Basic Black is a book of sewing patterns by a Japanese designer Sato Watanabe. This is one of the more interesting and exciting Japanese Pattern Books that I have used, particularly because it includes patterns for garments that are designed with shape, rather than the usual loose fitting Japanese styles.
Unlike Sato Watanabe's Stylish Skirts book that I also reviewed, there is a lot less drafting, measurment and creation of pattern pieces in this book. Pattern sheets, which are printed on both sides, are included with the book.
What is most surprising about this book, is that the original publication date of the Japanese edition was 2005, but you would never guess that based on the designs in this English translation from Tuttle Publishing.
The pattern indicated that the neckline should be finished with bias, but I chose to match the neckline with the same brown striped ribbon that I used on the front and back hems. As jersey tends not to fray, I sewed the ribbon directly onto the outside of the fabric with a long stitch.
There are quite a large variety of sewing techniques illustrated in the clear diagrammatic form that Japanese Pattern books are renowned for. These techniques include facings and bindings as well as collars and plackets among others. Each part of the technique is drawn in detail and diagrams are numbered to make them easier to follow.
This book is beautifully presented and has an excellent selection of diverse patterns for coats, dresses, skirts and tops in loose, semi-structured and fitted styles. It took me ages to decide on a pattern to sew because there are more that I want to make, including a zip-up jacket, two dresses and a shirt.
(Tuttle Publishing sent me this pattern book free. All opinions are my own. I have been happily sewing from Japanese language pattern books since 2009)
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