Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Magazines

Book Review – Sewing and Crochet magazine

February 6, 2015


I picked up the crocheting bug a few years ago when looking for winter patterns. Crocheting is a very therapeutic hobby and very portable as well since you can’t lug a sewing machine everywhere you go. So when I saw this new magazine – Sewing & Crochet, I knew I had to get it since it combines both of my favorite crafting activities!

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You can see that it’s a relatively new magazine, vol. 2. I bought this magazine in December when it was still new, but never had the time to review it. By this time I am publishing this post, vol. 3 should already be released, but no matter, let’s have a look at what this magazine is all about before we decide whether or not to buy the next one!

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The magazine kicks off with the sewing projects, lots of bags. The cover did mention that the feature for this issue will be granny bags. So we will see lots of them in different variations.

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A granny bag with a leather base and lots of pockets

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Round base Granny bag

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Plump granny bag

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Mother’s Bag (I guess that just means a huge bag or a diaper bag)

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Going for a walk Granny’s Bag

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Mini bags! Tote, Granny, Drawstring versions. Great for holding small change or small items that can easily get lost in your big bag.

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Pouches and small items made with snap buttons

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Synthetic leather x Fabric accordion pouch

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 You can make this accordian pouch with all fabric instead, but when using fabric only, use a thick interfacing to give it more structure.

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Key case

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Round strap Key holder

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Interesting idea and pattern for a bag. Using leather straps and rivets. I suppose it adds to the strength as well?

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Other than sewing patterns for bags. There is also a pattern for a wrap dress, with a complete step by step sewing lesson with full color photographs.

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There are also a couple of warm weather sewing projects, such as this neck warmer,

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Room shoes

More sewing of small accessories like this detachable pocket pouch. Usually seen in kids magazines but sized up for adults. Adults will find this useful too!

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Some felt projects are included as well…

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Matryoshka doll felt keyholders! Too cute!

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Travel pass case in the shape of a luggage.

Moving on to the crochet section of the book, we start off with a simple cover for umbrella handles.

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Some of the basic crochet techniques are covered with step by step photographs, like the above which shows you how to make a magic circle/ring for the start of the base of a bag/tube. This eliminates the hole in the base that you will find when using the traditional starting chain ring technique. Very useful and necessary for making Amigurumi patterns.

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What’s a Japanese crochet book without Amigurumi patterns! According to wikipedia, these are crocheted stuffed animals and this term is a combination of the Japanese terms for crochet and stuffed animals. The trademark aesthetic is cuteness.(of course!) In this issue, learn to make some cute woodland animals like the squirrel, bear and rabbit. Can you also tell that the 3 animals have a similar shaped body? There are actually hidden plastic clothes pegs in each of them, so that you can use them as clips for holding namecaards, or attaching to your bags, or even to a stroller strap for a baby to play with.

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 Other than Amigurumi patterns, there are also some practical crochet items for decorating the house, like these comfy looking chair pads.

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As this magazine was published in November, there was also a section on decorating with sewing and crochet projects for Christmas. Christmas is over but I can keep these patterns for next year I guess!

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 Love this multi-color crochet ribbon wreath. It’s made of multiple ribbon bows. Will be a great use of wool scraps.

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Make a triangular Christmas tree. Step by step instructions included.

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Most of the crochet patterns , with the exception of those detailed in photographs, are in diagrams such as this. Having learned my crocheting entirely on youtube 😛 I must confess that I do not know how to read these diagrams! There is however, a very detailed and enlarged glossary of terms as well as the corresponding stitch symbol, at the back of the book.  The most commonly used ones are

くさり編み – chain stitch
細編み  – Single crochet
長編み – Double crochet
中長編み – Half double crochet

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There were many more projects that I did not show here because there were just too many! If you like both sewing and crochet just like me, you will love this magazine. I’m looking forward to the next issue for more Spring sewing ideas.

Title : Sewing & Crochet Vol. 2
ISBN : 978-4-86322-586-2
Publisher : パッチワーク通信社

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1 Comment

  • Reply Cindy February 6, 2015 at 10:00 am

    What a cute magazine! I really wish these magazines would be available in Digital format…I think they’d be a hit! Thanks for sharing the images with us.

  • Leave a Reply to Cindy Cancel Reply