I thought it might be helpful, if you’re inspired by some of the garments seen in the #sewjapaneseinjanuary hashtag, to go through the books I have and will hopefully be using using this month. One thing this community sew-along has shown me is that there are loads of good books out there that I had no idea about! I’d love to have access to a bricks and mortar shop so I can browse these offerings properly. And do some serious shopping…. I’ll start with Kana’s Standard, the first book, as that’s what I’ve been using first!
The patterns are drawn to Japanese sizes 7, 9, 11 & 13. There is NO size chart in this book! Each pattern does have, however, a list of finished measurements for each of the sizes, so I combined that with the size chart in the Clean & Natural book, and checked online to figure out where I fitted (or didn’t fit…). I worked out that I needed to be a 15-17, depending on how much ease I wanted. And there is a lot of ease, especially in the tops! You also have to thing about height – or length. The patterns are generally drafted for a height of 1.6m, so if you’re taller, you’ll need length.
There are 5 groups of patterns, with variations. Section A has two basic tops, on of which is on the front cover, and 4 dresses, which are variations of the tops. B is pants, including a pair of shorts, dungarees and a jumpsuit. There are 6 patterns in that section. Skirts are in section C, there are 7 – the waistband needs to to be fitted to the measurement of the waist, but the skirts are full/gathered so all you need worry about after that is length. Section D is camisole, you get a top and a dress there. The last section is E, gown or jacket. There are 3 patterns in this section, making a grand total of 24 patterns. Not bad for £15.
So far I’ve made the pants B-a and the gown/jacket E-a. I’m not a skirt person, especially a full, gathered skirt, so that section will be largely ignored by me. But the tops interest me, the gathered frill on the sleeve on the cover pattern is such a simple addition, yet makes it more desireable. Here are some of the photos of the contents. If you decide you need more technical info, please pop over to this site. It’s full of interesting info, help to translate the instructions, etc. For buying Japanese books, I use this Etsy shop (no affiliate links!!!) because she has loads to choose from, is so quick to post out and is reasonable in her charges too. I’d look in her shop before checking anywhere else.
At the end of each section there are some “action shots” of the author and model styling the garments in different ways.