About Me

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….

Affiliate Links

Many of you have emailed me when you see a book on my website and want to know where to buy it. When it’s possible I include a link to purchase the books directly. Some of these are linked to Amazon.com (mostly the English versions as well as some Japanese versions sold by third party sellers on Amazon Marketplance). JapaneseSewingBooks.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. What this means is that I earn a small commission from Amazon when you purchase the item through my link. You pay the same amount as listed on Amazon whether or not you clicked through using my link, but if you did, you will be contributing to the upkeep of this site.

For Japanese books, I also have affiliate links to an online store called cdjapan.co.jp where you can buy them direct from Japan. I have purchased from cdjapan many times and I must say that they are reliable and responsive and ship internationally.

There are other options out there for purchasing the books, 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.

Translation Requests
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 only be able to translate one pattern at a time. Not entire books. Believe me I have received such requests before. This is not a free translation service 🙂 If you have more than one pattern, please understand that I may only be able to help you with one so as to be fair to the other readers who are waiting in line.

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


  • Reply Alyson Ray February 17, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Hi! I love Japanese sewing books too! So glad I found your blog! I have a small fabric store in Alabama. I would love to carry some of these books. Do you have a source? Thank you. Happy sewing

    • Reply admin February 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Hi Alyson, Thanks for dropping by! I’ve sent you an email regarding the books. See you around! 🙂

  • Reply Valentina February 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    hi! Happy to meet you!

    • Reply admin February 22, 2012 at 12:28 am

      Hi Valentina,
      Nice to meet you too 🙂 Hope you like my site!

  • Reply Alice April 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Hello Yifarn! I am so happy to have found this wonderful resource, as I love Japanese patterns books and Japanese fabrics too. Your site is also easy to read and navigate, everything is so easy to find, well done! Blogging can be hard work for busy people, I hope you will keep it up because I think it will soon be very rewarding for you. Japanese patterns and style is growing in popularity and once people find your blog you will have lots and lots of followers!
    I have put Pochee 2010 spring on my site too because I love those shirts! My favorite is that violet one you might make next, would love to see how it turns out! I don’t have the book yet, but how I crave it….
    All the free site links and how to use are so great too!
    Thanks so much for this =0)
    – Alice

    • Reply admin April 2, 2012 at 1:11 am

      Hi Alice! Thanks for the compliments. Yup it is hard work but I enjoy it because I still have lots of books to review as I seem to be buying faster than I can read/sew/review! 🙂
      I just bought some purple linen from fabric.com. It’s still a little stiff now so I’m letting it go through the washer n dryer for a few runs. Apparently that’s supposed to help. My patterns for the purple shirt has all been cut out and standing by. Just waiting for the linen to soften up. Will post when I’m done with it!

  • Reply LiEr April 11, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Hi Yifarn! I just found your blog via HowAboutOrange and thought I MUST come and say hello to a fellow Singaporean! I live in the US now, but I grew up there. I don’t use patterns in my sewing, so I don’t read Japanese pattern books but I do own and love Japanese soft toy books, particularly those by Terumi Otaka. The ones I have are in English, but if I ever pick up a Japanese one, I’ll come back to your site for help. Thank you for the work you do!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books April 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Li Er (did I guess your name right?) I hope I did 🙂 Great to meet a fellow Singaporean! Do you miss the food? 😉 I’m glad you like my site. If you do pick up a book and need any help with the patterns, let me know! I’ll try my best to help.

  • Reply Camilla April 11, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Just as LiEr I’ve just found your blog through HAO, and Im thrilled! I’ve bought some Japanese pattern books, and I love the style.
    Subscibing to your blog right away!

  • Reply Cindy May 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Yifarn,
    So happy to find you blog yesterday. Your posting of the language translation from Japanese to English was a great help, especially for the fabrics. I have printed them out and paste it on my sewing notebook for reference. Thank you 🙂
    I have liked your facebook too.
    – Cindy

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books May 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Cindy, glad it was useful to you 🙂 I do update it once in a while so do check back once in a while for updated list of translated terms.

  • Reply Dacarrot May 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm


    I already own some Japanese sewing books, but am still missing nice fabric. We recently moved here and apart from “spotlight” at plaza singapura I haven’t found a nice fabric store. (specially with Japanese fabric?)
    Any hints?

    Thank you!!!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books June 1, 2012 at 12:03 am

      Hi Dacarrot 🙂 You can go to Chinatown. It’s a little confusing the first time you go, because there are a few buildings there and everybody refers to the place in general as People’s Park. But the fabric stores are mainly on the second floor, right above the food/hawker centre. There are a few shops here selling Japanese fabrics, and one in particular that I’ve discovered is Malin Textiles. They have a few shops scattered within the second floor. And the fabrics they have include linen, cotton linen, double gauze, character prints (more of Sanrio ones as they are more popular). Quite a large selection. There are also a few shops across the road in the shopping mall (People’s Park Centre) with more Japanese fabrics. They are rather expensive though. A metre of normal cotton print can range from SGD18 to about $25 for special prints (like Puti de pome) and I think about $30 or more for the Sanrio ones. You should check it out!

  • Reply DaCarrot June 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Thank You!!!
    I’ll check it out next week (before my daughter is on summer break and would want me to buy way more fabric than we need).

  • Reply Gaye July 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Wow, it’s great to know there’s a fellow Singaporean who loves to sew from Japanese books too and wat a valuable resource you are providing! Great stuff

  • Reply Gaye July 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Yifarn hi,

    I am so happy to have found your blog. I love sewing too, i am a big fan of the Japanese pattern books. I like the simple designs so I am really glad to find you because u can read Japanese! I dun know how many times I get stuck because I dun know what the instructions say! I usually just make a guess. 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Hi! It’s funny because I can kind of read Japanese but not everything makes sense to me if you know what I mean? It’s like knowing the alphabet but not knowing enough words to understand the language completely. But at least I can input it and look it up in a dictionary which is sometimes slow going but still good enough to figure things out 🙂 Partly because I was spending so much time figuring it out that I was afraid I would forget what I’ve learnt, and so I decided to jot it down in a blog, so everybody learns at the same time.
      Well, let me know if you get stuck again, we can figure it out together 🙂

  • Reply Anna July 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Yifarn, I found out your website while searching for SOEN magazine online. How glad I am to find your site instead. Not only it explains things, you do things so brilliantly sometimes it’s just nice to browse through your finished work!
    Thank you for sharing and keep on going, please 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Anna! I will keep going! 🙂

  • Reply regina tang July 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Hi, I’m from Johor Bahru. I like your site so much & it’s so useful. I get interested in sewing recently. I wonder where you can get nice cotton fabric in Singapore? Thank you for your information.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Regina, There are a few places you can go such as Chinatown (People’s Park centre as well as the second floor of People’s Park Food Centre which is just across the road), Arab street, Spotlight (in Plaza Singapura). Are there any specific brands or designer fabrics you are looking for?

  • Reply Leigh August 30, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Loving your blog! I joined in with your bag stitch along and loved it. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to try the balloon dress 🙁
    I’m in the UK but we’re visiting Singapore next month to see some friends… Can’t wait!!! I saw your other comments about fabric shops in Chinatown. Just wondering if there are any other places you would recommend for general crafts, books etc
    Cheers xx

  • Reply Japanese Sewing Books August 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Hi Leigh,

    The best place for books is at Kinokuniya, it’s a huge Japanese bookshop with lots of Japanese (and English) craft books. It’s located at Ngee Ann City on Orchard Road which is the main shopping belt. If you need more directions let me know and I’ll email you!

    For fabrics, you can go to both Chinatown and Arab Street. But note that most places open pretty late. I have been meaning to write up a post with pictures on the places to shop since I get quite a number of emails and people asking me. So I hope I can get that out soon before your trip!

  • Reply Karen October 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Yifarn! Great blog and so useful! I just opened an online fabric store in Toronto, Canada called Fabric Spot (www.myfabricspot.com). I’d like to carry Japanese pattern books/magazines. Do you have any idea as to have I can get them at wholesale prices? Thanks for your time!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Hi Karen, I wish I knew too! If I find out I will be sure to let you know 🙂

  • Reply Meili October 14, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Hi Yifarn! I found your blog via HowAboutOrange. I’m also a Singaporean but I am living now in Belgium. I also love the simplicity and elegance of japanese patterns. I would also like to sew for my girls. Have you come across any books for boys? Hopefully I can meet up with you when I’m back in Singapore. Thanks for all your reviews!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Hi! I’m sorry I took so long to reply, this was stuck in the spam queue! I don’t know how, but sometimes these spam filters are not very reliable. Anyway, I have reviewed a number of kids books and magazines that have both boys and girls sewing patterns. But I don’t have any specifically for boys, although I have seen them in the store. (I don’t know what I can do with them if I bought them because I have no boys! :P) but you can try the magazines like Cucito and Cotton friend because they usually have patterns for both boys and girls, plus they are cheaper than the books so it’s great to start with them.

  • Reply Monica December 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I’m so glad I have found your blog!! I love sewing from Japanese craft books and even though I don’t understand anything but the pictures, I still manage to make the sweetest clothes for my daughter. I’m looking forward to popping by every week to see what is new and I can’t wait to join in your next sew-along 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books December 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks Monica! And you know what? A Sew-along is coming soon!

  • Reply Mable December 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Hi, I just found out about this blog not too long ago. I love Japanese sewing books. Please keep up the good work.

    I would like to know how you created/purchased those cute “Handmade” labels on your creations. I would like to put my signature stamp on my creations also. 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books December 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Mable, I bought them from a sewing supplies shop called Sing Mui Heng in Singapore. If I’m not wrong it’s from Japan. There are various designs within one roll and it’s sold by the meter.

  • Reply yuki January 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    hi.. so happy that i found your blog. 🙂
    currently staying in singapore, hope will be able to stay here longer.. thanks for the information for the places that sell fabrics. will make a plan for fabric hunting soon. lol

  • Reply Sandra Aguilar January 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I’m from Spain and I found this spot by chance. I was just looking for some japanese patters so I discovered your blog. It’s awesome !!
    I only have a problem, It’s a little expensive for me to get some japanese books or magazines because we are far away each other but any way the blog is pretty useful and I’ll try to settle for some free patterns you upload.
    Thank you so much.

  • Reply Judy Nagy January 26, 2013 at 12:56 am

    I have been looking for patterns for Japanese aprons and work clothes. I find them beautiful in their simplicity and functional. Can you point me in the right direction to find them? Preferably some free downloads. I also have twin grandsons, who live with us. I would love to sew some clothes for them, but find that available patterns are not very attractive and fit poorly. I’ll be following your blog now that I found it. I find your pieces beautiful. LOVE IT!


    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 26, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Judy, you are in luck because some free apron patterns are coming soon. Unfortunately as I have no boys I don’t usually make boys clothes 😛 but down the road there will be some pants patterns for both boys and girls.

  • Reply Norah Ho January 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Yifarn. I intend to purchase some books from cdjapan, shipping by SAL (non-registered) since it’s the cheapest. But this is the first time I buy something from them so I’d like to ask if SAL is a safe choice. Which shipping option do you usually choose and any recommendation for this? Was any of your order not delivered so far? Your advise will be very helpful for me since I stay in S’pore as well 🙂 Thank you in advance. Nice day!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Hi Norah, If you are staying in Singapore, why don’t you order from Kinokuniya bookweb? Even if the titles are not in stock they will order it from you from their Japanese suppliers. As for cdjapan shipping, I can’t remember which option I chose but as a rule I never choose non-registered mail because it is always better to have a reference in case it goes missing, which may or may not be the fault of the merchant. My orders have always come through so they are reliable but seriously for Japanese books in Singapore it should be cheaper to get them from Kinokuniya. What book are you getting?

      • Reply Norah Ho January 31, 2013 at 10:01 am

        Hi Yifarn, thanks for the fast reply. I intend to get Tsukiori Yoshiko’s wedding dress book (sounds fun, right? :D) plus Kurai Muki’s Lalala2. I can’t find the first book at Kino, that’s why I intend to order from cdjapan. Thanks to your advice, I’ll contact Kino to ask if they can order for me. Have a nice day! Looking forward for your next project!

  • Reply Norah Ho March 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Yifarn,
    I wish to participate in the Nani Iro giveaway and have done all the 5 things + leave a comment. But my comment doesn’t appear in the list and it’s not the first time I leave a comment. So could I write the comment again? Thank you.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books March 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      Hi Norah,
      Don’t worry, the comment was found in the spam folder. The spam filter is not 100% accurate so it happens. I do check through once every few days to make sure there are no legitimate comments in there. Good luck! 🙂

  • Reply Jenn April 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    So I bought this pattern:

    Simple Dress Pattern from Japanese Craft Book, PDF format
    …and I’m looking for the translation to english. Do you think you’d have time to help? I appreciate it! Thank you!


  • Reply Jenn April 20, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Here’s a pic of the exact dress

  • Reply Annette Hagel May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Hi there,i so love your blog.I adore the japanese sewing books and the fabrics. i would so love to know how to order them…//or how to find a good place to order from.I live in New zealand.annette

  • Reply Annette Hagel May 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Hi there,I so love your site and would really love to purchase some of the books,magazines and fabrics.Can you please email me (i know you are very busy) and tell me where i can order from.Thankyou,Annette

  • Reply online gossip June 8, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to start
    my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
    for something unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had
    to ask!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books June 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Hi, I’m using wordpress.

  • Reply lathelize June 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Thank you for your site! I’m definitively a fan of japanese sewing books even though I live in France and I can’t read japanese.

  • Reply Sherie Rodrigues July 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Yifarn, I wanted to let you know how wonderful I think you are for sharing your time to translate for all the addicts of Japanese sewing patterns that can’t read Japanese, yet. I just found your site by accident, but i will be coming by often, talk to you again soon. Thinking of you and your family.Sherie from Australia

  • Reply Norah Ho July 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Yifarn. I’ve just ordered books from cdjapan and this is my first time. The site says that apart from the cost of the books and shipping fee, I may have to pay tax when the books arrive in Singapore. May I ask if you had to pay tax when your books arrived and was it significantly pricey? Thanks Yifarn.

    Beside the questions above, I wanna take this opportunity to say thank you. My deepest thank. Your blog is where my sewing adventure begins and the experience is just wonderful. I’m still schooling hence not much time for sewing, but so far I’ve sewn up a skirt & a dress for my 7 yr-old sis, a blouse & pants for my mom and am making a bag for my boyfriend (well, not much time for sewing but plenty of time to browse books at Kinokuniya lol :D).
    What you’ve done here is simply wonderful and so much inspirational. Wish you and your family all the best, especially good health for you so we can have new posts every week! 😀

  • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Norah,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I started it to document my own sewing+book addiction and lessons learnt so it’s really nice to know that someone like you has actually felt inspired by my blog and fell in love with sewing 🙂

    As for the cdjapan tax issue, it is just a general statement for all international shipments.
    Different countries have different tax and duties so they are just saying it is up to the customer to be aware that there may be extra taxes imposed by their customs.

    For Singapore, GST only applies if your total amount exceeds SG$400. The same applies to all overseas online shopping and not just cdjapan. I had no problems with taxes on my cdjapan order, it was just delivered to me as usual. Hope that answers your question!

    • Reply Norah Ho July 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you for your answer. Now I’ll patiently wait for my order to arrive. 😀

  • Reply Norah Ho August 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Yifarn, may I know where you buy Sevenberries fabrics? Is it from rakuten? I can’t find this company’s website, or maybe they don’t have one?
    Just saw the strawberry caps you made. They’re really cute. 🙂 Happy National Day and have a nice (and long) weekend! :p

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books August 16, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Malin textile at People’s Park sells a selection of sevenberry fabrics. For a wider selection you might have to purchase from Rakuten. But since you are located in Singapore I suggest you drop by Malin first to take a look? You can refer to my post here on how to find them – http://wp.me/p39BRD-uQ

  • Reply Norah Ho October 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Yifarn, may I know where you buy knit fabrics with prints in Singapore other than Spotlight and Malin textile? I notice that Malin textile carries knit fabrics but mostly in solid colour. Thank you. 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

      Hi Norah,

      I have not been successful in finding nice knit prints in Singapore. Spotlight is expensive and not very nice selection. I have bought some online (Etsy) and the rest of my knits are all bought from Japan. Sorry I can’t really help there, but if you do find a great source, let me know too! 🙂

      • Reply Norah Ho October 11, 2013 at 1:30 am

        Yeah I agree that it’s really hard to find knit in nice prints here. Is there any Etsy shop you would recommend to buy knit? 🙂 Yup in the future if I happen to know any good source, I’ll let you know.

  • Reply Nancy Yang December 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Hello Yifarn! I managed to stumble upon your blog and I just want to say I absolutely love it! I myself adore sewing, especially the Japanese style one pieces! They are absolutely adorable. My mother managed to purchase feminine wardrobe for me at the craft store and I was so happy. As a young sewer I really want to make clothes that appeal to me and describe who I am and these books are hands down what I’ve always been looking for! I will now always look forward in your posts of new sewing books!

  • Reply Josie R Brennan December 29, 2013 at 4:12 am

    Lovely to discover you…I just saw one your tutorials and fell in utter amazement!

    Keep doing what you are doing….it’s Art!

    New Friend,

  • Reply Milo January 1, 2014 at 4:18 am

    Hello Yifarn,
    this is a fantastic site! searching for patterns on the web i had come across several Japanese sewing books but glossed over knowing more about them or using them since the language barrier seemed like an issue. I have since rethought this due to your site! (and perhaps the many years of Japanese i took) I’m looking forward to reading more on your site but i did have a question. I saw you had reviewed a book on men’s shirts, i have only found a small handful of books that offer menswear or patterns for men, i was wondering if you had other sources / sites/ publishers i could check, or if had any recommendations?

    thanks you!


    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 2, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Hi Milo! Yes there are not that many books on menswear, and I must confess I rely on Amazon’s recommendations. If you follow this link (http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4579111109/ref=rdr_ext_tmb) to the Men’s shirt book, you can see a number of Menswear sewing book recommendations under “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”. There are coats, pants, shirts, even Men’s work apron books. Hope you find something interesting there!

  • Reply Milo January 3, 2014 at 4:58 am

    THANK YOU! Using the link i was able to find some other books. although it was difficult to know what exactly each book contained (Google translate only helps a little on this) matching up the photos of the covers from searches on the YES ASIA site (which i believe you also recommended here somewhere…) rendered great results and better explanations. Thanks again, your website has been indispensable!

  • Reply Mika Pettyfer January 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Yifarn
    I am thankful to find you who is familiar with Japanese sewing book. I am a novice in sewing. Recently, I bought Happy Homemade Sew Chic by Yoshiko Tsukiori with 20 simple everyday designs. I thought it came with 20 individual pattern sheets instead only 2 pattern sheets with multi pattern in one sheets front & reverse side. When I have picked the design that I wanted to sew I couldn’t find the pattern that I want.
    Iinstructions hiow to sew the piece is clear but no instructions to refer pattern sheets.
    I hope u can enlighten me. Thanks.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 13, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Hi Mika,
      First of all, the garments are referred to in alphabets. So for example, if you are sewing (I am referring to the actual book here) D – Blouse with Front Tucks, you need to do the following.

      1. Refer to the “how-to-make” page which is on page 37.
      2. Locate the LAYOUT diagram (on the bottom right hand corner)
      3. On the LAYOUT diagram, it shows you all the pattern pieces you need to trace – 1 front, 1 back, 1 sleeve
      4. Take out the pattern pieces from the pocket and locate the 3 pieces above. They are scattered across the different pattern sheets.
      Pattern sheet 1 has E – SLEEVE
      Pattern sheet 2 has E – BACK
      Pattern sheet 3 has E – FRONT
      5. Locate these patterns and trace them out along the size you want to make.
      6. Add on seam allowances (as indicated in details in the LAYOUT diagram on page 37)
      7. Cut out the patterns, lay them on your cloth, transfer the outline to fabric using chalk, then cut out the fabric for sewing.

      I hope that helps! I know it may be confusing but it is the norm for them to overlay patterns on top of each other, uses less paper and keeps the book thinner 😛
      Yi Farn

  • Reply Marilyn January 14, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Thank you for the apron pattern. It is a wonderful design. I printed off the adult pattern pdf and my pages 3 and 4 look different from the assembled one on the web page. Am I not looking at it properly? Please help when you get a chance. Thanks.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 14, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Hi, I just checked the PDF link, it does correspond to the layout diagram on the web page. The adult layout diagram is the one with 16 pieces of paper (below) and not 9 pieces. Page 3 should be the top of the apron strap, which needs to be joined to the top dotted line on the pattern on page 4.

      • Reply Marilyn January 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm

        Thanks for checking. I will print those pages off again. I am going to make the apron this weekend! Thanks again for your generosity.

  • Reply Fenglin January 25, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Hi! I chanced upon your site and am really inspired by your passion for sewing. The clothes look especially cute! Curious to find out what would a beginner like me need to have to start exploring how to sew? What kind of sewing machine would you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 27, 2014 at 8:54 am

      Hi Fenglin, Your choice of machine really depends on your budget and what you want to sew. For simple garment sewing with the usual cottons a very basic model will do. I used a very basic Brother model for years till it could not cope with the things I wanted to sew, like bags and wallets which needed the machine to deal with thicker layers. For me, I don’t really care about the number of stitches or computerized functions, I just need it to be reliable. I haven’t tried many machines but Janome is a good brand to start with since I’ve been using it for a couple of years. Brother is cheap and easily available but the build quality is not so great. Another tip is the build and weight of the machine. My Janome machine (an old mechanical model) is solid and the base is heavy (mostly made of metal), but my Brother was plastic, very light and shifts around easily. Shopping for a sewing machine is like shopping for a car, you have to do a test drive 😛

  • Reply Fenglin January 27, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks Yifarn for the tips! Will go around looking for a suitable one 🙂 Happy New Year!

  • Reply Verica Tofilovski March 16, 2014 at 6:52 am

    This is heaven to my eyes and soul.Simple live it!!!! I like simple and basic stuff. Geeat to know that you exist!!!!someone who is interesting and love the same things.im your biggest fan!!!
    Verica xoxoxoxo i <3 your creations

  • Reply Ana March 26, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Hello!!! i am glad that i found this blog! Iam a sewing beginner and a japonese student! So it tells me that i’m gonna visit your blog many times! Thank you

  • Reply Ly March 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I’m so glad I found this blog! I love Japanese pattern books and actually have one but just to drool over the dresses, but now with you website I might be able to figure out one of the patterns! Thank you for spending your time on this.

  • Reply Teri C. April 9, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Hi! I really enjoy your blog and the wealth of information it provides. I was wondering if you knew if it were ok to sell clothes made from Japanese pattern books in small quantities on etsy? I have googled around for the answer and can’t find any information. I’d love to make some for others to enjoy but only if it’s permissible by the designers. Thanks for your time!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books April 9, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Hi Teri,
      The copyright information on the last page usually includes this information, in fine print, and differs from book to book. I flipped through a few, some only mention not to reproduce the patterns, some go to the extent of claiming rights on all designs and forbidding sale of the items made using the patterns inside the book. So there’s no hard and fast rule. It really depends on the designer’s wishes. So depending on the book or design you are making from, you have to look into those books and see what they say specifically about it.

  • Reply Teri C. April 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for taking the time Yifarn 🙂 I will ask a friend to translate these on the books I have. I want to be able to list the pattern source and not infringe on anyone’s intillectual property.

  • Reply Irene April 13, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Hi Yifarn, are there any fabric shops in Singapore that sell silk

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books April 14, 2014 at 9:21 am

      Hi Irene,
      I have seen them in Spotlight but very expensive, you can try Arab street and People’s Park too, there are lots of silk fabrics there too but you may have to hunt down for a good bargain. I know they sell it there but I’m not sure which shops offer the best range or price. 😛 I actually buy mine online from fabric.com.

  • Reply Namita April 21, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Hi, I am in Singapore next week from the uk and wondered where I might buy some nani iro from. I am hoping it’s less expensive than the uk. Do you know roughly what price it is per metre? Thank you! 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books April 21, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Hi Namita,
      I don’t know of any places in Singapore that stock nani IRO. I buy mine during trips to Japan and online. Online sources especially those direct from Japan are cheaper if you get one with reasonable shipping rates.

  • Reply Namita April 22, 2014 at 5:42 am

    Thank you!!!!

  • Reply Monica May 13, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Hi! I really like your website! I would like to know what are your favorite books and magazines. There are so many to choose from!
    Thank you.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books May 14, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Wow, I have too many to list, here are some on the top of my list
      1. Magazines – Cucito for kids, Female (no more in publication) for adults
      2. Books – in terms of design style, anything by 月居良子 yoshiko tsukiori, for sewing instructions I like Kurai Muki books for clear instructions.

  • Reply Translation Request – Nina » Japanese Sewing, Pattern, Craft Books and Fabrics May 15, 2014 at 10:54 am

    […] For those of you who are interested in sending me translation requests, please read this first. […]

  • Reply Jules May 27, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Hi Yifarn, I found your site as I was looking for the perfect wrap apron pattern- and you have it!! I had fun making it and am thrilled to have discovered you. I’ve added you to my Bloglovin list of blogs where I just posted pix of myself wearing my new apron on my blog. I also posted your link.- Jules Means
    Cheers from Massachusetts in USA 🙂

  • Reply Theresa June 15, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Yifarn!
    We (my partner in crime, Jenna, and I) just opened a sewing studio in April here in lovely downtown Colorado Springs. I would LOVE to teach this as a class this summer. Would it be possible to use your photo to advertise the class? We will not sell the pattern, we’re just teaching techniques. You would have all the proper credits and oodles of praise, of course.
    I’ve been searching for the perfect pattern, so excited to have found your site! Happiest of days to you and thank you for taking the time to answer. 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books June 24, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Hi Theresa,
      Sorry for the late reply as I just got back from a holiday. You can use any of the free patterns and tutorials on my site in your class as long as the watermarks remain intact and proper credit to the blog (and myself 🙂 ) is given. Which pattern were you thinking of using by the way? Thanks for asking! 🙂
      Yi Farn

  • Reply Sandy July 11, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Hi, my daughter and I are trying to understand the techniques for making your necklace in which the beads are actually cloth. Can you advise me further, I am unable to see this well enough. Thank you, I found your site watching the double zipped purse. I enjoyed your video and teaching skills, Many blessings.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 17, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Hi Sandy, Sorry, I don’t remember making a necklace with cloth beads 🙂 Which pattern are you referring to?

      • Reply Sandy July 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

        “cute cord rolls in the shapes of macaroons” the necklace shows being made of cloth and the rolls look they are filled with maybe more cloth or even a small ball?
        I have made a few of your double zip pouches, love them, love sewing! amazing so far away from us but with your tutorials seem so close, thanks 🙂

  • Reply YM July 17, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Yifarn,
    I’m so glad to stumble upon a fellow Singaporean’s sewing blog when searching for a qipao pattern. I’ll be sewing your modified pattern (with gathered skirt) for my daughter’s racial harmony day next Monday. A little late for the novice seamstress, but I sure hope I can make it!

    Your sewing book reviews are superb! I’ll be ordering Sew Chic Kids soon 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 18, 2014 at 9:46 am

      Hi YM!
      Wonderful to meet another sewing Mummy in Singapore 🙂 Not many of us here 😛 My daughter’s kindy is celebrating Racial harmony today, so she went of in one of the modified qipao dresses (with gathered skirt) I made for CNY, too lazy to make a new one and luckily she could still fit into it after half a year!

      • Reply YM July 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm

        Yep, not many of us in Singapore! We should try and meet up for fabric shopping and tea one day… I’m also a big fan of Lier’s blog.

        I made my qipao dress just in time, and posted it on the flickr group.
        Didn’t know aligning frog buttons can be such a challenge! *sweat*

  • Reply Catherine July 28, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Hi! I was wondering if you could tell us a little more about yourself in “About me”.
    Where do you live? What is your main occupation? Have you studied something related to sewing, translating or design/web design? Why did you decide to start a blog?

  • Reply Cy August 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I’m looking for a sewing pattern for men’s kubata (short style). Any ideas on how to find them?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books August 7, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Hi Cy,
      I’m not sure what a men’s kubata is, do you have link to an online image that I can refer to?

  • Reply Rachel August 8, 2014 at 12:46 am

    on your post on 4/19/13, you showed the fabric of the Madeline character. Do you know where it can be ordered from an english website? I went to the link but having a bit of trouble understanding.



    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books August 20, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Hi Rachel,

      Unfortunately these are made by Japanese fabric manufacturers and doesn’t seem to be sold overseas. You can try a shopping service like Tenso (http://www.tenso.com/en/agent/index.html)
      I have only used their shipping forwarding service but not this particular shopping service so I can’t say how good it is. It seems that they can purchase on your behalf if you have difficulty understanding the language. Do note that fees are applicable, and no I don’t get a commission from them 🙂 I just heard of them through shopping on Rakuten.
      If you google you should also find other Japan shopping services other than Tenso, but I guess that will mean the fabric will end up being very expensive so it’s something you should do only if you really really want it!

  • Reply Libbie August 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I found your site and can’t get enough! I’m very interested in some of the books, but have not been very successful! Where and how could I get the English version or translation of The Best Dresses and the MayMe Style Ladies Wear. I have tried to find them on Amazon ( USA) and don’t find either of these on that site. I looked at amazonjp and it is all in kanji, so I am lost! Can I purchase the books through you?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books August 20, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Hi Libbie,

      There are no translations for these books yet, as they are pretty new. So you won’t be able to find it on Amazon US. I usually purchase them locally or amazon.co.jp. The description is in kanji, but as long as you are sure you have the right book based on the cover design and ISBN number, the checkout process is entirely in English, very similar to the US site.
      Many years ago when I first bought books I had to enter everything in Japanese and that was quite slow going, but recently they can detect your location and automatically switch to english on the checkout process, so it was pain free 🙂

      The other source is Etsy, JapanLovelyCrafts sells many Japanese sewing books from her store and she ships directly from Japan.

  • Reply Mizue August 22, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I am Japanese who took a dress making major in college. I did not sew over 20 years and now I live in the US and am back to love sewing.
    So happy to find your page. Its very lovely and refreshes my sewing memories. Looking forwards to your updates.

  • Reply Kareen October 22, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Hi Yifarn, I’m so glad I found your blog just by googling. I’ve read many of your reviews and have purchased 5 books from your list. I don’t think I would have bought those books if it wasn’t for your reviews. I find that your blog is very helpful! I just want to say thank you and good luck with all your good work! Blessings.

  • Reply Mel November 3, 2014 at 12:02 am

    I know you answered a previous question similar to this, but I was wondering about your wallet pattern on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO-JXqhZiFc I wanted to know if I were to make them, sell them with the link in the description so that it’s more I’m selling made version with the fabric that I have (some of my fabrics are from the early 90’s hehe bright weird fabrics I’ve not seen anywhere) would that be allowed? If not that’s cool I’m still going to make myself one because I don’t have a wallet anymore and I hate a lot of wallets but this one I love!!!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books November 4, 2014 at 8:17 am

      Hi Mel, Sure you can sell them as long as you give credit and link up to my pattern. 🙂

  • Reply Celine November 7, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Yifarn, I am so happy that I find your wonderful website. I am a mom with one little cute baby girl who is also my Muses for design children’s clothes. I found so many fabulous sewing book on your website and already ordered them at cdJapan. Just working on my website for my children clothes brand Noble Icône, hope I could be your sponsor later because you did such a great job. Just to say Hi and GANGBADE to you, Have a nice day!

  • Reply Sher December 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Hi YiFarn,

    Love your blog with all things Japanese inspired! I am so happy to have found you as I am a mom who dun kno how to sew..hee!

    Looking forward to start my learning journey with you ;))

  • Reply Miriam January 9, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Dear yifarn,
    I am so happy to find you lovely blog today. Thank you for sharing your great work! 🙂
    I have added your blog to my favourite blogroll and I liked your Facebook’s page too.


  • Reply maichette # 1: Komon (小紋) pochette January 20, 2015 at 1:23 am

    […] ispirandosi ai tutorial di yifarn è semplicemente un piacere: sono incantevoli, chiari e precisi nelle […]

  • Reply maichette # 1la : Komon (小紋) pochette January 20, 2015 at 4:11 am

    […] ispirandosi ai tutorial di yifarn è semplicemente un piacere: sono incantevoli, chiari e precisi nelle […]

  • Reply Zee February 16, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Hello Yifarn!

    Stumble on your blog and I must say its a great blog to read. Do you have any classes?


  • Reply Patricia February 26, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Hi, where can I get a copy of this magazine in Singapore? what is the latest magazine to date.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books February 26, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Hi Patricia, Which magazine are you referring to?

  • Reply Anne Samuel March 5, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Hello Yifarn,
    I absolutely love your web site.
    I am new to the sewing world and as a beginner, was wondering if there are any Japanese patterns that I could tackle.

    Thanks for sharing 😀


  • Reply Nadya March 6, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Hi! I’m wondering, where did you get the seersucker fabric (saw it in one of your posts) in Singapore? I went to Arab st but they didn’t have any.

    Thank you! 🙂

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books March 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Nadya, that fabric must have been more than 5 years old 🙂 I bought it from Spotlight if I remember correctly. But that was so long ago I’m not sure if they still have it.

  • Reply Dash April 2, 2015 at 4:50 pm


    I am a wholesaler of fabrics in Singapore. My office is in blk 994 bendemeer road #05-07. We have a really wide range of cotton prints and all kinds of fabrics from linen to knits and laces as well from japan, Korea and Europe. At the office you could ask for myself Dasmesh. The rest wouldn’t give you small quantities as we usually sell in rolls, so you could approach me directly and can make exceptions :).

  • Reply Joan June 30, 2015 at 11:18 am

    hi there…can you please help me? i want to download some patterns from cotoro.net but I dont know which is the download button. please help. thank you in advance. I’m so inspired by you.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 20, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Hi Joan, From what I see, you just have to look for 無料型紙ダウンロード (where 無料型紙 – means free pattern and ダウンロード – means download)
      She usually displays a small scale image of the pattern, just click on it will bring you to the actual size jpg. There is no button.

  • Reply Michelle August 13, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I just want to thank you for sharing your time and expertise with all of us. It is very generous of you!!! I love japanese fabrics and sewing books so much and on a recent trip to japan, but about 10 books, and too too much fabric. our small company makes bags with coated fabrics. Have a look if you are interested: http://www.poisalaligne.fr

    from a self-confessed fabricaholic!!


    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books August 13, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      Hi Michelle, you can never have too too much fabric ;P

  • Reply Elaine September 4, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Yifarn! I was on Pinterest and saw a pin of an apron with cross straps on the back. The address for the pattern led me to you. Would it be possible to get the pattern from you? I really love Japanese sewing patterns, but it has been difficult finding the books/patterns. I would appreciate any assistance or advice you have to offer.

  • Reply CJ September 22, 2015 at 11:38 am

    So happy to have run across your website. You have really helped with the language barrier of sewing in Japan. Thanks!

    Please keep up the good work!

    Much appreciation


  • Reply Brenda December 3, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I wonder, do you have any preferred model in regards to sewing machine? Please share your thoughts (maybe a blog post if possible?). Love to hear from you soon.

    Thank you.

  • Reply Laura May 6, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Hi, just wanted to let you know that I have referenced and linked to your great site. The link is here:

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books May 17, 2016 at 8:03 am

      Hi Laura, Awesome thanks! Your silk top looks beautiful! 🙂

  • Reply Risma June 18, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Hi Yifarn, i’m so lucky and exited to find your website >_<, i like japanese sewing book too ;D
    can i ask you? do you have reference book sewing or website for forest (mori) girl style?
    I like mori style and i want to sewing it by my self.
    Thank's before 😀

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books June 24, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Hi Risma, I found a number of look books (for styling) for mori girl (search term in Japanese is 森ガール) but no one particular book with sewing patterns. There were a few sewing blogs that had pictures on their own take on mori girl style, and it’s mostly adapting the tunics/dresses found in the usual sewing books but accessorizing for mori style? Maybe you can look at pinterest for reference using this keyword 森ガール?

  • Reply jemal June 27, 2016 at 1:55 am

    Is there any way you can stop these lovely pattern books being sold illegally as PDF files on etsy?

  • Reply Debbie June 28, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Hi Yifarn, I just wanted to say I’m so pleased I found your wonderful website. Thank you so much. I’ve got the Japanese sewing bug too and in the past reviewed the Sweet Dress Book on amazon. The Japanese style informs western styles sometimes too – I just made a Burda toile for a leather waistcoat in Toile de Jouy linen with a shot silk lining. It’s got soft but structured cap sleeves – I like it so much that I’m not going to bother with the leather version. Thanks again for this inspirational blog.

  • Reply New Releases for Japanese Sewing Books ad Magazines October 2016 | Japanese Sewing, Pattern, Craft Books and Fabrics October 29, 2016 at 7:45 am

    […] bookstore. You can also choose to buy them by clicking the links n my blog post. These are affiliate links to CDJapan, my usual source for Japanese sewing books! Happy […]

  • Reply New Releases of Japanese Sewing Books and Magazines – January to March 2017 | Japanese Sewing, Pattern, Craft Books and Fabrics February 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    […] And another important announcement. I will be accepting Translation Requests once again! Which means you will be able to send me your terms/patterns for translation. If you are new to my blog and have no idea how to submit your request, please read the following page. […]

  • Reply Dilek February 21, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Beautiful patterns.
    I loved it.

  • Reply CLAUDIA March 10, 2017 at 12:21 pm


  • Reply Rainfall June 6, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I love these books very much! Where can I find these sources?

  • Reply Tracy July 2, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Hello Yifarn and lovely sewists. I have flipped through several of these beautiful books, but haven’t really been able to settle on patterns that would cater more toward those awkward tween years of not cute little girl styles, but also not 20-something professional styles? American size Girls 12-14, Ladies 0-2 ? Any thoughts from those with much more experience than I? Thanks much!

  • Reply Johanna Jonasson November 1, 2017 at 8:42 pm


    I just ordered my first two japanese sewing books off Etsy and I’m loving them already before receiving them haha. The style of clothing is so awesome and minimalistic, I feel like it can probably be personalized endlessly! So happy to see someone made a site like this. I do hope you still hang around and still update! I can see the first comment is from 2012, so… 🙂

    Much love from Sweden!

  • Reply Mrs Yeo February 11, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Hello Yi Farn
    I enjoyed reading your blog especially your review on the various Japanese books, some of which I had bought through cdjp i have a problem – I fit size 15 and unfortunately, most of the paper
    patterns stop at size 13. Would appreciate you advice on how to alter size 13 into size 15, if it is possible! Thank you

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