Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Stylish Dress Book

November 30, 2012

I’ve reviewed a Japanese sewing book that has been translated to English before (Drape Drape), here’s another one! The title of this book is Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori.

It’s not a very new book, but I only discovered it recently. In the bookstore, the English translated books are placed together with the English sewing books. Since I haven’t checked those out in ages, I guess I missed it when it first appeared on the shelves. 😛 The book is published by Tuttle, which is a name a I across often in Asian books that have been translated to English as well as language learning books. The book is cheaper than it’s Japanese original, and about half the price of an English sewing book, so it was really a no-brainer.

Here are some of the projects from the book. There are 26 projects in all.

A simple blouse made more interesting by layering it on a T-shirt.

Love the print on this fabric! And the styling of the whole outfit.

I really like this! The gathered details around the neckline and below the buttons. I even have the right fabric for it. This pattern made me decide to buy the book.

Another dress with a simple silhouette made stunning by the choice of lace fabric (lace fabric is not cheap though!).

Smock blouse in chiffon.

Love this dress! But it looks like you have to be ultra skinny to pull it off?

Pattern for flared sleeves.

Very sweet. I even the have the spotted voile needed for this one.

This is actually a knit blouse. Love the pin-tucks and how they co-ordinate it with another skirt underneath.

An example of the instructions. It’s pretty much similar to the Japanese book style where there is a main diagram with the corresponding steps indicated. The instructions for each step are listed down in order.

Seriously? If I only had this, it will take alot of imagination and re-reading to understand.

But luckily, there are diagrams! 🙂

No step by step photos, but diagrams are very clear. And oh, everything is in English which makes is way easier.

Comes with 3 sheets of patterns.

There are even additional notes on the pattern itself. I don’t recall extra explanations on the patterns itself for Japanese books. Possibly a helpful tool due to the difference in sewing symbols for English and Japanese patterns.

The patterns are enclosed in an envelope, you don’t have to tear them off!

All in all, a great book for those of you who have been keen to buy a Japanese sewing book but still find it hard to justify buying something in a foreign language. Even for me, it does make a big difference when I can just read it without having to consult with dictionaries. I am keeping this in mind for a sew-along next year if there are a substantial number of you with the same book. Will be more fun if we can sew-along to the same patterns. Let me know if you have this one!

Title : Stylish Dress Book
ISBN No. : 978-0-8048-4315-7
Author :Yoshiko Tsukiori
Publisher : Tuttle

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  • Reply Lori Kay December 1, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I have this book in the Japanese version. I have seen so many wonderful photos of some of these dresses made by members of the Japan Couture Addict web site. I made myself a version of E and I made N for my niece (it’s a halter top-style dress). And I want to make the T dress for myself someday.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books December 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

      I can’t wait to make the G blouse. Have the fabric, have the pattern, but don’t have the time… 🙁

  • Reply Gaye December 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I have the japanese version too. Woo.. I didn’t know that there was an English version! Sheez.. Think of all the saved from trying to figure out what to do… 😉

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books December 5, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Yup, I know what you mean. It’s like instantaneous understanding when everything is in English. But the original Japanese book was published in 2008, and the first English translation was published by Penguin Australia in 2011. So I guess 3 years is a long time to wait if you want the patterns badly!

  • Reply Sitha December 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    This book has a french version too… But I never tried to check it out. Now I see that some dresses are very interesting. Thank you for sharing the pics!

  • Reply Deb Mattson January 4, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Thank you for reviewing this! You talked me into buying it. I love your blog—thanks for all the information you provide.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Reply Miss Alice April 2, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Hello! I have the book in French. I have made the B blouse ( and am about to start the E dress. Any advice? I saw all the advice on the JCA forum but only after cutting out the pattern pieces :-/ We will have to improvise along the way!

  • Reply janet lee April 17, 2013 at 12:01 am

    I have this book in japanese. I would love to do a sew along, especially if you plan to sew the black sheer top.

  • Reply Jessica :) September 18, 2013 at 10:44 am

    `I have this book ordered. I would love to do a sew a long!!

  • Reply Charley October 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I love this book, to look at more than anything. I’ve had it a while but not used it until yesterday. I was seeing if I could find what anyone had said about the sizing. I’m making dress “E” and it’s coming up very small, I don’t think I’ll get it on. I was hoping it would be the same fit as the image as I’m making a size 8 and I thought the girl looked about that size too (maybe a little smaller) I hope there is a sew along soon xx

  • Reply Louise Simpson October 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I just bought this book today and am so excited to get back into sewing for myself, I haven’t been able to find patterns I liked or fabric but now I’ve found both. I was interested to hear if you have any hints on cutting out the patterns, I have sewed before but have never used theses types of patterns.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 29, 2013 at 9:08 am

      Hi Louise, The main difference I can think of is that Japanese sewing patterns usually do not come with seam allowances.
      So you first have to trace out the patterns based on the size you have selected and then add on the seam allowances that are listed on the cutting layout diagram See this diagram for example. Most of the time seam allowances, if not stated, are 1cm. The rest are specified in the cutting layout diagram.
      You can also refer to Step 3 of my blog post – which is actually for Japanese books but it deals with the size chart, finding the patterns and tracing as well. Happy sewing!

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    […] outfits — if you can sew — by following these patterns by Japanese author and designer Yoshiko Tsukiori, who gained a following with her first hit pattern book Stylish Dress […]

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    […] have reviewed a few Japanese Sewing Books that have been translated in English – Drape Drape and Stylish Dress Book. I’ve been asked to list all the books I know that have been translated to English, so here […]

  • Reply Amy Sclesky March 28, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Hello, just wanted to let you know that I have 3 of this authors books, all in English. Got them from JoAnn’s Fabric 1/2 off. Love this book particularly, but can’t find the pattern for Design N? It is the cute halter dress and I didn’t see any instructions to use one of the other patterns for that design. Any ideas?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books March 31, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Hi Amy, the pattern for N is on Pattern sheet 4. When you take the patterns out you will see three pieces Pattern sheet 1, 3 and 5. On the reverse side of sheet 3 is sheet 4! 🙂

  • Reply Hanna Anderton April 9, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Hi there – It’s my first time to your website and I want to say thank you for being here, your content is so helpful!

    I also wanted to ask if there is a pattern for the dress shown on the bottom right of the back cover of the book? I really like that dress but haven’t found an up close image of the pattern or dress on any of the reviews for this book online.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books April 9, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Hi Hanna,
      Yes there is, it’s pattern V – Tartan shirt dress. It is constructed like a shirt dress, with collars and a front button placket, except that the button placket is only for the top portion, and ends somewhere around the waistline instead of extending all the way down the front middle of the dress. Hope you can visualize what I’m describing 🙂

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