Yay…giveaway time! I lurve a good giveaway and this one’s no exception.
The lovely peeps over at Tuttle shared this book with me for review, but you know, as always, all opinions are my own.
So, to the book. Can we talk about the elephant in the room first? “She wears the pants”. What were they thinking? The original title of the book “She has a mannish style” is much more appropriate and really shows how easily things can get lost in translation, and why it’s so important to check cultural norms when carrying out any translation work. To be honest, my preference would have been for them to include some of the strap-line and title the book “She has an urban style”, which would actually better encapsulate the contents of this book.
Like all Japanese sewing books this is very stylised. Perhaps a little too much for my taste. Some of the photos are a somewhat too dark to properly see the garment, and you have to rely on the technical drawing. For me, this isn’t a book I’d make lots out of, but that’s because I’m not that hip! I don’t think it’s an age thing, more a personal style thing.
That said there are some garments that with a little tweak would fit perfectly in my wardrobe, you just have to restyle them in your head.
I love this jacket and think it would be a great trans-season piece in a good weight of ponté jersey.
This draped cardigan would look great with cigarette trousers and loafers.
This is a very classic blouse that would work in just about anyone’s wardrobe.
And with a bit of length added this blouse would work brilliantly with leggings or jeans.
As you’d expect the instructions are minimal but you do have some really clear drawings to help you out.
And the pattern pieces included in the back don’t have seam allowances, so you’ll need to add them.
Finally, I have one final, but rather large caveat, and that’s the sizing. Whilst I appreciate that the Japanese market for which this book was originally intended is markedly more petite than the western market this edition is designed for, I’m surprised and disappointed at the very small range of sizes included.
Even taking the largest size I’d be having to grade that bust up by at least 30%. Which is a real shame because there’s a whole section of the sewing population that would love to dive into cool, Japanese sewing patterns and can’t because they either don’t have the skills or the inclination to carry out such a significant grading exercise. I probably fall into the middle of both categories.
I really hope the publishers take this on board as more of these books become available in English and that they expand their size ranges accordingly.
However, let’s not detract from the fact that, quibbles aside, this is a great book that I’d definitely recommend if your style leans toward an urban look.
And I have a copy up for grabs!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Japanese patterns in general and sizing in particular, so leave me a comment below before Friday 22nd May and I’ll draw the winner at random.