Japanese Sewing Books Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Couturier Sewing Class

February 16, 2016

It’s been a while but now I’m ready to get back to regular programming… i.e. book reviews!

Today’s book review is a book that I bought in October last year. That’s before I got caught up in the whirlwind of holiday sewing. It is a good thing that there are not that many new sewing books released during the winter months, as the publishers turn their focus to knitting and crochet books. But I better get started on reviewing the rest of the books on my list or I won’t be allowed to buy any more new ones!


The title of the book is Couturier Sewing Class – Ladies’ Daily Wear. Patterns for S, M, L, LL are available. The author is Nakano Yukari, the founder of Couturier Sewing Class. She first opened a sewing class for sewing children’s wear in 2002 and in 2011, started sewing class for adults as well.


A quick glance at the contents pages. There are 27 projects to sew altogether. Do note that the 27 projects include length variations, or similar patterns with minor design/fabric variations.


Let’s have a closer look at some of the projects included.


Wide pants. A comfortable pair for a casual day out. The ribbon tie is not sewn on, so it’s optional.


Raglan sleeve dress made with wool. Quite a simple design and cut, but I think the choice of fabric makes the dress really stand out. The draping of wool is much more structured than just using plain cotton, so if you want to achieve the same look, do take note of the type of fabric used.


Soft tuck skirt in linen.


Tapered Pants. I love how this pair looks but I always find tapered pants a little tricky for my big hips.  The pants are paired with a simple french sleeve pullover shirt, with a simple loop and button enclosure at the back.


Dolman Blouse (in wool). Oh how I love this piece! This piece is shown in two different fabrics in the book. The picture above is in a knit wool version, whilst the one shown on the cover is the same blouse but in cotton lawn. And since it is a dolman sleeve, it means no separate cutting of sleeves. Less patterns to trace, cut and sew. What’s not to love about that. It looks so simple and stylish too. This is going on my to-do list.


French Sleeve Dress. I’m not a big fan of the front ruffles, and this dress shape again, favors the straight body shape.


Gown Coat. A relaxed dressing gown type of coat for going out.


Gather Pullover in  Cotton Lace. You can tell that I’m in love with a top when I just got distracted and left this window, to open another one just to search for this fabric. It’s not really a lace fabric, but a cotton eyelet fabric. I even found one that looks similar on fabric.com but I caught myself just in time before checking out. I decided that I will look for something in my own “fabric store” before buying something new :P, and boy did I find the right fabric – I’m trying to choose now between a maroon or blue nani IRO Fuccra fabric. The only problem is, I am finding it hard to convince myself to cut into it. Anyway, in between writing this post, I’ve already traced the patterns and done a quick muslin, and I love it! It’s just what I needed to wear over my nursing tops. And the fact that it’s a pullover, means no buttons/zips. Quick and easy sew. Will share on the blog as soon as I am done.


This raglan sleeve pullover top, is actually a shorter version of the raglan dress in wool you saw earlier. This is made in a jacquard fabric, which has even more structure.


Round collar with 3/4 sleeves blouse, shown here with the wide pants (with the optional ribbon tie).


Hooded Poncho


Simple Coat


Working apron.


Low waist dress (in polyester). The shape is cute, and even though I’m not a fan of polyester, you can’t deny it’s easy-care qualities. I do compromise when buying store bought clothes, but when it comes to sewing I do prefer cotton, or blends. I do find the fabric interesting though. Why, you might ask, isn’t it just a simple polka dotted fabric? Well, if you look closely, do you notice how the spaces between the horizontal dots are smaller than the spaces between the rows? Most polka dotted fabric also come in staggered repeats with equal spacing vertically and horizontally. It is quite unusual isn’t it? At least I have not come across similar fabrics.


There are some basic sewing tips, but descriptions are in Japanese, so it may or may not be useful for you.


There is one lesson included for the V-neck pullover top.


Sizes for this book range from S to LL. This size chart is based on your body measurements (and not garment measurements).
The column on the left reads : Height / Bust / Waist / Hip


The rest of the sewing instructions are laid out in the standard format, with individual diagrams for each step.


There are 2 double sided printed pattern sheets.


Title : 大人の日常服 (Heart Warming Life Series)
Couturier Sewing Class – Ladies’ Daily Wear
Author : Nakano Yukari
ISBN No. : 978-4-529-05489-8

I am in love with this book, in fact, I have plans to sew two of the tops already, which says alot about a book. I like how the designs are simple, and easy to make, with minimal enclosures like zips and buttons. In particular, the designer’s choice of fabrics has inspired me to buy more solid colored, but interesting textured fabrics. I think I have way too many prints in my stash, bought because they were cute, or pretty, but not quite wearable on a daily basis. Well, now I can’t wait to get back to my sewing, hopefully I will have time to finish it by tomorrow.

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  • Reply Rai February 16, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Wow, this is the first book in quite some time that really caught my attention. So many pretty designs, I think I need to buy it. Best thing, I don´t have to change the patterns too much, because I´m more or less in the size range 🙂
    Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Reply Jen February 16, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Nice book! Unfortunately, most of the designs wouldn’t work for my body type, but it’s still nice to look!

  • Reply Serena February 16, 2016 at 9:58 am

    May I know where can we buy this book in Singapore?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books February 27, 2016 at 10:41 am

      You can search on kinokuniya or check with their staff using the ISBN no.

  • Reply Bella February 17, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    What lovely designs. I especially love the wool dress and the wide pants. Thank you for sharing this review!

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  • Reply Jackie April 4, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Love the book and would like to buy it. Thanks for sharing and showing so many of the clothes. I am a fairly experienced sewer, do you think I could follow the patterns and sizing on the sheets? I can’t read Japanese!
    Love your blog, I have only just started mine but I love your layout and content.

  • Reply Joanne Sim April 6, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    May I know if there’s any english translated for this book? I love it.Thanks for sharing and reviewing this book!! 🙂

  • Reply Jackie Sumerfield April 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Hi, both Joanne and I have asked questions about the
    book. Is it possible to follow the pattersn if you cant read japoanese. is there an english version? Thanks.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books May 1, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      There is no english version of this book yet, I’m not sure if there will be either. Will have to see if there are any publishers interested in translating this title. There are a few lessons with step by step photographs, if not then there will be illustrations. Most of the styles here are pretty simple, so yes I think it is possible to follow the patterns without knowing Japanese.

  • Reply MaciNic September 2, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you so much for this thorough review, it swayed me to finally hit BUY and it’s as gorgeous as your review says. I’ve just made the cover top, the diagrams are logical and the extra sewing supplement pages add extra detail. I don’t read Japanese, yet I didn’t need to. Simply, buy it! 😉

  • Reply Kat September 11, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Many thanks for you reviews, they are incredibly helpful in decided whether to purchase one of these books. For you and your reader’s information – I’ve just discovered that this book has been translated into French and will be released in October 2016, making it a little easy to run through google translate than the Japanese original!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 6, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Awesome! This is a really good book. I’ve made at least 3, and planning for a 4th top, from this book already!

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