Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books in English

Book Review – 501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs

February 24, 2017

Today I am going to review another Japanese Sewing Book that has been translated to English. And this time round, it’s not a machine sewing book but a hand sewing one. I’ve had a number of queries about embroidery books so this one is for those of you who have asked me about them! There are lots of embroidery design books out there of course, but this one was recently published by Tuttle and was released last year. When I received it from Tuttle I couldn’t stop drooling over all the cuteness! But I didn’t have time to do any book reviews till now and I kind of forgot about it till my daughter who started doing Home Economics this year, needed to do some embroidery as a class assignment. This was a great reference for her!

The book is called 501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs, which basically tells you how many stitch designs and inspirations you will get out of this book. This book does not only include embroidery, but also some cross stitch patterns, as well as some ideas + instructions on how to apply these embroidery/cross stitch patterns on your everyday objects. If you have never embroidered before, no worries, for there are detailed instructions of what you need + all the techniques and stitches you need to know for the patterns in the book.



A quick glance of the contents page. You can see that there are many project ideas plus instructional pages. So even if the designs may look complicated or daunting to you, it is suitable for beginners as well.

Here are some of my favourite designs.


There is a whole section devoted to Little Scandinavian Sketches, I love the whimsical deers and owls in this one. If you need to make your own DIY Christmas presents, this will be perfect for embellishing a Christmas gift!


Cute coffee cups, great for embroidering on kitchen towels, napkins. A coffee lover will love this.


This series of musicians sketches is just too cute not to share. Great for a music lesson bag. Or an instrument cover.


These Japanese Celebrations themed designs are also adorable. They are divided into the four seasons, and on this page you can see the Spring and Summer related embroidery designs. I just love the fireworks pattern! The color combination and the tiny fine stitches.


These are the lace patterns mentioned in the Contents page. But of course it is really just embroidery. If you have a dark fabric you need to embellish, it will be hard to make a color design stand out. But just change it to all white/off white thread and the results are stunning. These will be great for making your own monogram handkerchiefs / napkins or embellishing a border with a lace design. A lot of work yes, but isn’t it beautiful?


There are also some cross stitch patterns, including the entire alphabet which will be great for your child to start learning how to cross stitch and maybe sew a sampler like the children of the olden days 😛 I remember poring through my Mum’s Ondori Cross stitch books looking for new patterns to make. I still have one of my cross stitch works in my store room and I have to thank her Japanese sewing books collection for getting me started on cross stitch and sewing!


Some of the sample projects in the book of how you can apply embroidery designs to everyday objects.


Little cross stitch gift ideas. The covered buttons are so cheery, imagine a series of them, all in different designs, on the same dress or blouse. Such a great idea!


For beginners, there are detailed instructions and list of equipment you need to get started. 

Here’s a close up sample of the instructions for the sewing projects.


You may notice that I have included less photos of the book this time round, that’s because I’m going to incorporate book flip-through reviews for every book review from now on.  You can also subscribe to my Channel on Youtube to keep updated of any new videos. Happy browsing!

To buy a copy of this book, you can click on the link below which leads to (affiliate link)


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