Book Review – Sweet Clothes by Asuka Hamada

As the blouse/top posted last week got a fair bit of interest, I thought I might go into a little more detail about the book, and what it’s like to use. Now, if you’d clicked on the links from the previous post, you’d have gone straight to the book listing, where the seller has penty of photos of the inside of the book, showing the projects you can make. So I’m not going to add too many, but I’ll give you a quick run-down.

Sweet Clothes, Asuka Hamada
Sweet Clothes, Asuka Hamada

There are 13 top patterns, one is more a sweatshirt, and two are made from cleverly seaming a rectangle. Some use the same bodice and have different sleeves or neck treatments. For example, the top I made, style E, uses the same body pieces as D, it just has different sleeves. There is one jumpsuit/dungaree pattern and one tunic, 4 dresses, one pair of trousers and a bag. You really need to look past the thin model and her odd stance (and sometimes the fabric choices!) to see the potential. I’m definitely making up a few more of the patterns, some for me and some for Daughter No 2.

The patterns are all clearly marked on the pull-out sheets in the back, and are easy to trace. Each sheet has a section showing the letters of the patterns (no numbers) and around the edges of the sheet, those letters have lines joining them to the pieces you need to trace. There are no seam allowances included on the pieces, and the instruction section shows you how much to add, and where to add it, in the cutting layout. The size table is in the section at the back with the instructions. There are three sizes, Small to Medium, Medium to Large and Small to Large – which means one size fits all! The first size accommodates bust measurements 75-83cm, and the second 83-92cm.

All instructions are in Japanese, but if you download the Google Translate app onto your phone and hover it over the text, you’ll be sorted! I tend to make pencil translations in the areas where I know I’ll be back, looking and checking info. Each pattern has a diagram showing finished width across the bust, as well as numbers showing you the order of making up. There are diagrams with Japanese text as well, and for the most part the diagrams are good enough to be able to make the garment up, but you can use your Translate app for areas where you’re not too sure.

All in, I was happy with my purchase of the book, I know I’ll be making more of the patterns, most likely the tops, just because I’m not really a dress person and the trousers in the Kana’s Standard are nicer! I hope this makes it easier to decide whether Japanese Sewing Books are for you or not!