When I said “Yes!” to reviewing “Stylish Skirts”, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I thought this was a typical Japanese sewing book but it wasn’t. I though there were patterns I could refer to. I couldn’t find any. Yikes! No pattern pieces??? Did the pattern sheet detach itself along the way? No??!!
Written by Sato Watanabe, “Stylish Skirts” is a Japanese drafting book for a gamut of interesting skirts.
If you love wearing skirts and want to learn how to draft them, this book is a treat. Here are my personal faves:The subtlety of this floral embroidery on this skirt is simply serene. And yes, the book teaches you how to create the embroidery as well.
Love the look of this stripe skirt with box pleats. The stripes are horizontal on the outside and vertical on the inside of the pleats.
There’s also an edgy drape skirt.
An outdoor wear inspired skirt with handy cargo pockets.
Love that the irregularity in its design adds character to this panel skirt.
After going through the book umpteen times, I finally decided on the skirt to draft. My choice was the “Eight Buttons” (above), a nautical style skirt. Instead of three tiers, I opted to sew a two tiered version. I also used less than eight buttons.
It took me a few hours one hot August afternoon to draft and cut the fabric pieces. The sewing was finished really quickly another day. If I remember correctly, I finished sewing the skirt in an hour, before sewing on the buttons. That actually gave me some extra time to sew my first nettie bodysuit to go with it.
I’m a baby beginner when it comes to drafting so it took me quite sometime to decipher what W/4 in the diagram below referred to. The book had no section on sizing and I felt a little lost going through it the first couple of times. I’ve never seen something like that in a Japanese sewing book. In fact, my eyes missed the W many times before I finally figured out that I had to divide my waist measurement by 4. All the rest were quite straight forward. Later, I had to draft the facings and reverse skirt sections from skirt sections drafted earlier.
All I can say is, thank you for translating this book in English! The whole process of drafting from scratch to finishing the creation is simply gratifying! Instructions in the form of illustrations are very helpful. For skirt designs which required lining, the book provides clear instructions on these.
The postmark blue fabric was from an upholstery sale at Spotlight while the lower fabric was from my remnant box. The cute matching buttons were from Spotlight.
This being the first skirt I’ve ever drafted, I’m seriously proud of it. I love the nautical style, the postmarks on the matching seams and the fit. The skirt did came out a little shorter than I had anticipated. One thing I will change if I were to sew this up again, would be to create button up closures on both sides. Right now, only one side is button up while the other is a mock front closure. And off course to make the top tier slightly longer.
If skirts are your wardrobe staple and you want to draft skirts that fit, I think this is a useful book to own. Some of the skirts featured also make fabulous bottoms to go with your favourite dress bodice. I can just imagine really unique dresses made by combining with some of these!
To participate in the giveaway and win yourself a copy of “Stylish Skirt”, let me know what you are sewing right now or what you have planned on sewing next. This giveaway is open internationally and ends Thursday, 9 October 2014. A winner will be chosen using random.org
Meanwhile, have a blessed week!