November 28, 2006


Filed under: Hat book and magazine reviews — Cristina de Prada @ 10:00 pm

Stylish Cloche Japanese book

Title: STYLISH CLOCHE (スタイリッシュクロッシュ―クロッシュから始める帽子作り)
Author: ISHIDA OHKO (石田 欧子)
ISBN: 4-579-11042-0
Availability: Yes, if you dare (I did!), through Amazon japan, check this help page also
Occasionally available through Ebay, check this link
Price (as of the post date): 1,785.00 YEN (not including shipping)
Language: Japanese
First edition: 2005
87 pages, paperback (contains full size paterns within 2 fold out pages)

Yes, this is a Japanese hat pattern book written in Japanese. But I’ve seen pattern books written in English that seemed more like “Japanese” to me than this one does. In that sense, this book is not in “Japanese” and it’s surprisingly easy to follow.
About the Author: Okho Ishida is the daughter and disciple of Akio Hirata. Some of her work (if I understand it correctly) can be seen on this website: page 1 and page 2

Quick synopsis of the book: It’s a pattern book with instructions to make some simple yet elegant sewn hats.

1. The looks:
This book is a joy to look at. The cover looks promising and the inside does not disappoint!
The pictures, taken by photographer Kayoko Asai are really beautiful and the designer clothes worn by the models (Anges B., Yoshie Inaba, Paul Smith, Minimum etc) help to put the hats in a glamourous context. The pictures display the hats from different angles, with the brims in different positions, which will help us once we decide to make one of the hats ourselves.

2. The patterns:
The book comes with full size patterns (wider brims have to be made extending the original pattern offered).
There are three different type of crowns (S, T and M), and three different brims (A, B and C).
Crown S is a very clever pattern that produces a trilby kind of crown. With a middle seam on the top crown that contributes to the shape the result is beautiful. Made in four pieces, it allows us the possibility of combining different colors (it’s the one on the cover of the book).
Crown T pattern is a cilindrical shape made of two pieces.
Crown M pattern is a round (head hugging) shape consisting of 4 pieces, two side panels and two panels going from front to back.
The brims are simpler to classify. Brim A goes down at a steep angle, brim B is more of a cloche shape, brim C flares more and is used for the wide brimmed hats.

3. The instructions:
To start there are very detailed instructions on each of the following crown brim combinations: Crown S + Brim A, Crown T + Brim C and C and Crown M + Brim B.
With each combination we have a list of the materials needed. The measurements are in centimeters, but for the rest it’s time to pick up your address book and contact that sweet Japanese girl you met at University or go for sushi and trick the waitress into translating it for you. Either that, or do some guesswork into which materials are needed (after all you have the pictures).
Next, for each of those three combinations we have 6 step instructions:
1. Cutting the patterns (some tweaking of the basic pattern may be needed, look carefully at the drawings on the instructions!).
2. Cutting the fabric. Color coded schematics guide you through this one. There are more drawings than there is text, and they are done in incredible detail, showing the direction of the fabric, the layout of the patterns, where to pin them, and the markings that need to be added.
3. Assembly of the crown. What can I say, I love the instructions, they are for dummies! We are told where to pin the fabric, how to fold it to keep it flat while stitching, how to iron it flat, and which order to follow to do all of the above.
4. Assembly of the lining.
5. Assembly of the brim. Again, color coded (and beautifully drawn, every single step has its drawing, totally fool proof.
6. Final assembly. Brim and crown get attached, and grosgrain ribbon is added. Voilà! The hat is finished.

Other crown+brim combinations are described to lesser detail, but only because the basics have been explained before.

Conclusion: I believe it’s a book worth buying not only for the looks but also for the contents, and although the patterns are simple they resulting hats are beautiful and there are some very interesting trimming ideas.



  1. That book looks wonderful… but I cant figure what the cost might be in dollars…
    I’ll try to get it through…

    Comment by Bill Jones — December 5, 2006 @ 12:38 am

  2. 1785 yen is approximately 15.50 USD. does no sell it, as far as I know it can only be bought through the japanese website. There is also an Ebay seller that occasionally offers it for 32.99 USD, and currently has one for sale (along with some other beautiful foreign books). I will add a link to the posting (right below the Amazon info)!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — December 5, 2006 @ 1:24 am

  3. […] you like it! My next project will be a sewn fabric hat from the japanese book. Stay […]

    Pingback by The rantings of a MAD HATTER wannabe… » Tote bag - getting aquainted with my sewing machine and straying from the hatty path — February 5, 2008 @ 7:51 pm

  4. thanks for sharing info about this book. Too timid to try the Amazon Japan on my own — however, found felt cafe on Etsy asked her to look for it and she found a copy for me and is sending it forward. It should arrive in a couple of weeks – hope it gets here in time so can sew a hat from it while you are sewing yours.

    Comment by Glorious Hats — February 13, 2008 @ 11:44 pm

  5. I look forward to sharing a project with you… should be fun!!!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — February 15, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

  6. […] doing at the same time as Jane, from Glorious Hats. She bought the book because she saw it here, in my blog, and then we decided to try one project together (although we’re in opposite […]

    Pingback by The rantings of a MAD HATTER wannabe… » Japanese Easy Hat Templates from Clover — March 12, 2008 @ 11:59 pm

  7. […] to finish the trilby that I had already started, messed up, and have to start again. This is from the book that I reviewed some time […]

    Pingback by The rantings of a MAD HATTER wannabe… » Update on the Trilby from the Japanese book — April 15, 2008 @ 11:25 pm

  8. […] My apologies to Jane for my long delay in making this hat, which should have been finished a long time ago (we were going to tackle this project together but I fell behind). She did a super job, you can see her posts on the subject if you follow this link. The hat pattern comes from this Japanese book. […]

    Pingback by The rantings of a MAD HATTER wannabe… » The trilby from the Japanese book is finished! — April 16, 2008 @ 12:31 am

  9. Hi – thanks for your blog. I have searching the web for ages trying to find decent hat patterns. All I seem to find are naff ones from Burda and Simplicity. Then stumbled across your website. The book looks fantastic and I want it, so I went onto Japan Amazon but got stuck at the putting in my address details, so now I have emailed and just waiting for her to respond now. Here’s hoping that I get this book and others by Ishida Ohko. Thanks a heap for sharing your discovery!

    Comment by Edwina — June 29, 2010 @ 11:47 am

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