Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bunka - in English!

Major news for English speakers who love Mrs Stylebook (MSB), or those of us who want to love it but are stymied by the pattern drafting illustrations. The Bunka Fashion College has published their Fashion Course textbooks in English!

I ran into Kinokuniya last week on my way to lunch. I try to hit it up every month or two - now that I've learned to steel myself against the display of adorable craft books - just to keep my finger on the pulse of the Japanese crafting world. A big green book caught my eye, and since there was no cute picture on the cover, I knew it must mean business on the inside. Sure enough... it was Bunka Fashion Series Garment Design Textbook #3 - Blouses and Dresses. My heart started racing, literally! I flipped through it and bought it without really knowing what it was, just that I needed it.

There are currently four textbooks in the series with a fifth to be published this fall:
1 - Fundamentals of Garment Design
2 - Skirts & Pants
3 - Blouses & Dresses
4 - Jackets & Vests
5 - Coats & Capes (available later in 2009)

In the Blouses & Dresses book, Chapter 1 is dedicated to blouses and Chapter 2 is dedicated to dresses. Each chapter covers:
- A definition of the garment and its history
- Types, Designs, and Fabrics
- Designs and Pattern Drafting
- Methods of Basting, Fitting and Pattern Adjustment
- Sewing Methods
- Sewing Individual Parts (i.e. collars, plackets)

The technical drawings that are so abundant in MSB and also prevalent in the textbook, but there are also fashion sketches to show various blouse/dress styles and photographs to demonstrate various sewing techniques (all in black & white).

Here's what I think is one of the best features of this book - they show you how to make a sloper! They say the sloper can be drawn with just 3 measurements: bust, back length, and waist. From what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong, Diana), the Bunka/MSB sloper has some ease included, unlike the very fitted sloper that we usually think of. So if you want to use the MSB patterns, it's key that you start off with their sloper that includes ease.

The ISBN for Blouses & Dresses is 978-4-579-11240-1, and the books are selling for US $44.80 at Kinokuniya.

I'm hoping to spend some quality time with this textbook this fall, and mabye I'll finally be able to make use of my MSBs...


Tany said...

These are great news!!

Trudy said...

This is awesome news, which will assuredly take our sewing to the next level. Thanks for sharing!

Rachel said...

I have never heard of these, but I am still excited!!! I am going to check these out.

Ann Made Studio said...

I will definitely check these out.
Thanks for posting about them :)

poplin said...

You lucky, lucky girl.

I wasn't able to go to Kinokuniya's today. But I put in the word to Mr Geek Sewing, and he will definitely try to work our schedule to make room for Kinokuniya next weekend.

Yes, the sloper can be drawn with three measurements. Some may encounter a few problems; however, Christina, I don't think you will have a problem drafting yours.

I'll stop here... you know how to get a hold of me. ;)

I'm going over to my blog to blog about your blog.

littlecottondresses said...

I saw this book at my local Kinokuniya. Good thing they didn't have the Blouses & Dresses edition, otherwise it's another $45 spent out of budget.

Love your blog, btw.

cidell said...

Ok. I also checked with my counterpart in Japan -- and these prices are very good. There, they are selling for $30. So, I feel like shipping and finder's fees make it totally worth it :)

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I can already tell I'm going to spend a small fortune when I hit up Kinokuniya. :P

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I can already tell I'm going to spend a small fortune when I hit up Kinokuniya. :P

Nancy K said...

Oh my, what a find. I love so much of what I've seen of MSB, but really been unwilling to figure it out without any English. Keep us apprised of your journey.

Stephanie said...

Love it! I actually have this pattern and probably have some fabric already to make this. I'd love to play in a cardigan sew along!

Christy said...

this is awesome info
thanks for sharing!

Johanna Lu said...

Not that I need one more pattern making book, but these sound very tempting. Thank you for the tip.

Caitlin / Fiber Organics said...

Thank you so much for posting this! It's so hard to find Japanese patterns and information when you don't speak or read Japanese. There goes the rest of my project budget ... :-)

birgitbdeboer said...

ordered them!! thanx for the head's up!

JC said...

Hello. I followed Cidell's suggestion and found your blog. Went to to see if I could get at least one book. It's all in Japanese (no surprise). How does one get an english translation?

Anonymous said...

hey, i was just browsing the internet for pattern making books! but i only find thousands of books for womenswear, so my question is does the series also eplain menswear?? like in the jacket and vests series or pants series?..

xoxo max