Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I've often wondered and wrote about my frustration with the total lack of sewing patterns here. Therefore, I am in conclusion that many do not sew, since ready made are available everywhere. That many love to quilt, knit and crochet, since there's a whole shelf of magazines and books on it. For sewing books, there is still a limitation at most bookstores, with the exception of Kinokuniya KL. To find a magazine with patterns like Burda is unheard of here, though through the net, I found that they used to sell them some time ago. To find the US patterns like McCalls, Simplicity etc...are almost impossible to find, unless you buy them direct from the US.

I was elated when I found that the Japanese section in Kinokuniya sold Japanese pattern books.  Whenever I am there, I'd grab a few of them.  Since they are in Japanese, it takes some time to understand the patterns but mostly fairly easy.  I still think the US patterns are better. Very detailed with notches and step by step explanation, one can almost not get it wrong when sewing.

This is one of my favourite book by Yuri Kaneko.  Simple sewing but with very elegant results.

The author and designer herself.

She wrote about how she love the 50's jacket seen below. I cant read Japanese, but in the intro, there was mention of 50's and this was the picture and what captured my attention to buy the book. I am in love with the pattern but have not find the courage to sew a jacket as of now. 

Another simple skirt design I love, I love the cardigan even more but there was not pattern.

Whether one understand Japanese or not, it does not matter. The patterns are fairly easy to follow and their instructions are very clear. However, some comes with basic pattern and no step by step picture instructions, so one has to figure out how to sew them.  Maytbe for someone sewing for the first time, they may find the instructions a bit confusing but if you have a little experience, you will sail through this.

If only I have more time.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sophie! AHhhh-a fellow Malaysian sewer! I've enjoyed your blog immensely. I never started sewing till I came to Australia two years ago. My mum sewed all her life and I watched, but never took it seriously as a hobby for myself. But if I was back in Malaysia now, I'd take up patternmaking and sewing classes in a flash! I have no time here, so like you, I decided to invest in books on sewing and patternmaking. I'm completely self-taught in terms of pattern making, all from books. Even though there are patterns a plenty here, I don't want to spend oodles of money on them when knowledge on patternmaking would suffice to make almost 80-90% of what the pattern companies offer. I can recommend a few-I learnt almost exclusively from Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear for a time, then I bought Connie Amaden Crawford's Patternmaking Made Easy, and Dorothy Moore's PAttern Drafting and Dressmaking book (it's the system used in Asia). Helen Joseph ARmstrong's Pattermaking for Fashion Design has a huge library of pattern variations. To make a custom pattern for yourself, use my Gladwrap method (, which you can make other patterns from.