Spotted: Linen, cotton, wool no fuku

Here is the second book for today!

Clothes made of linen, cotton and wool. The outfits in this book are supposed to be okay for autumn, winter and spring. Do they intend to not publish anything else until summer? ^^ The style is leaning towards the “natural clothes”, those that you can find for example in the Pochée magazine (reason why I’m posting this book and the Pochee Special together).

I don’t have as many pictures as for the Pochee book (especially since the clothes are more varied here and I couldn’t summarize everything with just a few pics) but you will get the table of contents and a few pictures that illustrated it on the book.

- V-neck tunic + roll-up pants (I think it’s the cover outfit)- vest- V-neck onepiece + lace stole (I think, my picture is missing the last word… but I’m pretty sure it’s the outfit on top of the french list of contents)- patchwork skirt (very nice) and 2 ways stole (it makes a stole and a shoulder cover with sleeves)- jacket and lace skirt- camisole dress (flower print version) and flare blouse (quite original, the sides go down longer that the rest)- dolman sleeves blouse and petticoat- triple gaze blouse and tuck skirt- tunic dress, 2 styles- A-line tunic onepiece and tunic- apron-skirt (see picture above) and camisole dress (white version)- vest, 2 types- jacket and onepiece- jacket and denim coat (see below)- accessories

As for sewing explanations, it works like every other book from the “Lady Boutique series”. Some explanation are in color, in the middle of the outfit pictures. The other are in b&w at the end of the book. All text explanations come with detailed drawings.

Pochée autumn 2009

Just a quick note to say that I edited the previous post. I added a link to scans of the magazine, so you can have a better idea of the outfits. This is especially for those who read the blog via an rss reader and would miss the update. ^^

Spotted: Pochée autumn 2009

The new Pochee is out! I’ve been haunting my bookstore for some time, waiting for it to appear. I really like that magazine. I don’t own any yet, but it’s only because I can’t choose which one to buy. I love reading it at the bookstore. They always have nice sewing ideas, cute clothes, explanations that seem very well detailed and the overall look is really nice. Very natural japanese. I also love the part where they show the workplace of some designers who (I think) work from home.

Here is the cover of the last issue which is still as nice looking as the previous ones.

Like the new “Pochée special” sewing book they just release (going to talk about that in a future post) the magazine concentrates on outer clothes. Which means dresses, something that they call “dress coat”, which can really be a coat if made in the appropriate fabric, and jackets. I think among those main patterns I saw 5 that looked definitely like coats/jackets to me. As usual those are offered by several “natural” designers and for each style you will find one basic pattern and one or two variations (which usually make a really different garment). Appart from those patterns you can find: small objects, bags (2 pages), leggings/arm warmer (1 pair)/leg warmer (1 pair) (2 pages), stoles/vests (2 pages), dresses and tunics for women and girls, skirts for women and skirts, two jackets/coats for children and a few bags for your children who go back to school. That’s all I can remember right now.

Edit from September 10th: thanks to lolo from Le grenier de Noélie we now have a link to scans of this magazine. There aren’t all the outfits, but it show those from the main theme. You can see them here (flash needed I think). They also show the leggings pages, the stole pages, two of the children pages (those with the coats) and two other adult outfits that I liked.

It’s funny, it seems that I see jackets and coats patterns everywhere lately. Is it me or are they really more present? I’m not sure. It might also be that more of them have interesting details/shapes. There was a lot of new releases since the beginning of September, I’ll try to talk about them in the next posts (at little at a time).

Spotted: new releases

I’ve been talking about this book update for a while, I finally find the time to write it. It will be divided into several parts, otherwise it might be too long…

“Kids no jimbei to yukata + baby” (Jimbei and yukata for kids and babies). You can easily guess what this book is about. Those are traditional summer clothes for children. The yukata is a simple cotton kimono worn in summer. It’s lighter and less formal that the usual kimono. It’s often worn by japanese people as festivals and fireworks. The jimbei is a two pieces outfit composed of a pair of short pants and a kimono-style top. It’s also made of cotton. It’s worn mostly by men but I think women can also wear it.

“Daily wear”. The outfits inside are like the one on the cover: quite simple and large shapes. Nothing really fancy here but rather comfy clothes for daily use. There are a few pics that are not very clear as to what the clothes actually look like, but luckily all of them are listed at the beginning of the book (with unworn pics). There are 12 base-types, and for each 2 or 3 variations (the clothes are numbered from A01 to L02). You can find a little of everything: dresses, tunics, camisoles, skirts (2 types I think), pants (1 type I think), outerwear. They have a few cardigans/jackets/coats that I actualy found quite nice and useful. Otherwise the rest of the clothes are not to my taste (not fitted/shaped enough) but for those who like that kind of clothes they might be nice, there are nice design ideas.

“mainichi, harishigoto” (“Daily needlework”). This book is mainly about accessories. Many bags, aprons, some small things for the house. You can see a few examples on the book’s Amazon page.

“Ito Masako no harishigoto” (“Masako Ito’s needlework”). A slightly different book, in the way it offers the patterns. It is composed of several short sections, each one of them talking about a different subject related to sewing/fabric. What I found funny is that the subjects are not really linked to each other. Here are a few examples: Ikea fabrics, repurposing old sheets, marimekko fabric, hankerchiefs (two types), running stitch, linen, smocks. With each subject they give the pattern for one garment. You find one page of text describing (I think) the subjet, then a picture of the garment, then two pages of pictures related to the subject. It’s more of an actual craft/art book than just a pattern book.

Spotted: Drape Drape

I’m devoting a whole post to this new release. Since it’s a little different I took more time to look at it and I can write a more detailed review.

It’s called “Drape drape”, and is, as you can guess, about creating drapes. All the clothes inside (women clothes only) are draped and quite loose fitting. At first I was happy to see this book, because I’m interesting by this technique. But I was a little disappointed: the clothes are not easy to wear at all. They have strange shapes and because they’re so loose, they sometimes do not cover enough of the body (especially when you consider that the model doesn’t wear anything under). You would definitely have to add other layers. Other people might love them I’m sure, but they’re not really my style. So this book seems to be more interesting as a drape learning and inspiration tool than a quick pattern book.

Let’s talk about the technical part now. It starts by explaining basic sewing things and tools as often. They also explain drapes and the different techniques they will use to create them: tucks, gathers and a combine technique that they call “drape drape”. Each garment then uses at least one of those. There are text and pictures to describe them, as well as explainations on how to construct them from the pattern (like how to cut, fold and sew to create tucks). They also talk about sewing machines and sergers, as they seem to use a serger to make the clothes. I’ve read on the internet that it is recommended to have one to use this book. As they don’t seem to add any advice for people who don’t have a serger at home, I can understand that. I guess you’d still be able to make the clothes without, but it might take more time.

As for each garment explanations, I think it’s not that easy to understand the construction if you don’t speak japanese. The drawings are not as detailed as they are in say the “One day sewing” series. It looks more like the “Stylish dress book” series: some garments have very detailed drawings, and other only have two or three for the hardest parts. They also show you how to place the pattern pieces on your fabric and the pattern shape, with numbers indicating the different construction steps. But with all those tucks and gathers it’s sometimes difficult to understand the pattern, and how from this weird 2D shape you will get this 3D piece. ^^; I’m not saying it’s impossible to use for non-japanese people. Just that you have to be willing to spend quite some time staring at the drawings and making sense of them, and trying everything on your muslin first. I definitely recommend doing a muslin, because I’m sure this can lead to many mistakes and you don’t want to ruin your nice fabric. So I’d say this is for patient and determined people, who want to learn more about drapes or create orignal clothes. And with at least a little experience in sewing. But of course I don’t have the book and didn’t make anything from it, all this is based only upon my browing in the shop. It might be easier than it seems.

And to thank those who have read all this, you can see some scans of the book here. ^^

Spotted: new releases

Yes, already some new books! They release new publications very often around here. And since I haven’t posted here as often as I’d like, you get two of those posts very close.

“Furi ! Fuwah ! Otona fuku”

This is a book with patterns for skirts and tops with lots of frills. The tops are of the usual type for a japanese pattern book. I saw some skirt ideas quite interesting. They’re less common (I find there are a lot more tops and dresses patterns in those books). Nothing really caught my eye, seing what I like and the patterns I already have at home, but it might be interesting for others. The really good point: their use of not so common fabrics (at least in japanese books), like this skirt made of taffeta. I really liked this, first because it’s a nice change, and then because you get to see through the pictures how those fabrics look once sewn.

“Kawaii kodomo no onepiece” (“Cute child dresses”)

This book shows lots of dresses for little girls. I didn’t think of looking what ages it was for. :s But they had some really nice things! Some dresses are very casual, and others are quite dressy for more formal occasions. All in all I found it was an inspiring book. For the little girls that might appear around me in the future, but also… for Blythe dresses! Which would be a much quicker use of it. ^^ I’d love to rescale some of those for Blythe size. I’m still toying with the idea, maybe I’ll give in and get it in the future. The full size patterns are not given, but they tell you all the measurements you need to create the dresses.

“Natural taste ~ linen & cotton no nunokomono” (“Natural taste ~ small fabric objects in linen & cotton”)

As the name says, this book is all about accessories made of linen and cotton. Mainly small objects for the house: placemats, coasters, pot holder, aprons, cushion covers, small blankets… The models shown are quite nice, and you can see a number of variations for each object (colors, shapes…). I think you can find some nice decorations ideas inside, whether to use as is or to adapt to other projects. The feature I liked best: two very sweet colored pages with some very nice ideas (they had placemats and coasters and I think cushions). Sadly it’s not enough to get the book, so I hope I’ll find a scan of those pages in the future to keep in my “inspiration” folder. ^^

Catalog from 1900

I was talking about it earlier, here is the promised post about this japanese/french catalog. Here is the cover (thanks to Amazon):

Inside you can find a small introduction in japanese (I don’t know what it says) and then the  reproductions of the original catalogs. They come from several department stores in Paris, some that are still well known (like le Printemps or le Bon Marché) and others whose names I didn’t know. All the descriptions are left in French. You can see a lot of clothing pieces with their descriptions (materials used) and their price. They are shown as drawings, with lots of details. I think this is a very interesting book for those interested in vintage clothes. It might also be of interest for lace lovers, since it was sold in a lace shop.

I did some research since my last post. I wanted to find whether they publisher had made other books like this. It seems not. That’s a little disappointing, I would have loved to find a similar book about crinoline dresses. I love that kind of dress! Among the 19th/early 20th centuries fashions it’s one of my favorite. I’m not as crazy about the style of clothing they wore in 1900. And considering the price old catalogs and magazines go for, such books covering many era would be very interesting. This book has 303 pages and is sold at 2940 yens.

That said, while browsing through Amazon I discovered a good number of English books about Victorian fashion. Some of them have good reviews and seem interesting, I think one day I’ll take one or two. What I find sad is that all the books I found are in Japanese or English, while at least half of the material they’re based upon is French (catalogs or magazines). Why don’t we release anything like this in French??? Or maybe it’s only me and I didn’t search for the right thing… that would be sad if our resources are only used by other people. :s

Here are some of the English books I found that seem interesting:- Victorian and Edwardian Fashion: A Photographic Survey- Victorian and Edwardian Fashions from “La Mode Illustree”- Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar, 1867-1898- Elegant French Fashions of the Late Nineteenth Century: 103 Costumes from La Mode Illustree, 1886- Full-Colored Victorian Fashions: 1870-1893- Children’s Fashions of the Past in Photographs- Children: A Pictorial Archive of Permission-Free Illustrations- Children’s Fashions, 1860-1912: 1,065 Costume Designs from “LA Mode Illustree”

Spotted: new releases

Lately I discovered something about Graphic-sha (the company that publishes the “One day sewing series”): they like to republish their books. I’ve had some doubts about this before, but I wasn’t sure. Now I am, since among the “new” books I saw the first japanese pattern book I bought last year. The new book has a new publising date and all. I’m quite surprised, I don’t really see why they republish them. They are still available on Amazon, so I guess even if they’re not directly available in bookshops they can still be ordered. Or maybe they do that to have more advertisement (since they do back in the top shelves of shops)? I don’t know… maybe they’ve been publishing the same few books over and over again… XD Anyway, here is the book I’m talking about.

“Natsu dakara kantan ~ Ichinichi de dekichau fuku” (“Clothes you can make in one day ~ Easy because it’s summer”), which I got last summer. A little visit to Amazon told me it’s actually the third time the book is release: the release date they display is May, 2007. As I said it was the first japanese pattern book I bought. I didn’t know a lot of their books at that time. I had started to browse the books in the shop some time before, and this one got me. Not that I’d say it’s the best ever of their series, but it’s cute and I didn’t know the other summery ones then. That said, I really like it and don’t regret buying it. I still haven’t made anything from it (I know, it’s shame -_-), but there are many projects I want to make (some for which I already have the fabric). You can see all the outfits here.

Another new release, although I can’t tell whether it’s really new or not: “Linen, coton, gauze no natural na fuku” (“Natural clothes in linen, coton and gauze”). As the name indicates, the clothes inside are pure “natural” japanese clothes: wide, quite long, with simple lines and natural fibers. That kind of clothing really has a distinctive look. And speaking of width, be careful: the patterns only come in sizes M and L! If you’re really thin and usually use size S, it might be very wide! At first I wasn’t really convinced and thought this book wouldn’t be for me. But now that I’ve looked at the clothes two or three times, I really like some of the pieces and wonder whether I should get it. My favorite piece: the n°5 pettipants (or “petticoat pants”, a.k.a. drawers). They are so cute with the lacy frills! Another piece that I like very much is this tunic (which also comes with pettipants ^^; ).

They also republished this book some time ago: “Ichi nichi de dekichau fuku tsukurou!” (“Let’s make clothes in one day!”, once again titled as “Natsu dakara kantan”). I don’t have much to say about it. There are some cute pieces, but not so much compared to other books, or I already have similar patterns that I could modify to get the same result. If you don’t have any book from the “One day sewing” series, maybe you’ll like it better. The things I like best are the n°5 tunic dress, which is very light and cute, and this striped knit tunic which looks very comfy for summer.

PS: pfew, two days (or is it three?) to finish this note! I wish I had more time…

Spotted: new releases

New books spotted this week at the bookstore…


Another book from the “One day sewing” series: “Natsu ni kitai fuku” (“Clothes to wear in summer”). The clothes are of the same vein as those of the previous books: simple dresses, blouses, tops and skirts/pants, with one or two accessories. It’s nice, but maybe not essential if you have the previous ones. There are a few new things (or variations around something shown before), but for the most parts the clothes are very similar to what’s been shown in previous books. At least that was my first impression.


The third volume of their “beginner series”: “Hajimete tsukuru skirt”, which is all about skirts as you can guess. Once again there is a book for grown-ups and a book for children. The latter, called “Hajimete tsukuru kodomo fuku skirt & pants” also has a few pants patterns.


Another third volume, this time of the “Happy homemade series”. This one is called “One piece pattern kara tunic, blouse mo” (which litteraly means “From one piece patterns, tunic and blouse also”). I think you can guess easily what the book is about. ^^


“Coton, linen, gauze no onna no ko no natsu fuku”: “Summer clothes for little girls made of coton, linen and gauze”. From what the cover sais it seems 1 meter of fabric is enough to make them. Sizes, after what the covers says: 95~100cm and 100~110cm.


An accessories book: “Natural komono to accessory (“Natural small things and accessories”). I might have bought it if I hadn’t already got a linen/gauze accessories book in March and/or if I knew how to crochet. A lot of the projects in this book involve crochet. There is a good number of flowers here. Some very nice crochet necklaces. I think it’s also in this book that I saw some separate collars, especially a lovely sailor collar bordered with a crochet trim. I can’t remember what the other projects are, sorry. But this book is a nice one, quite inspiring.


This book that I couldn’t photograph [picture added on August 17th], which is about formal dresses for little girls. I found some of the dresses very cute, and some a little too “grown-up” for my taste.

And this magazine about children clothes: Cucito, July 2009.