Self Drafted Postmark Skirt & “Stylish Skirt” Giveaway

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. IMG_7683

If you love wearing skirts and want to learn how to draft them, this book is a treat. Here are my personal faves:IMG_7684The subtlety of this floral embroidery on this skirt is simply serene. And yes, the book teaches you how to create the embroidery as well.

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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.IMG_7686

There’s also an edgy drape skirt.IMG_7687

An outdoor wear inspired skirt with handy cargo pockets.IMG_7689

Love that the irregularity in its design adds character to this panel skirt.

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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.postageskirt3

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.

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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.

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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. image

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.

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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.
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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!

48 thoughts on “Self Drafted Postmark Skirt & “Stylish Skirt” Giveaway

  1. You look wonderful wearing this nautical skirt. It’s gorgeous! My last projects were two beanbags as doorstops. At the moment I would like to sew ashirt for my husband I’m just looking for the perfect pattern for him🙂
    Love your blog, thanks for sharing😀

  2. Don’t put me in the giveaway – I already own this.
    While I haven’t made anything yet, I agree it’s an excellent book & I can’t wait to try some if the drafting!

  3. I am currently finishing a skirt, cut from a Burda pattern. All it needs now is a rolled hem.

    I am also a baby beginner on drafting, but your skirt looks perfect!

  4. I am just finishing a Queen Elsa dress for my gal, modified from a Butterwick dress pattern, added long sleeves and a cape. It’s my first attempt sewing with chiffon, and I had finished all raw edges with French seams.

    Would love to learn some drafting methods from the book.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. I am not a true blue sewer like most of you who read this blog, but my sister is a fantastic sewer as well as a knitter and crocheter. I’d love to win her this book, I think she would absolutely love it! My sister has lots of projects going at the same time, she’s like that! To list some: a quilt, shirts, skirt, and ornaments for the tree.

  6. Love the skirts in this book… I need to make some new ones for the summer but at the moment I’ve started on a picnic rug.

  7. I love that 18-panel skirt! Would I want to cut and sew 18 panels? I’m not completely sure, but for a special skirt (or dress!), I think I might want to! I’d love to try out the instructions for that skirt, and perhaps some of the others in the book as well! And combine with bodices to make dresses! So much fun!
    As for what I’m currently sewing … uhm … I need to hem a dress for my sister that she wants to take with her on a vacation, for which she’s leaving this coming Saturday. So I’d better get on that. Other than that, I’m working on two pattern tests and trying to decide on a pattern for a winter coat because I really need a new one and I’m determined to try and make my own! (And then there’s about seventeen more projects that I’m working on or making plans and collecting materials for, but let’s not talk about that little problem…)

  8. Right now I have been busy sewing Table runners and banners for decorations for my daughters wedding. Once the wedding is over I want to make myself some new clothes to wear to work.

  9. Lovely looking skirt, and lovely looking book! I am making myself a winter coat from the most beautiful wool fabric. Which frays as soon as you look at it!

  10. Your skirt looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing this book and your experience with the drafting process. I think this is a little bit too advanced for my current place in the sewing world but I am going to put this book on my wishlist for the future. I am in love with the stripe skirt with box pleats, as it is almost identical to my favorite skirt that I bought.

  11. Your skirt is darling!! I’m just a beginner, but would love to own this book, and make many of these designs… I esp. love the Linen Skirt with Cargo Pockets! My next sewing project is outdoor cushions to go on our brick surround fireplace.

  12. I am about to make my first summer dress for the year – Japanese pattern plus lightweight indigo linen.
    Please enter me in your giveaway; I think I would begin with the same skirt as you!

  13. Great skirt and you were wise to shorten it! Looks lovely! I am finishing up a Renfrew right now…but I also have a knit dress that is in production. I don’t own any of these types of books yet but from what I can see they contain very interesting pattern ideas!

  14. I love your skirt – the postmark print fabric is great and I think it looks better with two tiers, rather than the three in the book. I’m just beginning to draft my own patterns, but I’m fairly used to making extensive changes to patterns to make them fit my peculiar shape! Thanks so much for this give away – what a great book. I’ve just finished a skirt using Grainline’s Moss pattern and I’m planning to make a shirt to go with it next.

  15. Wow, that skirt is incredible! I’m making an A-line skirt as part of a class right now, but I’m using a Butterick pattern (not that I remember what it is)… I couldn’t imagine drafting one myself at this early stage in my sewing career!

  16. Oh, I love skirts! The book looks fabulous.

    I’ve just about finished a t-shirt for myself and I think I’m about to just back into some shorts – some for me and some for my son. At some point I need to tape together a PDF to make some shorts for my husband as well!

  17. I am currently sewing a baby (more like toddler) quilt for my toddler! Better late than never! I am always needing more skirts for church- this would be a lovely book to have- – – and your skirt looks fantastic!

  18. Right now I’m sewing some curtains for my son’s room… but they are on hiaitus until I figure out how I want to do the header!! The other thing on my cutting table is an ottobre magazine with tracing paper over it… ready to be traced out! (to make some sweaters for the kids)

  19. My next project is claret colored velvet pants for the holidays. I have never worked with velvet before, but I have decided to challenge myself…and will proceed with
    great trepidation.

  20. Wow, that book looks amazing!

    My next project is actually a skirt! It’s a simple circle skirt for my daughter’s Halloween costume. She’s dressing as Frida Kahlo this year, so together we chose a brightly colored floral fabric that she’s going to team with a simple turquoise top. I haven’t ever made one of these skirts before, so wish me luck!

  21. What I am workin on right now is finishing touches on a retro dress, for my friend. Then I have another dress being cut out and I have a third dress in the idea stage!

  22. I’m making a baby quilt for a friend’s newborn. Plan to make a skirt for workwear next, so this book will come in handy!

  23. I’m going to make cosmetic bags (in an attempt of stash busting), and yes, I’m currently in need of a new skirt for myself, next project!🙂

  24. Wow! It looks gorgeous, you really know how to choose a model that fits perfectly on you. There are some interesting models on this book that I would try. I’m planning on sewing a cosmetic bag and some pillows for the family room. Thanks for the
    giveaway! ☺

  25. Lovely skirt! My next project is a knit jacket to wear after my fitness classes. Thank you for the opportunity!

    Rose in SV

  26. Your skirt is adorable! Congratulations on your adventure in pattern drafting…it’s a huge success.
    I’m currently finishing the last dress of summer, a polka dot maxi, then it’s autumn tops and a skirt from some recently acquired print cotton.

  27. My next project is making a fashionable 1940s/50s style dress that I’m going to wear at my wedding rehearsal. This book would be great inspiration!

  28. That looks like such a useful book and I like how your interpretation of the eight-button skirt looks on you. Such cute fabric.
    I am currently finishing some wool t-shirts and I plan to sew some trousers next.
    Thank you for hosting such a generous giveaway!

  29. Such a great book🙂 At the moment I am in a refashioning mood, so I’ve been working on fixing up several thrift store items. I also have a Simplicity 1419 dress in the muslin stage🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. Please enter me in the giveaway. I just saw that book in the fabric store and fell in love. I am currently trying to finish a summer dress before the hot weather gives up. But next on my list is a button-down shirt made from a large men’s shirt and then pants, pants, pants.

  31. I love skirts and yours is beautiful! Were you thinking US patriotic red-white-blue when you chose the fabric?🙂 … Right now, I’m working on a leotard for DD (Frankenpattern of Simplicity 6832), trying to fit jeans for myself (McCalls 5894), a whole bunch of Christmas presents -dresses for our sponsored kids (Simplicity 1704), pajamas for my family (Simplicity 1605 & 1569). A pattern drafting book would be great to update my skills!

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