All Posts By

Japanese Sewing Books

Free Japanese Sewing Patterns Links Free Patterns

Free Japanese Sewing Patterns – Dr Cos

September 19, 2013

It’s been a while since I have posted any links to Free Japanese Sewing Patterns, and recently I have had some feedback that some of the links are no longer working. I am trying to find archived versions for those that have been already moved, but not all can be found. So what can I do? Find more new links to free patterns of course!

Today’s free pattern link is from a cosplay website. This site has lots of free patterns and the owner of the website has made lots of impressive costumes, which you can see in the Past Clothes link. This list of free patterns may come in useful for those of you getting into a bit of Halloween sewing. And despite the fact that the patterns are for cosplay, there are some basic patterns that can be useful for daily wear as well. There are free patterns for hats, shirts, skirts,dresses,gloves,vests etc. for both Ladies and Men.

Just an example of Dr Cos’s past work on the blog

On the free patterns page, the projects are listed in categories, but not all the patterns are available for download yet.
無料型紙ダウンロード mean free pattern download.
製作中 – means under construction
ダウンロード販売中 – means pattern for sale.

When you click on the pattern, you will see an overview of the completed garment with difficulty level stated below (the above is level 3. with levels from 1-20)

Under the costume diagram, you will find the list of the patterns for download. which looks something like this.

The patterns may be free, but they are certainly look professional, here’s a sample from one of their pieces!


Hope you like today’s free link! From this month onwards, I will be back to blogging twice a week. Monday’s blog post will be about Japanese sewing book/magazines. And Thursday’s post will rotate between Free pattern links, fabrics, translation requests and maybe more of my own free patterns/tutorials.




Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – One-piece and Bottoms

September 16, 2013

Today’s book review is not a very new book, in fact, I can’t quite remember when I bought it but I rediscovered it recently while moving my books around (to make more space for more books) The title is 冬でも夏でもずっと着られる ONE-PIECE & BOTTOMS 大人のふんわりかわいい服.

The first line means – One-piece/Dresses and bottoms that you can wear all the way through Winter & Summer, and the second line means Soft? (Google says softly/fluffy) and Cute Clothes for Adults. If anyone knows the proper translation of ふんわりas it is used in this title, please let me know! 🙂

The book includes 13 patterns with 2 variations of each, making it 26 projects in all!

 The contents page provides an overview of all the patterns included. There are only 2 sizes included though, M and L.

Most of the projects are meant for layering and are in the comfortable, casual Japanese style we all know and love. ❤ Here are some of my favourite pieces.

 Long camisole

 Dolman sleeve Dress

 U-Neck Dress with elastic waist

 Sleeveless Dress with side button enclosure.

V-neck Shirt Dress. I love the back detail that makes it look like a coat. This will be perfect for Autumn!

There is a pants pattern too, Sarouel pants, with two variations. The rest of the bottom patterns are for skirts. Gathered skirts, flared skirts, pleated skirts etc.

This book is published by 成美堂出版(Seibido Shuppan). I don’t have many books from this publisher, so I was not used to the book format. I was looking up and down for the size chart but it turns out that there is no general size chart, and the book jumps from photographs straight into the how-to-make section. The sizing information is actually included on each how-to-make page. The finished measurements for each garment is listed as the first point in each pattern (under でき上がり寸法)

 The rest of the pattern is pretty similar to most other books. Cutting Layout, Overall diagram with steps indicated, and instructions in point form, but each step comes with a corresponding diagram, like the one below.

 Note that the diagrams are in color? That is pretty useful, especially in figuring out right side and wrong sides of the fabric.

 Right at the end of the book, after all the how-to-makes, some basic sewing tips are included, like how to trace the patterns and add seam allowances to them. There are also tips on how to make bias tape, gathering, button hole orientation etc.

One actual size pattern sheet included.

 Title : 冬でも夏でもずっと着られる ONE-PIECE & BOTTOMS
ISBN : 978-4-415-30931-6

Otona Otona-no Funwari Kawaii Fuku Fuyu-de-mo Natsu-de-mo Zutto Ki Rareru / Seibido Shuppan (Book)

Available from

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Nanatone’s Sewing Variations

September 9, 2013

Today’s book review is a Cotton Friend Special Edition – Nanatone’s Fashion Book – Sewing Variations. (In Japanese – NANATONE のおしゃれBOOK ソーイングバリエーション)

I first mentioned NANATONE by Megumi Aoki in the Cotton Friend Spring 2013 Edition review. NANATONE is the brainchild of Megumi Aoki, who started selling her own handmade goods in 2000 under the name nana-cotton. In 2005, she started NANATONE, an online shop selling clothes and handmade goods. She has been featured in many sewing books and magazines and even authored a couple of her own books. You can check out her online shop and her blog to see her works. She even models her own creations!

Back to the book. This book contains 10 basic patterns for sizes S,M,L,LL.

 The 10 basic patterns form the basis for all the styles featured in the book. Each pattern comes with either 2 or 3 variations. To showcase the different possibilities of each pattern, the book is divided into the following sections.

1. Border (meaning horizontal stripes)
2.  Gingham check
3. Solids
4. Floral Prints
5. Polka dotted prints
6. Blue

Other than that, there are also lots of pictures and interesting snippets of her daily life, as well as other craft related columns. It’s all in Japanese but we can still ogle at the pretty pictures 🙂

 For each themed section, different patterns are used in combination with the fabric type featured…

 and she then models the clothes to show you how to co-ordinate the different pieces.

 This is such a cute shirt, in gingham check seersucker.

Shirt dress, great for layering

 The name of this pattern is かっぽう着ワンピース which according to Google Translate – it’s a Cook’s apron dress.

 Tiered dress

 This is a variation of the shirt dress, with added buttons and ribbon tie.

 There are also a couple of tops included, like this one – a Dolman sleeve blouse.

 A short blouse version of the square neck dress.

 A peek at one of the columns in the book – don’t you love her sewing room?

And now for the important part – the how-to-make section.

 The sizes included for this book are listed above. This size chart is a lot more detailed than most books.
For your reference, the measurements listed in the top row of the table are
(Bust/Waist/Hip/Back nape to waist/Sleeve length/Body Rise/Crutch Depth Line to floor/Height)

Some of you might be scratching your heads with the two terms – Body rise and Crutch Depth Line to Floor :P. I used the terms from my pattern making textbook by Winifred Aldrich but even if these are the official technical terms, I don’t hear them used often so I shall try to explain what they actually mean. Basically the Crutch Depth Line is at the base of your butt curves. Body rise is from the base of butt up to the waist, and Crutch Depth Line to floor is from base of butt to the floor. This is based on body measurements but I have also seen diagrams such as Jean sizing diagrams, where 股下/Crutch Depth Line to floor is indicated as the inseam of the jeans/pants. In any case, it is not that important in this book since there are no pants patterns included!

 The how-to-make section introduction includes a few colored pages of basic sewing techniques.

 The how-to-make section groups the patterns by pattern type, and lists the different variations within the same page.  So on the same page you will find different list of materials and cutting layouts. Make sure you refer to the correct material list and cutting layout for the garment you are making!

As for the sewing instructions, there are no step by step photographs, but there are sewing diagrams, like the example above.

 There are 2 large color pattern sheets attached for a total of 4 sides of patterns.  The pattern variations are grouped by pattern type and indicated with different colored lines which makes it easy to search and trace.

Title : Nanatone’s Fashion Book – Sewing Variations.
NANATONE のおしゃれBOOK ソーイングバリエーション
Author : Megumi Aoki
ISBN : 978-4-8347-3296-2
Publisher : Boutique-sha

NANATONE no Oshare BOOK Sewing Variation / Aoki Megumi
Buy now from cdjapan (affiliate link)

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Anytime Dresses

September 4, 2013

Back to reviewing Japanese Sewing Books in Japanese!

Today’s book is いつでもワンピース which means (at) anytime dresses.  The book is by 成田 邦子 and it’s “quite” a new book, given that it was only released 30th June this year. It was one of the few books (seriously!) bought during my Osaka trip in June, but I have yet to look through it in detail. Too many books, too little time!

There are 22 projects to make in this book for sizes 7,9,11,13 (detailed measurements in size chart below). Let’s take a look at some of my favourite pieces.

 This is a shirt tunic with very pretty pleats in the front and back. This pattern comes in 3 variations with different collar designs (Peter Pan, pointed, stand collar) and finished lengths (dress/tunic/blouse).

Stand collar blouse – this is the same pleated bodice as the photo above but with a stand collar. I haven’t made blouses for a while now, and only for my kids. But recently I have been itching to do sew something more complicated for myself to enjoy. This goes into the sewing list!

Interesting skirt detail!

 This is a raglan sleeve blouse. The blouse in the picture was made using a cotton lace fabric, so it’s nice and airy for layering! Can you tell that this blouse is a variation of the pattern on the front cover?

This is a simple dress style with a bodice+gathered skirtand cap sleeves. A versatile pattern that I think can be used over and over again with different fabric/print combinations. Why can’t I find such fabrics with nice lace borders like this!

 I really like this dress, well it actually looks like a dress I will make for my kids, so I am wondering if it will be too cutesy for me to wear, but I really love it!

A square neck dress with ribbon tie back and a gathered hemline.

This Drape dress is made using compressed wool for the cooler months, but it will be a great pattern for making a cover-up for the beach in a light fabric as well isn’t it?

Workmen style tunic with lots of pockets. Not fond of the sweat pants she paired it with though. Lol.

 As mentioned earlier, the sizes included are 7,9,11 and 13. There is even space in the table for you to enter your own measurements! (私 watashi in the last column means I/myself)
For your reference the values in the left hand column are in the order of Bust/hip/length(dress length from back neck point)/height. There is also a diagram to indicate the correct positions on the body to take the measurements listed in the table.

This book does not include any basic sewing tips pages or photographs. There is an introduction page outlining some important points such as the size chart and measurements, then it jumps straight into the how-to-make for each of the patterns. A typical pattern how-to-make looks like this (pic above).

 Close up on the sewing instructions in point form, with the finished diagram indicating the order of steps.

 Another close up of the diagrams used in the book.

2 sheets of actual size pattern sheets are included.

Despite the fact that there are no sewing tips/instructions on basic techniques, there are some projects that are quite simple and manageable even for the beginner. There are also more complicated projects such as the pleated blouses/dresses with collars and button plackets. So, something for everyone?

Title : いつでもワンピース
Author : Kuniko Murakami
ISBN : 978-4-579-11448-1
Publisher : Bunka Publishing Bureau

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books in English Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Sweet Dress Book (Now in English)

August 27, 2013

Look what I found in my mailbox last week!

The very kind folks at Laurence King who sent me review copies of Stylish Dress Book and Feminine Wardrobe  sent me this book last week. A great mood-lifter for me given that I have been “bugged” by the flu bug for the past two weeks. The funniest thing is that I didn’t catch it, but everyone else at home took turns with it which meant lots of TLC had to be dished out, and lots of cooking and cleaning too.

Back to the book. This book was originally due for release in September on Amazon, but I just checked, and it’s already available for order !

This book contains patterns for 23 different outfits, based on variations of 6 simple patterns. I thought it meant less tracing, but the actual pattern pieces for each individual outfit is still different and will have to be traced out separately. Let’s have a look!

 This is the same top as the one on the cover. It has an interesting ribbon tie back detail.

 The same pattern as A but with modified sleeves and ruffle details. The front of the neck is also made with ruffles instead of pleats. It is a totally different blouse despite originating from the same pattern isn’t it?

 I really like this cape collar blouse which will be really lovely in a soft, slightly sheer and flowy fabric. Maybe Liberty. If only I can bear to splurge on it.

 Same pattern (II) as the cape collar blouse!

 Another blouse using pattern II. Lots of ruffly details on this one.

 Pattern III is more of a straight cut pattern design. The design above includes a button placket, and can be worn either front to back, or back to front.

The more common kimono tunic using pattern III.

Pattern IV is quite a simple flare pants pattern, but can be modified to produce a short playsuit or a long jumpsuit like this one!

This tie-neck camisole uses a raglan sleeve pattern (Pattern V) and is really pretty. I am thinking seriously of making this one but without the organza layer.

Here’s one outfit made with the same pattern but with sleeves.

I really had to say something about this one. I didn’t like it at first glance, but when looking at the how-to-make section, I realized it was a sheer georgette fabric (in black) paired with a floral fabric for a sweetheart bodice dress. The pattern looks pretty enough but I think the main problem lies with the high waistline. It looks too wide and should be taken in a little bit more? Or is it due to the print or the weight of the fabric? It looks a little frumpy here doesn’t it?

Another pretty blouse using Pattern VI. This fabric, I like 🙂

 Really cute outfit. The patterns for the entire dress + ribbon tie + petticoat with hem ruffle are included.

A very pretty bell-sleeve coat dress, also using pattern VI.

Now for some important information. The patterns in the book are meant for the following sizes. XS-L. Units are mainly in inches, with cm equivalents in brackets. 

 This book also includes 4 pages of Basic sewing techniques, with step by step photographs to guide you along.

Just a small excerpt from the sewing techniques section so that you can see what the instructions are like.

The instructions include

  • Marking up a pattern piece
  • Threefold and double fold hem
  • Making bias binding
  • Using bias binding to add piping
  • Using bias binding to create a facing-like finish

All the pattern how-to-makes look like this. Pretty standard, with instructions, cutting layout, main diagram with steps, and individual diagrams for each step. But some of the patterns, like the one below, has step by step photographs as part of the instructions.

A closeup look at one of the photographs.

 A sample sewing diagram.

There are 2 large size pattern sheets with a plastic envelope for storage. Really love how all the English translated books have this, I am always getting my Japanese ones mixed up because I just insert them between the pages and they tend to slide out easily.


A bonus item! Cupcakes recipe!

Title : Sweet Dress Book
Author :Yoshiko Tsukiori
ISBN : 978-1780671086
Publisher : Laurence King
Buy now from : Amazon