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Book Review – Handmade Dresses I want to Brag About

August 20, 2018

Today’s book review was the second most popular book chosen by you from my IG and FB poll a few weeks ago.
I can totally understand why because I actually bought this book blind…. all for that dress on the cover! It looks like a Double gauze/linen dress, and not only do I have too much double gauze in my stash, but I also needed a dress pattern like that.

The title of the book is Handmade Dresses that I want to Brag about from the Ladies Boutique series by publisher Boutique-sha. There are about 20 pcs to make from this book. 1 full size pattern sheet is included, for sizes S-LL. I wasn’t sure what to expect about the rest of the book so let’s have a look together!

cover

The dress on the cover that made me buy the book! It’s a simple dress with a tie-string gathered waistline and the side seams are longer than the centre hems. I thought it was a linen fabric but as listed in the book, it says the fabric is a rustic cloth??? I googled it and actually found a listing of it on a fabric manufacturer‘s site. It is a french linen series but is actually Flax Yarn Dyed Poplin but the material content is 100% Flax. Honestly I think it’s just a lightweight linen 😛 I can imagine one of the nani IRO linens will be perfect for this dress!

sailorcollardress

The first dress had a really cute collar. This collar is more often seen on kids patterns but not so much for adults. I like that the front of the collar is more subtle and not so “Sailor moon” 😛

necklineslitdress

This shouted Marimekko to me because of the irregular circle dots. I’m not sure if this is a Marimekko print but I think this was really cute for this dress. It does distract a little from the dress pattern which has a slit on the neckline and gathered skirt. I prefer some kind of segmentation of the dress at the waistline which can help to prevent the maternity look.

backribbondress

A camisole-top with a drop waist skirt, coupled with a cute ribbon tie detail on the back. I recognized this fabric instantly. It’s the camino linen from 2018 nani IRO collection!

bigslitdress

This dress caught my attention because of the color, but on closer look I do like the french sleeves a lot! There are two side slits which makes it look more interesting. Somehow despite it’s super loose cut, it doesn’t scream maternity as much.

gathersleevedress

These ribbon ties on sleeves and cuffs are in a lot of Korean/Japanese/Chinese dramas lately. So it must be a thing! I’m not sure about using this gingham because my kindergarten uniform was made with the same fabric. 😛

But I do like the sleeve details and yes, the belt makes it so much better!

flaredress

My favorite dress in the book. Looks so simple but it’s a perfect match with the striped fabric! I like the gathered waist tie too. Will definitely be doing this next but maybe in a shorter length.

wrapdress

2 way casual dress – this is actually a loose wrap dress, which doubles up as a coat. I think the design is meant to be loose and layered over a top instead of being worn on its own because the position of the side ties prevent you from tightening the waist portion any further.

coatdress

Another coat dress. Button up and add a belt for a casual dress. or layer it on as a coat on cooler days.

There are lots of other dresses to be made in this book so have a look at the book flip-through review below!

This book covers S-LL sizes but in actual fact they are grouped into 2 sizes as shown above. I guess it’s not much of a problem since the dresses are all meant to be loose and not fitted.

sizechart

A close up of the instructions included in the book.

samplediagram

Only 1 sheet of patterns and it’s bound to the book which means you have to cut it out along the lines.patternsheet

There are quite a few pieces I like in there and will actually wear but I still find that most of them belong to the baggy style that I usually try to avoid. But there are some interesting collar and sleeve details that I like from some of the baggy dresses that I think can be adapted into tops instead! So I still think this was a good buy. If you like it too, here’s the link to buy it from cdJapan! (aff link)

Jiman Shitaku Naru Tezukuri One-piece / Boutique-sha

Title : 自慢したくなる手作りワンピース (レディブティックシリーズno.4616)
ISBN : 978-4834746167

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Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews Japanese Fabrics Japanese Sewing Books

Atelier to nani IRO’s Sewing Closet – Book Review and Flip Through Video

March 1, 2018

It’s the time of the year again when the new collection for nani IRO fabrics ship. And this year there is another reason to be excited. After 10 years, she has finally released a new sewing pattern book! (You can read the review of the first book here. )

All the fabrics used in the book are from the new nani IRO 2018 collection. I will be going writing up on that once I get my hands on the fabric. And since we will be practically talking about nani IRO collection the whole month, I would like to declare this month of March 2018 – nani IRO month again!

naniIROmonth2018_sm

I first came up with this idea back in March 2013 where I dedicated the entire month to nani IRO related posts, and oh my has it been 5 years already??? What will I be doing for nani IRO month? First of all, this book review, followed by a post on the new collection this year, and finally my very own makes!

In the meantime, let’s get inspired and hopefully this will help you decide which fabrics to get too! (If you haven’t ordered already)

cover

This time round it’s for ladies only. Sizes S, M&L, L+ and 2L are included. It’s a little confusing, but I will explain later with the size chart at the end of the book review.

innercover

There are patterns for tops, pants, skirts, dresses, pantsuit, hats, coats and shirts. Well practically everything. It is the Sewing Closet book after all!

contents1

The projects are grouped based on difficulty of making – as indicated by the approximate number of hours you will need to make the garment.

A – Bias collar Tshirt
B – Bias collar Dress
C – Cocoon dress
D – Petticoat dress
E – Free Hat

contents2

F – Bias Collar Dress
G – Big Tuck Pocket Dress
H – Big Tuck Pocket dress with half sleeves
I – Tapered pants
J – Wide Pants

contents3

K – Tuck Silhouette Dress
L – Side pocket Long Skirt
M – All in one
N – Work Dress

contents4

Q – Spring Summer Staff Coat
R – Autumn Winter Staff Coat
O – Work Dress (3/4 sleeves)
P – Work Shirt

CandD

The outfits for each page are labelled below. Here is the Cocoon dress with the petticoat dress worn underneath. The main fabric on the dress is Camino in Double Gauze.

grace

Big Tuck Pocket Dress in Grace (Linen)

G+J

Dress G in Ripple (Linen)

situation

Dress K in Situation (cotton sateen)

M

M – All in One. This is basically like a pant suit. It is quite interesting and looks cool on the model. But I’m not so sure I can pull off the look myself 😛 The fabric is Situation (Linen)

buttonskirt

Other than prints, there is a range of solid color fabrics under the new range – Naomi Ito Colors. You can find many different subtrates here – Linen Cotton, Cotton Sateen, Cotton Linen Herringbone, Linen, Cotton Linen Brushed Herringbone (something like the the wool used for men’s suits). The above skirt with side buttons, is made using the solid Linen color – French Red.

rakuenskirt

One of my favourite designs – Fuccra Rakuen is released in new colors and substrates this season. Seen here is the blue linen version, made into skirt L.

shirt

Work shirt in Camino linen.

coat

Another one made using Situation linen – this is a lightweight coat for Spring/Summer.

Some pictures of the Atelier to nani IRO in Osaka. If you ever have the chance to visit and need directions, see my blog post here – Directions to Atelier to nani IRO

AteliertonaniIRO

and now for the size chart. I’ll translate the important information below to help you decide which size is best for you.

sizechart

Choosing the right size
* The attached pattern sheets are for the 4 sizes – S/M&L/L+/2L
* Some items may be grouped into 3 different sizes S/ M&L, L / 2L
or grouped into 2 sizes
– sizes S / M&L, L+, 2L
– S, M&L, L / 2L

Size table (units in cm)
Japanese Text in Left most column
Body part / Size
Height
Bust
Waist
Hip

Confusing???   I was confused too… until I looked at the pattern sheets. Basically, first find out which size you belong to, first refer to the size table (above). You will notice there are overlaps in some of the measurements for some of the sizes. My guess is that it is done this way because most people don’t fall neatly into a particular size, so the table gives you a better idea if you should choose one size up or down based on all of your measurements.

The next thing to note is that, not all the pattern sheets come in the 4 sizes listed above in the table. Certain items have patterns that come in 2 sizes and some in 3 sizes – which means that some of the sizes are grouped into one pattern sheet.

For example, the first pattern A – bias neck T shirt, comes with 2 pattern sizes only. Sizes S, M&L and L+ make use of the smaller pattern, and size 2L uses the larger pattern.
The second example is more straightforward F- Bias neck dress – this comes in 4 separate sizes patterns, S / M&L / L+ / 2L.
The 3rd example is N – Work Dress. This comes in 3 sizes. S / M&L, L+ / 2L

The easiest way to tell is from the material list in the how-to-make pages. If there are 2 sets of numbers, there are 2 pattern sizes, and so on…  The other way is to look at the sizes separated by the backslashes. I don’t know why it has to be so confusing… but that’s just the way it was written.

There are many more garments in the book that I could not post here, so have a look at the book flip-through video!

ATELIER to nani IRO sewing closet / Ito Naomi

Title : Atelier to nani IRO’s Sewing Closet
Author : Naomi Ito
ISBN Number : 978-4579116270

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Japanese Sewing Books New Releases

New Releases – February 2018

February 14, 2018

Is it still cold where you are? Don’t worry, Spring is on the way! Time to get started on sewing for spring with these new and exciting new Japanese sewing book releases! Most of the books have not been released yet, so no links. I will add them in at the end of the month when they are available. But you can pre-order from Amazon.co.jp using the ISBN numbers listed. Happy shopping! 🙂
thedressforkids1

Tomoe Shinohara is back with another “The Dress” book but this time for kids. For sizes 100-140cm. Her style is quirky, colorful and just kawaii! From the cover it seams that there are some boy patterns too.

thedressofrkids2

Title : The Dress for Kids
Author : Tomoe Shinohara
ISBN No. : 978-4579116386
Release date : 23rd Feb 2018

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naniiro

I’m super excited about this one and I know many people are! This is the new book from Naomi Ito of nani IRO textiles. Her last pattern book was published in 2008 which was 10 years ago! This time, the patterns revolve around her newest 2018 collection which will be shipping at the end of the month. I am definitely preordering this book and will make something as soon as I receive those fabrics.

This book is for adults only, unlike the previous where there were patterns for kids as well. Sizes from S,ML, L, LL.

naniiro2

Just an excerpt from the contents page
naniiro3

This is one of the new fabrics – a jacquard weave which is nice and thick and suitable for coats. I will definitely be reviewing this book so look out for it!

Title : Atelier to Nani Iro’s sewing closet
Author : Naomi Ito
ISBN No. :978-4579116270
Release date : 23rd Feb 2018

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3sidedconfig

3sidedconfig2

A new book by a new designer, well, at least I couldn’t find any other books by her. This book is called 3-sided configuration (as written on the book). Well, the Japanese title is roughly translated to “the use of 3 pieces of pattern to form a 3D one piece dress”.

Title : 3 sided configuration
Author :Masuko Shinkawa
ISBN No. :978-4579116355
Release date : 23rd Feb 2018

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patternbook_dresses

Oooo I love this series! If you are into pattern drafting, this is a great series to own. Published by Bunka, the previous books in the series covered, tops, pants and skirts. Finally we are at dresses! 72 bodices, 29 sleeves, 29 collars – for an infinite number of designs! Ok if you really know math you know it’s not infinite but that is really a lot a lot of dresses you can make. Just an excerpt from the contents page.

patternbookdresses2

Title : Pattern School – Dress edition
Publisher : Bunka
ISBN No. : 978-4579073481
Release date : 16th Feb 2018

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The next 3 books are under the NHK sutekini handmade magazine label, but sold separately as books. I don’t know how this works, but if you are a fan of Yoshiko Tsukiori, you might want to check this out! The series is called Katagami book which basically means paper patterns. The books are divided into Pants, Coats, Dress and Tunics. Sizes 7-15. Unfortunately there are no preview pics so I’m not sure how many patterns or variations are included. But these are like thin books 16 pages each.

yt_pants

Title : Yoshiko Tsukiori’s Katagami Book – Pants
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
Publisher : Bunka
ISBN No. : 978-4579073481
Release date : 19th Feb 2018divider
yt_haoirmono

Title : Yoshiko Tsukiori’s Katagami Book – Coats
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
Publisher : Bunka
ISBN No. :978-4141992592
Release date : 19th Feb 2018

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yt_dressandtunic

Title : Yoshiko Tsukiori’s Katagami Book – Dresses and Tunics
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
Publisher : Bunka
ISBN No. :978-4141992585
Release date : 19th Feb 2018

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checkandstripe

This new book by Check & Stripe will actually be released only in March, but from the preview pics it looks really nice!

Title : Yoshiko Tsukiori’s Katagami Book – Dresses and Tunics
Author : Kayoko Ishida
ISBN No. :978-4087808216
Release date : 5th March 2018

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And for the periodicals, we have

mrsstylebook

Mrs Style Book – Spring edition

cottonfriendspring2018

Cotton Friend Spring Edition
ASIN : B0788WV1VGsutekinihandmadefeb2018

NHK Sutekini Handmade Feb 2018
ASIN : B06XFY96S5

cottontimemar2018

Cotton Time March Edition 2018
ASIN: B079B358D5

Book Flip Through Videos Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review – The Silhouette Permanent Dress

January 27, 2018

I spotted this book – The Silhouette Permanent Dress, just a few weeks ago while compiling the list of new book reviews. One of the dresses totally caught my eye, and if you followed me on Instagram you might have seen it already. It was released in October last year, and it seems pretty well reviewed on Amazon. The main headline on the book says that you can make an [everlasting] dress using 3 pieces of silhouette…. eh… what does that mean? Let’s find out in the book 🙂

cover

I didn’t include the index page because it was all in Japanese, but anyway this is what the book is about. Based on three patterns using the basic shapes – A, I and X, you can make a whole variety of dresses that will last you for a long time. That basically what it means.  The book comes with patterns for 5 sizes 5,7,9,11,13 (These are Japanese sizes). Let’s see what the letters mean in terms of pattern shapes.

The first section is the A-shaped silhouettes. This simply means A-line. I think that’s quite straightforward. The A-shaped dresses are flared from shoulder to hem (As described in the introduction).

Aline

The A-line dresses come in a variety of sleeve styles – from cap sleeves, 3/4 length wide sleeves, half length flare sleeves, and 3/4 length tight sleeves (shown below)
A3

The next section showcases the “I” shape dresses. –  This “I” silhouette actually refers to a princess cut, straight and slender shape. I think the picture below shows it best. All the “I” dresses come with side panels, which you can choose whether or not to have in contrasting fabric.

I5
i4

The last section is for “X” shaped silhouettes. This is basically a princess seam plus flare skirt, in a one piece dress with no waist joining lines. The sleeve options across all three sections are pretty similar. Cap, half length, 3/4 lengths, tight or flare.

X2

Of course, this is my favourite dress! I think it’s more common to see the main print on the front panel and solids for the sides but this is the other way round. You may have noticed by now that the fabric plays a very important part in the look of the dresses. The dress above is made of grosgrain fabric (グログラン). I only knew of grosgrain ribbons. I had no idea it came in fabric as well! Apparently it is not that common and only used in brandname wear?

x5

Just another X-shape dress with 3/4 flare sleeves. This is also made in grosgrain fabric. Look at the shine on the dress!

Want to see more? See all the dress variations in the book flip-through video below.

Now for some technical information.

 

sizechart

Refer to the above table for the sizes included in the book. All measurements in cm.

howtomake

Here’s a sample of the how to make page. At the bottom of each pattern page, there is also a size table for the finished dimensions of the dress.

samplediagram

There are no photos for instructions, but the good news is that the diagrams are pretty detailed and the diagrams are bigger than usual! There are some quite advanced techniques for dressmaking included that I find pretty useful. Most of the dresses are unlined (because the fabric used is quite thick), but the insides are finished with facing. There are also detailed instructions for zip attachments, darts sewing and sewing skirt vents (for the I shape dresses) I think this is definitely a go-to book if I need to make any formal looking or working dresses.

There is also a page on the author’s website, which lists down the full list of fabrics used for the dresses, and there is even an order form for the fabrics! http://atelier-keisuzuki.com/product/books/

patternsheets

2 sheets of double printed full size pattern paper. It seems like the patterns are grouped by sizes instead of pattern numbers.

backcover

Title :  3つのシルエットで作る「永遠」のワンピース
The Silhouette Permanent Dress by Atelier Keisuzuki
Author : Kei Suzuki
ISBN Number :  978-4579116188

3 Tsu No Silhouette De Tsukuru "Eien" No One-piece / Suzuki Kei / Cho

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Japanese Sewing Books New Releases

New Releases – January 2018

January 2, 2018

Happy New Year Everyone!

After the long year end break, everyone must be dragging their feet to work and school. I felt the same way myself, after waking up way too early today to get the kids ready for school. So I think a little shopping is in order. I will get the New Year going by listing some of the new releases for the past few months, and a couple of books that will be released soon in Jan and Feb.

Disclaimer : There are some affiliate links included in the post below, especially those linked to cdJapan. There is no difference to the price you pay but I will get a small commission on the sale which helps me buy more books for reviewing purposes.

If it is not available on cdJapan I will also link it to either the publisher or Amazon.co.jp where you can find more information/read reviews about the book. Amazon.co.jp also lists books quite early which allows you to pre-order them before the official release dates as well.

Happy shopping!

handsewbabygoods

Hand sewing book for Cute baby items. Easy for beginner Mummies.
ISBN : 978-4259565664
Note : this is a hand sewing book which means you do not need to use a machine. This probably means the focus will be on hand sewing techniques. But you can definitely use the patterns with a sewing machine as well.
release date February 2017 (available for pre-order on Amazon.co.jp)

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thesilhouette

The Silhouette Permanent Dress  by Kei Suzuki
ISBN No. : 978-4579116188
I am putting this book in my cart as I speak because this picture has already sold the book to me. From the excerpts, the book revolves around three main type of patterns, A, I and X and with these 3 pieces you can make a dress you can use forever/for eternity… I don’t know how it got translated to permanent but I think you get the idea.

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checkandstripe

Check&Stripe Special Sewing Book
ISBN : 978-4391640502

Check & Stripe books are always tempting to me, because of the clean visuals and photography. It makes everything look good! I cant remember how many Check & Stripe books I have in my collection already but unfortunately this one doesn’t seem so well reviewed on Amazon. You can try to view the translated reviews here. There are not only clothes but also handmade daily goods(zakka) items that you can make.divider

 

dresseswithoutfasteners

Dresses without Zips
ISBN : 978-4834745276
(literally dresses that do not need attachment of zips)
This is part of the Lady Boutique series of books, for sizes S,M,L

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handmadezakka_fukobasics

Handmade Zakka Living
ISBN : 9784259565619
By the author of Fu-ko basics series of books, this is a book dedicated to zakka, or handmade daily items.  This is another hand-sewing book which means there are patterns and instructions on hand sewing. I’ve always loved her style and was really tempted to buy this but it’s on backorder…. Maybe next cart then. ;P

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cottontimejan2018

Cotton Time 2018

Cotton Time welcomes the new year with a new calendar as usual. The Calendar contains 12 projects, one feature for each month. This will be perfect for the sewing room.

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ladyboutiquejan2018

Lady Boutique Jan 2018 
145 items to make including New Year accessories.

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marugotopouch

Marugoto Pouch Book
ISBN : 9784529057721
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I don’t really know what Marugoto means. The online dictionary says it means “its entirety; whole; wholly” So does it mean the whole book is all about pouches? Whatever it is, there are 54 pouches to be made from this book. Go have fun, pouch making addicts 😛

 

suguremonobag

Sugure mono bag
(Excellent Bag)
ISBN : 978-4529057714
43 items to make.
This book is not released yet (20th Jan 2018) but you can preorder here – link to Amazon.co.jp

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The last few books were so similar I had a hard time telling them apart. These are the back to school sewing books. The titles are also pretty similar, so I’ll just refer to them by their numbers 😛

schoolgoods

Lady Boutique Series 4544
ISBN : 978-4834745443

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schoolgoods2

Lady Boutique Series No. 4537
ISBN : 978-4834745375

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kindyschoolgoods

Easy and Cute School Goods
ISBN : 978-4529057608

That’s it for this month! I will try to blog about new releases every first week of the month. Unless there are very very few books, especially nearer the end of the year when most of the books are knitting or crochet books. But I really want to have a more regular schedule because it helps me keep track of when I should blog about what.

Hope you found some good books to buy this month!