I’m not going to lie, I had envisioned a much different post going up on the site today, but after pouring over my new book (and magazines, was anyone else underwhelmed by this month’s Burda?) last night, I thought I would share a brief book review while the thoughts were still fresh in my head. You may have caught the post earlier in the year that Bret is buying me a Blythe for Valentine’s day (hopefully she will be here within the next two weeks). Thanks to a Christmas giftcard, I was able to buy my first book devoted to sewing for these (among others) Japanese dolls, Dolly Coordinate Recipe Book #10.
First off, let me say, I was surprised to see that this really was a book (very much like a graphic novel) and not a magazine (like what I expected). The pages are thick and glossy, the photography is beautiful, and the patterns (with seam allowances) were included within the ‘instructions’ themselves. Unlike my previous experience with Japanese booksmagazines, the Dolly Coordinate Recipe Book does not have a lot of illustrations to help with construction (and of course, all the instructions are in Japanese). My first thought was, “Oh crap (you may use a stronger explicative here), how am I ever going to use this book?” But then I realized, making doll clothes isn’t much different than sewing up something for myself, it’s just miniaturized! So, I went back and looked at the final design illustrations, compared them to the pattern pieces, and started mentally making note of how the garment could be put together… that took up the rest of my evening.
I guess the bottom line of these books is this: The designs in the Dolly Coordinate Recipe Book are FABULOUS (I wouldn’t mind some human-sized versions of these clothes) and the pictures are inspiring and pure eye candy. However, these books aren’t for beginners – many of the designs are complicated (multiple pieces, linings, etc.) made more difficult by the lack of English instructions and illustrations. They are probably not the best book to start out with either if you’re looking to try a Japanese sewing bookmagazine for the first time (for the same reasons). With that said, if you have a Blythe (or other current Japanese doll) and some garment sewing experience, this book is wonderful. Personally, I’m looking forward to the challenge of sewing something from it soon!