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Jan 20, 2014

More Japanese Patterns: Shimazaki Ryuichiro's "Book of Men's Shirts"!

Having had success with Shimazaki Ryuichiro's men's coat pattern book, I figured I'd give his shirt book a try.  I know only one person who's sewn something from it -- Claudine, who made a very lovely sheer seersucker camp-style shirt last year.

Like the coat pattern book, this one offers multiple variations (nineteen in all) on a few basic patterns.  The artfully staged photos are very inspirational.  I can't speak for the patterns themselves since I haven't tried them yet, but other than being on the small size (a Medium corresponds to roughly a 36" Chest), it seems pretty straightforward if you've sewn men's shirts before.

Since all the instructions are in Japanese, it would be helpful to have some shirtmaking experience under your belt -- or a working knowledge of Japanese of course.  The diagrams are very clear, which helps a lot.


Pretty nice, huh?  Just like the men's coat pattern book, you have to trace the necessary pattern pieces and add the seam allowance.  I don't mind that. 

Speaking of Japanese patterns, I got started on my Miyake coat today.  I did narrow the back a bit, by precisely 4" at the bottom hem (8" total).  This is the original piece:

Here's the alteration I made, which actually saved me from having to buy more leopard print fabric.

The back still has plenty of flare -- trust me.  It's a VERY oversized coat.

And that's it!  I'm done sewing for the day but look forward to moving forward with the Miyake project -- I think it's really going to be something special and different from anything I've made before.  (After that, perhaps a Japanese shirt.)

In closing, have you -- or someone you know -- ever tried the Japanese men's shirt pattern book? How was it?

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. There are a lot of nice shirts in that book. Modern and 'hip' and probably more in one place than all of the pattern companies combined. I hope that they work well for you.Has your class at FIT started yet?

  2. I read about this Japanese sewers companion book on Tilly and the Buttons ...
    Might be useful.

  3. Endless men's dress shirts sounds like my idea of hell, but I'll eagerly watch you make them!

  4. Japanese books are great -- the photos are very clear and even though I don't understand Japanese, I've never had any difficulty using a Japanese book for sewing or any other handwork. Nope, haven't made a shirt though, sorry! I'll be eagerly awaiting your posts about your progress. :)

  5. I've never used a Japanese men's shirt pattern book but I have made myself three men's button shirts using the patterns I've made. Sewing/pattern-making shirts is not terribly difficult if they're simple.

  6. Here's another website that might be helpful:
    and she reviews your shirt book as well.

  7. Check Yoshimi's blog, she sewed from it for her better half.

    I own the book myself and the plan is to sew a linen shirt for my husband, ail keep you posted!

  8. I have made 2 shirts from this book and highly recommend it. The styles are very slim fitting especially the ones with back darts. One of my shirts blogged here
    The other one is with one piece collar and turn up cuffs.
    I learned a lot from the instructions too. If you need help with any Japanese translation let me know :-)

  9. I forgot your entire blog entry when I saw the pics of that poor, humiliated dog... LOL!

  10. So glad you posted this. new to sewing and my goal is to start making my own shirts. I am very much inspired!

  11. Another fantastic post Peter. I've sent his book down at the fashion bookstore downtown and it looks fantastic.

  12. You'll love this book. I've made 4 or 5 shirts, from it, including my TBA current project. It's the first place I look when I want to make a shirt.

  13. Some of you should post pictures of your shirts. I would never sew a shirt mainly because I couldn't but would love to see the results.

  14. As much as I want to make shirts for my father and brother, and as cool as those patterns look, I don't really know anyone slim fit or on the small side. I am looking forward to seeing how it works for you though.

  15. Great book. I bought the French version ! Much easier to translate XD Unfortunately the other books from Shimazaki are only in Japanese (coats and parka)


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