Yoshiko Tsukiori's Happy Homemade Sew Chic was top of my list of Japanese dressmaking books to buy next, so I was tickled pink when Tuttle Publishing sent me a review copy of it in English translation. Wow!
The book contains 20 typical Tsukiori designs to sew. It has the same format as her other dressmaking books (with trace-out paper patterns enclosed in an envelope at the back) but also includes a Basic Sewing Techniques section with clear photographs and instructions, as well as detailed diagrams showing you how to make a paper pattern. I'd say it's ideal for beginners and those new to Japanese sewing books.
I immediately fell in love with pattern C 'Dress with Front Tuck' – a simple A-line tunic with a single front pleat and patch pockets – and thought it would be the perfect pattern to showcase this Painting by Numbers deer print fabric (designed by Erin Michael) bought from Worthing's Eclectic Maker.
Happy Homemade suggests finishing the dress with a bias facing at the neckline and armholes but as my chosen fabric is quite thin (and creases easily) I decided to fully line it with a soft cotton material to give the garment extra body. The finished dress hangs beautifully and the cotton lining gives extra warmth making it substantial enough to see me through autumn, into winter and beyond! For step-by-step instructions on lining a sleeveless dress, you can't beat Blithe Stitches ace tutorial.