Archive | July, 2011

Mrs. Stylebook (Early Summer 2011) Review

14 Jul

There are about 98 patterns to draft.  Most of them comprise of tunics, tops and dresses.  The paper pattern for this issue is a blazer jacket styled four different ways with drafting instructions included.

Starting from the left is a ‘mannish’ styled  jacket sewn in a pinstripe fabric with zipper closure for the pockets and sleeves and also as a decorative trim around the collar.  Next is a ‘sporty’ styled jacket sewn up in a light blue cotton blend twill fabric with white piping.  Next is an ‘elegant’ styled jacket sewn up in a beige slub fabric with gold braiding for trims.  Lastly is a  ‘sweet’ styled jacket sewn up in a floral print devoid of any trims.  Below are some styling ideas for different ages on how to wear the jackets.


 I love the fabric on these two tunic designs.  The first one on the left is made in a sheer fabric like chiffon.  It is easy to draft and it also includes the drafting instruction for the camisole underneath the tunic.  The second tunic I am not quite sure what type of fabric it was constructed in.  I am guessing maybe a knit fabric because the pattern has no zipper or buttons.  I love the draping on the front of this tunic.  The picture doesn’t show it but the draping wraps around to the back in a similar fashion.


(Left) Lined yoke skirt with gathering below the yoke.  It is pretty simplistic in terms of sewing and drafting.  The jacket is also included in the draft.  Love the feminine take on the jean jacket.

(Middle) A-line skirt with two box pleats in the front with lace insert beneath the pleat.  No pleats in the back.

(Right) Ten tiers lined skirt with ruching and lace alternating on each tier.  Take a little more time to sew compare to the other two skirts but fairly easy to draft and sew.


(Left) Love the architectural draping on this jumper.

(Middle) Sleeveless top with piping on the princess line.  Neckline decorated with a long piece of twisted ribbon snaked along the front.

(Right) Long sleeveless peplum vest with wide lapels.  I am not a fan of this piece.  It reminds me of  an outfit a character from ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ (the TV show from the nineties) would wear.


(Left) Beautiful dress with small pleats in the center front bodice with short flutter sleeves done in two layers.  I love the eyelet fabric used for the skirt of the dress.

(Middle) Classic shirt dress with two front pockets.

(Right) Boat neck tunic with a long back.  Very similar to the blouse posted from Mrs. Stylebook Spring 2011 with the full back.


In every issues of Mrs. Stylebook they always have styling tips on how to wear the clothes that are featured in this magazine.  I have to admit that I feel some of the styling is a bit off for my taste.  I like some of the clothes that are featured.  I just wouldn’t wear it the way they have styled it.  Here are my picks:

I like the simplicity of the black shrug jacket featured in the left page.  The cascading ripples of the garment give it a structural look.  The draft is very easy.  It is just a large circle with sleeve holes put in.

On the right is a classic two piece suit.  The styling here is very good, it’s elegant and sophisticated.

On the left, the black carpi pant with fold over cuff, buttoned up with three buttons.  The fit on the model wearing the capri is perfect.  Not too tight or loose.  Ugg…  Not liking the poncho she is wearing with the capri.  It bothers me that they didn’t line up the stripes when cutting the poncho pattern.  If you like the poncho, the drafting instructions are included.

Great styling for the first outfit on the right page with the cargo jacket and short.  Drafting instructions are given for both garments.


This issue they have a feature on sewing with denim, showcasing four different designs with the sewing instructions included.  Included are discussions on different types of denim, what type of needles, threads, and notions to use and denim bleaching.

(Left) Denim jumper done in stretch denim.  Love the racer back detailing on the back.

(Right) Big shirt done in light weight denim.  A velvet ribbon tie is attached around the neckline.  Flared sleeves gathered at the cuff.

(Left) Love this deconstructed jacket with the crazy sleeves.  It reminds me of a Martin Margiela piece.  This jacket is easy to draft.  But figuring how to sew it is a puzzle in itself for a non Japanese reader like me.

(Right) Jacket with raglan sleeves and a back yoke.  The jacket has some interesting seaming and pocket placement on the front.


(Left) Stretch lace sleeveless top with one side ruched.  Underneath is a nude tank top done in a jersey fabric.  Easy to draft and sew both pieces.

(Right) Raglan sleeve blouse with front pleats radiating from the neckline.  The sleeves are tiered with five rows of scalloped lace.

Two origami styled blouses.  I love the complexity of the two designs shown in an understated manner.

(Left) Boat neck blouse with structured origami sleeves.  The draft is fairly easy and so are the instructions on how to fold the sleeves.  I wish they made the blouse a little bit more fitting.

(Right) Wrap blouse with an asymmetrical neckline tied to the side.  Drafting it doesn’t seem to difficult but constructing it may be bit of a challenge for a non-Japanese reader.


There are 50 designs showcasing Japanese designers/brands. All the garments featured are casual ready-to-wear.  A lot of the garments featured are loose fitting.  Personally I like more tailored garments so I will only be reviewing a select few that I find interesting.

Love the two bottoms featured here.  The pant on the left is a cargo capri with draw string bottoms and welt pockets on the back.

The Bermuda short on the right has interesting patch pockets on the side with crisscross detailing.

The dress on the right has crazy amount of pleating.  There are pleats all around the neckline and skirt.  The skirt has an interesting scalloping detail along the hip line where box pleats are sewn underneath the scalloping. The dress buttons up on the front and has raglan sleeves.

I like the interesting draping on the raglan shirt on the right. The pattern draft is fairly simple to follow.  The front is cut on the straight grain and the side is cut on a bias which gives it the draped look.


I found this section pretty interesting because it featured a 52 year old reader of Mrs Stylebook who has been sewing from the magazine for years.  In this article she chooses 7 pieces that she has sewn and has been a staple in her wardrobe.  The reader models her own garments for the photos but I am not sure if she styled the look herself.  Since all the garments featured were from previous issues of Mrs Stylebook, the magazine has included the drafting instruction for all seven garments.


There are seven examples given in this section on taking existing garments to make into new garments.  Lots of picture diagrams that are easy to follow for non-Japanese reader.  Here are two recycling alteration projects:


For those that have the baby lock wave machine this project is for you, a blouse using the decorative wave stitch on the front of the blouse.  There are instructions on how to do the embellishment on the fabric and how to draft this lovely top.  Sigh… I want a wave machine just to do this project.