Day 2 Giveaway: Surprise! 2 for 1 book deal

fw_and_sdb_giveaway2Today I’m giving away two books, not one. Why? Because I’m niiiice and thought up this surprise just for you. Okay okay okay, I counted incorrectly and had 8 books to give away but I can’t very well go back and change the introduction to this series to “8 Books, 8 day giveaway” so today, the 2-fer.

Today’s titles are Stylish Dress Book: Simple Smocks, Dresses and Tops and Feminine Wardrobe: Town, Party, Resort.

If you’re not familiar with these books, they are a popular series of Bunka Publishing Japanese texts that Laurence King Publishing has secured the rights to publish in the English language. The books come with patterns in the back. One unfolds the large sheets and traces off the full size patterns of style they wish to make.

It is difficult to review any book in this series in isolation due to their commonalities. This could be a pleasure or a curse, depending on your perspective. Personally, I think they’re great. I bought many of the Bunka books before they were available in English. In fact, I’m lobbying Laurence King to republish their Vionnet book into English.

Most of the pattern styling is designed to appeal to younger people rather than those of us who have been sewing for thirty or forty years. I  don’t have a problem with that but maybe you will. Second, the other commonly levied complaint is that pattern styles in each book are so similar to each other that value is diminished. I agree to the first part but not the second. I think it is instructive for styles to be similar because enthusiasts (or even new designers) can learn how to develop a signature tried and true pattern and modify it somewhat to get a whole new look. In the industry, we’d call the parent pattern a block.

The best part of any of these books that I’ve tested -and I have tested the patterns- is that the patterns are very well made. While I have not tested every home sewing pattern brand in existence, I wouldn’t be surprised if these books had the highest pattern quality on the market. And that’s saying a lot because Burda puts out some very nicely engineered patterns too.

These books enjoy a wide fan base on the web so you can do an image search for a given book to see the real life results from using these patterns. Just for giggles, here are image results for the Stylish Dress and for Feminine Wardrobe so you can see what I mean. You should notice something that I think is pivotal. No matter which individual made a given style, each result looks very similar to the original. This is a testament to pattern quality and simplicity of construction.

Feminine Wardrobe: Town, Party, Resort by Jinko Matsumoto
200 illustrations, 72 pp
Includes patterns for 21 skirts, dresses and tops
7.5″x10″, paperback
ISBN 9781780671246
Publisher: Laurence King (link to purchase on publisher’s site)
List: $19.95

Stylish Dress Book: Simple Smocks, Dresses and Tops by Yoshiko Tsukiori
200 illustrations, 88 pp
Includes patterns for 26 dresses, smocks and tops
7.5″x10″, paperback
ISBN 9781780671079
Publisher: Laurence King (link to purchase on publisher’s site)
List: $19.95

Rules to enter today’s giveaway:
Leave a comment composed in Haiku extolling the virtues of the venerable Laurence King Publishers and their boundless generosity in making these titles available to the masses of English readers. Or, you could help me in my crusade to convince them to republish the Vionnet book into English and post an impassioned plea. I vote for the latter.

Since I’m paying for shipping*, this giveaway is limited to US residents. If you live abroad and are willing to pay shipping, you can enter too.

*The publisher has been truly awesome at providing books for giveaways and has paid for shipping in the past but they sent me this book so many months ago that I feel guilty asking them to extend the courtesy. In short, don’t think badly of the publisher.

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  1. Natasha E says:

    As much as I’d like to torment you with my innuendo fillled haiku I already have one of these books already but I will cross post this on my blog to let my 3.4 readers know.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Oooooohhhh! Pick me!!!! Would love to have these books.

    In lieue of a haiku, I’ll email the publisher with a plea. Thanks for the giveaways this week.

  3. Arizona says:

    Publish Vionnet!
    For we wield great heavy shears!
    That cut not just cloth!

    LOL. Too threatening? Ok, how about:

    lol cats everyday
    In your inbox if you don’t
    Publish Vionnet!

    Ps: in English.

    Last one:

    Oh, the graceful poise
    Of the flowing bias cut
    On the female form.

  4. Sandra says:

    I agree that the Japanese pattern books are amongst the best available for home sewers. I like the fact that they are logical in their construction and use appropriate seam allowances! Count me out of the giveaway though, as I have already been lucky enough to receive a book from you this year, but I will join you in lobbying for the English version of Vionnet, that would be amazing to have!

  5. Ina says:

    Had a student a few years back from Japan. She put on fashion show with the help of her husband and friends and quite a few of her designs were this type of simple, feminine style. Very girly and sweet, but her use of fabric and variation of the styles made the show more interesting.
    That said, I vote for the Vionnet book in English!

  6. April says:

    I have Yoshiko Tsukiori’s “Girly Style Wardrobe” in Japanese and it is a lovely book with lovely designs. The pattern sheet on that particular book is very, very dense with multiple lines, which has been a deterrent to making as many of the styles as I had hoped.

    Our infinite praise
    to Laurence King for stylish
    Japanese fashion

  7. On every field of study and work there is a need for a constant flow of information and access to studies and writings done before our time. Sadly for us who study fashion related fields there is an extra barrier to break as material might sometime be scarce or worst unavailable at all.

    In social sciences, law as well as in technology translations and re-publishing in multiple languages is the norm, why then books on a business as international as fashion is this not always the case? There might be biases, there might be a small market share yet we don’t lack motivation to ask for it over and over. This is why as students, bloggers, fashion enthusiasts and even employees in the industry we ask to be considered and have the Vionnet book republished in English as this a plain and simple plea to have access to important knowledge in our field. Yes we could google translate it or move to Japan and learn the language but wouldn’t it be cheaper for us and a little bit more profitable for you to reprint it in English?
    -Thank you

  8. adela says:

    Es que no puedo decir nada que la gente ya no sepa aparte de que es una grandísima maestra y que todo lo que hace es realmente maravilloso

  9. Ramona says:

    So English so Japanese just
    Sew fashion fabric is a drug hooks
    us into competitions for books

    Disclaimer: haiku is not my thing. LOL

    But I am into the Japanese pattern books! Thanks for the give away.

  10. Vionnet, her name,
    Flowing like silken dresses,
    Come hence, so we learn.

    Fashion acolytes,
    Yearning so for Vionnet.
    O King, ease our pain.

    There you go, two poems for two books!


  11. Laura says:

    I LOVE her styles! I have purchased her children’s fashion books and find myself inspired with her creative simplicity. When I start getting “too fussy and my designs become too busy”, I find her style centers me back in the wearability that simplicity brings. I hope whoever wins these books enjoy them as much as I do!

  12. Barb C says:

    I love these books for their detail. I have the Vionnet book from Betty Kirke and have thought of trying to replicate some of the dresses……someday. An English translation of the Laurence King Publication would be a great thing. I am also poetry deficient, so I will write the publisher to urge them to publish and English edition of the Vionnet book.

  13. Avatar photo

    Please post your messages to the publisher here because I can forward these to the party most apt to get word to the powers that be.

    Also, technically, one isn’t entered into the drawing unless it is posted here. Thanks for understanding.

  14. Barb C says:

    Here are my comments to the publisher (cute and pasted) I was pointed by Kathleen Fasanella on her website in a book giveaway to urge you to publish the Vionnet book in English. While this is part of a book give away, I can do it with a clear conscience because I would love to own such a book. I presently own the Betty Kirke book on Vionnet and after reading Kathleen’s review of the Japanese version of the Vionnet book I would love to add it to my library.

    Thank you very much,

  15. Connie Bontje says:

    Stitching in peace
    Beautiful garments emerge

    or to encourage english translation…

    Stitching in English
    beautiful garments emerge

    I reside in Canada, but would love to give you a US address to ship to. Thanks for your generosity!!

  16. Mary says:

    Always looking for ways to further bow my shelves! Count me in?

    Vionnet pictures!
    But I would love to READ , too!
    What am I missing?!

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