Stylish Dress Book

Stylish Dress Book
ISBN 9784579111855

I’m not sure how, but I noticed yesterday that I never did a post about the mother of all Japanese Dress Books – Stylish Dress Book. It is probably a bit redundant at this point, as most of you have the book, know each page by heart and have seen quite a few of these patterns posted here and elsewhere. Nonetheless, I feel my little dress book resource would be incomplete without this.

To date, I have made seven of the patterns in the book myself. I have helped other people make most of the others in the class I teach. Where some of the books I have contain just a couple standout patterns, this book has a great variety of styles that are very appealing. I can still pull this dog-eared book out and pore over every page with great interest.

I really like the layout of the Stylish Dress Book series. The technical drawings and instruction pages are well laid out and very clear. The pattern sheets are printed in one colour, which can be very overwhelming to look at. I have seen books that do multicolour printing for the pattern pages and it makes extracting the pattern a bit easier, especially when you’re first starting out. This is a small detail that would not deter me from buying this book, but I just mention it as a note of comparison.

Looking through the book, I see that I still have not made dress ‘S’. I need to pick a fabric and get on it. I’m deciding between this, this, this or a lovely plain indigo black cotton/inox (steel) blend. Thoughts?

Stylish Dress Book

Stylish Dress Book

Stylish Dress Book

Stylish Dress Book

Stylish Dress Book

Stylish Dress Book

16 Responses to “STYLISH DRESS BOOK”

  • super cool. super cute. the japanese sure do have a great sense of style!!!

  • when are you going to teach the next Japanese dress class Karyn? I just bought this book and can’t wait to get my hands on it already!

  • Dress S looks so cute! please make it karyn! I want to see! Cotton/inox blend?? Where do you get that?! I vote for that one.

  • I really love seeing what you make from this series of books. So much that I am slowly building the courage to buy a book and have a go at making a ‘stylish dress’ for myself .

    My two concerns are (a) sizing – are there size options or guidelines for enlarging the pattern pieces? Have you had to do this at all? (b) understanding the instructions – obviously you haven’t had a hard time with this but just making sure it was the diagrams that were helpful not a pocket Japanese translator;)

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  • i agree with rosalyn. LIBERTY! love that print. ;)

  • Hello Karyn! Yes, please, comment on how you use the patterns and figure out the sizing!??! Do you trace an individual pattern, cut it out and lose the rest, or copy the pattern somehow? I notice in the books I have that the patterns all overlap. Ready to get started but wondering how to approach the patterns that came in the books? Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!
    Yours in Sewing,

  • Liberty, all the way! Love everything you do. A post or a resource link to help with these pattern books would leave me greatly indebted to you, especially for those of us that can’t book into one of your classes. I have a couple of Japanese Sewing books and I love them, dearly! I have been daunted in starting anything and would love some demystification…

  • I’ve made several of the patterns from this book myself and do love it. I’ve found that many of the patterns are larger than I had expected and have had to take the sides in on just about everyone that I’ve made. I was wondering if you’d had a similar experience with the patterns?

    • lindsey – oh yes, the patterns are quite large, generally. i often take some in off the sides or decrease the amount of gathering when drafting out the patterns. i have found that once i know my size, it is easy to tell from looking at the style of pattern whether it will need a lot of fitting.

  • May – looking forward to seeing you in the april japanese dress book class!

    Celine – i’m going with your suggesting and using the cotton/inox for the ‘s’ dress. i’m also going to try out a cute hem detail

    mon ami – the sizing is very generous. if you are really unsure, it doesn’t hurt to do a muslin sample for your first one to check the sizing out. most times people will find the garments big and need to take them in. we have also done some simple grading to go up a bit if necessary. the illustrations are really quite good. the more experience you have sewing, the easier this part will be, as you will already have a sense of the necessary steps to take.

    jettenola – all the pattern pieces are all overlaid on top of each other. what you need to do is trace the pieces out that you need for your project and then add seam allowance on top of that. each book has a size chart that will help you determine which size to use.

    debbie – there are a few other great resources out that that go through the process of working with these books. label free has done some great posts that will definitely give you some good tips.

  • I’m new to the blog, and so excited about these books! You mention in your response that you’re conducting a Japanese Dress Book class in April. When is it?

  • Hello
    I am new to the stylish dress book. I read that there are no seam allowances, trace the pattern then add, why can’t you just trace off the next size and use the difference as the seam allowance? Any advice would be great. It seems a lot of work before you can start!
    Thank you

    • Hi Susan, the difference between one size to the next is not even all the way around, so that is not the way to add seam allowance to your pattern. Although it seems like a lot of work, it is worth doing properly so that your garment turns out just right.

  • hi, how do you manage to make the clothes without english instructions? its been a while since i made any clothes so think i would struggle just trying to follow the pictures?

    thanks x

  • I just received a copy of this book, and looking at the patterns in the back envelope is it correct to have only Patterns 1, 3 and 5?

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