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Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review and Flip Through Video – Pattern maker Toshio Kaneko’s Men’s Clothes

October 14, 2017

At long last, a book that I have been wanting to review ever since I received it in the mail. This is by far the most comprehensive Japanese sewing book for Menswear that I have seen. The book is titled Toshio Kaneko’s Men’s Clothes.

fundamentalmenswearcover

This is Toshio Kaneko’s second pattern book. The first – All Season’s Men’s Clothes, was also favourably reviewed on Amazon. The previous book included more daily wear, with a couple of variations on shirts, t-shirts, pants and even home wear. This book is more like a Essential wardrobe for Men’s kind of book. From outerwear to shirts to pants to accessories! You really have to watch the Book flip through video (below) to see what I mean.

The sewing patterns included are for sizes S,M,L,LL and 3L. There are 21 projects in all, with 4 detailed step by step lessons in full color photographs.

I can’t quite decide which ones to show you because there are so many but I want to highlight the details of certain garments, just to show you what high quality patterns these are. Details which can’t really be seen in the book flip through video. I will also translate the contents page as I go along so that you have an idea of what’s included.

The projects are grouped by Tops / Bottoms / Outerwear / Accessories

Tops

A. Cleric Shirt
B. Button down shirt
C. Military shirt
D. Denim shirt
E. Outdoor shirt
F. Boatneck Cut and sew (Cut and sew in Japanese terms usually refers to tshirts/easy garments made of knitwear)
G. Polo shirt
+ Point Lesson – 4 detailed pages with full color photographs on how to make the A. Cleric shirt

clericshirtA. Cleric shirt

clericshirtdetail

Only found on tailored shirts – Gussets for reinforcing side seams.

lessonA

There is a Point Lesson for the Cleric Shirt – this is called the point lesson because they only show certain “points” in full detail, and these are usually the ones related to the detailed shirt finishings, for example the sleeve placket, the collar, attaching the sleeves, as well as the side seam gussets. The easier steps like sewing shoulder seams, attaching pockets etc, are detailed in the how-to-make page and not shown here.

millitaryshirt
C. Military shirt

denimshirt
D. Denim shirt

boatneckcutandsew

F. Boat neck Cut and Sew

poloshirt

G. Polo shirt

The next section is for

Bottoms
H. Dress Pants
I. Chino pants
J. Jeans
K. Sweat pants
+ Detailed lesson for Dress Pants

jeans

Yup, you read it right. Jeans. Honestly, I have no idea this is possible, making your own jeans that is. I glanced at the 2 page full of instructions and wonder if I will ever be brave enough to attempt it. I don’t think so, but for those of you who have ever been ambitious enough to make all of your own clothes, you might want to give this pattern a try. Look at the detailed finishing in the inside seams.

dresspants

But the one pieces I wanted to highlight the most, is the dress pants. My DH has always lamented that it’s so hard to find a good tailor. Recently he asked me if it was possible to widen the waist of his tailor made pants. I’ve always thought of this as a tailor only project but can you believe it there are 8 pages of full color photos instructions for this project. At least 9 photos on each page. Again, not for the faint hearted, but if you have always wanted to try it, I can say the instructions are excellent, although I must admit that you will need some translation help because there are so many parts to it. 14 pattern pieces to be exact!

lessonH
dresspantsdetail

If you have ever flipped a pair of tailored pants inside out, yup it pretty much looks like this.

If you are impressed by what this book contains so far, you haven’t seen nothing yet.

The third section covers Outerwear

L. Wool Jacket
M. Denim Jacket
N. Knit Jacket
O. Duffle Coat
P. MA-1 Type Blouson (also known as a bomber/flight jacket)
Q. Stand collar Coat

+Lesson – Wool Jacket

woolcoat

This is the wool coat on the front cover. No I didn’t steal those photos from some tailor’s website. These are from the book and yes this is what you will be making! A proper wool coat.

lessonL

There were only 8 pages of instructions for the dress pant. This wool coat has 16 pages of full detailed instructions! 21 pattern pieces to trace and cut and transfer. Impressive!

Other than formal looking coats, there is also this

ma-1jacket

MA-1 bomber/flight jacket – apparently the sage green color and orange lining is the standard color. Look at the details – sleeve pocket and lining.

duffelcoat

I like this too, duffle coats never go out of style and always look so cozy for winter.

standcollarcoat

A more regular looking Stand collar coat. Something that looks more suited for mild winters and business trips!

The last section is for Accessories
R. Necktie
S. Tote Bag
T. Work Apron
U. Knit Trunks

Lesson – necktie

accessories

The last section is probably the easiest and if you have completed something in the earlier sections, you can probably sew these with your eyes clothes. Having said that, this might be the section I feel more confident in starting out with 😛

There is a detailed lesson for the necktie too (forgot to take a picture but you can see it in the book flip through below). Great for handmade gifts especially if you use a luxe fabric like Liberty (as seen in 2 of the 3 neckties above)

adjustingpatterns

An important aspect to tailored men’s clothes, you do need to ensure good fit, but as most of us don’t fit neatly into a particular size for dimensions, it is important to know how to adjust parts of the pattern for your own measurements. For example, it could be that the sleeves are too short although the rest of the shirt/coat fits well. The above shows you an example of where you should make the extension to the sleeve pattern. The book devotes a couple of pages showing you how to make size adjustments for chest, body width, length, sleeve length , length and width for pants.

sizechart

This is the size chart for the patterns in the book. The Japanese terms on the leftmost column are :
Size / Height (from the midline) / Bust / Wasit / Hip / Shoulder width (from shoulder tip to shoulder tip)
There are diagrams in the book to show you how to take these measurements properly.

howtomake

The above is an example of a typical how-to-make page.

samplediagram

A close up detail of one of the diagrams. 


patternsheets

This book comes with 3 full size, double printed pattern sheets which makes it a total of 6 pattern sheets in all. No wonder, since there are so many parts for each garment.

Here’s the book flip-through video of the entire book. You will notice more gems in there!

backcover

I bought this book knowing that some of these patterns may never be used, not because they are not good but because they really look too complicated for my level of sewing. However, I bought it as a reference because I have always been fascinated by the great workmanship that goes into a proper Men’s coat or dress pants. In particular how the lining is added on so that you can’t see the stitches (hand sewing is involved I think). I believe that this may help me unravel the mystery of how to make adjustments to my DH’s tailored pants (if I ever get the guts to do it). There are some easier patterns that I will start with though, probably the button down shirt which is more casual and looks easier for a first project. So there are quite a number of easier patterns and I hope to work my way up to finally being able to make a proper shirt.

Patterner Kaneko Toshio No Honkaku Men's Fuku / Kaneko Toshio / [Cho]

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Title : Pattern Maker : Toshio Kaneko’s Men’s Clothes
Author : Toshio Kaneko
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue
ISBN : 9784529056397

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review and Flip Through Video – Kana Standard

September 16, 2017

The 3rd book in line for book review was this – Kana’s Standard by Kana Sato. This book was first published in 2015 February. That was when I was preoccupied with my new baby and was too exhausted to think about any sewing, much less buying new books 🙂 But this book kept popping up on Instagram, and the clothes look so comfortable and stylish that I knew I had to get a copy of my own. Since then the author has published a second book Kana’s Standard II plus 2 kids books (I have reviewed one here before), and I’m only getting acquainted with her first! No worries, second book has been ordered and on the way!
kanastandard

Let’s take a look at the contents of this book. There are 24 different projects for co-ordinates that you can mix and match, actual styling examples for your reference. The number “70” on the cover refers to the number of styles example shown in the book.

This book is for ladies sizes 7,9,11,13. These are Japanese sizes of course. The most confusing thing about this book was the lack of a real size chart. I think those of you who have bought this book may have wondered about it. I will be translating the size info page further down the review, so I hope that will help! But first things first, lets look at the pretty clothes!

contents1

The projects are grouped by

A- Tops and one-piece
B – Pants
C – Skirt
D – Camisole
E – Gown

contents2

frilltop

The first top is the one on the front cover. It’s really quite a standard pullover top design, but the frills detail on the sleeve elevated the simple top into a whole new level doesn’t it?

simpledress

An extension of the same top into a dress length, minus the frills and added hidden pockets.

reddress

A different take on the sleeves.

ribbontiecheckeddress

A different fabric, with an added sash and sleeve variation.

styling

At the end of each section, there is a styling guide that gives you inspiration for how to co-ordinate these pieces for everyday life.

Section B is all about Pants.

whitepants

These were simply called “White Pants” in the book. Baggy casual style with no fasteners/zips.

woolpants

Wool pants in 3/4 length.

suspenderpants

Cute suspender pants!

Part C is for Skirts

tafettaminiskirt

Taffeta Mini Skirt.

reversibleskirt

Reversible Skirt – 1 skirt, 2 ways, there are

Part D – Camisole

camisole

There are two camisole patterns. A longer dress version and a short top version – both are great for layering.

The last section is for outerwear, or  Gowns.

gown

This is a gown made using double gauze. I don’t think it will really keep you warm but it’s great for layering on cooler days. I love the casual unstructured look of double gauze too, plus it is so soft and cozy to be in.

woolgown

For even cooler days, make one out of wool.

howtomakeintro

Now for some important information. I was looking high and low for the size chart and couldn’t find it. Then I realized that the information was written out on the intro page of the how-to-make section. There are different points to note for each different section which I suppose is the reason why there is no standard size chart. However, the book follows the standard Japanese sizes 7,9,11 and 13.

To help you in deciding the correct size to make, I will roughly translate the above information. Note that the translation is not word for word but also includes my own explanations in italics which hopefully will make it clearer.

A – Tops and Dresses
The patterns are free size in a relaxed style. The necklines are larger than head measurements so they can be worn as it is. You can adjust the length of the dresses to your liking. Take note to adjust the belt and ribbon lengths as well.

B – Pants
The patterns are available in 4 standard sizes 7,9,11 and 13. Refer to the finished dimensions on each project, there are two dimensions listed for finished dimension 出来上り寸法 . The first is waist ウエスト. The second is ウエスト(最大) which means the waist measurement at its largest/ when the pants are stretched (since these pants have no zips and are elasticized).  If your own hip measurement is larger this stretched waist measurement, then you won’t be able to pull the pants over your hip. So it is recommended to choose the size based on the hip size rather than waist size.

C – Skirt 
Only the front belt comes in 4 sizes (7,9,11,13)  (this is only for skirts with a flat front waistband and elastic waistband only for the back).  For the rest of the skirts that have full elastic waistband, the patterns to be cut are the same, but the length of elastic to use is different. Similar to the pants, remember to select the size based on hip size rather than waist size.

D – Camisole
This is a free size pattern. The finished bust circumference is about 97cm. If your actual bust is larger than that, you can widen it from the centre fold line for both front and back patterns. If it is smaller, you can narrow the pattern by cutting the pattern from the centre fold line as well.

E – Gown
There is only one size for the front and back pieces. But there are 2 sizes for the sleeves – 9 and 13.

My (not me! but the pattern designer who is also the model in the book) height is 165cm, and usually wear a size 9. The shown pieces are made using size 9 patterns.

Also take note that the cutting diagrams are based on size 9 patterns. If you are making larger sizes or prints that need to be matched, you may need to use more fabric than recommended. So please double check before buying your fabric.

howtomake

Sample of the how-to-make page.

diagramcloseup

Close up of instructions.

patternsheets

2 full size double sided pattern sheets.

last but not least, here’s the book flip through video

kanastandardbackcover

Title : Kana’s Standard
Author : Kana Sato
ISBN No: 9784579115136

BUYING OPTIONS (aff links)

KANA'S STANDARD Stylist Sato Kana no Kantan ni Tsukurete, Tokoton Tsukaeru Nichijogi / Kana Sato

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This book is also available on Amazon marketplace. Click on the link to find your buying options.

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Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review and Flip Through Video – Couturier Sewing Class Book 3

September 6, 2017

I had a list of book reviews lined up, but this new release (just last week!) from my favourite pattern designer Yukari Nakano of Couturier Sewing Class, just needed to be reviewed first. So those of you who were waiting for the rest of the books please be patient with me. I will get back to the list soon.
couturiersewingclass_3

This is technically the 4th book by Yukari Nakano, and it is titled A little Journey. Why do I call it book 3 in my review? It’s because the last book is more of a sewing lesson for beginners type of book, while the other 3 books have the same cover and look like it’s part of a series. Well, anyway I named it Couturier sewing class book 3 simply because it is easier to Google for it, since my English translation of the title may not be accurate. 😛

The clothes in this book are designed around the theme of “going out”, whether it is just a simple lunch with friends, or a trip to the museum, the clothes are designed to take you to places. With the combination of simple designs and a focus on using quality materials, the designs will look elegant and sophisticated. What I love most is how quickly and simply most of them could be made, and yet it looks so elegant. Enough said, I know many of you want to dive into the book. Here goes!


contentspg1

There are 28 projects to be made from this book. Including tops, dresses, skirts, pants, outerwear,even an apron and a bag. There are patterns for both knits and wovens too.

contentspg2

It won’t be possible to show all 28 pieces here, so I’ll just show you a few of my favourite ones that have gone straight to my to-do list. Don’t worry, you can browse through the book flip through video at the end of the review.

standcollarblousealineskirt

The first is a stand collar blouse. This blouse is not only pretty but also very easy to make. There is no button/zip required as the opening in the front allows the blouse to be pulled over the neck.

slit_pullover

So this top is to be blamed for this review being one day later than it should have been. I was uploading the video and photos and just felt the itch to stitch. It looked so easy and quick to make so I decided to just do it. Only two pieces of patterns required, and I even managed to do it with my 2yr old trying to run over my drafting paper, transferred it to fabric (did you know her patterns include the seam allowance already so that cut down some time too!), cut it out and in between cooking, I sewed it up!

slitpullover

slitpulloverwidepants

This is another variation of the same blouse, – which by the way is called the Slit Pullover. The name comes from the fact that the armholes are actually like slits in the drop shoulder seam.

2way_vnecktunic

This is another garment I would like to make another day. The 2 way V neck tunic. I have made 2 of her V-neck pullover blouses before and they are currently staples in my wardrobe. They are so quick and fast to make and the neckline is flattering as well. But my favourite detail for this tunic is in the button up sleeves.

high_neckblouse

This is the back view for the High Neck Ribbon Blouse – which is also the blouse on the cover of the book. Love the neck line, the flared sleeves and the ribbon detail.

raglan_sleevepullover

Another on my itch to stitch list, and I think this might be next to be made. The Raglan sleeve pullover. I am currently watching Tokyo Tarareba Musume (a Japanese drama) and just so happens the the female lead was wearing a top with this type of neckline! This looks quite similar to the top on the cover of her previous book but on closer inspection it is a different design altogether. In this case the sleeves are separate pieces and quite similar to the construction of a raglan tee, but with a high neckline.

peplum_blouse

A simple white peplum blouse with a semi exposed metal zip on the back. So simple and elegant. The fabric looks like a jacquard print but I can’t be sure because it just says “cotton” in the instructions. There is a full sewing lesson with step by step photos for this particular blouse.

peplum_jacket

A Peplum Jacket, makes a casual outfit dressier, yet not too formal looking.

gown_coat

I love coats, I wish I could make them but there’s no where I can wear them to in hot and sunny Singapore. I’ll just have to drool at them. This coat is simply called the Gown Coat. I see a lot of them being worn nowadays in Japanese/Korean dramas as well. So it must be the trend! I just think it looks so lush and cozy!

size_table

Ok, now for the technicalities as usual. The above is the size chart for this book. Patterns for sizes S-LL.
The Japanese terms on the left column are Heigh / Bust / Waist / Hip respectively.

sample_lessons

There are 2 detailed sewing lessons, plus a few extra bonus pages of sewing tips (with pictures). The detailed sewing lessons are for the white Peplum blouse as well as the Slit pullover.

sample_diagrams

Just a close up of the photo instructions in the sewing lesson.


how_to_make

Sorry for the blur photo. My son was trying to push me away from the table while I was finishing up, so yup, hand-shake.  But this photo was just to show you the standard how-to-make looks like for the rest of the projects that do not have the sewing lesson.

samplepatterns

2 full size, double sided pattern sheets. Do note that for her patterns, seam allowances are included already!

couturiersewingclassbackcover

I know you haven’t seen enough of the book, so here is the full book flip through review.

Title : ちょっと よそ行き (A little Journey – Couturier Sewing Class)
Author : 中野ユカリ (Yukari Nakano)
ISBN Number : 9784529057066

Chotto Yosoiki / Nakano Yukari / Cho
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(affilate link)

Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books in English

Book Review and Book Flip Through Video – Stylish Wraps by Yoshiko Tsukiori

July 2, 2017

I received this in the mail from our friends at Tuttle Publishing last week, and couldn’t wait to share it with you! This is the latest book to be translated to English from Yoshiko Tsukiori that is full of patterns for ponchos, capes, coats, jackets, all the stylish ways you can keep yourself warm. You may think it’s strange to release a book about cold weather wear right in Summer, but given the time you might take to buy the book, look for the right fabric, and actually get started on sewing, it is just about right.

I have prepared a flip-through book video at the end of this review where you can look at all the designs contained in the book, so I will just share some of my favourite pieces here.

stylishwraps

I just love the cover of this book. Despite the 34C temperature here, I actually feel cold thanks to the tones of the photograph and how snug she looks in that grey wrap.

E_drapevest

This is a drape vest, it comes in a drape jacket version too (with sleeves) but I thought this was a much better pictures. I love the draping and how being a vest it can actually be used more frequently as than a proper jacket. I also looks like a quick and easy sew.

G_cape

There are full length proper, really warm looking quilted jackets in the book as well, but I like this wrap which uses quilted fabric. Another really easy cut and finish edges, add snaps pattern. I love quilted fabric but find that using them full blown on a jacket makes one look rather like a walking blanket. This is much cuter!

J_fauxfurwrap

A stylish wrap in faux fur of course! If you have never sewn with faux fur before, there is a two page guide in the book with step by step photos teaching you how to do it.

0_wrapjacket

I love the casual look on this one, layered over a dress or even a defined pant suit, I think this falls in the category of refined casual wear. Might be easy to go sloppy on this one so I think accessories are very important when co-ordinating with this wrap jacket.

P_Bolero

A more feminine style bolero with tie ribbons in the front. Probably more suited for warmer days due to the length. This can be done in a light and sheer fabric as well to carry off the gathers and frills.

V_jacket

A wing-collared jacket made in tweed fabric and fringed edges.

Now for the technicalities. This book includes patterns for Japanese sizes 7 – 13. The measurements are given primarily in inches, and cm equivalents in brackets.

sizechart

A typical pattern how-to-make page. I just noticed that there are some bonus knitting patterns included. For e.g. the yellow beret worn together with the drape vest above, as well as the mittens on the cover of the book. There are also knitting instructions for leg warmers, headband and other accessories shown with the main garments.

howtomakesample

The diagrams below are from a sample of the instructions.

sampleinstructions

My favourite feature in Tuttle’s pattern books. The pattern envelope for storing pattern sheets. There are 2 x 2-sided pattern sheets. I often get emails asking about missing pattern pieces. Sometimes it is because they are scattered over different sheets. Sometimes, you need to read the instructions and draft the pieces yourself (usually the rectangular pieces that only require length and width dimensions like binding / cuffs etc)

patterns

backcover

I love making these book flip-through videos because it makes it so easy for me to show you what’s in the book compared to taking 2 dozen photographs. I hope you enjoy watching them too! Do subscribe to my YouTube channel Japanese Sewing Books to be updated when new videos have been uploaded.

Here’s the flip through video. Enjoy!

The book will only be available on Amazon.com from 1st August but it’s available for pre-order now!

Title : Stylish Wraps Sewing Book
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
ISBN No. : 978-0804846950

Or if you can’t wait till August, here’s a giveaway for you! Up for grabs is a copy of Stylish Wraps by Yoshiko Tsukiori. There will be 4 copies to be given away in all, one on each of the following channels –
my blog / YouTube / Facebook page / Instagram

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All you have to do is comment below and tell us your favourite book from Yoshiko Tsukiori. Need a list of books? Check out my book reviews of her English books here. One comment per email please. Extra entries from duplicate emails will not be counted.

For extra chances,

  1. Like my Facebook page and comment on the giveaway post.
  2. Follow me on Instagram, like the giveaway post and Tag at least 3 friends to win. One tag per comment. The more friends you tag, the more chances you have of winning!
  3. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and comment below the video for Book Flip Through Video for Stylish Wraps
  4. Follow Tuttle on the following social media channels
    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TuttleBooks/
    Twitter – https://twitter.com/TuttleBooks
    Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/tuttlebooks/
    Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tuttlepublishing/

This giveaway will run for a week and end Monday 10th July at 0900hrs Singapore Time. The winner will be announced the day after on the respective channels.

Good luck!

ETA : The giveaway is now closed.

Unfortunately, the first winner did not get back to me so I had to redraw a new winner. And the new winner is Norah Ho! Congratulations Norah, please check your inbox for an email from me! 🙂

Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews

Book Review – Adorable Felted Animals

June 13, 2017

This is the follow up to the last post about Needle Felting. The second needle felting book, also published by Tuttle, is all about Adorable Felted Animals.
afa_cover

The difference between this book and the last? The last book was more cute and symbolic figures, whereas this book is all about making animals and making them look life-like! Personally I feel that this is an incredibly difficult task. It is hard enough to make something out of a bundle of wool already, and to make it look so lifelike as well? Oh well, the title of the book says Easy, and apparently this book received lots of good reviews on Amazon as well, so I think those of you who are into Needle felting will definitely enjoy taking your craft to the next level. It may not be as difficult as you think!

Here are some of the incredibly lifelike and adorable animals I really like in this book.

shiba

A Japanese Shiba

kittens

Chinchilla Silver Cat (left) and Norwegian Forest Cat (Right)

shihtzu

A Shih Tzu

phonestrap

Use them as phone strap decorations! This will be a great gift, especially for dog lovers. You can use the patterns and lessons in the book and customize one that looks just like your own dog!

stepbystep

In order to make the animals more life like, florist wires are used to keep the animals poses in position. A step by step lesson with photos for each step (5 pages in all) is included for the Golden Retriever. Many of the steps in this project are used throughout all the projects so this is a really useful lesson.

tools

Some information about the tools  you will need before starting on needle felting.

sampleinstructions

A sample of the instructions for each project.

afa_backcover

and here’s the flip-through book review where you get to see more of the projects in the book. Lots of dogs, cats, rabbits and even a few birds and chipmunks. Enjoy!

Buy now from Amazon.com (Affiliate link)