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Mar 4, 2021

Modeling the Completed N3-B Military Parka!

Men's N3-B parka made from Japanese pattern by Ryuichiro Shimazaki book

Readers, the parka is finished and I feel very glamorous in it.

As you know, I made my N3-B parka using the Japanese men's military coat pattern book by Ryuichiro Shimazaki (Bunka, 2013).  It's not difficult to find for sale online (Etsy and eBay are both good sources) though I purchased my copy at the Kinokuniya Japanese bookstore here in New York City.  You can also find it here.

I recommend this book to non-Japanese speakers with caveats.  It's not a beginner's book.  It helps to have constructed coats before and also to have sewn some more basic projects using Japanese pattern books.  As I've mentioned before, all the pattern pieces in the book must be traced in the correct size (I found, remarkably, that I needed the largest size (there are only three--S, M, and L) and seam allowances must be added.  But everything went together well and where it didn't I think the mistakes were my own (most notably, using a poly fleece interlining that really was too lofty for what the pattern intended).  Nevertheless, everything worked out in the end.

The double-cloth jacquard I used (some sort of poly blend) is probably not the idea fabric for a coat like this because it doesn't feel as durable as traditional nylon or nylon-blend outerwear fabric.  A sturdy wool is another option (recommended also in the pattern book).

That said, this is a one-of-a-kind coat.  If I don't get as much use out of it as the highly versatile blue mountain parka I made for myself back in 2014 and still wear a lot to this day, that's okay.  This is more a fashion coat for sure.  But it's certainly nice to have something snazzy like this in my winter wardrobe!

Ryuichiro Shimazaki Japanese Military Coat Book parka

We actually did two photoshoots for this parka -- I felt all the work I did warranted it.  Plus it really is something that can be dressed up (with shoes and wool pants) or dressed down (with sneakers and jeans).

Dressed up....

Dressed down...

Ryuichiro Shimazaki pattern book parka made by Peter Lappin

One of the things I love most about this parka is the hood.  It's the type of "scuba" style hood typical of the N3-B military parka.  Since it zips so high, you don't need to wear a scarf if you don't want to.  And it creates a nice place to retreat to when you need a moment alone or are being pursued by the paparazzi, as I so often am!

I also love the fact that the faux fur hood trim snaps off if you don't want to wear it (or if you're having the coat cleaned).

In conclusion, this is one of the most challenging projects I've taken on in a long time -- maybe ever.  I would definitely like to create some of the other military jackets in this pattern book but not any time soon!

Have a great day, everybody, and happy sewing!


  1. It's amazing. You look wonderful in it.

  2. Wow! A very striking coat! I love it!

  3. it is SO good! thank you for sharing the process & photos!

  4. You never cease to amaze me, Peter. Great work!

  5. Looks terrific, Peter....and you look terrific in it!

  6. It's fabulous!! What a showstopper!

  7. OMG. Stunning! Simply stunning.

  8. Great work, Peter! Keep the paparazzi on the run, baby! PS lovely to see your piece in the recent Threads. Gr8 pics there also.

  9. Love it - so versitile and the pop of red with hat so perfect. That hoods brilliant - they are brilliant for windy days (but a bit of a hazzard crossing roads!)

  10. Winter time and COVID time calls for snazzy! You make me smile with this wonderful creation. You look fabulous and so happy in it. All the best.

  11. It's terrific. Fashion and wearable at the same time.

  12. Wow you are one talented sewer and the coat looks marvelous - Well Done!

  13. It looks great!! One-of-a-kind for sure. I have a wool coat with that type of hood and it's great for when the winter weather gets real blustery . . . nice protection from the side winds.
    Kathleen - kakingsbury at verizon dot net

  14. Amazing! I would to have half of your sewing talent!

  15. Jealous. Jealous. In a good way. Congratulations.

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