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Make Your Own Japanese Clothes: Patterns and Ideas for Modern Wear Paperback – November 15, 1988

35 customer reviews

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Paperback, November 15, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JOHN MARSHALL, who studied traditional dyeing and garment construction in Japan for five years, is a textile artist and fashion designer.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; 1st edition (November 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087011865X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870118654
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

152 of 155 people found the following review helpful By Jane Beckman on October 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
Okay, so the line illustrations are a little funky, you're not using this book to learn figure drawing; you're using it to learn how kimono and other Japanese clothing is made. And for that, it's unsurpassed! The fabric layouts are crystal-clear, and the instructions take even the timid novice through step-by-step procedures for getting everything just right, from linings to special sleeve finishes, things you'll never find on a kimono pattern. How do you get those sleeve corners to hang right? This book tells you. Want to know the correct hand-stitching techniques for the different parts of the garment? You'll find it here. I also recommend it to friends who are taking apart vintage kimono for laundering (as the Japanese did), because it tells you all the steps and the proper order for re-assembly. It even tells you how to fold the garments when you're done. For reference purposes, it starts with one of the best quick overviews of historical Japanese clothing I've seen, including those in the more historically-oriented books! Anyone who is costuming and needs historical accuracy should refer to this section. And so you can wear these garments, it also gives simple instructions for such necessities as tying an obi and tying back your sleeves to do work. I might want more instructions for different obi tyings, but that's not the focus of the book, just a bonus. As befits a book that refers to its subject as "clothing," rather than "costumes," it assumes you will actually be wearing these garments, and treats the subject accordingly. And, just so you can see what you might be able to create, the book includes a section of photos of lucious finished garments, from kicky happi-coats to a wonderful uchikake (over-robe) made from two obi!
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Gaylin Walli on August 28, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Marshall's MAKE YOUR OWN JAPANESE CLOTHES is a boon to the sewing world for anyone interested in creating asian-styled kimono, jackets, pants, and even socks. For people familiar with the Folkwear pattern line, John Marshall helped them design the hakama (long pants) pattern. The book includes a wonderful overview of Japanese clothing, full of useful information.
For anyone in historical re-enactment societies like the Society for Creative Anachronism, by all means purchase this book, but don't expect to be making pre-1600s accurate clothing with it. You'll not be that far off, but little things, like sleeve attachments, will make all the difference between a modern kimono and "period" kataginu. The book is an excellent place to start, but you'll need to search elsewhere for the details to make it accurate for classical Japan.
The instructions may seem a little daunting at first, certainly to the inexperienced sewer. If you're used to making clothes from modern tissue or paper patterns, this book may challenge you initially. The biggest bonus of this book is that the patterns for each of the items are designed to be made specifically from measurements you take. No more fussing with fitting and sizing after the garment is sewn together. With a little patient reading, the trick of creating outfits from measurements as they do in this book may actually become your preferred way of making clothes. You'll wonder why more companies don't make instructions this way, especially if you're a novice.
In addition to very good fabric layouts (described for modern fabric widths as well as traditional ~14-inch-wide), the book in unsurpassed in describing the finishing techniques for modern kimono.
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139 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Holly Ingraham on September 23, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beginning sewers intimidated by fancy tissue patterns are warned away from this. It requires you draft your own square-cut patterns from measurements and the instructions sometimes take rereading for me to figure out (a 20-year career as a pro costumer and a dresser for Kabuki Hawaii trained by experts from the National Theatre of Japan, so I am am very familiar with both seamstry and Japanese costumes of many sorts). The tissue patterns have much clearer instructions and diagrams. You need self-confidence and some moderate skill with the usual sewing to jump over to this.
First, Marshall assumes you also own The Book of Kimono by Norio Yamanaka. While Marshall will tell you how to draft patterns for the kimono, he tells you to go to the other book to find out how to =wear= the garments. Yamanaka's is a wonderful book, but I consider this sales-racketeering by the editors, allowing author sloth to force another book in the line. If you don't already know how to wear kimono, get Yamanaka first so you can even decide if you want to wear it, let alone sew it.
The section on Japanese sewing tools was interesting, but time might have been spent addressing how to do these jobs with tools you could find in ordinary Western sewing stores, and how to select Western fabrics (like don't use slinky for an uchikage), since so much time is spent on making Westernized/modernized variants on the trad kimono. 4ex, you can make a 3rd hand out of a strong little coffee bag clip, a length of cord, and a necklace hook rather than paying $8 + S&H on-line.
The largest flaw is the structuring of ideas.
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