Wednesday, 25 September 2013

'Stylish Dress Book : Clothing For Everyday Wear', Yoshiko Tsukiori.

It was with excitement this week, that a review copy of 'Stylish Dress Book: Clothing For Everyday Wear' dropped through my door from the lovely people at Laurence King Publishing. 
Already completely sold on Yoshiko Tsukiori's 'Stylish Dress Book: Simple Smocks, Dresses and Tops', published in May this year, 'Clothing For Everyday Wear', published next month, is more of the same delights : simple, effortlessly gorgeous, feminine garments for easy day to day wear and full size patterns included for each in the back! 

This book is a delight. It is beautifully put together and the designs are cleanly presented with simply styled photographs of each of the 26 dresses, tops, jackets and trousers. There is something of the Noa Noa in the understated elegance of the designs, all of which are ultra feminine and wearable day to day staples, but each with an added, signature embellishment giving that extra magic touch - everything from a sleeveless top with pretty ruffled front and sleeves, a back-wrap dress with additional lace trim, an Empire line sun dress with gathering on the bodice and a wrap-over blouse with ruffled shoulders. Other attractive details that give each design their own 'calling card', are the inclusion of
 bell sleeves, a funnel neck, super deep pockets, a bow collar and hem tucks - 
something for everyone ! 

All of the designs have an appealing and reassuringly uncomplicated feel, (reminiscent of other Japanese sewing books) and all 26 carry the essential elements of 'wearability', style and of course, once made by your own fair hand in the fabric of your choice, that prized uniqueness that escapes the raft of 'identikit' clothes that can appear on the rails each year. Indeed this is part of the book's premise - to use these patterns in creating your own stylish, personalised garments, to your taste. If you hanker for something a little different that you can put your own stamp on, then this is the pattern book for you.

You'll of course be wondering at this point how easy it is to translate these designs into their ready-to-wear, end product and this is where the book scores another big 'tick' from me. The instructions are step by step, seamstress friendly and include clear, easy to follow construction sequence diagrams.
My only word of caution is that the necessary overlaying of cutting lines / sizes to include all 26 fabulous patterns in the back, requires a concentrated eye on the right lines, before you start tracing and cutting. However, still preferable to the mammoth 'print-off' and jigsaw-like assembly involved with on-line pdf patterns. There is also a helpful key on each sheet directing you to the right patterns sheets (and side) for each of your chosen pattern pieces.

It occurs to me at this point that this book is also fabulous value for money when you consider that a single pattern can be purchased for about the same price as the book (from the leading pattern manufacturers/designers).
Frankly, there are so many tempting creations in this book that I don't know where to start! My review copy has been sabotaged with yellow post-its and 'notes to self' already. Currently I am torn between the Bell-sleeve jacket with ruffle trim and the sequinned drop-waist dress, (cute ruffled waist detail at that) AND matching clutch bag - perfect for Christmas, (did I just say that?) Certainly a very cute and stylish dress for occasion wear. In fact, the lovely decorative design elements carried by each of the garments - ruffles, gathering, empire lines, drop waists, or the inclusion of a sumptuous element in the fabric - eg. lace or taffeta make them each fabulously versatile. I challenge you not to fall in love with at least one item in this book and want to make it your own!

And in anticipation of a new found passion for Japanese sewing books, you may like to check out Yoshiko Tsukiori's 'Stylish Dress Book - Simple Smocks, Dresses and Tops' for more indulgence! (Totally in love with the dropped-waist coat dress). Enjoy!
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2 comments:

  1. I am wondering if I may be too large for the patterns included. When I buy American patterns I always purchase the Lrg-Xlg-Xxl size. Is it possible to tell me the bust measurement for the largest size of the patterns? I'd love to buy this book as I like many of the designs I've seen, but if the patterns are too small then it won't really be useful for me. Many thanks in advance.

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  2. I thought I was taking a big risk by ordering for 2 gowns online, but the risk was worth it with this designer. The seller was very polite and responsive to emails.
    Louis Vuitton shoes

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