An image from Yoshiko Tsukiori's Easy, Cute, Straight Stitch Sewing appeared on my Pinterest home page. It was the cover photo of the book and exactly the sort of garment I love to wear - a roomy square shaped tunic with elbow length sleeves. Simply beautiful. I searched in vain for an English translation and realised I'd have to bite the bullet and order the book in Japanese, or these boxy garments would remain forever out of reach. Encouraged by the Japanese Sewing Books blog I thought I should be able to muddle through. I ordered a copy from Pompadour24's Craft Cafe Etsy shop and it arrived 11 days later in a cute package sent all the way from Japan.
The layout is similar to Tsukiori's Stylish Dress Book series with stylised photographs of an elfin model wearing the designs in the front half of the book followed by a simple list of instructions for each pattern with numbered diagrams at the back.
I decided to make the cover dress "square one-piece" and used inexpensive large checked blue gingham reckoning that this would be a less painful waste if I made a mess of it.
The illustrations were very easy to follow and to my amazement I drafted the pattern, cut and sewed the dress in two and a half hours. The only part I wasn't sure of was how to finish the neckline. The cutting diagram shows bias strips, so I think the neckline is probably meant to be finished with a bias binding. I wasn't too confident about this working out so drafted and cut a neck facing instead (which worked well). The dress pattern has two pockets which I think are meant to be stitched one on the front and one on the back. Instead I put both pockets on the front and cut one of them from a contrasting pink gingham for fun.
I'm wearing the dress today, it hangs beautifully and feels loose and airy to move around in - perfect for the current heatwave!
Twirling around in my new square one-piece in front of an imaginary Vogue photographer (camera set to self-timer, balanced on top of a biscuit tin on the ironing board as usual) the serious business of posing was interrupted by a mischievous child creeping up on me.