I have a growing collection of Japanese sewing pattern books, and I never get tired of flipping through them, trying to decide what to make next. Here are my top 7 favourites from my expanding library. I’m yet to get my hands on the increasingly popular Drape, drape series though, so I have a feeling this list may need to be revised once that happens!
A lot of these Japanese sewing pattern books, you can actually take a sneak peak inside on Amazon. Clicking on image of the books below will take you directly to Amazon where you might be able to preview some of the pages inside the book or go on to purchase.
1. Feminine Wardrobe
I have written an indepth book review on Feminine Wardrobe by Jinko Matsumoto before, and it comes up top of my list of favourite Japanese sewing pattern books. I have made the ruffle front dress (pattern F2), and it is my most frequently worn garment I have made myself, ever. I think I love Feminine Wardrobe so much because the fashion in the book is exactly my “ideal” style. Understated, chic, comfortable and of course, feminine.
2. Stylish Dress Book 2
Stylish Dress Book 2 by Yoshiko Tsukiori fuelled by passion for Japanese sewing books. It remains extremely popular, and I have already made a blouse (pattern A) and a smock dress (pattern K) to great success from this book. The patterns in this book are extremely simple and unstructured, so it is a fantastic book if you are new to Japanese sewing patterns. I have written a full review of Stylish Dress Book 2 previously on Sew in Love.
3. Nonchalantly Sweet Clothes
I am yet to make anything from Nonchalantly Sweet Clothes by Noriko Sasahara, but it still makes it into my Top 5 purely for its styling fabulousness. The patterns in this book are a little more grown up than the first two books mentioned above. The author puts gorgeous outfits together using the various garments you can make from this book, and they are oh so chic with a French touch. I have already bought some denim to make the denim jacket with braided trim (pattern N).
4. Sweet Dress Recipe
Sweet Dress Recipe by Tatsuya Kaigai is very girly, very floral and full of lace and ruffles. Don’t let this turn you off though, as the sweetness of the pattern designs are done very tastefully. The fabrics used to make the clothes in this book are especially beautiful, think lots of liberty prints, gingham checks and breezy broderie anglaise. Many of the tank tops, jackets and blouses are accessoried by corsages. There are two corsage patterns included in the book, made of pastel coloured leather (!) and dotted with sequins.
5. Blouse, Skirt & Pants Style Book
Blouse, Skirt & Pants Style Book by Keiko Nonaka and illustrated by Yoko Sugiyama is all about enjoying variations of 12 basic patterns. 6 blouse patterns, 3 skirts and 3 pants patterns are magically transformed into 24 blouses, 12 skirts and 12 pants. I think some of the patterns are a little advanced, but you could still make an entire wardrobe out of this one book.