Japanese Pattern Books – Part 2

Many months ago, I posted a round-up of my japanese pattern books for kids. It’s proven to be very helpful for me to have it listed in one place, and I have to include a few more books I’ve added to my library since then. I’ve made a lot of clothes for K from these books, but I still have so many more patterns to try!

For today, I thought it would be fun to list the Japanese pattern/sewing books I own for adults. I don’t have nearly as many — just four, if I don’t count the Simple Modern Sewing book which is translated into English (not translated very well, I might add. So far every pattern I’ve tried from this book has had sub-par instructions).

First up is the Sewing Recipe book. I should point out that I have not sewn from any of these books yet and part of the reason I’m posting them is so that I’ll feel motivated to try them. Somehow the idea of tracing/adding seam allowances for grown-up sized clothes is incredibly daunting. This book comes with six basic patterns: two skirts, two tops, and two dresses. Each piece is elaborately explained via excellent illustrations and step-by-step instructions. I want to try the long sleeve top that looks a lot like the Tova and the simple shift dress.

The Sewing Talk book comes with 19 patterns, and I really want to make that coat on the cover with that exact same fabric. In addition to the coat, there are patterns for sleeveless shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts, and a couple of pairs of pants. I’m going to be honest here – the reason I haven’t made anything from this book is because the largest bust size is way too small for me, and I didn’t know how to do an FBA. Now that I’m a little more familiar with the process, I want to jump into trying the patterns.

The Drape Drape book is now available in English, and I wish I’d waited to buy the translated version. This book is meant for knits and includes 17 patterns. The pattern pieces intimidate me somewhat and the instructions are a lot more involved (meaning I need to understand more Japanese) – they look like complicated puzzle pieces that my spatially-challenged mind has a hard time processing.

This is not a pattern book per se, but is more of a how-to-style book entitled “From my Closet”. The author, Ayano Uchida, is a well-known stylist in Japan and the book has that quintessential Japanese flavor with tons of linen, neutral tones, and a slightly vintage flair. She shows how she likes to layer and create outfits with tips on shoes and accessories. At the end of the book, she offers six items that are easy to make: a scarf, a couple of bags, a skirt and two dresses as well as ways to embellish them with embroidery and accent pieces like lace. No actual pattern pieces are provided, just instructions. I love love love her style, and when I get a chance, I’ll post more scans from the book.

I have something else planned for tomorrow, but in the coming weeks, I’m going to dip into these books and I’m excited to sew from Japanese patterns for myself!

20 thoughts on “Japanese Pattern Books – Part 2

  1. Happy you posted this! I just bought my first japanese sewing book last week (albeit, translated into french already). I’m not very good at sewing, but I’ve already made two of the dresses and it was so, so incredibly satisfying!!

    1. I hope I can get my act together enough to sew these up in a timely manner. 🙂 I’m finding it much more challenging to sew for myself every week!

    1. I love that cover too – there’s something about that door that I especially draws me in. She includes some very loose and easy dresses that would be great for layering in the fall, I think. 🙂

  2. Love the layered look of the outfit on the third book! Looks like your style, Sanae. Your description of this book makes it sound lovely. More pictures please when you have time please:)

    1. I’ll definitely try! I have to be careful about what I promise because I end up feeling guilty when I don’t get around to it — and yes! Very much my style 🙂

  3. Hi Sanae,
    Thanks for the post, and looking forward to hearing more about this from you. I have actually tried from “Sewing Recipe”–I am by no means slim, and my crucial measurements (bust/waist/hip) fall in different sizes (as with most women right?), but my experience generally was that the measurements here are for petite women. This instructions are really detailed, and I liked that, but if you are taking requests I would love it if you could talk about how to size up. But really, whichever way you decide to go *really* looking forward to the post!

    1. Those measurements listed in the books are definitely petite! I’m still learning how to size things up and down, but will do my best to include how-to information when I run into a situation that necessitates it, Asmita!

  4. Hello Sanae, I am a regular reader of you blog – just wanted to let you know that you’ve given me the courage to break open my Japanese sewing books! I’ve had a couple for forever but couldn’t get up the nerve to use them. All that tracing and adding seam allowances and instructions in Japanese! I used Happy Homemade vol. 2 and I love how the culottes turned out for my girls! Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Oh, hooray Fiona! HH vol. 2 is a great one – I’ve used that book a lot. I’m always happy to help with translations if you ever need it 🙂 Thanks so much for letting me know, and I’d love to see your culottes!

  5. I have just discovered your blog and I am so inspired! Japanese sewing and Zakka is not so well known here in New Zealand … maybe it is time I started a new trend 🙂
    I think I may need to track down some pattern books and leave a hint with my darling for Christmas!

    1. Welcome to my little space, Rhonda – I’m so happy you’re here! You should absolutely start a trend :-). I visited a friend in New Zealand many, many years ago and it was one of my favorite trips ever!!

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