When I became interested in the Japanese pattern books, my first attempt was to make a "simple" top from the book Drape Drape. I chose a relative inexpensive knit in plain black to keep cost down and hide any potential mistakes. Once I got my head around not having a pattern with every step explained to me in English and having to trace a pattern, I finished the top with one minor mistake. This size was a Large from the pattern and it is very loose fitting, easily fitting a Aus size 14-16.
Things I've learned from this and my Missoni dress of Japanese pattern book patterns:-
1. Always check the sizing against you're own measurements. A "L" does not necessarily correspond to AUS size 14.
2. If you're able make a quick version in a cheap stretch fabric, it will help with the final outcome.
3. Don't be afraid to adjust some aspects of the pattern to suit you better.
4. The patterns are very pictorial and have are pretty logical, so don't be afraid to try.
5. The dresses are fantastic and can be sewn in an afternoon. The longest part of the process is tracing the pattern. This does require patience.
So have a go!