|Basic Black by Sato Watanabe | Tuttle Publishing|
Some of you may know I used to be a hairdresser. While what you didn't know was that all I used to wear was the color black. The salons I worked for at the time encouraged the stylists to all wear black. It was considered moody and stylish. All the color I so embrace now was in my nails and hair. I have to admit that after leaving the industry it took me a long time to "break the black" and start adding color to my wardrobe. I'm happy to say that now black has a home in my closet amongst tons of color and prints. I've come a long way :)
Even though I fought to add color to my clothes I still love black. It's slimming, classic, sexy, stylish and just cool. I always feel good when I wear black so I was excited to hear about Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe. I wasn't disappointed. True to Sato's style there is a pattern in here for everything - 26 in fact! Yep, that's right - 26! Tops, dresses, jackets and more. The fabrics are interesting and the designs are more body flattering than most of the other Japanese sewing books you see on the shelves. Basic Black is another great English edition of a Japanese sewing book.
The patterns in the book are lovely. I really loved the Lace Shirred Blouse, Blocked Quilting Zip-Up Jacket, Zip-Up Vest with High Neck, Frilled Shirt in Charcoal, Tunic Blouse with Lace-Trimmed Armholes, and Flannel Short Coat. I could honestly see myself wearing and sewing all of these. I consider a book a win/win if I want to make at least 3-4 patterns out of it. So this one is on a roll considering I trimmed down my list to write on here...haha. There is a nice variety of styles and fits in this book that give the reader lots of style options for their wardrobe.
Basic Black features bright, modern photography for the first half of the book and the second half is the written patterns accompanied by clear, easy to follow diagrams. I don't know about you but I just swoon over these kinds of diagrams. So pretty! The pattern pieces themselves are tucked neatly away in the back flap of the book. Sato also covers some basic sewing tools and how to use the patterns in the book. For a book filled with black clothing Basic Black still feels lively, bright and energetic.
The only con I have to the book is the sizing. This is very common though for Japanese sewing books. The larger sizes don't go up very high so I usually fall on the last size or not in the range at all. The books sizing is broken down into 3 categories - "loose", "garments with darts & shaping seams" and then finally "fitted" which was nice to see. These are listed all on one page and it definitely makes it easier to see what will fit and what won't. It was a nice addition.
AUTHOR | Sato Watanabe
PUBLISHER | Tuttle Publishing
PROS | 26 patterns! Huge variety of styles and fits. Even though all black garments the book still feels lively and nice to read. Great diagrams.
CONS | Sizing doesn't go high enough.
Overall I give this book 2 thumbs up. I have a soft spot for Japanese sewing books and their aesthetic and styling. This one will have a lovely place on my bookshelf. If you are a fan of Japanese sewing books I think you will find this one a fresh surprise amongst the more traditional loose fitting styling of the more common ones out there.
Are you a fan of Japanese sewing books? Have you read this one? What was your favorite pattern from it? Let's chat!
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