When my friend’s 5 year old son started kindergarten, she asked me a favour. She asked if I could sew a kindergarten starter pack. It seemed like a fun little project to do so I said yes without realising how many things I had committed to making.
photo of Japanese kindergarten students at a sports day event
What to make?
In Japan when children start kindergarten, parents are required to sew a bunch of things for their child(ren). You can simply go and buy these items from the store, but there is an expectation to make these yourself because it shows you care and love your child. I assumed it would be a couple of things but I ended up making 10 individual items.
Depending on the kindergarten what is required may vary. This is the list I was given with strict measurement instructions.
This list involved:
– long sleeve smock
– short sleeve smock
– book bag
– change of clothes bag
– shoes bag
– lunch box bag
– cup bag
– plate bag
Sewing the smock
Firstly I made the long and short sleeve smock. Since I didn’t go to school in Japan I wasn’t quite sure what these were used for. I found out that this acts like an apron. Children are required to wear this for the entire time they are at the kindergarten so that they don’t get their uniform or clothes dirty.
So many bags!!
There were a total of 6 bags required for this kindergarten. It was interesting that everything needed a bag. The cup, plate, change of clothes, shoes, books and lunch box all had their individual bags. I laughed when I saw that the cup needed a bag.
When I finished sewing everything I realised what a huge project this was. I can imagine some parents finding it very difficult if they are not familiar with the sewing machine.
Even though it took a long time to get this all together, I ended up with one cute happy customer. His smile made it all worth it.