Sunday, May 04, 2008

Japanese Fashion

My Japanese sbooks have arrived! Yay! I ordered from YesAsia (This is a link to a bunch of sewing books to get you started!) This was my 2nd order from YesAsia and everything arrived like clockwork when they said it would (about 3 weeks.) Here's my haul (with ISBN ):






Use the ISBN to google these too. And go check out pomadour24 on ebay or etsy. He/she gives interior pictures too, so it's easy to find the book with the projects you really like before purchasing. But BUY from YesAsia. You'll save about $10/book AND save on shipping.

It's going to be hard to pick a project. I am especially in love with the Fashion From Cinema book, which features a tiny snapshot of a movie (mostly vintage flicks) and a pattern for a garment in the character's style. Downside? These patterns are only offered in one size (which is unknown to me at this point.) And all black lines on the railroad track of pattern lines will be a nightmare to trace! This book will probably be inspiration only.

Couple of peeks inside: (Too much coffee, sorry for the really crappy pics this morning!)

A dress inspired by Julianne Moore in The Hours:

Top & skirt inspired by Renee Zellweger in Down with Love:

I also really really love the Skirt a la Carte book. (Actually I love all of Kayaki Machiko's books. Gorgeous clothes. Remember that Japanese read right to left, so you may have better luck searching for her online as Machiko Kayaki? I think there's a Flickr group dedicated to her stuff.)

Every skirt in here is CUTE. Here are a couple of I really like:

Comparing Sizing to BWOF...
Another plus with the skirt book is that the sizing is a bit expanded from most Japanese pattern books (7, 9, 11, 13, 15, which translates to Burda sizing 34, 36, 38, 40, 42) if you go by HIP measurement. Waist measurements are about a size to a size and a half smaller than the comparable Euro size (so a Japanese size 7 is the same hip measurement as a 34, but a Japanese size 7 waist is off the Burda chart (too small) by 3 cm. Ouch.

Translation: These are tiny people, people. :D

Let's not even get into the fact that my own pattern range STARTS at a size 46. (and the skirt book is the only one of my books that even goes as large as the 15/42!) Luckily, the styles are so simple and beautiful that they will be easily duplicated in patterns from stash/BWOF that DO fit.

Oh, and that WAY SMALL waist issue above...Ditto for bust. The bust sizing is at least half a pattern size smaller than the comparable BWOF hip size (about 2 cm smaller.)

Luckily, the sizing is perfect for dd Lu, who hasn't any bust issues yet! And she's outgrowing the kid line in the Big 4 fast, but too small for the women's line, so these will be perfect for her.

Reading in Japanese
Actually, you don't have to read Japanese to use these patterns. If you have a bit of sewing experience, you'll do fine! They include fabulous illustrations for any finicky parts, and the rest you can pretty much figure out using basic construction techniques. Also of Japanese craft magazines all read in traditional Japanese Right to Left. BUT these pattern books read Left to Right.

Helpful Linkies
While researching which books to buy, I ran across a great blog a couple of months ago devoted to Japanese sewing books called Japanese Couture Addicts. It's in French, but I linked you to the google translated page. These girls are AWESOME! Not only do they actually buy the books AND sew from them, they do tutorials, take pictures, post often...what more could you ask? That it's in French is only a teeny tiny disadvantage because the translation is pretty clear. Scroll all the way down on the left and you can link to each book's blog posts (Book 1, Book 2, etc.)

Be sure to check out their links, because they have links to other translations (French to English Sewing, Japanese to English, etc) AND links to places to find/buy the books!! That can be a real hunt, because if you're buying online and don't have the ISBN#, you are searching in the dark! (Which is why you have mine up there! I'm such a helpful enabler.)

They also have a forum HERE, (also in French) but it might be helpful if you have a question. The translations are funny sometimes, but you can still get a good idea of what's going on. I got tickled at a sizing question (about busts) and one of the (google translated) answers was this:
I measured and calculated and would have a place to bring my chest which is not a chest of Japan ...

Ya. Me neither! LOL.


  1. Fashion at New Heights - Tips for Short Legged Woman
    It's time for shorts and for many women that means taking a swift and tender look in the reflect. The best part of us isn’t completely happy with the way we look and can spend hours picking out areas that we long to improve. Unfortunately, genetics play a huge roll is body type and amazing you just can't argue with what nature has to say. For women with short and wide legs, buying clothing can be a real task. Don't lose you're determination. Looking great is merely a matter of knowing what works for you. Here are 5 rules you should follow to make your legs look vast in everything form tights and leggings to skirts and shorts. Japanese Fashion
    1 - Buy the Right Size Shirt
    2 - Don't be tempted By Bagging Pants
    3 - Avoid Light Color Jeans
    4 - No Horizontal Stripes
    5 - Avoid Full Length Skirts

  2. Wow, we got spammed girls. :D

  3. Anonymous7:39 AM

    As a purchaser of clothes in Japan who would be happy in a burda 46 ... or 48: tops are often drafted so loose, you can actually squeeze into the largest size, and it doesn't look stupid (or squashed). But skirts, pants, forgeddabouid. If the hips fit, the waist is roomy enough for you and your 2 year old, Japanese women simply have a different body shape ;)


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