Sew Geeky Studio Ghibli! Nausicaä! Calcifer! Forest Spirit!

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.  And while I did get the pattern for free, all the opinions are completely my own.

Hello Hello Hello!  

It's the 25th, so that means only one thing:  It's Sew Geeky time!  This month is a theme that is dear to me.  

Studio Ghibli is the cornerstone of our movie collection at home.  For those of you wondering what the heck I'm talking about, Studio Ghibli is basically Japanese Disney, and the creator of most of the movies is a man by the name of Hayao Miyazaki.  A virtuoso of animation and storytelling, Miyazaki's movies are, in a word, e n c h a n t i n g. 

The focus of the movies are scarcely about a good guy versus a bad guy.  Even the antagonists have either a good side too or they have relatable motives.  The imagery is a feast for the eyes.  The characters have profound struggles.  Take for instance Ponyo.  Ponyo is based off of the Little Mermaid.  Analyzing the two side by side, the Little Mermaid movie has a young woman who is hell-bent on being with a human.  King Triton has such strong, destructive feelings about this. Then there's Ursula, the evil witch octopus.  Ponyo is about a little fish that comes from magical parents that washes up to a little boy and they form a friendship.

The focus is on that; not on the idea of finding your one true love. And her father is just worried about her safety.

The plot mostly focuses on the imbalance between the land and the sea because of her transformation.

In Disney, there's always good versus evil; it's black and white, with very little gray.  With Miyazaki films, there's a constant ebb and flow between the characters and sometimes there isn't even a bad guy!  How about that!  You don't need to have a bad guy to make your film good! 

My Neighbor Totoro in particular: super popular; no bad guy.  Just saying, for kids movies, I'm a Miyazaki girl all the way.  Yes, of course I still love the Disney films, I grew up on them!  But I prefer Studio Ghibli.  And I love that my children will have a choice in brilliant animated features that I didn't really have.  Solid, wholesome and breathtaking; what more could you want for your kiddos? 

But for now, let’s talk about some clothes!

I told myself that I wouldn’t go over the top; that I want to keep Sew Geeky a little more casual so that I don’t burn myself out trying to outdo myself every month. It’s exhausting! It also makes me struggle to make other things; the essential things.


I could not go small. I just couldn’t! Ugh, I am my own worst enemy, I know! Narrowing it down was incredibly hard. I have the urge to STUDIO GHIBLI ALL THE THINGS! I mean for Halloween the past two years, Sephira was Ponyo and Totoro. Jon was Fujimoto to her Ponyo and I made her a soot sprite for Project Run and Play years ago too! Making this month Studio Ghibli month was not just on a whim.

Azriella, when asked what she wanted her birthday dress to be this year, proclaimed proudly and without hesitation:

“Nausicaä!” She wanted to be her so bad that when I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween she said Nausicaä!

Let’s start with the birthday girl shall we?!

Azriella’s outfit had to be made immediately following the Marvel vs DC episode because her birthday was the next week.

Usually I take a break from sewing so that I can focus on family for a couple weeks but this month couldn’t be helped!


Patterns used:

·Tunic:{affiliate link} Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo in size 18month/2t

·Aviator hat: Trapper Hat by See Kate Sew

·Tetu: My Little Pony Beanbag plushie by Voodoo Tiki

·Belt bag: Reversible Messenger Bag Tutorial by Crazy Little Projects

·Spats: self-drafted

· Leggings: self-drafted

To modify the looks I added a v-neck Nehru to the Skater Dress with tab details.

I flared out the sleeves to gather them at the bottom.

The length worked out well because I made it according to the 18m/2t sizing so it looks more tunic length and it still fits in the chest because she’s tiny.

I also set in some unorthodox “epaulettes” to the shoulders so that I could add a buttonhole to them to hold Tetu in place.

The leggings are straight-forward white leggings and so are the spats.

For the aviator hat, I eliminated the front flap and I elongated the sides, making them overlap so as to look like Nausicaä’s hat.

I also added copper vinyl in brown to resemble the goggle feature of her hat.

Tetu was a bit tricky to find the right eyes but I came pretty close.

The markings I drew on using a brown fabric marker and I added a little button to the belly so he could be buttoned on to stay in place.

The belt bag was hardly modified other than I bought a length of webbing and then I put in a buckle.

Even though Nausicaä’s bag doesn’t have the emblem on it like I appliqued, it was requested that I add it because Azriella chose the outfit that didn’t have the little details as such.

And that’s it!

I can’t believe my baby is 7 years old!

I just wish she could stay small forever sometimes!


Patterns used:

·Flame hat: Pixie hat by Sew Liberated size 6-12m

·Flame dress: Sweater dress size 9-12m by brindille and twig

Immediately I knew I had to make Akira Calcifer.

For those who don’t know, Calcifer is the flame spirit that powers Howl’s Moving Castle.

The story behind the outfit idea?

Well, I bought this fabric for Halloween this year, not expecting it to be neon orange. I was looking for auburn, but that’s a story for another time. I was staring at it and it dawned on me that, if the nap was turned up towards her face, it would resemble the licks of a flame!

It was no question what pattern I wanted to use for this: my favorite baby sweater pattern that is by brindille and twig. I’ve made at least five of these for Akira. It’s straightforward and adorable.

And guess what?!

We’re having a giveaway for a copy of the pattern which ranges in size from 0-6m to 6 years old!

We had a silly time trying to photograph a baby that can’t really sit up on her own so I made Jon put on his Kodama shirt (cuz Studio Ghibli) and made him my baby holder prop!

He’s a good prop.

 Their faces are hysterical!

I kept telling Akira to say, “SHE LIKES MY SPARK!” just the way Billy Crystal does in the movie but she couldn’t because she’s six months old.


I had her sit in a big pot that we had, in front of one of our fireplaces because at one point in the movie, Sophie (the main character) cleans out the fireplace and puts him in a bucket with a stick to hold his flame to while she cleans.

Akira really loved the stick part, hahahhah.

 A little too much at times.

Modeling, like. a. boss.

 She is such a little cutie in this outfit!!!!


Forest Spirit/Nightwalker

(images for reference)

Patterns used:

Forest Spirit

Face and Body/Dress: The Sunki Dress by {affiliate linkFiggy’s as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel

Forest Spirit Legs/Pants: Hosh Pants by EmmyLouBee Patterns

Nightwalker Cape: {affiliate linkElm Poncho by Petit á Petit for Willow & Co.

So this one took some thought.

I knew Azriella had chosen her character already, Akira needed something simple, and Sephira had already been a couple of characters already, so I needed to really bring it for Sephira’s outfit.

After a while, the ideas started to transform and I felt like a mad scientist concocting my vision. Princess Mononoke is very dear to me. When I was planning my tattoo in honor of Sephira for my back, I choose a scene from the movie where San (princess Mononoke) is riding on the back of her wolf-god mother, Moro, with all the little kodama in the trees and the wolf siblings and I even snuck in the Forest Spirit in there as well!

It’s not finished yet since I got pregnant with Akira right after I got started on the tattoo.

I was asked to be a part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel by Jill of Made with Moxie (which I'll be posting about on the 3rd). When I learned that the Sunki dress was a part of it I was set on using it for my Forest Spirit.

It was kismet.

I made it in the 18m/2T sizing, modifying it to have a tapered fur panel like the neck of the Forest Spirit and then pieced together broadcloths for the pocket backs, adding in piping around the pocket edge. The dress is otherwise made in a taupe linen which if you know me is pretty unheard of. BUT, I feel justified in the colors and textures that I incorporated to create the dress.

Sephira wanted to wear it first thing in the morning after taking pictures so I consider that a win!

The pants are my most go-to pattern of all time, the Hosh pants.

What I did to them this time was I made them in a copper vinyl for two reasons: One, the legs are a different color than the body. And two, well, because copper vinyl!

I mean it even has stretch to it!

Soon after finding the copper fabric, I found this floral bottom-weight fabric that looks just like the part when the Forest Spirit is walking through the woods and the ferns and flowers bud and bloom from his hooves with each step.

I pieced it together to mimic that scene which is so beautiful to me.

Her cape was a bit of a challenge.

My original idea was to use this navy broadcloth I have gads of, bleach design it, and then dye the whole thing in aqua.

While it was coming out well, I found myself at the fabric store, getting lining fabric for Akira’s sweater dress so that it was comfy, and I found the most perfect blue silk that reminded me exactly of the Nightwalker (which is what the Forest Spirit turns into during the night). I decided the tools needed to create the faux Batik look I was going to attempt making was going to be about the same as this silk fabric. I bought some yardage of clear vinyl (which I used a heavier gauge than I maybe should have but I can live with that) and I basted every piece of the Elm pattern together, vinyl to silk.

Then I lined it in a cozy aqua flannel. 

The wearable nod to the Nightwalker really pleases me and Sephira is stoked to have a rain poncho!

 It even started raining, just a little during the shoot!

I found this beautiful pond that is right next to our house that was so magical.

We will be coming back here a lot for photo taking!

So there you have it!

My heart, my Studio Ghibli.

We have a great line up of guests that joined in with us that are posting with us throughout the week!

Here’s a list of today’s guest posts and I’ll update this page and the Sew Geeky page as new guests reveal their creations! As always, following us on Facebook is the best way to know what is going on in the world of Sew Geeky!

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

coming soon:

Blommin Where We're Planted

paisley roots


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Next Month is Halloween!!!! So get ready to plan for SEW GEEKY’S GEEK SPECTACULAIRE!

It’s a theme which means make whatever you want, in any capacity or level of geekiness! All ideas about creating things inspired by the things you love the most welcome! Made something for a theme that has long since passed? Share it with us for the GEEK SPECTACULAIRE! Perfect for all that Halloween sewing!

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Take care all!!!


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