Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Mens Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Book of Men’s Shirts

October 7, 2013

This is the first book I’ve ever bought on sewing Men’s shirts! And definitely my first book review on this subject.

I was first drawn to this book after receiving a sewing question from Happy Sew Lucky on instagram. I have actually seen this book many times but never thought it could be possible to make a Men’s shirt on my own. After seeing pictures of her shirt in progress, I was inspired to get my own book and maybe… just maybe, I will make one for the husband (who sometimes read my blog by the way so I can’t say too much)

The book includes 19 patterns with both formal and casual shirts’ patterns included.

Regular collar white shirt

Semi wide spread collar white shirt

Due bottoni collar shirt – this is supposed to be a casual suit, not for wearing with suits.

Wing collar formal shirt

Round collar cleric shirt

Regular collar casual shirt

One-up collar short sleeve shirt


Stand collar tuck shirt

Military shirt

Shirt with zippered pockets.

If you, are like me, unable to tell the minute differences between the different types of collars and cuffs, then this book will be very useful for you. Interspersed between the various pictures of the shirts are these pages that breakdown the details of a shirt, for example the different types of collars, cuffs, even the different types of fabric and buttons you can use.

The descriptive text is in Japanese but the main English terms are translated and that was enough for me.  There are also sections on bleaching, ironing, dyeing, etc but these are mostly text and not much pictures so I did not show them here.

Various types of cloth suitable for making shirts.

The How-to-make section starts with a scary flow chart. It’s pretty mind boggling but in a nutshell, the purpose is to list down all the steps involved in making a shirt.  I’ll just stick to the individual pattern instructions for now and not try to get confused by this diagram. 🙂

So here’s an example of a how-to-make. On the left column near the binding you can see the instructions in point form. Pretty brief instructions, as most of the instructions are detailed in diagrams. There is only 1 set of full instructions which is for pattern 1 – regular collar shirt. I guess this is because most of the steps in making a shirt are pretty similar so there is no need to repeat the steps in all of the patterns. The rest of the patterns do not have a full set of instructions but wherever there is a variation from the standard shirt instructions, the diagrams of the additional steps will be included.

Close up of one of the diagrams.

2 large pattern sheets included.

Before I forget, the size chart!

The size chart table is divided into two sections.
The first three rows of measurements refer to nude measurements (meaning actual body measurements) and they are : height, chest around, waist.
The bottom 5 rows refer to garment measurements: neck around , sleeve length (from neck to shoulder to wrist), shoulder width, chest around, wrist around.

Frankly speaking, it looks like a massive project. Even the number of patterns to be traced per shirt is daunting. I will probably try one of the casual shirts first but before that, I will need to source for the right type of fabric. Does that sound like an excuse not to start? ;P

Title : 男のシャツの本 Book of Men’s Shirts
Author : 嶋崎隆一郎 Ryuichiro Shimazaki
ISBN : 978-4-579-11110-7

Otoko no Shirts no Hon / Shimazaki RyuichiroBuy now from cdjapan

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  • Reply Lauren Dahl October 8, 2013 at 1:13 am

    It does look like a bit of an undertaking, but wow, those shirts are heavenly! I would love to get my hands on a copy of this to try some casual shirts for my husband!

  • Reply Lightning McStitch October 8, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I can’t imagine sewing a men’s shirt (although I’ve made my 5 year old son a few!) but thanks for showing this book. It’s beautiful in itself and I’d like to have it for that reason alone. The English words for fabric types would be helpful to have for other Japanese sewing projects too!

  • Reply Jen October 8, 2013 at 9:32 am

    This looks really nice and it is great to see a book on sewing men’s fashions. Thank you for the review!

  • Reply Visitor October 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    There appears to be a French edition (I can read French). Oddly, it appears to feature 26, not 19 shirts. From the cover, it appears to be the same book.

  • Reply Zara November 2, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks for this excellent book review. I’m thinking about buying this book too. What do you think of the sizing? This is the first time I’ve seen the actual measurements for the shirts in the book. They seem a little on the small side, I might have to put my man on a diet

    • Reply Berene April 24, 2014 at 1:08 am

      Hi Zara
      I’m on my third shirt from this book and although the instructions are somewhat minimalistic, I love the actual patterns. My husband is usually a large but in this book I make the XL sizes and they fit.
      Good luck! Berene

  • Reply Berene April 24, 2014 at 1:17 am

    I just found this post! Sorry that I missed it when you wrote it. And thanks for the link!

    As I think you have seen on Instagram I’m on my third shirt. I LOVE the beautifully designed shirts in this book. Not shapeless or boring like most men’s shirts patterns. I only wish that it was available in English. I managed to succeed in the shirts I have made so far by using my previous shirt making experience, and by asking for the odd translation from you and other Japanese friends. However I’d say for anyone who does not speak Japanese and has never sewn shirts, in particular collars, that these patterns would be a tricky projects! Not only can you not read the instructions but they limit quite a few steps assuming that you know what you’re doing. If you have done some shirt sewing before though, you can bumble through it and figure it out like I have done, and the results are awesome!

  • Reply Michel des Tetons June 28, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I have ordered the French Version, not that my French is fluent but vastly better than my Japanese. I’ve made several shirts so I’m in hopes I can follow the steps. The designs look fabulous. I’ll keep you posted!

  • Reply Book Review – Mens Wear » Japanese Sewing, Pattern, Craft Books and Fabrics February 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

    […] ONE book, since according to my DH’s wardrobe, all they need are shirts, pants (for more formal occasions), t-shirts and shorts (for casual occasions). That’s it! Finally, someone (Nihon-Vogue) did […]

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