Book Reviews Girls Sewing Patterns Japanese Sewing Books in English

Girly Style Wardrobe – Now in English

January 17, 2015


Yay! Another book by Yoshiko Tsukiori has been translated to English by Laurence King. This time it’s for the girls. We’ve seen many of her adult sewing books being translated to English, but Yoshiko Tsukiori has authored many books for girls as well. I was so excited to hear that this was translated to English and even more excited when Laurence King sent me a copy for review. This particular book was one of the first books I bought when I first started sewing for my girls. It was first published in 2007 which is like 7 years ago??!! Brings back lots of memories….

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The original Japanese version on the right.

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The English edition has remained true to the original, with the addition of the following two pages below (located at the back of the book)

I like this better because you can tell at a glance, what patterns are included in this book.

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As stated on the front cover, there are 28 patterns for  girls’ sizes 100cm-140cm

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As with all translated versions, the main measurements are in inches and the cm equivalents in brackets. The size chart even has a US/UK size guide chart which is a pretty useful estimate if you are sewing for someone else as a gift and can’t get hold the actual body measurements without spoiling the surprise.

Now let’s take a look at the garments you can make in this book. Before we start I must confess that I bought the book because I loved the photography and prop styling in this book! You can hardly tell this book was first published in 2007. Many of the garments were also made using Liberty prints and you can see how well both the pattern designs as well as the fabrics themselves have stood up to the test of time.

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a – tunic with patch pockets
The shoulder straps are actually separate straps (like rabbit ears) tied to form bows.

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b – box pleat tunic
The box pleat adds to the roominess of the garment, making it both easy and comfortable to wear. The neckline is finished with a pretty ribbon bow tie.

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c – box-pleat dress
This is the longer dress version of the box-pleat tunic, and this particular dress is made in lightweight wool. As the armholes and neckhole is pretty roomy, this serves as a great layer-on dress for cold winter days.

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d – bolero and skirt (skirt is shown on top in the picture below)
I just love the pretty bolero with a ribbon tie (she was really into ribbon ties then wasn’t she?) and also the girly ruffles on the flared sleeves.
The skirt features tucks in the front and a elastic waistband in the back for easy wearing. The contrast bias is made with gingham fabric.

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e – layered skirt.
This skirt is pretty much the same as the skirt in d, but there is an additional layer below, made with the same floral fabric used for the waistband and pocket bias binding.

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f – Square neck blouse with pin-tucks.
This is a really sweet blouse with pin-tucks on the front of the blouse. The book recommended the use of striped fabric to make it easier for folding the pin-tucks. If you have ever made pin-tucks, you will know how difficult it is to be completely precise, so yes using a striped fabric does make it much easier. But you can make this in solid fabric as well. This will make a really sweet and versatile piece in a white cotton fabric don’t you think?

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g – camisole.
Something cool and easy to wear for warmer days. Hey, ribbon ties again! 🙂 I do love the fabric combination don’t you? This top is pretty and girly with the gingham ribbon ties and ruffles at the hem.

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h- A-line dress
A simple A-line dress is a staple piece in every girl’s wardrobe. The cap sleeves allow lots of room for movement and will be lovely for a play dress. One of those dresses that your girls will wear over and over again since it is so comfortable. Oh, and guess what? The back closes with a ribbon tie!

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i – cap-sleeve dress
Another wardrobe staple as well as a pattern staple. I must have made more than a dozen of these bodice+skirt dresses in both sleeveless and sleeved versions. This version is with cap sleeves. With a basic pattern like this, you can create a casual or formal look depending on your choice of fabric.  In the example above (in Liberty print no less), the dress is jazzed up with a lace band to the yoke.

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j – winter dress
A long sleeve version of the cap sleeve dress. Similar in construction except for material (this version is using lightweight wool), and the elastic cuffs giving it a nice puff sleeve look. This will look gorgeous in a more formal fabric, and can definitely be adapted to a formal occasion dress for a little girl!

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k – bell sleeve blouse
Similar to a peasant blouse, this is another easy to wear top that your little girl will love. The above is made in lightweight wool and will be perfect for cold weather. But if you use a cotton lawn or linen, it will be perfect for summer days as well. The back is enclosed using loops and buttons (yay! no zips), and there are even instructions on how to make the thread loop in the proper manner using chain stitch over two strands of embroidery floss. Together with this outfit, there is also a pattern for a simple pair of pants with an elastic waistband and drawstrings detail on the cuffs.

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l – smock
I looked up the definition of a smock. A smock is meant to be an outer garment, for protecting your clothes while you are playing or working. Really? I can hardly bear to use this pretty piece as in place of an apron. This square neck smock in lightweight wool has a decorative ribbon sewn along the neckline for added style.

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m – smock dress
A dress variation of the smock (l) with ruffle sleeves and the addition of a patch pocket. A wide lace band runs around the neckline and the top opening of the pocket.

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n – open neck blouse, cap and pants
Don’t you love it when you get patterns for the entire outfit as-shown? The postboy cap (is that what it’s called?) is too cute. I’m sure lots of you mummies of boys will want to steal this pattern just for the cap. The pants is a basic elastic waistband pattern, but with practical box pleat pockets running along the side seams. The open neck blouse itself is super easy to wear since there is no enclosure but a front slit opening. Lovely for layering over a camisole or on its own on hot days.

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o – clasp purse and pants
The book title says Girly Style Wardrobe, so of course a girl must have a little girly purse to carry her little trinkets around. This pattern is for a metal clasp purse with instructions on how to attach the metal clasp (sewn-on type) to the fabric purse.

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p – ribbon-tie skirt
A simple layered skirt with an elastic waistband for easy wearing and a ribbon tie detail on the front.

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q – parka and tiered skirt
A hooded parka made in wool, enclosed in the front using snap buttons instead of a zip, embellished with a wide lace band around the hood and the top opening of the patch pockets. As for the skirt, it is made up of 3 tiers, with a 1cm wide ribbon sewn on in between the tiers, and a ribbon tie detail in between the top two tiers.

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r – wrap dress
This dress was made in wool, with a wrap-top effect on the front yoke, and wool lace added all around the neckline and hem. The back encloses with a zip, and there are graphical instructions for attaching a zip properly. There is also an additional pattern for a drawstring pouch made using the same leftover fabric.

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s – puff sleeve dress
A vintage style dresses with puff sleeves. Love the sweet sweet fabric on this one!

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t – dress with ruffle hem
This dress is super girly with lots of ruffles and gathers. Ruffles along the sleeves, gathers along the waist and ruffles along the hem. This is not a two layer skirt, but the ruffles are sewn attached to the hem. The added ruffles will make the skirt stand out more and I know fir a fact that little girls love to twirl in such skirts!

How to make

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The how to make section includes the usual material list, instructions, cutting layout diagrams. You may find that the text instructions are really short and sweet, and you will realize why this is so if you refer to the original book in Japanese.

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The original instructions are that simple! Straight to the point, and rather minimalistic. But it’s perfectly fine since the steps are illustrated in diagrams which are very detailed and easy to understand.

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The diagrams in the Japanese version.

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Patterns are conveniently enclosed in a plastic envelope attached to the back cover of the book.

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 slip
There is one last pattern which was not labelled, which was not fully shown on any page except the back cover, for a slip dress that can be used under dress S (the vintage puff sleeve dress). The length is designed for the white ruffles to peek out under dress S. As this is meant to be a slip, there are no zip/button enclosures but a wide neckline and large armholes, for easy slipping on and off.

I hope you are as excited about this new book as I am! Get yours today!

Title : Girly Style Wardrobe
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
ISBN No. : 978-1780674094

This book will be released 3rd February on Amazon but is now available for pre-order. Those of you in UK or Europe can also purchase it from Laurence King’s website, it’s already in stock and there’s free UK delivery.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Japanese Sewing Books in English » Japanese Sewing, Pattern, Craft Books and Fabrics January 17, 2015 at 9:51 am

    […] Read my review here  […]

  • Reply marisa January 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I have the Japanese version of this book and I agree, the styling is incredibly lovely. I’ve made several things from it and dresses J and T are among my favourite patterns EVER. I’ve also used the ‘secret pattern’ on the back for a nightie, which my daughter loves 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

      🙂 I didn’t think of it as a “secret pattern” but you are right, it was so obscure I hardly noticed it! And yes it is a great pattern for a nightie!

  • Reply Reader January 19, 2015 at 1:39 am

    I’d call it a “newsboy cap.” Thanks for the review.

  • Leave a Reply to Reader Cancel Reply