Thursday, December 13, 2007
Two more Japanese pattern books!
New Japanese pattern books! I promise not to buy any more until I have made at least one item from each book I own. I bought these in my search for a coat pattern. I have been wearing my dog-walking coat to work and it is not a good look.
Mrs Stylebook (Winter 2007) is a revelation. This is the kind of pattern book which demands total confidence in your understanding of garment design and construction. If you are not already a proficient pattern-cutter, do not even think about buying one of these books! Of course, I only discovered this after I bought it. It is total immersion in Japanese. I don’t understand a single symbol. But I have gathered from other bloggers that you use the “Making Navi” (apparently that is English – meaning a “construction map” I suppose) to construct a series of blocks based entirely on your own measurements. These blocks then form the basis of the garment patterns themselves. So they are guaranteed to fit if you get your sums right! So, for example you might take one of the bodice blocks and start drawing lines to add 3.2 cm here or there, or cut into the block and angle it to add a dart. So far so good. But that’s your lot. After the pattern pieces are drawn, you are entirely on your own. There are detailed step by step photos for making two garments from the book – and these also have full-sized patterns included as a pull-out section in the middle of the book - but of course I don’t want to make either of these! I need to buy a large quantity of pattern-making tissue paper and a long ruler. There are literally dozens of pattern schematics in this book – an enormous bargain if you can master the drafting process!
The styles are definitely trend-driven, with details I haven’t seen anywhere else. I am besmitten by two coats, a dress, two pairs of trousers, a skirt and a jacket. Watch this space!
The other book was sold to me as “Favourite Black Clothes” (link to another blog with photos of the styles) , but I have also seen it called “Sweet Black”. I have wanted this one for over a year after seeing other people rave about it and I am not disappointed. This is “easy” Japanese pattern-making – all you need to do is trace the pattern for your size and then follow the diagrams to put the bits together. This book specialises in quirky angles – asymmetry, pleats, layering and textures. They don’t have to be made in black, but it appeals to me and my goth-wannabe daughter.
P.S. If you can read French (and even if you can't!) I just discovered a great Japanese sewing blog here!