Book Flip Through Videos Japanese Sewing Books in English

Book Review – Learn Skills to Sew like a Professional

August 23, 2019

So I just realized with horror that my last book review was 2 months ago! Where did the time go? If you have been following me on Instagram, I went for a short holiday in June, came back and spent almost of the rest of June busy sewing for my brother’s wedding. Oh and I also released a new bag pattern😛

On top of that I’m doing some partial house renovation at the moment so I’ve had to move things around a bit to make space and that includes some works to my sewing area. So I think you can all understand why now. Keeping up with the blog is difficult because I need to take photos and videos then edit them. and all these on top of my daily full time job as a mother of 3.

Anyway, the good news is the book buying doesn’t stop…. but the bad news is I have a growing pile of them to review. I hope that once the renovation is over I will have more space and the setup will make it easier for me to take photos quickly!

Back to this book review. It’s an English version of a book that I bought back in 2016 when it was first released. The title of the book is Learn Skills to Sew like a Professional.


The original version was published by Bunka and translated into English by Nippan IPS. I first found out about that Nippan IPS was translating this book last year, and I’ve been waiting for it to be released! This is one book that I highly recommend because the Japanese version was already very useful to me and the English version is even  more so! let’s see why 🙂

I’ve had the original version for a long time now but never reviewed or recommended it because despite the fact that there are step by step photos for all the techniques, there is still a lot of descriptive text attached to each picture that I felt would stump most non-Japanese readers (including myself) The English version is not only translated, but the photos are now in full color! Look at the comparison below.

Before we dive into the book, I would like to state that this book is suitable for both beginners and advance sewists in terms of techniques taught. But it is more of a guide book on techniques rather than a sewing pattern book. There are no sewing pattern sheets included although there are some projects included at the end of the book, I will explain what I mean when we get to the last section.

There are so many techniques taught in this book so I think the best way is to show you a close up of the content pages and you can see for yourself what is included. Then I will show you some samples of the instructions.

From the first page you can already tell there are a lot of basic knowledge provided. Starting from basic stitches, tools, presser feet. Sewing in different types of paths- straight / curve / corner /circle etc. Types of fabric, different ways of finishing seams and the list goes on.

Then there are the tailoring techniques. These are specific techniques which you will encounter in most sewing projects whether beginner or advance. For example, the bias finishing of a neckline can be found in simple tops. Whereas a more complicated top will require a collar which is covered in the book too.

More advanced tailoring techniques include button plackets, zipper openings. Different types of pockets are covered, as well as Sleeves with different type of seams. There is also a short section on sewing with knits. It’s a short but comprehensive section since most knit projects don’t involve openings and the more important thing to learn is how to handle the stretchy fabrics, type of tools to use as well as methods to finish the edges.

Now some close up shots of the techniques.

The book has FULL COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS. I cannot stress how amazing this is, because the Japanese version is mostly black and white photos 😂There was a review on Amazon though about it being hard to see the right and wrong side of the fabric sometimes because of the light color of the fabrics and the use of solid fabrics as opposed to print fabrics. But as you can see from the above pictures, the right and wrong sides are labelled.

The above technique is a sample page from the standard techniques section, to show you how it really starts from basic methods and moves on to more advance techniques later on.

A full view of all the tailoring techniques

A close up of one the more advance techniques. Just to show you how clear the pictures and instructions are. This is for making the Front Zipper opening on pants.

Knit sewing techniques – using knit stay tape! I think the translation may be a little bit unclear like this adhesive tape. It is actually fusible knit stay tape. It could be due to direct translations of terms because the Japanese name for the tape is usually 接着テープ which directly means “adhere to” tape. But when you buy 接着テープ from the stores you will notice there are many different kinds, there are those cut on the grain, half bias, bias cut, then are those use for woven and knit. You have to look at the packaging to tell the specific use although the general term is “adhesive tape” for all of them. So in this case the type they are referring to is the type for knit (since it is a knit project and needs to stretch) So it is knit stay tape rather just an adhesive tape. Further more adhesive tape in English usually refers to sticky tape. I’ve also seen people use hem tape to replace stay tape. That’s not the same thing! and don’t stick scotch tape on your fabrics! 

The last section includes a couple of projects for you to try out the techniques learnt in the earlier parts of the book. This part is not really for beginners as you will need to know how to do most of the basic steps. Ok that’s an understatement.

The instructions are in point form, no detailed diagrams or photos for the steps.

There are also no pattern sheets and you will need to draft your own patterns given the drafting diagrams.

One of the dresses included is this one! If you want the pattern for it without drafting it yourself you can read the book review here

and here’s the book flip through video! Enjoy!

Title: Learn Skills to Sew Like a Professional: Practical Tailoring Methods and Techniques
Author : by Naoko Domeki (Author), Shihoko Makino (Author)
ISBN : 978-4865050783

(aff link)

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