Free Japanese Sewing Patterns Links Free Patterns

Free Japanese sewing patterns

January 9, 2012

I was in Japan for a holiday just a few weeks ago, and stumbled upon a shop in Otaru that sold fabrics and notions. The best thing about Japanese fabric shops are that they usually have samples of finished products hanging near the fabrics and it gives you a good feel of the weight and suitability of the fabric for say a bag or a garment.

I fell in love with one of the bags and bought the fabrics needed, and I initially thought that I would have to go home and figure out the pattern myself. On a whim I decided to ask the lady serving me, if she had the pattern for the bag, and she said yes! She whipped out a clear folder, and there it was, photostated copies of the bag I wanted to make! She even followed the list of materials and helped me cut out exactly what I needed, even double checked the grain of the fabric to make sure she was getting it right before cutting 🙂

The pattern basically gave instructions and a diagram of how to draw out the pattern yourself, needs a little bit of estimation around the curves unless you have a curved rule, but otherwise pretty easy to understand.

So when I got home, I decided to search for more free patterns on Japanese search engines, and I am going to post my new discoveries here every monday. I’m also setting up a schedule for myself to post more regularly so hopefully I can stick to this new routine.

First up is a free pattern site from Nani Iro. I first came across this designer in a 5-storey fabric store in Shinjuku called Odakaya 2 years ago. Her fabrics were gorgeous! Natural cotton/linen palette with watercolor random patterns/polka dots. I bought some but till today I have no guts to cut it up 😛

Projects from Nani Iro free sewing patterns

There are patterns for babies, kids clothes/bags, adult clothes and bags, and even one for a kimono! Amazing. Instructions are in japanese but with hand drawn diagrams, for simple garments it is quite easy to understand. I am tempted to try out the patterns here and if I do, I will post my translated version.

Visit the site for more patterns. The site is in Japanese but as the patterns are organized by fabric collections, so just click on the thumbnails to see the projects available for each collection.



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  • Reply Valentina February 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Hi your blog is great for japanese sewing addicts, like me.
    I cannot find the patterns in this website you indicated, could you help me to find them please? Thank you!

  • Reply admin February 22, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Hi Valentina,
    Thanks for the heads up! It turns out they recently revamped their website so the old links are no longer working.
    Here is the new link –
    Will update the post too. 🙂

  • Reply Bernadette February 5, 2013 at 6:13 am

    When I click on the pictures I get a beautiful download of the directions, but no pattern pieces? Are the pattern pieces available as well?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books February 5, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Hi Bernadette, there are no actual pattern pieces but a diagram with instructions for drafting your own patterns.

      • Reply Bernadette February 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

        Thank you 🙂 I wasn’t sure if I was missing something or not. I guess I’ll get drafting.

  • Reply Claire March 26, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I’m going to Japan in June with my Japanese class, we’ll be going to Tokyo and stay with a host family in Suwa, my city’s (St. Louis) sister city.
    Do you know any good places in Tokyo to get sewing supplies and fabric? Are there any big chains that would also be somewhere like Suwa?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books March 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Claire, in Tokyo a good place for buying fabrics will be Nippori fabric town – you can check it out here on Tokyo Craft Guide’s website

      I’ve not been to Suwa or even Nagano myself, so I have to rely on what the internet tells me 😛
      I did a quick search in Japanese and found this zakka shop listing website in Nagano. It shows 3 handicraft shops in Suwa. I’m sure you will stumble upon more shops while walking around since sewing and crafting is part of their everyday life in Japan!

      Have fun in Japan! 🙂

  • Reply Cheryl November 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks.I’ve downloaded and am going to try drafting. I like to throw things together myself so this should be fun!

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