Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books in English Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Stylish Party Dresses (Now in English)

August 27, 2015

It is always exciting to see newly translated Japanese Sewing Books, hot off the press, in my mailbox! A big thank you to Tuttle who not only sent me these two books for review – Stylish Party Dresses: 26 Easy and Inexpensive Sew-It-Yourself Dresses for that Special Occasion & Stylish Remakes: Upcycle Your Old T’s, Sweats and Flannels into Trendy Street Fashion Pieces, but is also sponsoring a book giveaway for this book that I am about to review right now. Yes you heard me right! GIVEAWAY!

Before we all keel over in excitement, let’s take a look at this lovely book shall we? After all if you are not lucky enough to win it, you will want to buy one for yourself. This book is named Stylish Party Dresses by our favorite Japanese Sewing Book authors – Yoshiko Tsukiori. If you are not familiar with her, she’s the author of many many sewing books. Quite a number have been translated into English as well. Just click here to see all her books that I have reviewed.


I did not recognize the book initially as a different dress was used for the original book cover, and the title was also changed from Formal & Little Black Dress to Stylish Party Dresses (see below).


There are 26 projects you can make in this book, but not all are for dresses. Included are 3 bolero patterns that you can use with the dresses as cover-ups.


The contents page is a lot more descriptive and detailed compared to the original one (below), which was rather minimalistic.


Now let’s have a look at some of my favorite pieces from this book. There are just far too many pieces to cover in one blog post!


The book starts off with the dress on the cover. A simple dress with a midi tulle skirt. The dress itself is made of satin backed shantung fabric which gives it a touch of class and elegance despite its simple lines.

dress b

This black lace dress is made using black lace fabric overlaid on a grey polyester crepe de chine. A quick search for crepe de chine gave me this definition “Crepe de Chine, also spelled Crêpe De Chine, (French: “crepe of China”), light and fine plainwoven dress fabric produced either with all-silk warp and weft or else with a silk warp and hard-spun worsted weft.” – 

dress_c and bolero_d

Beneath the Cape Sleeved Bolero is a simple sleeveless dress. The bolero is made of a georgette fabric which is lightweight and drapes really well. Perfect for the soft flowy look.


This was the dress featured on the Japanese version of the same book. I always felt it was a little plain for a book named Stylish Party Dresses, but check out the back of the dress…


So apparently the details are in the back of the dress. A large ribbon tie! This dress is made from silk striped chiffon and is lined.


I am not usually a fan of these big shapeless dresses, but I do love how the choice of the fabric – CD Shantung, has on the overall effect. First the sheen, as well as the structure of the dress. In the dress description, it is noted that the fabric has a little more body and visible fibres than regular Shantung, and different levels of “shine” on different sides, so you can choose which is the “right side” of the fabric when making the dress depending on the level of shine you want. But what is CD Shantung? I have no idea, and it doesn’t seem to be a regular term. I am guessing it is a slubbed version of shantung? I do think that tafetta can achieve the same effect too if you can’t find the exact same type of fabric.


Another bolero, this time in black lace, used over the same shantung dress above.


A Wrap-Look Dress in Liberty Jersey.

dress_h in black

The black jersey version of the same dress. For a moment I thought it was a velour fabric as it does have a velvety sheen to it.


Another one of those look so simple dresses but the beauty lies in the design of the draping of the fabric. The sleeves are cut extra wide at the end, same goes for the main bodice and back. The skirt is just a simple skirt made in the same fabric of silk jacquard. But wait till you see the back view of this top.


Love this ribbon tie detail on the back! In this picture, the same top is matched with a long chiffon skirt in print. A totally different look, from the full two-piece set, but nevertheless very elegant and pretty.


A very cute and youthful dress made with satin backed shantung. The detachable collar is made using organdy and attached on using snap fasteners. Just to clarify, the dress itself has a regular collar in the same fabric, the organdy collar sits on top of it and snaps on the inner neckline (so the snaps can’t be seen if you are not using the detachable collar.


This dress is called the Dress with Pin Tucks, but you might be wondering, where are the pin tucks? It’s a little hard to see as they are obscured by the Liberty print fabric. There is a black version in the book which shows off the pin tucks really nicely, unfortunately the photos I took can’t quite display the pin tucks well so I’ve left it out.


A Two-piece set in Georgette fabric.  The blouse and skirt are actually separate pieces, and you can wear the blouse tucked or untucked. The skirt has two interesting horizontal tucks across a section of the front and back panels that gives it an irregular hem.


This must be my favorite party dress of all the dresses in this book. A Tafetta two piece dress. The blouse has a ribbon detail while the skirt is embellished with diagonal ruffles. Love the color of the pretty tafetta fabric on this.

dress_x with bolero

One more bolero pattern – A bolero with frilled front edge in georgette. The frills drape nicely along the front giving it a more three dimensional look. The bolero is seen here with a long chiffon dress.

sample how to make

An example of the pattern instructions. Units are provided primarily in inches, with the metric equivalents in brackets. Most of the instructions are simple enough to understand. The steps that require more explanation are usually accompanied by diagrams.

sample diagrams

A close up of the diagrams included in the book.


A handy pocket is attached for storing your pattern sheets. There should be 2 double sided pattern sheets enclosed.


More sewing books in English from Tuttle Publishing. To see my reviews of  Japanese sewing books in English, click here.


available on Amazon for pre-order now

Title : Stylish Party Dresses
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
ISBN No. : 978-4-8053-1366-4


This book will only be released on Amazon on the 15th of September, but here is your chance to win a copy of the book before it is released!

Tuttle Publishing will be kindly sponsoring TWO copies of this book. So there will be two lucky winners! Just enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter app below with either your Facebook account or your email address. You can get additional entries from liking Tuttle Publishing on Facebook, Japanese Sewing Books on Facebook, or tweeting about the giveaway. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Reply Jen August 27, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Nice book – thanks for the opportunity!

  • Reply jackie August 27, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I already bought the book from kinokuniya Sydney! even though I already had the Japanese version I would pay the extra money to get it translated 🙂

  • Reply La Manu August 27, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you very much for this giveaway!!!! I love your blog and japanese sewing books ♡♡♡ I have just bought Stylish dress book by Yoshiko Tsukiori and I like it a lot! Bye bye from Italy

  • Reply Sherry August 27, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity, i love the book!

  • Reply Elaine August 28, 2015 at 3:03 am

    Beautiful clothes. I would love to sew some of these dresses 🙂 TY

  • Reply Mui August 28, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Love it.!!!

  • Reply Andini August 30, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I love the japanese sewing books from tuttle publishing. The translations very clear, and quality of the papers are good. Thanks for the opportunity! I wish i can get this one 😀

  • Reply shannon August 31, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Wow. I love Happy Homemade Sew Chic. I’ve made almost everything in it. Would love to move on to this book.

  • Reply Maggie October 14, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Hi Yifarn, I came across your website when searching for Japanese sewing books. It’s a very nice website! Well done! Now, I can check which books I like before place orders.
    I’m a brand new beginner (never ever used a sewing machine). Do you know how long it will take for a beginner to be able to sew a dress?
    If you have a favorite book for a beginner, please let me know too!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 21, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Hi Maggie,
      It is not really difficult to sew a simple dress. Pick a simple design (i.e. without frills, gathers etc) and with a simple closing (e.g. no zips or row of buttons). I also refer to youtube when I was starting out. Won’t take long before you get hooked! 🙂

  • Reply Merry Christmas! | somethingspontaneous December 28, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    […] me a roll of pattern paper and the latest Yoshiko Tsukiori pattern book! (comprehensively reviewed here!).  First impressions though bring a little disappointment as the sizing doesn’t  range as […]

  • Reply A synthetic dream! – sewing with kate August 17, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    […] enough I reached for my Japanese pattern book collection, choosing the Stylish Party Dresses […]

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