Today’s book review is for a book that is not very new, but one I have bought for quite some time simply out of curiosity 😂. I did actually want to try it though, and I did!
The pattern designer is Asuka Hamada, author of Piece Work. Her style is very quirky and usually not tight fitting, but I like them because they look modern and fun and very stylish, I just wasn’t sure if it would suit me. But anyway, it was the top on the cover that made me buy the book (as usual), since I buy all my books online. It is a round shape, sewn up leaving two holes for the arms and one for the head. Looks easy!
The title of the book is called Katachi no fuku – where katachi 形 means shapes, and fuku means clothes. So I loosely translate it to Shapes you can wear! Sounds more fun isn’t it? Patterns include – tops/tunics/dresses/poncho/handbag/bags/skirts.
Let’s have a look at some of the more interesting pieces, and then to the book flip-through video.
The first one is similar to the one on the cover, and it is literally called 丸 (maru) which means round/circular/ball shape.
Doesn’t look that bad when worn as a tunic! I tink this is some kind of heavy wool so it looks extra cushy and comfy for winter.
The next (below) is a rectangular shape – hole in the middle for the head and sides sewn up leaving armholes.
Ok maybe the model makes everything look good, but I want to try this one too!
Here’s another shape. Using a square, you can make a poncho. The sleeves look a bit restrictive in the first picture, but it drapes rather nicely in the last picture.
and this is the one I made! There are two versions, the top one – P is a dress length, and the bottom Q is a top length. I like how the bottom corners drape. The cutting of this is still more in line with a traditional top, just that everything is cut out of one piece instead of having to join the sleeves. It was a very quick sew!
and I made this too! But I can’t show you this because it was made out of test fabric and I did not finish the raw edges, it seemed to wide for me though, so I will have to adjust the width a bit.
As for the size info – well, there is none. The book did mention it is suitable for sizes S-L though, but there is one size only – free size! However, seeing that it is made up of really simple shapes, it should be quite easy to scale the patterns?
In the how-to-make section, there is a couple of pages on sewing techniques, which you will use for all the projects.
A close up of the sewing diagram.
1 full size pattern sheet, double sided, is attached.
There are lots of other projects in the book so without further ado, here is the book flip through video!
Title : Katachi no fuku
Author : Asuka Hamada
ISBN : 9784579115174
Time for a long overdue book review! As I mentioned earlier, I was dealing with a big move the entire month of June. But guess what… that didn’t stop me from buying more books.
I had some cdJapan points expiring so you know, I felt compelled to shop and not let the points go to waste. I bought myself two ladies sewing books and an issue of Cotton Time. This book is by Tatsuya Kaigai design. I didn’t buy the last book which was published in 2016, but based on the book reviews it seems pretty good, so I gave it a try. I also thought that the dress on the cover was super cute and perfect for some nani IRO petit pocho cotton sateen from the Beau Yin Yang series (edited to add : I checked the book for the fabric source and it is indeed nani IRO fabric :P)
There sre 25 projects to be made in this book, but note that out of the 25 some are just blouse -> dress variations, or even color/material variations. There is also one fully detailed step by step lesson for blouse 4, plus a section on sewing techniques for reference.
Ok let’s take a look at some of my favourites in the book!
The first is a raglan sleeve with back ribbon tie. The sleeves are also flared. This comes in both blouse and dress lengths, although the dress length seems like just an extension of the length with a loose waist tie.
This blouse is a button down blouse with front ties and a peplum. The book suggests to use soft fabrics and I think the slightly puffed sleeves look really nice too!
I really like this dress even though it is really not something I would wear. It’s too ladylike for me ;P But the shawl collar is something I’ve never tried making/wearing before. There is another version of this dress but made in all black.
Ok this I really really like. And I think it’s something that I’ll even wear! It’s a french sleeve black dress. French sleeve means that the “sleeves” are actually extended from the bodice and not attached separately. The skirt is made with tucks instead of gathers for a neat look, the ended of with a large ribbon tie on the front.
A seemingly plain collared blouse from the front, but with a cute ribbon tie at the back. I’ve been seeing these back ribbon tie blouses from a couple of PDF pattern designers lately so I guess it must be trending?
Another of those oh this is so nice but I probably can’t pull it off dresses. Sigh…. I like the collar, the front pleats, the ribbon accents and the puff sleeves. But not so much the dress length. Maybe I could tweak this into a blouse? The fabric is really nice too, it’s from Liberty Japan (Sleeping Rose AE) This is a made in Japan print so note that the width is standard 110cm instead of the Liberty UK fabrics.
I have no use for coats. Singapore is perpetually hot. But this is so pretty! Shown paired with the dress on the cover, this is a collarless coat with two pockets and a gathered back.
There is a full step by step lesson for blouse 4 – which is a small collar blouse with a front ribbon tie.
This is the size chart for the sizes included.
A sample of the instructions
Close up of the diagrams
2 large actual size double sided pattern sheets included.
And here’s the book flip through
Title : 大人をきれいに見せる服
Translated title : Beautiful clothes for Ladies
Author : Tatsuya Kaigai 海外竜也
ISBN : 978-4529058018
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!
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)
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.
There are patterns for tops, pants, skirts, dresses, pantsuit, hats, coats and shirts. Well practically everything. It is the Sewing Closet book after all!
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
F – Bias Collar Dress
G – Big Tuck Pocket Dress
H – Big Tuck Pocket dress with half sleeves
I – Tapered pants
J – Wide Pants
K – Tuck Silhouette Dress
L – Side pocket Long Skirt
M – All in one
N – Work Dress
Q – Spring Summer Staff Coat
R – Autumn Winter Staff Coat
O – Work Dress (3/4 sleeves)
P – Work Shirt
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.
Big Tuck Pocket Dress in Grace (Linen)
Dress G in Ripple (Linen)
Dress K in Situation (cotton sateen)
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)
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.
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.
Work shirt in Camino linen.
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
and now for the size chart. I’ll translate the important information below to help you decide which size is best for you.
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
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!
Title : Atelier to nani IRO’s Sewing Closet
Author : Naomi Ito
ISBN Number : 978-4579116270
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 🙂
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).
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)
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.
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.
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?
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.
Refer to the above table for the sizes included in the book. All measurements in cm.
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.
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.
At long last, a book that I have been wanting to review ever since I received it in the mail. This is by far the most comprehensive Japanese sewing book for Menswear that I have seen. The book is titled Toshio Kaneko’s Men’s Clothes.
This is Toshio Kaneko’s second pattern book. The first – All Season’s Men’s Clothes, was also favourably reviewed on Amazon. The previous book included more daily wear, with a couple of variations on shirts, t-shirts, pants and even home wear. This book is more like a Essential wardrobe for Men’s kind of book. From outerwear to shirts to pants to accessories! You really have to watch the Book flip through video (below) to see what I mean.
The sewing patterns included are for sizes S,M,L,LL and 3L. There are 21 projects in all, with 4 detailed step by step lessons in full color photographs.
I can’t quite decide which ones to show you because there are so many but I want to highlight the details of certain garments, just to show you what high quality patterns these are. Details which can’t really be seen in the book flip through video. I will also translate the contents page as I go along so that you have an idea of what’s included.
The projects are grouped by Tops / Bottoms / Outerwear / Accessories
A. Cleric Shirt
B. Button down shirt
C. Military shirt
D. Denim shirt
E. Outdoor shirt
F. Boatneck Cut and sew (Cut and sew in Japanese terms usually refers to tshirts/easy garments made of knitwear)
G. Polo shirt
+ Point Lesson – 4 detailed pages with full color photographs on how to make the A. Cleric shirt
A. Cleric shirt
Only found on tailored shirts – Gussets for reinforcing side seams.
There is a Point Lesson for the Cleric Shirt – this is called the point lesson because they only show certain “points” in full detail, and these are usually the ones related to the detailed shirt finishings, for example the sleeve placket, the collar, attaching the sleeves, as well as the side seam gussets. The easier steps like sewing shoulder seams, attaching pockets etc, are detailed in the how-to-make page and not shown here.
C. Military shirt
D. Denim shirt
F. Boat neck Cut and Sew
G. Polo shirt
The next section is for
H. Dress Pants
I. Chino pants
K. Sweat pants
+ Detailed lesson for Dress Pants
Yup, you read it right. Jeans. Honestly, I have no idea this is possible, making your own jeans that is. I glanced at the 2 page full of instructions and wonder if I will ever be brave enough to attempt it. I don’t think so, but for those of you who have ever been ambitious enough to make all of your own clothes, you might want to give this pattern a try. Look at the detailed finishing in the inside seams.
But the one pieces I wanted to highlight the most, is the dress pants. My DH has always lamented that it’s so hard to find a good tailor. Recently he asked me if it was possible to widen the waist of his tailor made pants. I’ve always thought of this as a tailor only project but can you believe it there are 8 pages of full color photos instructions for this project. At least 9 photos on each page. Again, not for the faint hearted, but if you have always wanted to try it, I can say the instructions are excellent, although I must admit that you will need some translation help because there are so many parts to it. 14 pattern pieces to be exact!
If you have ever flipped a pair of tailored pants inside out, yup it pretty much looks like this.
If you are impressed by what this book contains so far, you haven’t seen nothing yet.
The third section covers Outerwear
L. Wool Jacket
M. Denim Jacket
N. Knit Jacket
O. Duffle Coat
P. MA-1 Type Blouson (also known as a bomber/flight jacket)
Q. Stand collar Coat
+Lesson – Wool Jacket
This is the wool coat on the front cover. No I didn’t steal those photos from some tailor’s website. These are from the book and yes this is what you will be making! A proper wool coat.
There were only 8 pages of instructions for the dress pant. This wool coat has 16 pages of full detailed instructions! 21 pattern pieces to trace and cut and transfer. Impressive!
Other than formal looking coats, there is also this
MA-1 bomber/flight jacket – apparently the sage green color and orange lining is the standard color. Look at the details – sleeve pocket and lining.
I like this too, duffle coats never go out of style and always look so cozy for winter.
A more regular looking Stand collar coat. Something that looks more suited for mild winters and business trips!
The last section is for Accessories
S. Tote Bag
T. Work Apron
U. Knit Trunks
Lesson – necktie
The last section is probably the easiest and if you have completed something in the earlier sections, you can probably sew these with your eyes clothes. Having said that, this might be the section I feel more confident in starting out with 😛
There is a detailed lesson for the necktie too (forgot to take a picture but you can see it in the book flip through below). Great for handmade gifts especially if you use a luxe fabric like Liberty (as seen in 2 of the 3 neckties above)
An important aspect to tailored men’s clothes, you do need to ensure good fit, but as most of us don’t fit neatly into a particular size for dimensions, it is important to know how to adjust parts of the pattern for your own measurements. For example, it could be that the sleeves are too short although the rest of the shirt/coat fits well. The above shows you an example of where you should make the extension to the sleeve pattern. The book devotes a couple of pages showing you how to make size adjustments for chest, body width, length, sleeve length , length and width for pants.
This is the size chart for the patterns in the book. The Japanese terms on the leftmost column are :
Size / Height (from the midline) / Bust / Wasit / Hip / Shoulder width (from shoulder tip to shoulder tip)
There are diagrams in the book to show you how to take these measurements properly.
The above is an example of a typical how-to-make page.
A close up detail of one of the diagrams.
This book comes with 3 full size, double printed pattern sheets which makes it a total of 6 pattern sheets in all. No wonder, since there are so many parts for each garment.
Here’s the book flip-through video of the entire book. You will notice more gems in there!
I bought this book knowing that some of these patterns may never be used, not because they are not good but because they really look too complicated for my level of sewing. However, I bought it as a reference because I have always been fascinated by the great workmanship that goes into a proper Men’s coat or dress pants. In particular how the lining is added on so that you can’t see the stitches (hand sewing is involved I think). I believe that this may help me unravel the mystery of how to make adjustments to my DH’s tailored pants (if I ever get the guts to do it). There are some easier patterns that I will start with though, probably the button down shirt which is more casual and looks easier for a first project. So there are quite a number of easier patterns and I hope to work my way up to finally being able to make a proper shirt.
Title : Pattern Maker : Toshio Kaneko’s Men’s Clothes
Author : Toshio Kaneko
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue
ISBN : 9784529056397