17 January 2014

How to Sew Japanese Sewing Patterns


If, like me, you lurrrrve flicking through Japanese sewing books and drooling over the adorable designs, yet your brain turns to mush when you so much as glance at the instructions, then these e-books might be for you. 

Rin Gomura-Elkan from the blog Sew In Love sent me her e-book, How to Sew Japanese Sewing Patterns, plus its accompaniment, Easy Japanese Sewing Patterns. They promise to help you navigate Japanese sewing pattern books and decipher both the language and diagrams. While seriously cute to behold, some of the features of Japanese sewing books can lead to a bit of head-scratching if you haven't used them before. Distinctive features include diagrams representing multiple steps, very brief text instructions, and no seam allowance. Oh, and if you buy a Japanese original, then the language may prove tricky too. That's where Rin steps in... 

How to Sew Japanese Sewing Patterns provides useful translations of common sewing terms such as "stitch", "waist" and "right side", into both English and Romaji (which is Japanese written in Latin script). It outlines the process of sewing Japanese, from navigating the structure of a typical book, through sizing and tracing your pattern, to deciphering symbols and diagrams so you can sew them together. It also includes further resources and links, such as books, blogs and shops.

The second e-book, Easy Japanese Sewing Patterns, then helps you put what you've learnt into practice. It comes with two print-at-home sewing patterns for a cute skirt and dress, with Japanese instructions so you can test out what you've learnt, followed by English instructions in case you get stuck. Such a great idea! Adeline from The Sew Convert made this adorable cat print dress using the book - isn't it cute?

Mercifully, more and more Japanese sewing books are being republished in English these days, including Japanese Sweet Dress Book (reviewed here), Happy Homemade: Sew Chic (reviewed here), Feminine Wardrobe and Stylish Dress Book (reviewed here). But if you fancy getting your hands on a Japanese original and are up for the challenge of deciphering the Japanese text, then these e-books will lend a helping hand.

18 comments:

  1. I had a chance to see Rin's book and I love the idea. So glad to see that it's making its way around the blogs!

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  2. There are so many cute designs from Japan, but I've never tried for fear of the language barrier, Maybe now I will be brave enough!

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  3. These type of books are my favorites. I love the pretty patterns and the simplicity of the fashions.
    Thank you for showing them here.

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  4. Thanks Tilly, for reviewing my e-book :-)

    Everyone, please feel free to email me if you have any questions about sewing Japanese patterns! Rin(at)sewinlove.com.au

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  5. I love Japanese sewing patterns - those shorts in particular look rather lovely. I've never attempted sewing them however, but I might just have to now. It might even help me learn a new language?

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  6. Love this post. Japanese patterns are my favourite!!

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  7. Just goes to show how different people are. After trying a Japanese pattern book (in English, the Sew Chic Kids one you featured) I was in love with how clear the instructions were and now wish all patterns were written like that. But I cannot abide watching You Tube tutorials and don't always find photo's of what people have done helpful either.

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  8. Hi Tilly thanks for this, like you I adore looking through these fabulous books and patterns although I am not yet ready for making clothes I love the simple style of them all, especially the children's patterns. I am going to check out this books, big hugs to you and hope you have a lovely weekend Tilly. Lots of love
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  9. I have a Japanese craft book and, without translating any of the words, did manage to decipher the diagrams enough to actually make something. However, I'm not sure I would want to tackle clothing without some help. Sounds like a great book.

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  10. This is fantastic and perfect. I just purchased a Japanese pattern book last year, and was so in love with some of the creations, that I had to have the book. This will truly be a life saver. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. This looks like a great resource, thanks!

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  12. Thanks for sharing the info! I have quite a collection of Japanese sewing books, mostly handbag and home items, so any info I can find on Japanese sewing is awesome! Thanks :) Cindy

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  13. This is great, I have never seen a Japanese pattern but this info makes it a possibility!
    http://in-aeternum.net

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  14. What gorgeous designs... but think I need to perfect using English patterns before tackling one of these!

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  15. Wonderful, useful post - thanks!
    Lotty ohsewbright.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. Definitely going to give it a try :) can't wait!
    Thanks for this post!!!

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  17. Is it just me or is there something eerie, almost sinister, about the modeling of these otherwise really lovely garments? I find the models juvenile-looking, modeling clothes too big for them, hinting at vulnerability and children playing dress-up. And worse, the models look isolated, almost hurt, left alone in the corners of big, cold rooms. I find the images disturbing, but am also aware that this is an intuitive reaction to the photos. I would not, however, highlight these as looks to emulate for my own daughters.

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  18. Japanese pattern books are great source to learn how to sew beautiful and unique Japanese clothes. If you are fond of sewing then Japan Lovely craft is one of the popular online store of Japanese pattern books where you can also find a lots of Japanese pattern books.

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