Sew Geeky: Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli, you guys, STUDIO GHIBLI!


I have to be completely honest, just a few months ago I knew nothing about Studio Ghibli.  After noticing Totoros popping up all over the internet, and a bookstore that I frequent, I knew I had to find out what all the fuss was about.  The first Ghibli movie that my family watched was My Neighbor Totoro.  We were not disappointed.  At all.  (For those of you who aren’t Ghibli followers, our favorites are My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo.)

While I was stoked about this theme, my brain has been on super stress mode this month, so I was totally blocked about where I wanted to go with it.  When I told Cameron about it, he immediately proclaimed, “I want to be a big Totoro!”.  So, that was the plan.  I even got as far as buying a sweater to refashion.  But, then I changed my mind, I knew that if I made the sweater I planned, he would wear it…and often.  Since we are still hitting temps of over 130F, I knew that wasn’t going to be the best bet for now.

I kept thinking…and thinking…and thinking.  And none of my ideas were getting me anywhere…so I stopped thinking.  And that’s when the idea of Kiki’s dress came along.  I had been wanting to sew up a Lady Skater anyway, so this was the perfect opportunity.

Because I waited so long to sew up the dress I didn’t really plan out a photoshoot.  So, at 6am, I was up on my roof trying to take pictures.  It was a mess. I am not a fashion blogger.  I’ll take selfies all day, but when I have to put my whole body in front of the camera…it’s awkward.

Studio Ghibli 1 © American Kat 2014Here’s the deal with Kiki’s Lady Skater:
-I need to do a little tweaking on the sizing.  For a first sew, I think it went really well, and the more I wear it the more comfortable I feel in it.  But, it’s still a little on the tight side for my personal preference…also the preference of the entire country I live in.
-Although I adore the waistline (I mean, hello, I haven’t had an actual waistline in a couple years now), the skirt skims my love handles terribly.  I camouflaged this problem by adding some pockets into the skirt seams.
-A simple LBD made perfect sense, but I wanted to relate a bit more to Kiki, so I made a little patchwork Jiji.

Gratuitous hair picture because I am finally almost 100% happy with the color:

Ignore all the creepiness involved here and just look at the pastel goodness of my hair.

Ignore all the creepiness involved here and just look at the pastel goodness of my hair.

And since I wasn’t very happy with my pictures, I decided to pass the buck to Alana.  In a kind of homage to Kiki wearing the dress that was handed down from generation to generation, I let Alana borrow my dress for a little bit of fun.  Ya’ll.  It was the best idea I have had in ages.

Studio Ghibli 4  © American Kat 2014
I almost didn’t even share the pictures of me in the dress because she rocks the heck out of it.  All I did was pull the neckline wayyyyyyy up and safety-pin it.  Then I got her to hold the bodice up and I wrapped a scrap of knit around her waist…it made the whole bodice look awesomely blousey.

Studio Ghibli 5  © American Kat 2014
The aforementioned patchwork Jiji:

Studio Ghibli 6  © American Kat 2014Just because she is so stinking cute…And Johnny Depp.

Studio Ghibli 7  © American Kat 2014Although I was feeling inferior this go around (seriously, everyone made amazing looks this month), I am pretty happy that I ended up with a dress that I can just throw on and go, and Alana can wear with almost as little effort.

Studio Ghibli teaser


Click each picture below to check out the stars of this episode of Sew Geeky!

Totoro by Rae Gun Ramblings Nausicaa by Sew Chibi Princess Mononoke by Sew Chibi Calcifer, Howl's Moving Castle by Sew Chibi Howl's Moving Castle by Robutton Jiji, Kiki's Delivery Service by You and Mie Totoro & Princess Mononoke by Amelie & Atticus Jiji, Kiki's Delivery Service by Sew in Love Chihiro/Sen, Spirited Away by Max California Totoro by Casa Crafty Kiki's Delivery Service by American Kat Totoro by The Life of a Compulsive Crafter Sew Geeky Episode 6: Studio Ghibli Image Map

signature American Kat 2013

About americankat

I am an American expat living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Most of my time is spent creating, trying to keep my two kids occupied, and trying to satiate my wanderlust. is where I (sporadically) share these adventures.
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5 Responses to Sew Geeky: Studio Ghibli

  1. I love the dresses but more than the dresses is you both are beautiful and you both rock the dresses. can’t wait until you get home and you can help me make some outfits for me.

  2. Katie says:

    It looks beautiful and I love the jiji detail!

  3. sewchibi says:

    You both look so gorgeous in it!!! I love that you thought of putting it on Alana and what a kick ass place for pictures! Thank you for sewing along with us again, lady!!!

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