It’s been about a year since the launch of nani IRO’s latest sewing book and I know many of you have bought the book thanks to the gorgeous pictures and fabric, never mind if you can’t read a word of Japanese. But I have good news for you, for World Book Media (@ZakkaWorkshop on IG) has translated the book and it will be soon available in major bookstores in June!
You know, sewing garments generates a lot of fabric scraps, and I have this box full of lovely fabric scraps that I’ve been reluctant to throw away. I always think to myself that one day, when I have the time, I will make a quilt out of all my scraps. Never mind the fact that I don’t actually know much about patchwork or quilting, till Tuttle sent me this book – Shizuko Kuroha’s Japanese Patchwork Quilting Patterns. I learned so much just by reading through it, that I think I will really have to try it out soon!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The diagrams below are from a sample of the instructions.
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)
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!
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
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.
Today I am going to review another Japanese Sewing Book that has been translated to English. And this time round, it’s not a machine sewing book but a hand sewing one. I’ve had a number of queries about embroidery books so this one is for those of you who have asked me about them! There are lots of embroidery design books out there of course, but this one was recently published by Tuttle and was released last year. When I received it from Tuttle I couldn’t stop drooling over all the cuteness! But I didn’t have time to do any book reviews till now and I kind of forgot about it till my daughter who started doing Home Economics this year, needed to do some embroidery as a class assignment. This was a great reference for her!
The book is called 501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs, which basically tells you how many stitch designs and inspirations you will get out of this book. This book does not only include embroidery, but also some cross stitch patterns, as well as some ideas + instructions on how to apply these embroidery/cross stitch patterns on your everyday objects. If you have never embroidered before, no worries, for there are detailed instructions of what you need + all the techniques and stitches you need to know for the patterns in the book.
A quick glance of the contents page. You can see that there are many project ideas plus instructional pages. So even if the designs may look complicated or daunting to you, it is suitable for beginners as well.
Here are some of my favourite designs.
There is a whole section devoted to Little Scandinavian Sketches, I love the whimsical deers and owls in this one. If you need to make your own DIY Christmas presents, this will be perfect for embellishing a Christmas gift!
Cute coffee cups, great for embroidering on kitchen towels, napkins. A coffee lover will love this.
This series of musicians sketches is just too cute not to share. Great for a music lesson bag. Or an instrument cover.
These Japanese Celebrations themed designs are also adorable. They are divided into the four seasons, and on this page you can see the Spring and Summer related embroidery designs. I just love the fireworks pattern! The color combination and the tiny fine stitches.
These are the lace patterns mentioned in the Contents page. But of course it is really just embroidery. If you have a dark fabric you need to embellish, it will be hard to make a color design stand out. But just change it to all white/off white thread and the results are stunning. These will be great for making your own monogram handkerchiefs / napkins or embellishing a border with a lace design. A lot of work yes, but isn’t it beautiful?
There are also some cross stitch patterns, including the entire alphabet which will be great for your child to start learning how to cross stitch and maybe sew a sampler like the children of the olden days 😛 I remember poring through my Mum’s Ondori Cross stitch books looking for new patterns to make. I still have one of my cross stitch works in my store room and I have to thank her Japanese sewing books collection for getting me started on cross stitch and sewing!
Some of the sample projects in the book of how you can apply embroidery designs to everyday objects.
Little cross stitch gift ideas. The covered buttons are so cheery, imagine a series of them, all in different designs, on the same dress or blouse. Such a great idea!
For beginners, there are detailed instructions and list of equipment you need to get started. Here’s a close up sample of the instructions for the sewing projects.
You may notice that I have included less photos of the book this time round, that’s because I’m going to incorporate book flip-through reviews for every book review from now on. You can also subscribe to my Channel on Youtube to keep updated of any new videos. Happy browsing!
To buy a copy of this book, you can click on the link below which leads to Amazon.com (affiliate link)
In the previous post, I covered steps 1-3. In the following video, you will see the rest of the steps – 4-8. Even if you don’t have time to sew it now, bookmark this page and you can follow along any time you want.
You will noticed that I used snap buttons instead of buttonholes and buttons as stated in the pattern. But this is for a good reason. I needed to add some color to the shirt since it is for Chinese New Year, so I chose snaps in colors that will go with the pants I am making to complete the outfit. More on the pants soon!
I also wanted to make a note about the instructions in the book. The terms upper and lower collar were used for this pattern. Even though I’m not entirely sure of the correct terminology, it seems that the terms switched in some of the diagrams, which was quite confusing. In my video, I used inner and outer collar instead. With inner referring to the inside of the shirt and outer referring to the outside of the shirt. The interfacing for the collar should be applied on the outer collar (I think!). The other mistake I made, which I only realized later, was that I added seam allowances to my collar interfacing. The collar interfacing should be traced without seam allowances. This is to prevent bulk in the seam. Luckily the interfacing I used was quite thin, as I didn’t want a stiff collar since it was a for a toddler, and it I think it turned out quite alright.
I hope you learned from my mistakes too and make a great shirt of your own. Happy sewing!