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Book Review – Anytime Dresses

September 4, 2013

Back to reviewing Japanese Sewing Books in Japanese!

Today’s book is いつでもワンピース which means (at) anytime dresses.  The book is by 成田 邦子 and it’s “quite” a new book, given that it was only released 30th June this year. It was one of the few books (seriously!) bought during my Osaka trip in June, but I have yet to look through it in detail. Too many books, too little time!

There are 22 projects to make in this book for sizes 7,9,11,13 (detailed measurements in size chart below). Let’s take a look at some of my favourite pieces.

 This is a shirt tunic with very pretty pleats in the front and back. This pattern comes in 3 variations with different collar designs (Peter Pan, pointed, stand collar) and finished lengths (dress/tunic/blouse).

Stand collar blouse – this is the same pleated bodice as the photo above but with a stand collar. I haven’t made blouses for a while now, and only for my kids. But recently I have been itching to do sew something more complicated for myself to enjoy. This goes into the sewing list!

Interesting skirt detail!

 This is a raglan sleeve blouse. The blouse in the picture was made using a cotton lace fabric, so it’s nice and airy for layering! Can you tell that this blouse is a variation of the pattern on the front cover?

This is a simple dress style with a bodice+gathered skirtand cap sleeves. A versatile pattern that I think can be used over and over again with different fabric/print combinations. Why can’t I find such fabrics with nice lace borders like this!

 I really like this dress, well it actually looks like a dress I will make for my kids, so I am wondering if it will be too cutesy for me to wear, but I really love it!

A square neck dress with ribbon tie back and a gathered hemline.

This Drape dress is made using compressed wool for the cooler months, but it will be a great pattern for making a cover-up for the beach in a light fabric as well isn’t it?

Workmen style tunic with lots of pockets. Not fond of the sweat pants she paired it with though. Lol.

 As mentioned earlier, the sizes included are 7,9,11 and 13. There is even space in the table for you to enter your own measurements! (私 watashi in the last column means I/myself)
For your reference the values in the left hand column are in the order of Bust/hip/length(dress length from back neck point)/height. There is also a diagram to indicate the correct positions on the body to take the measurements listed in the table.

This book does not include any basic sewing tips pages or photographs. There is an introduction page outlining some important points such as the size chart and measurements, then it jumps straight into the how-to-make for each of the patterns. A typical pattern how-to-make looks like this (pic above).

 Close up on the sewing instructions in point form, with the finished diagram indicating the order of steps.

 Another close up of the diagrams used in the book.

2 sheets of actual size pattern sheets are included.

Despite the fact that there are no sewing tips/instructions on basic techniques, there are some projects that are quite simple and manageable even for the beginner. There are also more complicated projects such as the pleated blouses/dresses with collars and button plackets. So, something for everyone?

Title : いつでもワンピース
Author : Kuniko Murakami
ISBN : 978-4-579-11448-1
Publisher : Bunka Publishing Bureau

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  • Reply Norah Ho September 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I bought this book a while ago from Kinokuniya and like it very much. It’s still interesting to know other people’s opinions about the same book though 🙂 An interesting detail in this book’s styling is that there always exists a hint of red in every photo shot. It could come from the model’s top, socks, shoes (even shoelaces!), gloves, print on the fabrics, necklace… If there are some photos where it seems that there is no red, just look closely, it comes from her lips and her nail polish. Interesting, right? 🙂 Thank you for the review, Yifarn!

  • Reply janet lee September 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    thank you for your review! I’ve been itching to explore this book since finding it online. I love all the whimsical illustrations and designs. unfortunately, I think this book isn’t for me, I don’t wear so many dresses. I’ll save my money for the next sewing book!

  • Reply angela bell September 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I love some of these but have yet to get started on the books already bought!
    New sewing room is not finished yet but winter is coming and that always gets me in the mood to sew.Thanks for your great posts.

  • Reply EmSewCrazy September 5, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Thank you for another lovely review. I really like that wool dress and the dress on the front cover.
    You do such a great job at this that I wanted to get the word out there and passed on the Liebster award to you. No pressure if its not something you want to do but the details are here:
    Keep up the great work!

  • Reply laura September 26, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    do you think we still can find this book?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books September 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      I did a quick search. It’s no longer available on cdjapan but it’s available on Amazon. Seems to be used copies though. (aff link)
      On they are also selling used.

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