Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Mens Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Mens Wear

February 13, 2015


You know the saying Once in a blue moon? Today is one of those days, for we have a new sewing book for the guys!

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The book is called Basic Style Menswear for sizes S-XXL (5 sizes), All seasons mens casual wear. 

There are a few shirts sewing books for Men, and some patterns scattered here are there in sewing magazines such as Cotton Friend (where they realize that Fathers need to be included in family sewing projects as well), but very few books dedicated to Mens casual wear alone and even fewer that are updated in design. I’ve always wondered how difficult it would be to combine all those sewing patterns into 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 and now you have it, the one book you will need for sewing Mens casual wear.

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As simple as a guy’s wardrobe needs to be, the patterns are also grouped into broad categories – A to G. The clothes are designed by 7 different pattern designers. Namely,
Toshio Kaneko, Rika Komoro, Chiaki Boshi, Megumi Kobayashi, Michiyo Ito (of May Me fame), Yoko Nishikawa and raynoar.

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Pattern A – Boat-neck T-shirts in short (pattern 1 above) /long sleeve (pattern 2) versions

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Pattern B – Crew neck (in short sleeve) and Henley (in long sleeve) variations. Mix and match the patterns to get a crew neck long sleeve tee + a henley short sleeve tee. That will be like 2 bonus patterns not featured in the book but you can get out of the patterns.

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Pattern C- Shirts. 3 variations. Make them dressy with a winged collar,

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Casual with an open collar

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Or a simple every day shirt.

Those of you who may fear the process of making a Men’s shirt, don’t. I’ve done it before with a book which has instructions far more complicated than this one. Did I mention this book has step by step instructions with full color photographs for 2 of its projects? Lesson 1 covers the making of a shirt.

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Easy peasy! You can do it!

Next up, Pants… Pattern D – Easy Pants

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As the title suggests, these are simple drawstring pants with side pockets, in long…

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and short versions.

Pattern E – Parka

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This pattern can be made into 3 variations – a hooded parka (above), a trainer (below) – this is what it’s called in the book but I think it’s more appropriate to call it a sweater?

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or a buttoned cardigan, with side pockets (pic below). Quite metrosexual, this design… 😛

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The other pants pattern included in the book is also a casual type with a elastic waistband and fake fly opening (i.e. the fly is sewn on and there is no actual fly opening).

Pattern F – Tapered Pants

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Comes in long, cropped cargo and knit pants versions (the knit pants are matching with the grey sweater in pattern 13)

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The last category is for outerwear. You can make this Nylon quilted vest

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Military style jacket

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or this Duffle Jacket.

and because Moms always get matching pattern sets with their daughters, there is a special recipe section that attempts to make the world a fairer place 🙂

Matching patterns for Father and Sons! The patterns is adapted to be a little cuter and easier to wear for the little boys.

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Lesson 2 with full colored photographs, is for the Cropped Cargo Pants (the one with the elastic waistband + fake fly opening).

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Included in the patterns are two Men’s accessories patterns – a Body Bag as well as a Snood.

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For the How to make section, there are 5 sizes included, ranging from S-XXL. The size chart is indicated below and they did take into consideration the fact that different sizes mean different heights as well, whereas for most female sewing books they tend to base it on an average height of 160cm.

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The terms on the left most column are : Size / Height / Bust / Waist / Hip / Shoulder width. All measurements are in cm.

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A standard how to make page – note there is a chart for the completed garment size. Do refer to this before deciding the size to make, as the completed garment size will give you a sense of the fit of the garment. So depending on how fitting you want to make it, you may wish to size down or up and adjust the length for height instead of sticking to the size chosen using the body measurements.

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A closeup of the diagrams used for sewing instructions.

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2 sheets (each printed on both sides) of full size patterns.

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Title : Basic Style Menswear
ISBN : 978-4-529-05385-3
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue

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12 Comments

  • Reply Jen February 13, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Looks terrific and it certainly fills a gap. Thanks for the review!

  • Reply Scotty April 11, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Where could I purchasethis wonderful book?

  • Reply Japanese Men’s Pattern Book GIVEAWAY! | Line of Selvage May 9, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    […] a full review of this title, with lots more photos, over at […]

  • Reply Jack June 2, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Fantastic review! Just wondering if you happen to know whether you have to add seam allowance to these patterns once you have traced them out? If so what seam allowance did you use? 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books June 19, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Yes, the norm in Japanese sewing books is that you have to add seam allowances. There is a cutting layout diagram together with the instructions that show you how to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, and included in that diagram are the seam allowances for each sewing edge. If there is no number specified, the default is 1cm. Add these on to the traced patterns before cutting. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Kris June 7, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    So excited to finish my first piece from this book – the long sleeved men’s collar shirt. Thank you so much for the translation of the basic terms in your earlier post. It is making it possible for me to use this great book!

  • Reply Annie August 11, 2015 at 4:01 am

    hi I loved this article but can’t find anywhere to buy the book in the uk or online. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks, Annie

  • Reply Annie August 11, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Hi, just saw the isbn on one of the pages 9784529053853 and ordered from Amazon. Thanks anyway. Annie

  • Reply Kris April 20, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    I have sewed my husband two shirts, and he sewed himself a pair of drawstring shorts from the book. Neither of us read Japanese, but the diagrams are quite clear. I had never made a collared shirt before, and I learned from this book. I am planning to make him the jacket soon – same story, I’ve never made a jacket, but I think that the diagrams will get me through. Best part – my husband really likes the styling, as opposed to most of the American patterns for men that he finds to be out-dated and dowdy. It really is a nice book for younger or more fashion forward men. Thank you for your review; it gave me the confidence to order the book through Etsy!

  • Reply lopka April 20, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Sewing books for menswear are really few and far between. Additionally, as your husband pointed out, menswear is already very well defined into shirts, pants, t-shirts, etc.
    Sadly, I think that makes a ‘basic wear’ book like this one kind of pointless. I mean, elastic waist pants for grownups? Isn’t that just sizing up from the kids size? (Sorry, this just adds to my beef with most women’s pant patterns we see in japanese magazines, basically shapeless, not thought out for women with curves at all).

    Also, with uniqlo and other shops around and considering the cost of knit fabrics, is it really worthy sewing a t-shirt from scratch with the same old design that has been done and redone and can be found anywhere?

    I don’t mean to be all negative and bomb the review or anything, but I think they could come up with some different shirts (e.g. not button up shirts) in plain fabric and other actually designed pieces for younger adults even.
    I did like the fact they thought of including a couple of patterns for the son though.

    • Reply lopka April 20, 2018 at 9:00 am

      I realize that since I live in Japan, I may find most patterns in Japanese magazines as the ‘same old, same old’, mostly clothes designed for beginner level without much shape to them.
      Maybe I’m just being negative and actually lack some sewing skills myself…

    Leave a Reply to Scotty Cancel Reply