Sew Japanese by Mariko Nakamura

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Sew Japanese by Mariko Nakamura

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Category: Crafts
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: There's a Japanese influence to these clothes but not to the point where they look like fancy dress - and they're the sort of clothes which kids will enjoy wearing.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 144 Date: February 2015
Publisher: Collins and Brown
ISBN: 978-1909397408

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I wouldn't normally find the idea of children's clothes with a national theme appealing as it's all too easy for them to look like fancy dress and kids can be all too picky about something like that. If you're going to put the effort into making something then you want it to be worn! But - I took one look at those two kids on the cover of 'Sew Japanese' - and I liked what I saw. There's a distinctive style but what comes across most of all is that they're clothes that kids can play in and feel comfortable with.

There are twenty patterns divided into two collections - one for spring/summer and the other for autumn/winter. They're all for the sort of basic clothes which kids will need - shirts, shorts, sun tops, dresses and jackets. Some have decoration (there's a glorious tunic with a bow at the back which many a young girl would kill for) but for the most part the appeal lies in the style rather than the frills and fripperies. There's an additional benefit in that many of the clothes mix and match, thus multiplying the number of outfits available.

Paper patterns are supplied but as I read from a galley I can't comment on these - although the accompanying information seems sound and is such that I (as a dressmaker) would look for. The patterns come in four sizes, graded by size rather than age: broadly speaking they cover height 100cm through to 130cm. You will need basic dressmaking skills but nothing too complicated: if you can handle a sewing machine and have basic hand sewing skills then you would be fine. There are instructions for certain techniques, all given in plain language which you won't struggle to understand. There's a high 'I Can Do This' feel to the book.

Recommended materials tend towards the natural - wool, linen or cotton are mentioned frequently, but fleece could be substituted for the jacket, or denim for shorts and skirts. The clothes are designed to be laundered time and time again - and I bet they'll easily pass down in a family. I just wish they came in my size!

For more sewing with a national theme we can recommend The Maison Sajou Sewing Book: 20 projects from the famous French haberdashery by Lucinda Ganderton.

Buy Sew Japanese by Mariko Nakamura at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sew Japanese by Mariko Nakamura at

Buy Sew Japanese by Mariko Nakamura at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sew Japanese by Mariko Nakamura at


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