Hello again! It turns out that giving two recitals, learning lots of new music AND escaping for a few days doesn’t leave much time for other things. So, until I get some outfit posts organised, I’m going to be talking about some Autumn inspiration.
First up, I’d love to review a book I got ages ago, called Simple Chic by Machiko Kayaki. I ordered it sight unseen, hoping that because the title is in English that it was an English translation. It’s not. It’s in Japanese! But upon careful study, that’s actually not a huge problem. Maybe it’s not for a total beginner but if you have some coffee and a good sleep, it’d probably be fine.
The book features primarily dresses, with one pants, two tops, a coat and a suit. I’ll show you each one.
The first is a simple sleeveless tie blouse and the pants. Unfortunately this is the best photo you see of them but you can get a better idea of what they’re like from the instruction schematic:
Next is a little black dress (I’ve just traced this off!).
It’s such a pity the garments are largely made up in dark colours but I understand if they want it to be more chic-everyday.
No. 4 there actually looks more like this:
Isn’t it nice? You’d never guess from the photo. Next is another sleeveless top and another type of shift dress.
Then there are two more summery sort of frocks.
One of my favourites is unfortunately practically invisible in the photo! It’s a pleated skirt with pockets.
It actually looks like this:
I really like this one, it’s got a cool beatnik feel to it and I think would be great with leggings.
Then there are two more Asian style garments, a blouse and a dress.
Here’s that coat I was telling you about.
I love how the illustrations portray it, a bit of Sherlock Holmes going on I think! Then there’s a two piece dress that I adore. This is certainly in my future. They put the skirt in by itself as an extra pattern, which I think is a bit silly, but anyway, it’s still nice.
There’s a fairly shapeless long sleeved dress – I wonder if you could use the sleeves on other garments?
And lastly, there’s the suit. The skirt is a simple A-line so you could use it by itself.
There you have it. The patterns are on sheets and you need to trace them off. They don’t have seam allowances included, which I rather like, as you give more or less leeway as you desire. The sizing IS fairly limited. I reckon they mostly correspond to UK 8-10-12. However, the instructions are clear about what the finished measurements are so it’s easy to tell what size to pick.
Another thing I really like is that they instruct for most things to be lined. The instructions for this is really clear, both how to trace off the lining pieces and to install it.
Overall, it seems like a really good book of nice work basics and I’m looking forward to working my way through it!