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Interweave Press Simple Modern Sewing: 8 Basic Patterns to Create 25 Favorite Garments Paperback – December 13, 2011
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The only thing that I believe would make this book better is if it had been published with a wire spine. Seems like it is taking publishers everywhere a bit to long to anticipate the desires of people such as myself, who love to sew and have several handcrafted projects going on at any given time. So here is a hint for all the publishers in the world: If the book is about an a handcrafted form then it should have a wire spine because we artisans like to lay the book out flat on the table. If you've ever wondered why there are coffee and tea cup rings in old pattern books it is because we set those cups full of liquid on the openned pages in order to break the spine and force them to lay flat.
This book has 8 basic patterns in sizes XS, S, M, L for the following garments:
1. Wraparound dress, also instructions for 2 tops.
2. Raglan sleeve top, also tunic and jacket
3. Jumper, also 2 dresses
4. 3 pant styles
5. 3 skirt styles
6. 3 more skirts
7. 3 blouses
8. 2 shirts and a tunic
The book layout is very pretty, as are the photographs. Every garment is shown, the instructions and diagrams are clear. Directions are basic enough for beginning seamstresses, along with suggestions for fabrics and accessories.
No special fitting worries with these clothes, all are comfy and roomy. Lots of forgiveness here. There are no intricate curved seams, insets, linings, complicated closures...nothing that might scare you off if you are a sewing newcomer.
I think you get a lot for the money. It's well written and beautifully presented. Other than perhaps the pantaloon pants, all the garments could become everyday favorites. What the heck... The pantaloon pants are really cute too.
And here: [...]
Don't buy a book without looking inside it or getting a good idea of what it's like.
I love the patterns in this book. They are very much in keeping with that natural, linen-y Japanese style. I lived in South Korea for almost 2 years and loved the influence that Japan had on fashion, but sadly, most of it didn't fit well. Now I can make my own clothes that have that same shape and style!
That being said, I did have to adjust the sizing when I made the wrap dress. There are quite a few tutorials online to show you how to resize a pattern simply and easily. Google, "How to resize pattern" and you should come up with results. I used these instructions and they worked well for me: [...]
Some people have said that the clothes only go up to a size 3-4. I disagree and would say that they probably go up to a women's size 10/12. I'm a women's 14/16, which is why I had to resize them. If you're much bigger than a 10 or 11, you should probably plan on resizing.
This book is probably not for beginning sewists. I've had a couple years experience making clothes, so it wasn't too difficult figuring out the changes I needed to make. The pattern instructions also seem a little abbreviated to me. I understand that it's probably meant to save on room, but little things are left out, like where and when to top stitch. So, you might want to have some garment sewing/construction experience under your belt before attempting anything from this book.
It is true that these clothes aren't very form fitting. That's one thing that makes them so easy to resize! If you prefer clothes that give you more shape, I would not recommend this book. If you like Japanese style, this book may be for you. The open, flowy shapes of the garments are very much the Japanese style.
So, the pros.. are very cute clothes that are loose and comfortable and versatile.
The cons.. are abbreviated instructions and a lack of range in sizing. I agree that because this book was translated into English, more realistic English sizes would be very nice.
However, overall, I love the book and will continue to happily sew from it!