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Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Mens Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Mens Wear

February 13, 2015

You know the saying Once in a blue moon? Today is one of those days, for we have a new sewing book for the guys!


The book is called Basic Style Menswear for sizes S-XXL (5 sizes), All seasons mens casual wear. 

There are a few shirts sewing books for Men, and some patterns scattered here are there in sewing magazines such as Cotton Friend (where they realize that Fathers need to be included in family sewing projects as well), but very few books dedicated to Mens casual wear alone and even fewer that are updated in design. I’ve always wondered how difficult it would be to combine all those sewing patterns into ONE book, since according to my DH’s wardrobe, all they need are shirts, pants (for more formal occasions), t-shirts and shorts (for casual occasions). That’s it!
Finally, someone (Nihon-Vogue) did and now you have it, the one book you will need for sewing Mens casual wear.


As simple as a guy’s wardrobe needs to be, the patterns are also grouped into broad categories – A to G. The clothes are designed by 7 different pattern designers. Namely,
Toshio Kaneko, Rika Komoro, Chiaki Boshi, Megumi Kobayashi, Michiyo Ito (of May Me fame), Yoko Nishikawa and raynoar.


Pattern A – Boat-neck T-shirts in short (pattern 1 above) /long sleeve (pattern 2) versions


Pattern B – Crew neck (in short sleeve) and Henley (in long sleeve) variations. Mix and match the patterns to get a crew neck long sleeve tee + a henley short sleeve tee. That will be like 2 bonus patterns not featured in the book but you can get out of the patterns.


Pattern C- Shirts. 3 variations. Make them dressy with a winged collar,

Casual with an open collar


Or a simple every day shirt.

Those of you who may fear the process of making a Men’s shirt, don’t. I’ve done it before with a book which has instructions far more complicated than this one. Did I mention this book has step by step instructions with full color photographs for 2 of its projects? Lesson 1 covers the making of a shirt.



Easy peasy! You can do it!

Next up, Pants… Pattern D – Easy Pants


As the title suggests, these are simple drawstring pants with side pockets, in long…


and short versions.

Pattern E – Parka


This pattern can be made into 3 variations – a hooded parka (above), a trainer (below) – this is what it’s called in the book but I think it’s more appropriate to call it a sweater?


or a buttoned cardigan, with side pockets (pic below). Quite metrosexual, this design… 😛


The other pants pattern included in the book is also a casual type with a elastic waistband and fake fly opening (i.e. the fly is sewn on and there is no actual fly opening).

Pattern F – Tapered Pants


Comes in long, cropped cargo and knit pants versions (the knit pants are matching with the grey sweater in pattern 13)



The last category is for outerwear. You can make this Nylon quilted vest



Military style jacket


or this Duffle Jacket.

and because Moms always get matching pattern sets with their daughters, there is a special recipe section that attempts to make the world a fairer place 🙂

Matching patterns for Father and Sons! The patterns is adapted to be a little cuter and easier to wear for the little boys.


Lesson 2 with full colored photographs, is for the Cropped Cargo Pants (the one with the elastic waistband + fake fly opening).


Included in the patterns are two Men’s accessories patterns – a Body Bag as well as a Snood.


For the How to make section, there are 5 sizes included, ranging from S-XXL. The size chart is indicated below and they did take into consideration the fact that different sizes mean different heights as well, whereas for most female sewing books they tend to base it on an average height of 160cm.


The terms on the left most column are : Size / Height / Bust / Waist / Hip / Shoulder width. All measurements are in cm.


A standard how to make page – note there is a chart for the completed garment size. Do refer to this before deciding the size to make, as the completed garment size will give you a sense of the fit of the garment. So depending on how fitting you want to make it, you may wish to size down or up and adjust the length for height instead of sticking to the size chosen using the body measurements.


A closeup of the diagrams used for sewing instructions.


2 sheets (each printed on both sides) of full size patterns.


Title : Basic Style Menswear
ISBN : 978-4-529-05385-3
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Mens Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Book of Men’s Shirts

October 7, 2013

This is the first book I’ve ever bought on sewing Men’s shirts! And definitely my first book review on this subject.

I was first drawn to this book after receiving a sewing question from Happy Sew Lucky on instagram. I have actually seen this book many times but never thought it could be possible to make a Men’s shirt on my own. After seeing pictures of her shirt in progress, I was inspired to get my own book and maybe… just maybe, I will make one for the husband (who sometimes read my blog by the way so I can’t say too much)

The book includes 19 patterns with both formal and casual shirts’ patterns included.

Regular collar white shirt

Semi wide spread collar white shirt

Due bottoni collar shirt – this is supposed to be a casual suit, not for wearing with suits.

Wing collar formal shirt

Round collar cleric shirt

Regular collar casual shirt

One-up collar short sleeve shirt


Stand collar tuck shirt

Military shirt

Shirt with zippered pockets.

If you, are like me, unable to tell the minute differences between the different types of collars and cuffs, then this book will be very useful for you. Interspersed between the various pictures of the shirts are these pages that breakdown the details of a shirt, for example the different types of collars, cuffs, even the different types of fabric and buttons you can use.

The descriptive text is in Japanese but the main English terms are translated and that was enough for me.  There are also sections on bleaching, ironing, dyeing, etc but these are mostly text and not much pictures so I did not show them here.

Various types of cloth suitable for making shirts.

The How-to-make section starts with a scary flow chart. It’s pretty mind boggling but in a nutshell, the purpose is to list down all the steps involved in making a shirt.  I’ll just stick to the individual pattern instructions for now and not try to get confused by this diagram. 🙂

So here’s an example of a how-to-make. On the left column near the binding you can see the instructions in point form. Pretty brief instructions, as most of the instructions are detailed in diagrams. There is only 1 set of full instructions which is for pattern 1 – regular collar shirt. I guess this is because most of the steps in making a shirt are pretty similar so there is no need to repeat the steps in all of the patterns. The rest of the patterns do not have a full set of instructions but wherever there is a variation from the standard shirt instructions, the diagrams of the additional steps will be included.

Close up of one of the diagrams.

2 large pattern sheets included.

Before I forget, the size chart!

The size chart table is divided into two sections.
The first three rows of measurements refer to nude measurements (meaning actual body measurements) and they are : height, chest around, waist.
The bottom 5 rows refer to garment measurements: neck around , sleeve length (from neck to shoulder to wrist), shoulder width, chest around, wrist around.

Frankly speaking, it looks like a massive project. Even the number of patterns to be traced per shirt is daunting. I will probably try one of the casual shirts first but before that, I will need to source for the right type of fabric. Does that sound like an excuse not to start? ;P

Title : 男のシャツの本 Book of Men’s Shirts
Author : 嶋崎隆一郎 Ryuichiro Shimazaki
ISBN : 978-4-579-11110-7

Otoko no Shirts no Hon / Shimazaki RyuichiroBuy now from cdjapan