Make Your Own Japanese Clothes is a Kodansha International publication.
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.Read more ›
Overall I'm happy with this book after looking everywhere for traditional Japanese kimono patterns. I was able to successfully complete a kurotomesode (formal black kimono) thanks to it.
If you want easy pre-fab Japanese clothing, buy it from an import store or make it from the myriad patterns commercially available. Some of those patterns were created by the author of this book, but others come with all the cheater Western shortcuts, for people in a hurry to waste a lot of time and money. If you want to understand how to make custom Japanese clothing using authentic sewing techniques, this book will show you the way in the most economical fashion. Commercial patterns of all the garments in this book would run over $100. The book includes history and illustrations to fuel your creativity with potential design and fabric choices.
Give this book a chance to impress you. It's a bargain at any price.
Unfortunately this is the only book availible in english showing all the steps to making Japanese clothes. A number of necessary clothing patterns for making a real kimono set are not included in this book.