This week’s book review is the first time I am reviewing a Japanese sewing book that has been translated into Chinese. There are many Japanese sewing books translated into Chinese by the Taiwanese publishers, since I guess in Taiwan there seems to be a much greater interest in sewing and DIY crafts. The draw of buying the Chinese versions is that they are 20-30% cheaper than the same Japanese books (based on prices in my local Kinokuniya). In comparison, the price of the English translated versions are even cheaper. I think it all depends on where it is printed and quality of the print as well. Another plus point is that the ones that have been translated are usually quite current books, for example this particular book was first released in Japan in April 2013. In comparison, some of the English translated titles had their original Japanese versions released a good 5 years ago (and some even more!)
Of course, all these “plus points” won’t matter if you can’t read Chinese :P, especially since it is published in Traditional Chinese (which is used in Taiwan) as compared to Simplified Chinese (used in China and also here in Singapore). So take it that I’m just reviewing another Japanese sewing pattern book that has been translated to another language. There are also lots of French versions too, but since I can’t read French I will have to show you the Chinese version!
The title of the original book is May Me Style Adult (Ladies) Wear. The image above is the original Japanese version
(image from Amazon.co.jp just for reference since I don’t have a copy of the original)
The Chinese is pretty much the same but with a some additional comments on the cover like “Ok for casual wear or for gatherings”, and “Learn in one lesson how to make tops, dresses, skirts, pants, vests, bags and accessories”.
There are 29 projects in all (including accessories) for sizes S,M,L and LL. Do bear in mind some of the garments are made using the same pattern pieces, with variations in length, or other additional design details, so it’s not exactly 29 unique design patterns included.
The rest of the book is pretty much the same as the Japanese version, and I must say that the printing quality is pretty good. Let’s have a look at the projects inside!
Sailor collar blouse
Loose fitting blouse with fine pleats
Button down blouse
Check out the back centre pleat of the tunic. It’s a nice touch by the designer.
Round neck dress – very simple design but I love that fabric!
Some casual bag patterns included
Slit open front dress
This is similar to the loose fitting pleated blouse (02) but extended to dress length and an added drawstring around the waist.
Button down puff sleeve dress
Another centre pleat feature on the back centre line.
Knee length A-line skirt with button placket and drawstring detail
From left – Wide leg denim three-quarter pants, Narrow slimming pants (long), narrow slimming pants (cropped)
Full length dress coat
Vest style dress
Vests (in linen and wool)
Triangular slit opening at the bottom of the vest.
Shawl style coat
There are two pages to demonstrate how, with the same patterns, you can create a more formal look simply by using a different fabric. This top is actually the sailor collar blouse (minus the sailor collar) and made with a red linen instead.
There are also a couple of pages showing you how to mix and match the different co-ordinates for many different looks
The sizes included are the same as the Japanese book version – S,M,L and LL. All units in cm, no inches provided at all.
Can you guess the terms on the left column?
A useful tip at the end of the table. Although the size chart uses 160cm height as a basis for all sizes, the model in the book is 168cm, Bust -79, Waist -60, Hips -87, and wearing size M for the photo shoot.
Together with the size chart, are some pattern tracing and sewing tips in colored diagrams.
There is one detailed sewing lesson with step by step photographs, for the Slit open front dress. Techniques covered include gathers, proper finishing of the open slit, collar and sleeves, as well as making hidden side pockets.
The rest of the how-to-make section is pretty much the same as the Japanese version, in terms of layout and simplicity 🙂
2 full size pattern sheets included.
Title : May Me大人風手作服 (Chinese)
May Me スタイルの大人服 (Japanese)
(if you are interested, click on book titles to buy Japanese version from amazon.co.jp and Chinese version from books.com.tw, both offer international shipping)
Author : 伊藤 みちよ
ISBN : 978-986-302-186-5 (Chinese)
or 978-4529051972 (Japanese)