dress books

November is book month at Whipup.net

I Am Cute Dresses: 25 Simple Designs to Sew. By Sato Watanabe, English version published by Interweave Press; Reprint edition (September 13, 2011).

I am happy that Japanese clothing designer Sato Watanabe’s book I Am Cute Dresses is now available in English. The 25 dresses in this book are indeed cute – with sweet names such as I Am Hello Halter, I Am Jumper for Joy, and I Am Shift into Tunic. They are all styled to be filmy, loose, romantic and drapey dresses with simple construction and a few interesting details – perfect for summer cottons and light weight linens.

The dresses are simple to make but not boringly so – practice your skills with the various techniques offered: make peak-a-boo or puff sleeves, stand-up or mandarin collar, shirred pleats on the sleeves or pintucks on the neckline, an asymmetrical tunic or a Kimono cut shift dress. The dresses are designed to be one-size-fits-all – which we know is never true, but with a little measuring you may be able to adjust the patterns to fit your body.

I am just a little bit addicted to this book and will be making a dress a bit later today!

You Sew Girl by Nicole Mallalieu, Published by ABC Books, 2011, is available from the ABC Shop.

Nicole Mallalieu is a beautiful seamstress and designer – she has an online shop where you can find patterns and tools to make her bags and purses – she also makes lovely hats and clothing too!

Her first book, You sew, girl is interesting and runs like a lesson plan. It begins with a detailed techniques and pattern section where Nicole does a great job of explaining her methods – she includes step-by-step photos going through the techniques she likes to employ (such as interfacing and bias binding). Her patterns tend to be quite precise and she shows us some very neat tricks and tools to get the same level of detail and precision which she achieves. The second main section includes both accessories and bags which all use patterns and interfacing and her precision methods – you will make use of buttons and zippers and all the other techniques you learned about in the previous chapter, you will learn how to really make your homemade bags and purses look super professional.

The third section and the final chapter is where its really at for me – this section completely disregards the previous sections and tells you leave your perfectionism at the door while you make pattern-free clothing – learn how to measure and fit your body and work with stretch fabrics to make some very flattering outfits.

I think this book is very nicely done – I was super impressed with the attention to detail, the lessons, and then the ability to throw all that away to work in a completely different style – I am really looking forward to seeing what Nicole does next!

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