Hi! My name is yifarn and I love to sew, especially for my two girls. The satisfaction from seeing my little girls wear my creations is just indescribable. Friends often remark at how I can save money for my husband by making my girls their own dresses. That is not really true Anyone who has seen my fabric stash and pattern books will know that I’ve probably spent alot more on this hobby than it has saved me money.
And this is what this site is all about. Pattern books. Japanese pattern books to be exact. They are completely irresistable. Beautifully minimalistic pictures, the sweetest little girls, dreamy settings. I live in Singapore and I’m lucky enough to have a huge Kinokuniya which stocks lots of Japanese sewing books and magazines. I’ve seen the prices of the same books that are available online and think that I’m really lucky to be able to browse through these books before deciding, because some books are written for advanced sewers, which make it really difficult to understand even if you can read Japanese! On the other hand, there are books that have clear step by step pictures that makes the language barrier non existent.
With a combination of kanji knowledge (which is similar to chinese), internet-taught hiragana and katakana, I’ve managed to figure out most of the terms and steps involved. I hope to share this knowledge with everyone out there who is interested in Japanese sewing books but have never been able to figure out how to use them. Once you’ve got the basics covered, you can start your own book collection!
Together with articles on how to start and how to use these books, I will provide a glossary of regularly used terms in Japanese sewing books. I will also write reviews on the books I have as well as the new books I have acquired, I will also feature magazines I purchase which are usually a fraction of the price of a pattern book but also contain alot of great patterns and resources.
Do note that I mainly buy books for girls, some for zakka and bags, and a few for adult clothing. But the general methods and terms used are the same for all books.
Sometimes, you might see a particular book you are interested in but can’t find in your own country, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help Or, if you need help with the steps or translating particular terms, do let me know as well so that I can help.
On Facebook (JapaneseSewingBooks) & Twitter (jpsewingbooks) only
As and when I stumble upon something new like a new book published or a new fabric collection, I will post on FB and twitter.
PLUS! Random updates of my sewing projects/book shopping/fabric shopping….
You might notice that I have some links on “where to buy” the books on the navigation bar, as well as part of the blog posts. These are affiliate links, meaning that they will go to an online store called cdjapan where you can buy the books. I earn a small commission from each sale that is made if you clicked on the link from my site and end up purchasing the book. I’m personally a customer of cdjapan and I must say that they are reliable and responsive and ship internationally. I can’t tell if they are the cheapest source around but being based in Japan they do have a lot of books in their list especially the more current titles. I only post books that I have owned and reviewed on the sidebar, so you can always refer to the contents from the book review to see what the book is about.
There are other options out there of course, so it is really up to you, that is why I always list down the ISBN numbers which make it easier to search for the book if you do not know how to input the Japanese title.
Please send me your translation requests to my email japanesesewingbooks at gmail.com
You can scan or take a photo of the page that you need help with. It does not have to be in hi-res, but the text should at least be legible.
I will put these in a list in chronological order, and as I translate them I will post them on the blog. If you send me more than 1 pattern to translate I will translate one first and put the other pattern on the back of the list so that it is fair for everyone. I have also received some requests for text translations of parts of a book which are not for a specific pattern. Please understand that I reject these requests as I don’t have time to translate entire pages of instructions.
I also get some requests via comments and facebook messages that I may have overlooked, so if I did not reply you, please email me with the image+request to my email (as above) so that I can get back to you.
Last but not least, I do not offer free translation help for pirated patterns. That is, those that have been downloaded from websites for free, or even scanned versions you may have bought online. You can read more about my views on that here.
Important announcement! (posted 28th November 2014)
Due to family commitments, I will not be able to take on any full pattern translations for the next few months. By that I mean translating a full sewing pattern from beginning to end, including translating individual diagrams. I will still be able to help out with translating terms and small portions of the instructions if you get stuck anywhere. Or anything I can answer quickly via email (japanesesewingbooks at gmail.com). I hope that by March/April I will be able to find more time to do the full translation requests as I know it is frustrating to get stuck while sewing!