Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Magazines

Magazine Review – Cotton Time Magazine

January 2, 2014

Happy New Year everyone! It seems that I gave myself a much longer holiday than I planned to, and here’s why. I was back last week of December but had to deal with a number of issues including a mountain full of laundry, getting ready for the new school term, lots of Christmas and New year get-togethers and way too much feasting. On the technical side, there was also a problem with the server, which happened just before I left. So when I came back I had to hold back on posting till the files were migrated to the new server and the blog software upgraded. So far everything has been running ok (hopefully) and it’s time to get back to posting!

What better way to begin the year than posting about the latest issue of Cotton Time Magazine, Jan edition (No. 112), which is all about sewing and crafts for the New Year!


The cover is so colourful and cheery, it brings a smile to my face. 🙂

Freebie alert! : A free calendar….


that includes gorgeous photos featuring handicrafts…


as well as the instructions on how to make them!


FREEBIE #2 : A free sample piece of 40cm x 26cm fabric with a cute kitchen print , from the Le Ciel collection by Daiwabo-tex.


They even give you ideas on how to use the fabric.


You can cut out the printed bottle shapes and use them to make jar labels, or apply as an applique on your kitchen towels.


This year is the year of the horse, so there are lots of cute horsey crafts too!



There are also some Mount Fuji inspired crafts. This is too cute!


More sprucing up for the home. A quilted floor mat in the shape of a snow pea pod.


It’s hard work spring cleaning for the new year, so you have to cheer yourself up doing the chores wearing a cute little apron.


Instead of using disposable wiper sheets, use microfibre cloth and make a dog cover for it instead. You can pretend you are walking the dog while cleaning the house.


Other than household zakka projects, there are always a number of bags and accessories patterns included in every issue of Cotton Time.


I love the structured look of this bag (below).


Pretty wallets to make.


Other than sewing projects, there are also a number of craft projects with really interesting applications. The following is a feature on making tassels and how to use them for accessories or embellishments on your other sewing projects.


There is another special feature on cardboard weaving….


with step by step instructions to show you how to make your own hand weaving loom out of pieces of cardboard.


Can you guess what these cute thread holders (below) are made out of?


Same material as these colorful earrings below.

There are all made from プラ板. I’m guessing it is a direct translation of plastic board. I found some references online that call it Shrink Plastic or Poly shrink. I’m not sure if you have played with it or seen it before but It’s basically a plastic board that is thin enough for you to draw and cut out shapes from, then after you shrink it in the oven it will harden up and become much smaller than the original size.  You can use it to make all kinds of arts and crafts. They sell it here in the $2 shop but I’ve never tried making anything out of it because I am not sure it’s a good idea to shrink plastic in the same oven that I use for food. But it certainly looks like a lot of fun if you have a spare toaster oven to use.


One of my favourite features in sewing magazines – peeking into the sewing rooms of other crafters, especially how they store their sewing supplies.


Since it is the beginning of the year, there is also a school goods special. The official school year in Japan doesn’t start in January but I guess it is always a good idea to get started early since there are so many pieces to make!


This particular feature is targeted at Mum’s who are beginners, so the designs are simple and there are also step by step photos to follow along.


Some of the other cute school goods – bento cover with matching lunch mat.


1 large size Pattern sheet for all the patterns in the book.


Cotton Time is published once every two months by Boutique Sha.

Cotton Time / Shufu to Seikatsusha
Get your copy now from cdjapan

Next week, I will be posting up some patterns that I am considering for the sew-along. It will be a girl’s dress because I really need to get my sewing for my girls done before the Lunar New Year comes around (31st of Jan!) Help me decide which pattern to make and you will get to see it as the sew-along feature for this month!

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  • Reply Rebecca January 3, 2014 at 4:42 am

    the cotton time magazine looks so fun
    Happy New Year to you

  • Reply EmSewCrazy January 3, 2014 at 6:35 am

    I just wanted to let you know thanks to your blog and great reviews I got my first Japanese sewing magazine for Christmas this year and will be reading lots of your posts to see how to properly decipher the patterns! Thanks for all you do!

  • Reply Jen January 3, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Happy New Year! Lots in this issue. I remember that plastic stuff from the 70s. It used to be marketed in the U.S. as Shrinky-Dinks. I wonder if it still exists? I loved it as a kid, but nobody was thinking of potential toxicity back then…

  • Reply Nicki January 3, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks so much for your amazingly helpful blog! I love the double breasted jacket in the fall Cucito – not a dress but still interesting in that it could be made in a lighter weight linen.

  • Reply superstitches January 4, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Cotton Time is one of my favorite magazines. I just found out you can get a subscription at cdjapan.

  • Reply Meili January 5, 2014 at 4:59 am

    Looking forward to your sew-along!

  • Reply Nathalia January 6, 2014 at 4:53 am

    Happy New Year! Your website has inspired me to start dabbling on a few sewing projects this year; I might be a beginner but I’m definitely motivated!

  • Reply Ulla's Quilt World April 22, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Hi! I would like to order Cotton Time. Do you know from where I can order it? I live in Finland!
    Thank you so much for your lovely blog. I am so happy to find it!!! 🙂
    Hugs, Ulla

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books April 24, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Ulla, You can try or cdjapan is in english, and ships internationally. looks scary at first sight because everything is in Japanese, but for something like Cotton time you can use english to search and find the results. Checking out is in English, and they ship internationally. I’m not sure which one offers better shipping rates, but the magazine prices are pretty standard.

  • Reply kirsty June 29, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Hi. I live in Australia and wondering can I buy your magazine in any shops or newsagency. Magazine shops. Thank you. Kirsty

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