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Make Your Own Japanese Clothes: Patterns and Ideas for Modern Wear Paperback – Jun 1 1988


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Paperback, Jun 1 1988
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International (June 1 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087011865X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870118654
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 17.7 x 25.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #411,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
Sewing traditional clothing-kimono, in particular-is an exacting art in Japan. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3.6 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Holly Ingraham on Sept. 23 2003
Format: Paperback
Beginning sewers intimidated by fancy tissue patterns are warned away from this. It requires you draft your own square-cut patterns from measurements and the instructions sometimes take rereading for me to figure out (a 20-year career as a pro costumer and a dresser for Kabuki Hawaii trained by experts from the National Theatre of Japan, so I am am very familiar with both seamstry and Japanese costumes of many sorts). The tissue patterns have much clearer instructions and diagrams. You need self-confidence and some moderate skill with the usual sewing to jump over to this.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anna M. Stevenson on May 15 2002
Format: Paperback
An excellent book for someone with previous sewing experience, especially hand sewing. (You don't need a machine to make these garments, in fact, it's better to do it by hand.) I very much appreciated the background on Japanese sewing, however, the stitches are not as clearly illustrated as they could be, and would probably be very difficult to understand for a beginning sewer. As for the other illustrations, arm yourself with patience and re-read the explanations several times through.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 5 2002
Format: Paperback
Just glancing at some of the previous reviews, I can see this wonderful book is not receiving the respect it deserves. Since it is one of my bibles of garment design, I choose to write a review in its defense.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7 2001
Format: Paperback
I would like to start by letting all who got here by looking for a hakama pattern know that they have not found one. The first review of this book is a tad misleading in that respect. What they have found is a valuable resource for making a kimono. I bought this book looking for a hakama pattern and was sorely disappointed, but enjoyed the detail on technique so much I cannot bring myself to return it. I am an experienced sewer, though I do not design my own patterns. And I am looking forward to my first attempt at creating one of the pieces described in the book. But the 3 rating I gave it is because of the complicated descriptions. If you have no patience with detailed instructions, do not buy this book. If you are looking for a more authentic kimono pattern than is commercially available, you found it. Good luck! If you try any of these patterns, I think you'll be pleased with the result.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gaylin Walli on Aug. 28 2000
Format: Paperback
John Marshall's MAKE YOUR OWN JAPANESE CLOTHES is a boon to the sewing world for anyone interested in creating asian-styled kimono, jackets, pants, and even socks. For people familiar with the Folkwear pattern line, John Marshall helped them design the hakama (long pants) pattern. The book includes a wonderful overview of Japanese clothing, full of useful information.
For anyone in historical re-enactment societies like the Society for Creative Anachronism, by all means purchase this book, but don't expect to be making pre-1600s accurate clothing with it. You'll not be that far off, but little things, like sleeve attachments, will make all the difference between a modern kimono and "period" kataginu. The book is an excellent place to start, but you'll need to search elsewhere for the details to make it accurate for classical Japan.
The instructions may seem a little daunting at first, certainly to the inexperienced sewer. If you're used to making clothes from modern tissue or paper patterns, this book may challenge you initially. The biggest bonus of this book is that the patterns for each of the items are designed to be made specifically from measurements you take. No more fussing with fitting and sizing after the garment is sewn together. With a little patient reading, the trick of creating outfits from measurements as they do in this book may actually become your preferred way of making clothes. You'll wonder why more companies don't make instructions this way, especially if you're a novice.
In addition to very good fabric layouts (described for modern fabric widths as well as traditional ~14-inch-wide), the book in unsurpassed in describing the finishing techniques for modern kimono.
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