Japanese Sewing Books

Review of Sew Chic and Sew Chic kids, two Japanese Sewing books translated into English on polkadotchair.com


I receive quite a few emails from publishers asking me to review books. I don’t review very many, honestly I think it’s because sometimes I just get a little bit overwhelmed with my blogging “to do” list and have a hard time committing to another post. Also some of the books are fantastic,  but not a good fit for my blog or my readers.

When Tuttle emailed me about reviewing 2 Japanese sewing books (already translated into English) I was intrigued. I’ve always been such a big fan of Japanese sewing patterns and fabrics. I’ve even spent my fair share of time trying to translate (using google translate) a few sewing tutorials online.. never with much success.

As you might have seen I’ve been on a bit of an apparel sewing kick lately, both for myself and for my girls. I was excited to see some fun new patterns to try.

Review of Sew Chic and Sew Chic kids, two Japanese Sewing books translated into English on polkadotchair.com

I was immediately drawn to the Dress with Square Neckline from the Sew Chic Kids book. It looks so simple and effortless… like the perfect summer sundress. I pulled out some of my gingham shirting fabrics and decided this would be one of my next projects.

Review of Sew Chic and Sew Chic kids, two Japanese Sewing books translated into English on polkadotchair.com

I also love the roll-up shorts- they are shown here for a boy, but in my head I’d love to make them out of a great bright seersucker for my daughter for summer. The cut on them looks spot on and I like that they are a bit longer with the roll cuff detail- I think it makes them look a little bit dressier.

Review of Sew Chic and Sew Chic kids, two Japanese Sewing books translated into English on polkadotchair.com

Review of Sew Chic and Sew Chic kids, two Japanese Sewing books translated into English on polkadotchair.com

The Sew Chic book (which has patterns for women) has some absolutely beautifully constructed clothing items. Such amazing lines and proportions. Really fresh and clean. I “think” I might attempt to make this Jacket with Back Tie- I’m still “dipping my toes” into sewing for myself but this looks totally “do able” – I can see it layered over a t-shirt and boyfriend crops for a fun casual summer outfit.

Both books come with a pattern packet, full instructions and instructional illustrations. The instructions are easy to follow, and the authors even give a few sewing tips and tricks too. Most of the patterns in the children’s edition go up to a size 8.

Review of Sew Chic and Sew Chic kids, two Japanese Sewing books translated into English on polkadotchair.com


Tuttle has sent me a few extra copies to give away. Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. You’ve got until next Wed. the 28th.


Review of Sew Chic and Sew Chic kids, two Japanese Sewing books translated into English on polkadotchair.com

You can find both of the books (along with a few more by the same publishing house) on Amazon:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. You may not review many books, but I don’t enter many blog giveaways. Seems this one is worth it to both of us! 🙂

  2. Sew chic is on my wish list though I’d love to make my girls some dresses this summer!

  3. Looks like there are some cute kids projects I would like to try. And some other simple quick things to discover. Cindy

  4. My Summer sewing list is rather out of hand, with plans for many, many garments, including a couple of tops from Drape, Drape. I love Japanese sewing books and that jacket looks really sweet.

  5. I want to make some summer tops for myself, a bench cushion and three throw pillows for for a reading nook.

  6. I’m going to work on some easy skirts for myself and my daughter. The tiered skirt above looks nice!

  7. What’s not on my list would be easier to answer 🙂

    Purses, hats for the kids, divided baskets, dresses for my daughter, and shirts for me….my son is due for shorts and hopefully a button down!
    I’ve also got a couple news things going for a shop downtown that I can’t wait to get started on…:)

  8. I love these books ! I’ve checked them out from my local library but have yet to make something from them. 🙂 Thanks for the nudge … time for some summer sewing.

  9. I learned to sew with patterns and am interested to see how to sew from a book instead. Would love the women’s book or the one for children since I sew for myself and my grandkids. Thanks.

  10. I need to make my daughter some summer dresses and I really want to make both of us a cute tiered skirt, simple and good for everyday wear. I have to keep up with items for the store I sell my handmade items in too.

  11. I don’t have any kids left to sew for but the adult patterns look so cute! Never tried a Japanese pattern before

  12. I need to make more things for my little man. My daughter has skirts and dresses out the whazoo. I find it really hard because he is too old for the cutesy boy stuff. It’s winter at the moment in Australia so long pants without an elastic waist are next on my list of learning adventures.

  13. I need to make a new handbag/diaper bag. And am really thinking about venturing into sewing with leather.

  14. These books look great and maiking some new garments with japanese twist would be very useful for summer.

  15. Oh what a fun giveaway…and with three bitty Granddaughters, I would SEW love to win!!!! Good luck one and all. XXX

  16. I’m determined to make a great pair of shorts for myself and a few dresses and rompers for my daughter.

  17. With 7 grandsons and 3 granddaughters I will be sewing list of shorts, shirts and dresses. Considering they range in age from almost 18 down to 16 months, one of these sewing pattern books will certainly help me come up with fresh ideas and a rNge of styles!

  18. My summer project is a grandmother’s flower garden quilt made of all my old scraps for our new house that will hopefully be ready by the end of the summer so we can remember our first house by.

  19. First I have to go through my stash…wanting to use that before buying new for once! I am wanting to make some dresses and skirts…have a wedding to attend in September and want to try out a pattern before I use the “perfect” fabric!

  20. These books look incredible. I remember seeing Japanese fashion magazines in college and being fascinated by the designs. Now bear in mind that was a long time ago and my exposure to patterns was pretty much limited to McCalls and Simplicity. Butterick was considered exotic. Yes I lived in a very isolated, rural area so it didn’t take much to send me into delightful dreams. Even if I don’t win these I may have to go find the books to add to my sewing shelf.

  21. I have only done a tiny bit of clothing sewing for myself and kids, but I’d like to do more. These books look great!

  22. I purchased Yoshiko’s Stylish Dress Book yesterday at a quilting and craft fair! I am going to make some clothes for myself. And I’m excited!

  23. I have some kinkame fabrics, and 2 granddaughters… I’d love to try some patterns from these books!

  24. I just recently discovered a small quilt store in a nearby town with fabrics so nice you want to eat it. I am planning to make several quilts and may be try to sew some summer dresses with the beautiful fabrics.

  25. Love the Japanese clothing design books—simple, easy to personalize. I am working on tunics and apron dresses for me this summer, as well as children’s clothes.

  26. We were just talking last night at quilt guild how people are starting again to sew clothing. What a great way to get back into it with fresh designs. I have been sewing since grade school and would love to start again.

  27. I’ve got a couple of baby quilts in the planning stage and I would love to sew myself a top.

  28. I LOVE Japanese sewing books. They are so simple compared to a lot of the designs that are out there today. Too frufru for me sometimes. I plan on making a quilt this summer and some shorts for my daughter. I might just have to buy that book to get those shorts.

  29. Let’s see- church clothes for myself and my daughter, summer clothes for her, re-cover a chair. Lots to make!

    1. I hope to make an applique quit with summer flip flops as the design. But…. I would love to make some clothes for my many loved ones with these new books.

  30. Gosh, my summer sewing to do list! I have high hopes of opening an etsy shop, along with making some quilts for christmas gifts and a few easy dresses for people that have had baby girls!

  31. I have a few of the other Japanese sewing books and haven’t had time to sewing anything yet but am hoping to this weekend! I’m excited to delve into them.

  32. I have checked out some of these books from the library. They are always full of inspiration. My summer to do list is long, graduation t-shirt quilts is at the top of the list.

  33. Summer is really hard to sew much. Working full time and watching grandkids on my days off, I don’t have much free time. 🙂 Living in Oregon, we tend to be outside until dark and then it’s bedtime. So, I’m lucky to get a few hours a week of sewing in during the summer. 🙂 But, I do want to make some summer dresses for my granddaughter.

  34. I am sewing a couple of Coco’s from Tilly’s this summer for me and my teenage daughter, love the simplicity of the pattern, just like the japanese books so simple lines they are gorgeous!

  35. I like the look of these books. I’d like to sew some summery tops for me and dresses for my girls this summer.

  36. I just picked up a similar fabric at my local fabric store – I was hoping to make something breezy for myself for the summer – these patterns might just be the ones! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing what you create.

  37. Even though I have no little girls to sew for, I’d love to win either book. I do sew for the American Girl dolls.

  38. I have the children’s book already. I love the classic look with a little extra charm of the patterns. I’ve made the tunic top for my grand daughter out of a fine wale printed corduroy last fall. I plan to make several more of the patterns.

  39. Ooh would love to win. Like you just dipping my toes in making things for myself and my girls. Fingers crossed!!!

  40. This summer I plan to sew some things for myself. I used to sew for my girls who are grown and on their own now. I miss sewing clothing and want to make some casual pieces. I would love to try some patterns from this book.

  41. first sewing project: gingham shorts for my boys! And I want to try making a bright blue hoodie pullover for myself. I just got a serger but am lacking time to use it!

  42. Sailor shorts for myself are on my summer to sew list. I have a pair that I love and I’m going to try to draft a pattern of them.

  43. I LOVE the Sew Chic Kids book. I’m lucky enough to have 3 daughters (all under 5), and am hoping to find the time to sew them some clothes for next summer.

  44. Ha. Might be easier to say what’s NOT on my list. hehe. Sundresses, skirts, and shorts for the summer for sure. I’m working on a camera bag now. And I’d like to have time to get started on cool weather wear so that I can have it ready to sell this fall and winter in my etsy shop. 🙂

  45. I have recently been drawn to Japanese patterns….love the classic,simple style. Sewing for my grandchildren (and sometimes myself) is my passion ! With several birthday’s coming up I would love these books to add a spark to my creativity for all my summer sewing. What fun !! : )

  46. This summer I plan to finish some quilts for my Etsy shop, RaspberryCreek. I also love a quick project every now and then – currently designing some Minecraft pillow covers for my 10 y.o. Minecraft obsessed boy 🙂

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