Sewing Library: Japanese Craft Books Cont.

Continuing on with my Sewing Library series, here is another one of my japanese craft books. This one has a few english subtitles scattered throughout the book and on the front the title is Stylish Dress Book. It’s one of my favorites, though I freely admit that I feel that many of the styles of dresses in the book tend to look the same. I also admit that though I love the shapes and composition of everything in the book, the styles probably would not look that great on my figure. I definitely need to try one though before I completely write it off – the plaid number a few photos down is my absolute favorite! Looks so incredibly comfortable and I can only imagine how much I would wear it if it was in a flannel. I’m a hick at heart, what can I say? Sigh….

I hope you enjoy these! The color compositions and photo styling are so wonderful I think. Lovely and modern with a whimsical twist. In a bit of other news, I’ve had a pretty swell time beefing up the blog over the weekend. I’m still chipping away at it bit by bit, but hop on over and tell me what you think of the layout. I really do love hearing your opinions as they are important when I plan big changes. Have a wonderful Monday! I’m off to lunch with a friend and then its putting my nose to the grindstone as I try to finish up the coat!


  • Awfulknitter - Some of these Japanese sewing books are being translated now. I bought this one in French – it’s called ‘Tuniques, robes, etc…’, it’s in the Tendances à coudre series that’s published by Hachette. Les Editions de Saxe have also published quite a few, I have ‘Elegance et sobriete’ (a translation of ‘Adults’ couture – one pieces + smock blouses’), whcih has some really lovely dresses. I’m sure that I’ve seen at least one English version of Japanese book, but I’ve been unable to find any evidence online!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - These Japanese books are pretty big here in France, as someone pointed out, they are completely translated. I have this one, but it’s hard to judge the designs by the photos because they make them so big on the models! It must be an aesthetic choice, but I am not a fan of “sack” dresses, as we call them. Many would look very nice if they were fit properly. Some of the designs are not curve-friendly, I think though: a sack that falls straight from the bust with no shaping is not very flattering in my opinion.

    I have quite a few of the children books, and LOVE them, but one has photos in which every garment is extremely wrinkled (not surprising since they seem to favor linen), and the colors are so drab, I told my husband that the poor children look like those old photos of immigrants waiting at Ellis Island. Definitely a styling choice that I find strange. Can’t seem to find a good picture, but it’s the fall/winter line in Jolies tenues pour fillettes coquettes, in case anyone’s interested.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - You could always add a belt to any of these sack type dresses for an instant waist line. Most people look best with some sort of waist definition.ReplyCancel

  • theperfectnose - I like sweatshirt D and dresses Q and S. I’d totally wear those XD I think the first two in this series are out in English (pretty sure the first one is) and they’ve re-done the patterns in Western sizes.. I.e. 4-12 or something like that..ReplyCancel

  • theperfectnose - And I like the new layout-although I am partial to a wide centre row, it has enough white space to appeal to my aesthetic XDReplyCancel

  • Angela - These styles are adorable! I do hope that you make one!ReplyCancel

  • theperfectnose - Sorry, I also meant to say-with the pattern you like-if you find it isn’t sized right-it’s very similar to the Wiksten Tova (which is available as both a paper pattern and a pdf download). Cheers.ReplyCancel

  • Sunni - @Awfulknitter, I do have 2 that have been translated into English. They are more crafty and quilty and so the instructions are very helpful as they clearly say how wide something needs to be, etc. I’ll show those later on.

    @Amanda, The designs themselves are fairly sack-like, very minimal. I still like the designs themselves as they are just different from what I would normally choose, but not necessarily something I would wear myself. I don’t know, I’m still a little undecided about them, but overall the book is just inspiring to look at.

    @theperfectnose, Thank you for your comments on the new layout!ReplyCancel

  • crystalpleats - I love the glimpses of the Japanese sewing books that I have seen. And while I like something about them, I doubt the looks would be great on me. Plus the language and patternless aspects of them scare me away for the time being. I think the layout of the website looks grat.ReplyCancel

  • Sewing Sveta - Japanise girls like loose dresses%)))ReplyCancel

  • Melanie - I love the style of these books too. I just saw this same one at a store in town and love the dresses. They look lovely on the Japanese models. The trouble is, unless you’re also petite, skinny and flat chested, I don’t think any of the Japanese styles would be flattering. Can you imagine what a huge frumpy sack the same dresses would be on a tall, broad shouldered, busty hourglass? I have one book with mother daughter looks I couldn’t resist, but whether I can make any of them suit me remains to be seen. As style inspiration books, though, they can’t be beat.ReplyCancel

  • Francesca - Sunni – thanks for this – and I really like the light and airy feel of the new blog layout.
    I too love Japanese sewing and craft books and have quite a few. Their crochet is also amazing, they do amazing lacey things…. But most of the time I find that they go for a sack look which is flattering only to slim and petite Japanese girls and tall and slim others… It can also look dowdy in the real world, unlike in their totally stylish photography. I have a friend who has the slim petite build and who lives in these shapes – she actually give soff don’t look at me vibes. I have tried making items and belting them, but for my figure type (quite tall, not too unproportioned but bottom heavy, curvy but not a plus) the belting doesn’t flatter either. ?I feel good in things which are fitted on the torso and flaring from the waist and hips. Sometimes gathered, but not too full at the waist. In other words, my favourite 50s patterns fit the bill. Sounds boring but there is a lot one can do there. One book which was generally criticized is Interweave’s English issue of Shape Shape. It has a few really cute skirts and tops along with some nonos. The problem with it is all the patterns are on one sheet and unlike Burda they are not differentiated by colour or squiggle, so it’s a little hard to be sure you are getting the right line…. But like I said, it has some cute patterns.ReplyCancel

  • Christianne - I bought a Japanese pattern book, and was very disappointed..even the XL size was too small for me I am a size 8-10 in RTW. I guess the patterns are sizes for Japanese women, who are smaller ?ReplyCancel

  • justine/Sew Country Chick - I just made a project from this book. I did add a little shirring in the back because the pattern was boxy but I just love these Japanese books! I bought several on a trip to Tokyo last year.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - I’m glad I’m not the only one who owns books of patterns I may well never make! 🙂 I love the style of Japanese sewing books, though I doubt many of the patterns would suit my busty figure. I do own a copy of Drape Drape 2 because of the fascinating shapes of the garments. Will I try one? Hmmmm…..maybe?ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - I have this pattern book and love it! I’ve made two of the tops/tunics already and have a third cut out. I am on the upper end of the size chart for this book, definitely not the slender model-type in the book. I was worried that they would look sack like, but I am really happy with the tops so far. I want things that are loose and comfortable for a hot Australian summer, things that I can wear over leggings or linen trousers. And these fit the bill.

    The sizing in this book is generous and while the lines of the clothes are simple there are lots of variations in the details to make them different and interesting, some of which are not clear in the photos but are in the line drawings. I am truly daunted at trying to trace patterns out of Burda magazines but this one was ok, not too cluttered on each page and each pattern in a different colour line.

    After the success of this book I am now trying Drape Drape 2. Unfortunately I am beyond their size range so have some $2 fabric to try out a top to see if I can fudge or perhaps I’ll have a present for a friend! I will definitely be trying more Japanese pattern books too.ReplyCancel

  • Reana Louise - I am such a sticky beack, so I love getting a glimpse into your library! I bought this book myself 2 months ago, but it is an English translation. I was a bit concerned about how those loose designs would look on me (… potato sack?) but figure I’ll just belt everything 😉 I just made the ‘H’ dress and adore it!
    RL xReplyCancel