Today’s book review was one of the recent best sellers on Amazon.co.jp. It is a new release by Katayama Yuko – designer of the Coat sewing book I reviewed at the end of last year. She’s back with a brand new book, recently released last month and it’s all about sewing with knits. This book contains patterns for a full range of wardrobe essentials – from tops, bottoms (pants and skirts) as well as outerwear. Sizes start from kids 110cm to Ladies (3L) or Men’s 2L!
I’m not sure how the term Cut and Sew came about but when you see the terms カットソー (literally translated to Cut Sew) in Japanese it refers to clothes made out of knitwear. I remember being confused for a long time over the meaning of this but I just came to accept it as it is. There is even a wikipedia page about this term but it doesn’t really shed light on how the term came about. I think it also refers to knitwear in particular that don’t have zips or buttons but I can’t be exactly sure. Anyway, back to the book! I made two tops from this book as soon as I received it and I’m looking forward to making more! This book is great for beginners as there are full color step by step photos instructions for many of the projects. Here are some of my favorites!
A basic V-neck Tshirt pattern is a staple in any wardrobe. But it is hard to get the V exactly in the centre! I know because I’ve tried and it’s not perfect yet but the book shows you how to do it right for perfect results! Other than the V-neck tee there is of course the regular crew neck, long sleeve tee etc which you can see in the book flip through video later.
The bottoms section includes patterns for pants and skirts. The pants are made with elastic waistbands which makes for easy sews especially for beginners. There is also a shorter culotte version. Skirts are quite simple knit skirts so you can see them in the book flip through. Simple styles for your basic wardrobe.
If you don’t like the wide pants look, there is also a slim pants version that looks really comfy yet elegant enough to wear for work!
This has to be one of my favorites. It’s an oversized parka – Will definitely make this for the year end trip to Japan! By now you might have noticed that with every picture there is a fabric swatch on the side of the description. This is super useful to help you identify the right type of knit to use. For example in the picture above they are using a thick sweatshirt french terry knit.
This is the shirt that made me buy the book and also the first top I made from the book, but I haven’t taken any nice photos of it yet, also because it’s been too hot to wear it out. It’s really comfy though and I just love how it looks.
Next two projects on the list – this long sleeve dolman sleeve Tshirt as well as the French sleeve dolman Tshirt below. I will probably make the one below first because the weather is too hot for long sleeves now!
This top is made in a very interesting textured knit – it’s called Cotton Dot Jersey. Unfortunately it’s been hard to find textured knits like this here in Singapore. It kind of looks like a swiss dot but in knit form? The source of the fabric is actually listed in the description right under the fabric swatch, and it says you can buy it from 池袋 Sewing Studio which seems to be Katayama Yuko’s own sewing studio. Unfortunately there is only red color left for this fabric, and the dropdown only lets me add in 5 units of 10cm which means a 0.5m length of fabric lol… I guess it’s almost completely sold out.
For your reference, here is the size chart for this book. Kids sizes are 110cm – 150cm (height), and women’s sizes are S-3L (5 sizes). Men’s sizes are actually just one size up from women’s as you can see the size equivalents from the table below. The largest men’s size is 2L which is equivalent to the ladies 3L. This means that there are no separate pattern sheets for Mens. Just use the size equivalent from the Women’s from the table. I saw a review on Amazon that marked the book down because of that.
The columns with the measurements are Bust / Hip / Height / Arm length (to wrist) / Inseam
As for the instructions, there are very detailed step by step photos for most for the projects. Basically you will learn all the techniques you need through the basic projects, and then use them for all the other variations. You can see more in the full book flip through video below.
On the whole I would definitely recommend this book for the instructions, and the size range, and just based on the number of tops I want to make from it, already makes the book totally worth it! In fact the first run of the book was so popular it sold out within weeks and now you might have to wait because they are reprinting a second run.