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Shape Shape: Sewing Clothing Patterns to Wear Multiple Ways Hardcover – February 21, 2012

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Having studied fashion design in Paris, Japanese designer Hiraiwa turns her attention to wearable, ultimately customizable women’s clothing. Hers is a look reminiscent of Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto—almost severe in line, celebrating architectural nonsymmetry, and using rich yet down-to-earth textiles. The 19 products depicted here are showcased upfront in color, with page references to instructions later in the book and occasional notes about how to wear a certain item (e.g., a two-way stole). Assuming that her readers have more than a passing acquaintance with sewing machines, Hiraiwa offers materials lists, cutting notes, and sewing tips. Construction steps are accompanied by detailed instructions (full-size patterns are attached to the back cover). Sewing difficulty is not indicated. First-timers or novices should choose the reversible faux collar or spiral scarves before turning to, say, the sleeveless scarf blouse. --Barbara Jacobs

About the Author

Natsuno Hiraiwa combines her formal training in fashion design with her background in graphic design to create artistic garments. She studied fashion design for three years in Paris and majored in graphic design at art college in Japan.


Amazon Allowance Craftsy

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave (February 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596683554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596683556
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A. Badus on May 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was thrilled to find out that this book is an English translation of the book "Unique Clothes Any Way You Like." Carolyn from Australia, one of my favorite sewing bloggers, has been making beautiful garments from this book, but tracking Japanese copies seemed very difficult. Amazon won't let me insert a link to her blog, but you can find her by looking for "Handmade by Carolyn." It's a truly inspirational blog and she has made several of the patterns from the book (so you can see what they look like from multiple angles!).

On to the book itself: I am currently making blouse #16, the twisted back blouse, and the pieces seem to go together well. The pattern pieces were easy to trace, but I am quite used to tracing Japanese or German (Burda!) patterns. Don't forget to add seam allowances! On the bright side, you can add your favorite width for the allowances. The instructions are thorough enough - they do assume that you have some sewing experience but still describe the order of steps.

If you are looking for the same old "Misses' knit top" pattern that the Big 4 seem to be putting out every day and that looks like you could have bought it at the mall, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for very detailed instructions where every step is illustrated, this is also not the right book. If you want some interesting clothes and accessories, though, and are not afraid to do some thinking, this book will be a delight. It is true that the sizes are limited, but I don't think it would be too difficult to grade up. I wish the translators had not given the impression that the garments are convertible, though - some are, but some are not. If you can appreciate the unique construction and details, you will enjoy this book.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Cikk on March 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am iffy about this book. I have bought Japanese sewing books before and therefore am prepared for the patterns to be made for someone slighter and shorter than myself - but I can usually use their large or XL. In this case, the large is same as medium in other books, and there is no XL. That's one bad point.

Another thing is that there are not that many clothing patterns - three long skirts which are cute, two long sleeved and very normal shirts which are exactly the same except one has ONE coloured cuff and the other has a removable button on coloured pocket - meh. Then there's a twisted blouse which is very Japanese cool, and a pair of very ordinary drawtring pants which have a patchwork yoke. A reversible blouse - very shapeless sleeveless top which is shown worn with the placket in front and behind - at least this one is shown in different views! And my favourite, a more shapely sleeveless blouse with scarves attached to the shoulders - very cute. Oh, and stupid little tiny wrap apron skirt which has to be worn over leggings to be halfway decent.

The rest are wraps, a shrug, cute spiral scarf,a couple of tote bags, a reversible collar blabla.... what is really annoying is that although they show umpteen pictures of a stole which is a big circle with a hole in it, and then don't show what exactly is two way about the tote bag or the messenger bag. Or how the three long skirts look when worn differently. What a misnomer- wear multiple ways - the whole title of the book is misleading!

The pattern sheet is awful. How dare Interweave publish such a terrible pattern sheet? It is standard to use different coloured lines or different symbols to show what's what. This pattern uses the same line all the way - ridiculous!
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By ALoopintheWoods on February 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really dislike leaving bad reviews, as once a book goes into production often the author has little say over how it is presented....but Interweave Press has grossly mislead us in this case and it simply must be said how terrible this book is as it is presented. The concept of the book is awesome - if indeed convertibility were the concept of this book, but it is NOT! There are very few items in here that convert or transform into another option. In most cases, the other option is simply that it is reversible with a different fabric. Also, very few of the 19 designs are shown in more than one way. Really? No photographs to show the transformations - cheap! At most, 2-3 of the projects have a photograph with the 2nd option. But I don't consider a skirt worn with joining in front, and then the joining in back to be authentically convertible. I mean c'mon.
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119 of 144 people found the following review helpful By CampBobette on February 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Of the 19 supposed garments in this book, only six are garments and not terribly inspired. Of the six, perhaps two are something that is actually wearable by real people with jobs & a real life. The directions are somewhat vague, I would not recommend this for a beginner.

I had high hopes for this book but can only say it is a sad disappointment.

Here is where things get a whole lot worse.

After looking at the "patterns" I am downgrading my review to absolutely not. The 'patterns' are all on two sheets of paper, two BIG sheets of paper. With the exception of one spiral scarf, which is shaded, all the lines are the same weight, same point size, exactly the same. It is maddening to try to follow them. Unless you are prepared to color the lines with a sharpie and then trace them off, you will get to use two patterns after you cut them out. Two - one from each sheet of paper. Your other option is to take the sheets to someone who copies blueprints for large scale copies and then you should be prepared to pay a LOT ($10+) for each copy. And each garment you want to make will take its own copy.

If you'd like to see the garments, the publisher's online store has a preview. Interweave doesn't do previews at Amazon.

To qualify my comments, I am not a novice seamstress. I've been sewing since I was seven and am now well beyond that. Hand tailored wool suits that fit perfectly, tailored garments for clients with dowager's humps, wedding dresses, window treatments, alterations, etc. I have a degree in apparel design and have co-authored a book on garment construction. This isn't my first rodeo with a pair of dressmaker shears.

If you are a book collector and want eye candy, you might like this book.
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