I absolutely love Japanese pattern books. A lot of people have had a meltdown when they’ve unfolded the patterns in some of these books and found that; a) there are about a million patterns on each page, b) you have to trace off all the lines for your garment, c) there are no seam allowances, you have to add these yourself. For me, these are all bonuses. I like the fact that I get a whole pile of patterns for very little money. I prefer to trace off the patterns, so that I can still use the original in another size, and it is far easier to alter a pattern to fit me if it has no seam allowances to take into consideration. Also, I can then choose the size for my seam allowances without having to work around what’s already there.
These Japanese pattern books are quite brilliant.
The Japanese pattern book I am going to share with you today is Sweet Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. Sweet Dress Book: 23 Stylish Outfits from Six Simple Patterns OK, so most of the models do look really sad and motionless and like they’re wearing clothes belonging to someone far larger than themselves. (Although this is not the case with my two latest purchases of Japanese pattern books) I’m not sure if this is just the style they favour or whether they do this so as to provide less distractions from the shape and lines of the garments. Size-wise I assume they’ve just taken the patterns directly from the books which have been created for the larger western body, so wouldn’t fit the petite Japanese frame.
Each of these books contains a wide range of very usable patterns. Personally, I can’t imagine making many of these patterns exactly as the designer intended, but they are very adaptable. (Again, my two new Japanese pattern books are very different from any other in that I want to make a lot of the patterns exactly as the designers intended and I will be sharing these with you when I have made some, my dilemma is which to start with!) Some of the Japanese patterns generally are very unfitted and would benefit from a dart or two, and sometimes I have to add more width and darts for the bust. (They are designed for the flat chested.) But this book has a good variety of patterns with raglan sleeves, set in sleeves, puff sleeves, bishop sleeves, french sleeves, sleeveless and straps. It has patterns for dresses, coat dresses, blouses, tunics, trousers and playsuits. Even a cupcake recipe!
So far I’ve used pattern ‘R’ sweetheart-bodice dress to make a top for me, but I didn’t want the gathers so I combined the top of the Japanese pattern with the pattern I made from draping my tailor’s dummy.
I really like this top and have bought more fabric to make another one. Another of the patterns I will be using is pattern ‘W’ bell-sleeve coat dress.
I haven’t decided yet whether to make it as a short jacket or the length it is in the book, but I will line it and probably change it from a V-neck into a round neck.
Next week I will be quilting and I will be showing you how to make a very simple quilt with no piecing, applique or added bias bindings!