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Happy Homemade: Sew Chic: 20 Simple Everyday Designs Paperback – September 24, 2013
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"With everything from pants to tops, skirts to dresses, this book is all you need to completely revamp your closet." —Fave Crafts blog
"I made one of the patterns in the book and found the directions to be clear, direct, and simple to follow. It helps that the book is also translated into English." —Sew Country Chick blog
"One of my many New Year resolutions is to spend more time making things. And one of my first projects is going to be from the Happy Homemade series of books" —FUTURUSTIC blog
"Even if you don't sew you'll surely have a good time flicking through the pages as the designs are just plain pretty and the pictures styling close to crazy yummy. It is simple, cute and inspired with soft patterns and savvy details." —La Creature and you blog
"Tsukiori style is a very wearable bohemian look, the simple designs are perfect for showing off quality fabrics." —Ideas and Inspirations blog
"It is a great book for new sewers with easy to follow direction and that are very easy to understand. This is one of my favorite tools and it's helped me to improve my sewing skills." —Book Bargain and Previews blog
"There will definitely be more Happy Homemade dresses appearing in my wardrobe in coming months…" —Ivy Arch blog
"This book exemplifies all the things I love about Japanese sewing books: pretty designs, simple styling, and exceptional instructional quality." —Diane Gilleland, CraftyPod blog
About the Author
Yoshiko Tsukiori is a graduate of Joshi Bijutsu College. After working in apparel companies, Yoshiko became an independent designer. She creates a diverse range of fashionable, easy-to-make clothing, including children's and babies' clothes and women's designer garments. Yoshiko has authored many books, including the trendy Stylish Dress Book and Girls Style.
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I really love the way the tucks and gathers shape the top of the dresses and blouses. The clothes are simple, but they look really good.
Based on my measurements, I should be able to wear a size 12 in these patterns, but I found the blouse I made at that size to be too tight. The next time I made a blouse, I made a size 14, and that fit more comfortably. I might even go up to a size 16. I'm not sure why the size chart is misleading in this way. It may be that Japanese women are built so much smaller than American women that they had to shoe-horn our sizes into the actual sizes of the patterns. I am not a large woman either: 5'3" and 130 lbs. These clothes are going to be too small for a great many American women, but they will fit girls and small women well.
Also, the sleeve cut is very fitted. I like a more drop-shoulder sleeve with a lower sleeve cap, for greater ease of movement, and it was easy to alter the sleeve to make it more my style. There is little ease in the sleeve caps, in my experience; you might want to add some.
To use the patterns I dry-iron the pieces under a cloth to flatten them and use Bee Paper White Sketch and Trace Roll, 24-Inch by 20-Yards for tracing. This is not as hard as it might seem if this is your first experience with multiply-printed patterns: these patterns are far easier to trace than are those from Burda!
As a side note, I was a professional technical writer for many decades and am deeply impressed with the quality of the book itself, aside from the quality of the designs. Mutsuko Sukegawa writes beautifully minimal instructions, the illustrations are some of the best I've ever seen, and the translations are excellent. The patterns are printed on heavy, good-quality paper and it's quite easy to follow individual pattern lines. In every way an outstanding publication!
The only downside I can see is cutting out the pattern pieces. Sigh.