Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books in English Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Sweet Dress Book (Now in English)

August 27, 2013

Look what I found in my mailbox last week!

The very kind folks at Laurence King who sent me review copies of Stylish Dress Book and Feminine Wardrobe  sent me this book last week. A great mood-lifter for me given that I have been “bugged” by the flu bug for the past two weeks. The funniest thing is that I didn’t catch it, but everyone else at home took turns with it which meant lots of TLC had to be dished out, and lots of cooking and cleaning too.

Back to the book. This book was originally due for release in September on Amazon, but I just checked, and it’s already available for order !

This book contains patterns for 23 different outfits, based on variations of 6 simple patterns. I thought it meant less tracing, but the actual pattern pieces for each individual outfit is still different and will have to be traced out separately. Let’s have a look!

 This is the same top as the one on the cover. It has an interesting ribbon tie back detail.

 The same pattern as A but with modified sleeves and ruffle details. The front of the neck is also made with ruffles instead of pleats. It is a totally different blouse despite originating from the same pattern isn’t it?

 I really like this cape collar blouse which will be really lovely in a soft, slightly sheer and flowy fabric. Maybe Liberty. If only I can bear to splurge on it.

 Same pattern (II) as the cape collar blouse!

 Another blouse using pattern II. Lots of ruffly details on this one.

 Pattern III is more of a straight cut pattern design. The design above includes a button placket, and can be worn either front to back, or back to front.

The more common kimono tunic using pattern III.

Pattern IV is quite a simple flare pants pattern, but can be modified to produce a short playsuit or a long jumpsuit like this one!

This tie-neck camisole uses a raglan sleeve pattern (Pattern V) and is really pretty. I am thinking seriously of making this one but without the organza layer.

Here’s one outfit made with the same pattern but with sleeves.

I really had to say something about this one. I didn’t like it at first glance, but when looking at the how-to-make section, I realized it was a sheer georgette fabric (in black) paired with a floral fabric for a sweetheart bodice dress. The pattern looks pretty enough but I think the main problem lies with the high waistline. It looks too wide and should be taken in a little bit more? Or is it due to the print or the weight of the fabric? It looks a little frumpy here doesn’t it?

Another pretty blouse using Pattern VI. This fabric, I like 🙂

 Really cute outfit. The patterns for the entire dress + ribbon tie + petticoat with hem ruffle are included.

A very pretty bell-sleeve coat dress, also using pattern VI.

Now for some important information. The patterns in the book are meant for the following sizes. XS-L. Units are mainly in inches, with cm equivalents in brackets. 

 This book also includes 4 pages of Basic sewing techniques, with step by step photographs to guide you along.

Just a small excerpt from the sewing techniques section so that you can see what the instructions are like.

The instructions include

  • Marking up a pattern piece
  • Threefold and double fold hem
  • Making bias binding
  • Using bias binding to add piping
  • Using bias binding to create a facing-like finish

All the pattern how-to-makes look like this. Pretty standard, with instructions, cutting layout, main diagram with steps, and individual diagrams for each step. But some of the patterns, like the one below, has step by step photographs as part of the instructions.

A closeup look at one of the photographs.

 A sample sewing diagram.

There are 2 large size pattern sheets with a plastic envelope for storage. Really love how all the English translated books have this, I am always getting my Japanese ones mixed up because I just insert them between the pages and they tend to slide out easily.


A bonus item! Cupcakes recipe!

Title : Sweet Dress Book
Author :Yoshiko Tsukiori
ISBN : 978-1780671086
Publisher : Laurence King
Buy now from : Amazon

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  • Reply Maria August 27, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I just got this in the mail last week! 🙂

  • Reply Jessica :) September 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I’m Dying for my first Japanese sewing book to get here, and if all goes to plan, this will be my next one! Thanks so much for you fantastic reviews! They really help!

  • Reply Hippo birdy to me… | Blogless Anna... September 26, 2013 at 6:45 am

    […] the recently-released Sweet Dress Book (in English) by Yoshiko Tsukiori (comprehensive book review here) and I’d like to give you all the chance to win […]

  • Reply YM November 1, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Hi Yifarn,
    I am tempted to purchase this book as I’ve got a coupon with but will like to ask for your opinion on this:
    Being a novice seamstress, I’ll like to ask if you think the tie-back tunic top on the cover can be modified into a normal blouse with a normal back?
    If yes, I am so going to buy this book 🙂

  • Reply Brooke January 12, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Hmmm I only have tuttle books to date, I am surprised that the sizing in this is so small. I can usually fit into a Tuttle sz 14 to 16 but the measurements for the largest size in this book aren’t even as big as the Tuttle sz 14, I don’t think! Is this your experience or am I missing something?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 16, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      I did a quick comparison with the Stylish Dress Book from Tuttle and you are right. Tuttle sizes go up to 16, while two of my Laurence King books go up to size L (which, based on the body measurements, corresponds to size 12 in Tuttle).

  • Reply Japanese Sewing Books in English » Japanese Sewing, Pattern, Craft Books and Fabrics January 17, 2015 at 9:52 am

    […] Sweet Dress Book: 23 Dresses of Pattern Arrangement Yoshiko TsukioriRead my review here […]

  • Reply Blogless Anna - Hippo birdy to me... November 27, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    […] the recently-released Sweet Dress Book (in English) by Yoshiko Tsukiori (comprehensive book review here) and I’d like to give you all the chance to win […]

  • Reply Virginia February 24, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Just got this book and I am wondering if you could help me with a question.

    I want to make the straight cut pattern III item ” I” then I notice I cannot find the straight cut pattern on the sheet at the back of the book. There’s only a pattern for sleeves but not body. Am I missing something? Or perhaps have not read the instructions correctly?

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