I don't think I am going to make any more free Burda Style patterns. They always turn out too wide in the shoulders and back and I don't have enough patience to alter them. I prefer the japanese patterns. All I have to do on those is an fba and I'm good to go. Way easier, imo.
I picked up a few new Japanese pattern books recently:
I got this book on hats.
This book has a lot of nice dress patterns. The patterns are designed especially for kimono fabric which is only about 14" wide. I am kind of reluctant to cut up my kimono, but I won't use them otherwise.
For my birthday, my friend gave me Zakka Sewing. The three reviews on Amazon are not helpful. The book is a delight to look at, but in my opinion, not accessible for a beginner.
First off, you get this book, and unless you improvise, you really can't make anything from it right away. Why? Every pattern requires that it be enlarged 200-250% (depends on the pattern). Furthermore, there are no tips on enlarging the patterns. If you photocopy them, you need paper larger than 8.5x14. I was eager to make the squirrel teapot cozy on the cover, and I had to free hand most of the pattern using my french curve in order to get immediate gratification.
Next, the materials list for the teapot cozy says, "thick wool felt." Well, I used thick wool felt and after completeing the pattern as the book instructs, my cozy is floppy and won't stand up, nevermind that it doesn't fit on my teapot. I will need to improvise, use interfacing, and I think I will even add batting to insulate. That's all okay, but c'mon, for the hard earned $24.95 that my friend spent, I expect a little more! If the purpose of this book is to make Japanese style patterns more accessible to those who do not read Japanese, why do I feel like I get so much more from the Japanese craft mooks that give me full size patterns and excellent drawn instructions (though, admittedly I can read enough Japanese to help me along) for the same price?
And just because we need a pic:
My kayak at Courtright Reservoir last summer.