the larger jinbei in the above picture??? Ooops! Mommy brain strikes again!


  1. I would love to see a tutorial for this! I bought my 3 year old one of these at the thrift store and he wants to wear it always! It looks adorable but I agree, I wanted to make some with fabric that is more his style. I could copy the old one, but I'm not a particularly talented seamstress. All the patterns I find online are in Japanese!

    1. Hi Annaneve, Thanks for visiting. I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus lately... But finding myself on maternity leave again, I think I'll be back in the blogosphere soon! I'll definitely put a Jinbei tutorial on my list as I'm overdue to make more.

      In the meantime, I see that my old link had been moved... But I found the new link to the pdf that I originally used to make these:

      Hope it helps!