“Stylish Dress Book”: pattern review

A month or so ago, my mother kindly purchased me Yoshiko Tsukiori’s “Stylish Dress Book.”  See the book on Katya’s Amazon Affiliate Link here.

I was really excited about it, and then felt great disappointment when a few weeks later I took out the pattern sheets to make view “K” and discovered (so I thought) that half of them were missing. See, each folded sheet is marked  “1”,  “3”, and “5”, respectively, along with a list of the pattern pieces included on that sheet. I thought I was missing “2”, “4”, and “6”.  So I sadly decided to do “what I could with what I had” and trace off everything I could for view “K” (everything but the sleeve)   Imagine my sheepish joy and surprise when I discovered that “1” and “2” were just different sides of the same sheet! And that I had everything I needed, after all!    It took a while to trace off, because I traced everything size 12 and under at once.

Now, just so you know, I measured out at size 12 by very, very close. All the reviews of the “Stylish Dress Book” told me to go down a size (or two!) from what I measured for. I decided to give Ms. Tsukiori the benefit of the doubt, and went with my measured size.  I can’t say as I really regret it.  I want to make another one, out of a drapier fabric, for public wear, so this was the muslin. And since I intended this to be a sleep shirt from the start, I knew it wouldn’t matter if it was too big.

I’m rather glad I didn’t go smaller.  See, the blouse fits me well in the front. excepting the neckline, which only works here because I raised it by a centimetre, twitched it before taking the picture, and held still.


*But* it’s  too big in back. Way too big.  The back piece is cut on the fold, so the next time I make it I will pull it back from the fold two inches, and thus take four inches out of the back width.  But as I said, this is a sleep shirt, so I don’t mind the extra ease.


This is a t-shirt that fits me close without stretching much, to show you the difference in cut.


Despite being a trial run, using cheap muslin from a thrift store grab bag, I took pains with this project. For starters, *all* the seams are frenched. This was my first time to french a sleeve, let alone a gathered sleeve, but it worked out really well. I only got mixed up once!  :) This is the inside view.


I had a little trouble with the bias-tape: I don’t like how I sewed it on.  But, as my mother says:  “It will never be seen from a galloping horse.”  So practical.


I think I made my hem too deep: My sleeves turned out longer than the hem of the shirt. (Which, BTW, I will be lengthening for public wear.) So I did something else I’d never done before: I put in tucks.  They turned out well. The tucks made the sleeves more “poufy” though. They remind me of the costumes in “Anne Of Green Gables”.


Oh, and I put in a tag.

It made up fairly easily: The worst part was tracing everything off, and then adding seam allowances. I added my seam allowances to the tracing paper, so I could cut it out quickly.  For view “K” they said to “open the sleeve and add 3 1/2 in. for gathering.” Implying that you should trace the sleeve off as-is, and then cut the pattern. I just added the width when I traced the pattern off. If I ever want the sleeve smaller, I can fold it.

The bias tape neckline-binding confused me when I went to cut it out. They layout just didn’t make sense.   I’m not sure if I figured out what she wanted, but I got it to work. Turns out, to save space, the binding pattern is half the length you’ll need. So I cut it out excepting one short end, and flipped the pattern piece over that short end, and kept cutting, making a strip twice the length of the pattern piece.   I had to open my fabric up, but it worked.

I wasn’t quite sure what they wanted with the placket, but I stared at the diagram for a while, and I figured it out.   I’m a visual learner, and think in 3D sometimes, so you very well might fare better than me on that one.

The tailors tacks I put in, going by her dots, were *immensely* helpful for putting the buttons and button-holes in. It was the easiest time of putting button-holes in that I’ve ever had.

I’d say this is an intermediate pattern, or a patient beginner, because it give rather broad directions (e.g. “sew binding around neckline.”)  *however*, it does reference you back to project “G”, on page 41, which give more instructions. If I had read those instructions, my bias tape would’ve turned out better.

In summary: I would definitely make this pattern again, and try other projects from the “Stylish Dress Book”. However, next time I make view “K”,  I will:

  • Raise and narrow the neckline
  • Lengthen the hem
  • Take the back in

Happy sewing!

Edit: See my second and improved attempt here.


2 thoughts on ““Stylish Dress Book”: pattern review

  1. I cannot tell you how muchthis helped me! I just purchased this book from Amazon & too thought I didn’t get all of the pattern pieces. Even though I am daunted by tracing the patterns – seems like it will take too long, I just want to make it! you did it & so can I am off to go search for what I thought were missing pattern pieces.
    Thank you


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