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Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books in English

Book Review and Book Flip Through Video – Stylish Wraps by Yoshiko Tsukiori

July 2, 2017

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.

stylishwraps

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.

E_drapevest

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.

G_cape

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!

J_fauxfurwrap

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.

0_wrapjacket

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.

P_Bolero

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.

V_jacket

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.

sizechart

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.

howtomakesample

The diagrams below are from a sample of the instructions.

sampleinstructions

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)

patterns

backcover

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!

Title : Stylish Wraps Sewing Book
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
ISBN No. : 978-0804846950

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

4stylishwraps_600

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.

For extra chances,

  1. Like my Facebook page and comment on the giveaway post.
  2. Follow me on Instagram, like the giveaway post and Tag at least 3 friends to win. One tag per comment. The more friends you tag, the more chances you have of winning!
  3. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and comment below the video for Book Flip Through Video for Stylish Wraps
  4. Follow Tuttle on the following social media channels
    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TuttleBooks/
    Twitter – https://twitter.com/TuttleBooks
    Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/tuttlebooks/
    Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tuttlepublishing/

This giveaway will run for a week and end Monday 10th July at 0900hrs Singapore Time. The winner will be announced the day after on the respective channels.

Good luck!

ETA : The giveaway is now closed.

Unfortunately, the first winner did not get back to me so I had to redraw a new winner. And the new winner is Norah Ho! Congratulations Norah, please check your inbox for an email from me! 🙂

Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews

Book Review – Adorable Felted Animals

June 13, 2017

This is the follow up to the last post about Needle Felting. The second needle felting book, also published by Tuttle, is all about Adorable Felted Animals.
afa_cover

The difference between this book and the last? The last book was more cute and symbolic figures, whereas this book is all about making animals and making them look life-like! Personally I feel that this is an incredibly difficult task. It is hard enough to make something out of a bundle of wool already, and to make it look so lifelike as well? Oh well, the title of the book says Easy, and apparently this book received lots of good reviews on Amazon as well, so I think those of you who are into Needle felting will definitely enjoy taking your craft to the next level. It may not be as difficult as you think!

Here are some of the incredibly lifelike and adorable animals I really like in this book.

shiba

A Japanese Shiba

kittens

Chinchilla Silver Cat (left) and Norwegian Forest Cat (Right)

shihtzu

A Shih Tzu

phonestrap

Use them as phone strap decorations! This will be a great gift, especially for dog lovers. You can use the patterns and lessons in the book and customize one that looks just like your own dog!

stepbystep

In order to make the animals more life like, florist wires are used to keep the animals poses in position. A step by step lesson with photos for each step (5 pages in all) is included for the Golden Retriever. Many of the steps in this project are used throughout all the projects so this is a really useful lesson.

tools

Some information about the tools  you will need before starting on needle felting.

sampleinstructions

A sample of the instructions for each project.

afa_backcover

and here’s the flip-through book review where you get to see more of the projects in the book. Lots of dogs, cats, rabbits and even a few birds and chipmunks. Enjoy!

Buy now from Amazon.com (Affiliate link)

Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews

Book Review – It’s a Small World Felted Friends

May 31, 2017

Today’s book review is not about sewing, but of a different type of needlecraft. It is a really fun and stress relieving craft that also involves needles, but using wool instead of thread. Have you tried it before? It’s needle felting!

itsasmallworldcover

What is needle felting? Basically, you take some wool, and you jab at it with a needle till it combines together to form a solid wool block and while you jab at it, you shape it into the different shapes you need, then you combine them to form figures. Sounds easy?
feltingbasics

My first encounter with needle felting was when my eldest bugged me to buy her a felting kit from Daiso before and I thought it will be cool to see how it was made, but before I got to it, she got exasperated with the fact that the wool wouldn’t stay together, broke a couple of needles and so I didn’t even get to try it. So when Tuttle sent me this book – It’s a Small World Felted Friends (and one more that I will review later). I jumped at the chance to actually learn from an expert.

myneedlefelting

Finally! Something that looks presentable! The rabbit on the left was made by me, and the donut on the right by my daughter. We didn’t follow the patterns in the book exactly because the only wool we could find was at Daiso and they were mostly in kits, which meant that the amount of wool for each color was quite limited. But we followed the techniques taught in the book and I must say that needle felting is extremely stress relieving! Until you jab your finger with the needle that is 😛

Back to the book, the theme of this book is Cute and Cuddly Needle Felted Figures from Around the World – there are so many cute figures in this book that my girls were gushing over them and happily ordering me to make them all. Here are some of my favourites!
iasw_panda

Pandas are just so inexplicably cute! Something about the black and white combination on an animal looks so surreal. Have you seen them in action before? They are really cute in real life and these are even cuter because they are mini sized!iasw_netherlands

One of my earliest memories of my toys was a little doll wearing a Dutch costume, the only thing I remember about it is the little hat and the colorful dress. Looking at how the different wool colors were used in the dress, this looks like quite a complicated pattern but so pretty to look at! The little windmill on a base behind her is one of the detailed lessons in the book.
iasw_kangaroo

Another animal that is super duper cute. See the little joey peeking out from the mama kangaRoo? 🙂

iasw_russiandolls

Who can resist these beautiful, intricate Russian dolls? Look at the colors and details!

iasw_samplelesson

There are 3 detailed lessons in this book, with full step by step instructions. Most of the basic techniques are covered in these 3 lessons so you will be equipped with all the knowledge and skills you need to make all the cute figures in the book.

The lessons included are :

Castle on a Base (learning how to create a landscape on a base)
Making a Teddy Bear (learning how to attach body parts like limbs, eyes and ears etc)
Multi-purpose Dangle (how to attach thread/straps for handphone/bag charms etc)

iasw_samplepattern

Here is an example of the instructions.

iasw_groupphoto

It’s a small world after all!

istasmallworldbackcover

More cuteness on the back cover, but you can see more here in the book flip through review. Enjoy!

 Buy now from Amazon (Affiliate link)

Title : It’s a Small World Felted Friends
Author : Sachiko Susa
ISBN No. : 9784805314364

 There is another book on needle felting – Adorable Felted Animals that was also published by Tuttle. I will post a book flip through plus some pictures from the book next week. Stay tuned!

Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews Boys Sewing Patterns Girls Sewing Patterns Japanese Sewing Books Kids Sewing Patterns

Book review – Kana’s Standard for Kids 2

May 6, 2017

I know many of you have been excited about this one. This book was recently released in March, and the cover was so inviting that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. And boy was I glad I did! I actually missed out on the first one that was published last year, because at that time I had too many new books. The reviews on the first KANA’S STANDARD for Kids on Amazon.co.jp wasn’t fantastic despite the raves about the designs, because apparently there were problems with the pattern sheets. Let’s see if this book does better.

Disclaimer : This blog post contains affiliate links.
kanastandardforkidsII

Many of you have asked me about books for boy sewing patterns. Sadly, other than a few old and maybe out of print books dedicated to boy sewing, I have not seen any new books with ONLY boy patterns. However, I do notice that there seems to be more variety in boys clothes nowadays in kids sewing books. This book for example, contains quite a fair bit of boys patterns.

This book has patterns for co-ordinates derived from 4 base patterns (2 tops and 2 bottoms), into a total of 25 possible garments including shirts, dresses, blouses, a whole bunch of different pants with different features, even skorts and salopettes. I initially thought there were 57 different garments, but I did a count and it was actually 25. The number 57 on the cover refers to the number of actual styling examples they provide in the book. Here’s a look at some of my favourites! You can see the rest of the book in the book flip-through review at the end of the post.

A1nosleeveshirt

The first base pattern A is a shirt pattern. The variations include
A1 – Sleeveless shirt
A2 – Shirt dress
A3 – Puff sleeve shirt

A4halfsleeveshirt

A4 – Half sleeve shirt (above)

A5frillsleevecombination

A5 – Frill sleeve combination (above)
A6 – White shirt (the formal type)
A7 – Gingham Checked Dress

Pattern A is basically your go-to pattern for all kind of shirts. From the formal white shirt to shirt dresses, sleeveless, sleeved, puffed sleeve, frills, round collar, pointed collar… you can probably do a mash up of any of these patterns to create your own unique outfit too!

Pattern B is a Tuck pants pattern, featuring tucks at the waist line, tapered pants, a waist band, fake fly and belt loops even.

B1 – Dotted print pants


B2denimpants

B2 – Denim pants (above)

B3corduroyshortpants

B3 – Corduroy Short Pants

B4suspenderpants

B4 – Salopettes. Love the frills on the straps!

B5beltloophalfpants

B5 – Belt loop half pants

C1henryneckshirt

Pattern C is a more casual top pattern, also named the Pullover. Easy to wear for kids who hate fussing with zips and a whole placket of buttons.

C1 – Henley Shirt

C2smockblouse

C2 – Smock Blouse
C3 – Henley half sleeve
C4 – Yoke dress
C5 – Blouse with pockets
C6 – Frill sleeve dress


frillcollardress

C7 – Frill collar dress

D5salopettes

Pattern D is another pants pattern, but this time it is a straight cut, which means wider legs and roomier bottoms
D1 – Check pattern half pants
D2 – Inner pants skirt
D3 – Cargo Half Pants
d4 – Chino pants
D5 – Salopettes (picture above)
D6 – Belted short pants

coordinateexamples

Styling ideas for the different patterns and variations.

Now for the how to make section.

There is a whole page of numbers and text before the actual how to make section.

The size guide was kind of hidden on this page. Check to see if this book contains the sizes you need.

sizechart

Japanese terms from the top : Reference dimensions  100/110/120/130/140 Sizes)
Bust
Waist
Hip
Reference age … 3.5 yrs / 5.5 yrs / 6.5 yrs / 8.5 yrs / 10.5 yrs
For added reference : The boy model is 110cm and the girl is 111cm, and both are wearing 110cm size garments.

completeddimensions

In the same page, there is also a reference “table” for all the dimensions of the finished garments.  You have to refer to the Pattern name and number and check the corresponding dimensions based on the size you are making. For the different patterns, there are different dimensions given. Some are bodice length, some are pants length, or waist dimensions. You may want to refer to the dictionary of Japanese sewing terms to decode all the terms listed.

I thought it was rather odd to place this info in one page instead of on the individual pattern pages, but it is just a minor inconvenience. The rest of the book is laid out as per usual.

samplepattern

Sample of how to make page. This is just page 1, there are more pages with detailed diagrams.

samplediagram

Close up of diagrams.

patternsheets

2 large double sided printed pattern sheets.

patternsheet

A quick note about the pattern sheets. There were a couple of reviews on Amazon.co.jp that complained about the pattern sheets. I can understand why, as some of the lines are really drawn close together. It will be a nightmare to trace! However, you can use a frixion highlighter to highlight the lines before tracing. I use these pastel ones because I like how it is not too bright, but visible enough under the tracing paper.

kanastandardforkidsII_back

Here’s the full book flip through review. 

Personally, I find this book a great resource for both boys and girls patterns. Lots of wearable patterns and daily wardrobe basics. However, it is not really meant for beginners. Despite the easy to read diagrams, most of the techniques (like shirt making) may be more advanced. The pullover top is probably the easiest of the lot, and it is also the pattern that the kids on the cover are wearing. All the pants in the book require the making of the fake fly. A nice touch for making easy to wear pants for kids look more grown up and less “home-made” if you know what I mean. I will still recommend this book though, especially if  you have both boys and girls to sew for. The designs are classic and stylish, and I think I will get to use it a lot!

Stylist Sato Kana Ga Tsukuru Otokonoko Ni Mo Onnanoko Ni Mo Kisetai Fuku / Sato Kana / Cho

Title : Kana’s Standard for kids II
Author : Kana Sato
ISBN No. : 9784579116003

Get yours today from cdJapan.co.jp

Check out her other books too!

  

Book Flip Through Videos Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Dresses and Coordinates Lesson

April 7, 2017

Today’s book review is about a book that was published in October last year. Not exactly new but I’ve been sitting on it for a while since I got distracted by other projects. I bought this book almost as soon as I saw it listed online. I just fell in love with the title and the dress on the home page!
dressesandcoordinates

I hope I got the title right though, because of the way the hiragana is written. Google translate gives me two different answers for the first line – “Clothes to wear or Clothes that make you lose weight!”. I think the second option is more likely, since it ends with an exclamation mark, and the sizes included in the book are from S all the way to 3L. So I shall assume that the patterns are designed to help us look slim.

I’m sorry about the yellowish color in the photos. I tried my best to adjust the color without affecting the original garment photos too much, but as I could only take the photos at night and the lighting was really bad, this will have to do for now. I need to find a way to take photos in the day without my 2 yr old trampling over my books 🙁

contents1

A quick glance at the contents shows that there are 4 basic patterns for dresses/tops. Using this 4 basic patterns, there are at least 4 variations per pattern.
contents2

There is also a Gaucho pants pattern E which is shown on some of the pages.

Let’s look at pattern A for example to see what kind of variations there are for each basic pattern.

a1dolmansleevedress

A1 is a basic dolman sleeve dress. Simple, classy, dress-up or dress down, anytime dress don’t you think?

a2frenchsleevetunic

A2 is a tunic length, V-shape neckline, and it suddenly looks like a totally different outfit but it is actually made from the same basic pattern as A.

a3ande_frillsleeveblouse

A3 is a blouse with frill sleeves.

A7waisteddress

A7 looks even more different from A1 with cap sleeves and an additional waist sash.

b

Each pattern starts with a basic description with the design points. Garment B’s special design feature is the pleat at the shoulder seam.

b3waistbeltdress

B3 is B transformed to a dress with a waist belt, with long sleeves and contrast piping detail along the cuffs and belt.

c1bicolordress

C is a waist yoke dress in color block dress

d2sleevelessdress

D2 is a sleeveless dress with slanted darts.

d3gilet

Use the same pattern for a Gilet (a light sleeveless padded jacket)

d5bolerojacket

Wait, is it the same pattern? Yup, same pattern transformed into a bolero style jacket.

coordinates

There is a whole section devoted to coordinating the garments for different looks.

sampleinstructions

There are 2 detailed lessons for A-1 Dolman sleeve dress and B-1  Shoulder tuck blouse.

The sizing table is as follows :

sizetable

The above is based on your body measurements and not completed garment size.

c1dress

An example of a typical how-to-make page. Note that there is an extra table on the top right hand corner. This is for the completed garment dimensions.

patterns

2 sheets of double sided printed patterns.

backcover

and here’s the book flip through video.

Kiyasesuru! One-piece & Coordinate Lesson Blouse, Ghilet, Cordigan ni Tenkai Dekiru Maho no Pattern / Mayuko Izumi

Buy yours now at cdJapan (affiliate link)

Title : Clothes that make you look slim! Dresses & Coordinates Lesson
Author : Izumi Koko
ISBN : 978-4579115853