Stylish Wraps by Yoshiko Tsukiori – book review and giveaway

Hi, in December I was asked by Tuttle books is there was a sewing book I’d like to review. I browsed their craft books and saw that earlier this year the publishing company had released the English-language version of Stylish Wraps by Yoshiko Tsukiori ($15.95, Amazon affiliate link here, Tuttle link here). Somehow I missed the release of this book back in August.

Stylish Wraps by Yoshiko Tsukiori - Tuttle Publishing 2017

Tuttle publishes several of Tsukiori’s sewing books, including Stylish Party Dresses. If you’re familiar with Japanese sewing books, it typically follows a format like this: 1. photos of finished garments, 2. instructions with clear diagrams and 3. a set of full-size patterns printed on both sides of the paper. For Stylish Wraps, the patterns are printed on the front and back of two large pieces of paper. The patterns are stored are in an envelope attached to the inside back cover.

Stylish Wraps is a good book for beginning sewists because the patterns are simple, such as Poncho A, which is essentially a rectangle folded in half with a hole cut in the middle for the head and then the corners cut in a curve to form the sleeves.

Stylish Wraps by Yohsiko Tsukiori - poncho A

There’s also Poncho B, which is a variation of Poncho A – a circle with a hole cut in it and a ruffle added to the sleeve.

Stylish Wraps by Yohsiko Tsukiori - poncho B

There are 22 patterns in Stylish Wraps, each identified by a letter of the alphabet and a brief description. Similar to Tsukiori’s other sewing books, some designs share the same pattern pieces for the garments. This means that some patterns are quite similar to each other and essentially variations on the same design.

The table of contents divides them into 5 categories – Straight Cuts, Capes, Accessories, Dolman Sleeves and Regular Sleeves. For example, patterns D and E – Drape Jacket and Drape Vest, are in the Straight Cuts section. They use similar pieces except that one has sleeves and the other doesn’t.

Stylish Wraps by Yohsiko Tsukiori - Drape jacket and vest

The Drape Jacket is made with sweatshirt fabric. I like this design and the fabric choice.

I also like the Bolero, Pattern P, which is the featured in the top left photo on the back cover below. The cool thing about the bolero is that is has an entirely different shape when you tie the ribbons.

Stylish Wraps by Yoshiko Tsukiori

The title is a little misleading as not everything is a wrap. As you can see, some of the designs are coats and vests. There are also knitting patterns for mittens and other accessories.

Then there are a few faux fur designs, such as this cape, which is a bit odd looking. Maybe it would look better in black? It looks like two furry arms.

Stylish Wraps by Yoshiko Tsukiori - Tuttle Publishing - CSews

There are four sizes – 7, 9, 11 and 13, which translates to bust 31 (78), 33 (83), 35 (88) and 37 (93). Don’t be alarmed by these measurements. There is a lot of ease in Japanese sewing patterns so don’t assume the patterns are too small for you.

I’ve sewn the largest size of other Japanese patterns, such as this skirt from Basic Black, and the garments fit well. I’m nearly 5′ 8″ (172 cm) and have a 38″ bust. See my post on Japanese sewing book sizing for more info on sizing.

None of these patterns are fitted and they are designed to be loosely fitted. If you haven’t tried a Japanese sewing book, you might want to check this one out. The designs are nothing fancy. A few are frumpy but there are some stylish ones in the mix – and for $15.95, it’s a good deal.

I’m giving away a copy of this book on my blog. So if you’d like a chance to win a free copy, just comment below. I’ll pick a winner at random and Tuttle Publishing will send you a copy. This is open to all – worldwide entries are allowed. Add your comment by next Thursday, Jan. 11. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, Jan. 12 on this blog post. Good luck!

Hips, ‘Husky’ Girls, and Japanese Sewing Patterns

Clothing for Everyday Wear: Stylish Dress Book by Toshiko Tsukiori

A few days ago I got my copy of the English Translation of Stylish Dress Book: Clothing for Everyday Wear by Yoshiko Tsukiori (Laurence King). It was an impulse buy when I was browsing sewing books on Amazon a few weeks ago. I just happened to see it when I was in the midst of my I-don’t-have-everyday-dresses-in-my-wardrobe revelation (see Everyday Dresses). I liked the images I saw on Amazon so I pre-ordered it. This will be my second book of Japanese sewing patterns. I’ve also got Shape Shape by Natsuno Hiraiwa.

But now that I’ve flipped through the book, some doubts are creeping in. The models do not have curvy figures and they are rather thin. I have wide hips and I’m not a small person. I’m nearly 5′ 8″ (172 cm for you metric folks) and weigh more than 150 pounds (68 kg). Really.

Back when I was a kid in the late ’70s, my mom got me and my older sister jeans at Sears. I remember that we got the same size (she’s 11 months older) except that I got the “husky” version and she got regular (or was it slim?). I wasn’t overweight, just bigger boned. But I didn’t like being categorized as “husky.” Out of curiosity, I went to Sears website and checked out girls clothing. Guess what? “Husky” has been changed to “pretty plus” for girls but for boys, they still say “husky.”

OK – so maybe there’s still a teeny part of me that says I’m husky. I need to cultivate more of Leila‘s attitude of just being happy with my body as it is. (Check out her thoughtful post Before and After Pictures and Their Inaccuracies.)

The key is to make clothes to fit your body – not make your body fit the clothes, right? So I will see what I can do with this Japanese pattern book.

Here’s a preview of some of the outfits in the book. I think the designs and fabrics are all quite pretty. There are plenty of dresses but the book also includes patterns for tops, jackets, and pants. Maybe I’ll start with a top.

It will be interesting to see whether any of the dress patterns will suit me and my hips! I’ve been assured by @sew_la  via our convo on Instagram that Japanese patterns will work on a hip-y figure. 😉

And thanks to MaciNic of  The Somnolent Dachshund for telling me about the blog Japanese Sewing Books! Lots of photos there – though none yet from this book.

Stylish Dress Book: Clothing for Everyday Wear - csews.com

Stylish Dress Book - Clothing for Everyday Wear - csews.com

Stylish Dress Book: Clothing for Everyday Wear - csews.com

NOTE: If you haven’t used patterns from a Japanese pattern book before, be warned, on these patters you usually have to add a seam allowance and you cannot cut out the pattern. Multiple patterns are printed on both sides of the paper and the pattern lines overlap. This means you need to trace the pattern. I’m fine with tracing patterns but I sure wish they would use a different type of line for each size, which would make it easier to trace. I love that American patterns vary the lines for each size (dots, dashes, etc.).

Here’s what you’ll see when take one of the pattern sheets out of the plastic sleeve in the back of the book:

Stylish Dress Book - sewing pattern

Stylish Dress Book - sewing pattern

Yeah, it’s rather a mishmash of lines so you do have to stare at it to make sure you’re tracing the right ones. The technical illustrations are very nice so you can always look at those to make sure you’ve got the correct pieces.

Do you think these dress patterns will work on a figure with hips? Have you made any Japanese sewing patterns? If you have any tips, let me know!

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Everyday Dresses

Emery Dress and Red Velvet Dress Sewalongs

A few weeks ago I realized that I don’t have any everyday dresses in my wardrobe. Not one. I have everyday skirts but no everyday dresses. Yep. I’m more of a separates kinda gal so that’s part of the reason. And I guess the other reason is my attitude toward dresses. I guess I think of them as being something that you don’t wear everyday.

The five dresses I own only get worn a couple of times a year or not even that. They include a vintage black dress that I got years ago; the dress I wore as a bridesmaid to a wedding; two dresses I made from vintage Vogue patterns, and the dress I made for my BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern contest entry earlier this year (I was a finalist but didn’t win). I usually end up wearing a vintage hat with these outfits and even a crinoline with the one I made for the sewing contest – not exactly everyday wear but I do wear them to work when I’m in the mood and the weather is warm enough in San Francisco.

So when I heard about Christine Haynes‘s Emery Dress and the Red Velvet Dress by Cake Patterns – I had to take a closer look. At first I thought the Emery Dress was a touch too girly for me – I think the bow made me hesitate. But then I saw the striped Emery Dress by Devon of Miss Make blog and it convinced me that I should get the pattern. She cut the collar on the bias and it looks fabulous, doesn’t it? She kindly let me repost this photo from her blog post Emery Dress Pattern.

Emery Dress - sewn by Devon of Miss Make - pattern by Christine Haynes

The Emery Dress Sewalong has just started but Christine is only on fabric and notions. Muslin sewing starts on Oct. 30. You can view the schedule here. I think you could still join in on it if you order the pattern right away. In November Christine will focus on bust adjustments – small and full. I’m looking forward to that!

The Red Velvet Sewalong starts on November 11! So there’s still time to participate.It’ll be a series of ten sessions over two weeks. I participated in the Cake Patterns Hummingbird Sewalong earlier this year, which was a lot of fun. So far I’ve made three Hummingbird tops, which you can see here.

Melizza of Pincushion Treats was a pattern tester for the Red Velvet sewing pattern. You can see two of the dresses she made here.

And I also love the Lady Skater Dress that Katie of Kadiddlehopper made. She wrote about it in Lady Skater: Sakura Blossom Style and graciously let me post this photo of her twirling around in the dress. Check out her post for more photos of this pretty dress.

Lady Skater Dress by Katie of Kadiddlehopper

And last but not least, today my copy of Clothing for Everyday: Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori arrived! I pre-ordered it on Amazon.

Clothing for Everyday Wear: Stylish Dress Book by Toshiko Tsukiori

This is the English translation published by Laurence King. There are dresses, tops, jackets, and pants in this book – a total of 26 garments – according to the book flap. There are plenty of photos in the book – slender, winsome, and unsmiling  Japanese models, which probably means grading the pattern up a bit for me. The pattern is sized for XS, S, M, and L. No XL folks.

The dimensions for large are 36 5/8″ (93 cm) bust; 29 1/8″ (74 cm) waist, and 38 5/8″ (98 cm) hips. Based on that, I’m more of an XL in the hips and height. Oh, and the pattern gives the same height for all four sizes – 63″ (160 cm), which must be a mistake. 63″ is 5′ 3″. I’m nearly 5′ 8″ so who knows what the height measurement means.

I’m looking forward to adding everyday dresses to my wardrobe. Have you made any dresses that fall into the everyday category? What patterns have you liked? Have you  made anything from Japanese pattern books? What was your sizing experience like?

And do let me know if you’re participating in the Emery Dress Sewalong or the Red Velvet Sewalong. I’d love to see what your version looks like!

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