Magazine review – Sewing Pochee Spring 2014

It’s time for Spring sewing! With Sewing Pochee magazine vol.17.


Main feature of this issue – Dresses and Tunics. Other than sewing for adults, there are also sewing for accessories like bags, wallets, hair accessories, as well as some kids patterns. Let’s take a look!


Zakka craft feature – Metal frame purses patterns and a 2 page sewing lesson with full color step-by-step photographs.


Apron dresses for everyday wear



Love the use of leather straps on this one!

Tunic dresses – there were lots of tunic dresses, about 12 patterns in all, so I am only picking out my favourites to show you.


Gathered tiered tunic



I’m not really a fan of the fabric used on this but I like the pleats and ribbon tie, plus there is a 4 page detailed sewing lesson for this particular tunic.



Interspersed between the projects  are interesting little features like this one about the sewing machines used by famous sewing bloggers/authors of sewing books. Recognize any of them?


A peek into the behind the scenes at Check & Stripe Fabrics.


More sewing projects : Bags and wallets for Springtime!


Remember the book review on Fuko Basics I did last week? I know many of you are in love with that book and the designs. There are adult versions for 2 of the projects made in that book.


The white pleated blouse,


and the relax dress that I love so much! I need to buy a whole lot of knit fabric to make 3 of these for me and my girls :)


and look, there’s a Men’s Polo Shirt pattern as well! Unfortunately there is only one size – Free Size.
According to the pattern instructions, the finished dimensions of the shirt are
Chest – 102cm, Length – 68cm.

Next up – matching outfits for Mum and Kids.




Matching tiered gathered dress designed by NANATONE


There are also some cute outfits for kids, like this little sailor shirt for boys (by hahaco of


Gathered Culottes by petit etalage

Here are the size charts for the projects included. All units are in cm.


The table on the top is for Adult (Ladies),  Leftmost column – Bust/Waist/Hip/Height (based on 160cm for all sizes)
The table below is for Kids,  Leftmost column – Height/Bust/Waist/Hip

Other than the detailed sewing lessons, the rest of the project instructions look like this. Not full color, but the shading helps in identifying right and wrong sides of the fabric.



A closer look at the diagrams


2 large actual size pattern sheets attached.

PLUS, an exciting announcement for a new craft magazine called tukutte that will be out in April!  The magazine is published every two months and the most exciting thing about it is that every issue inclues a handicraft kit.


The list of free kits lined up for next year is already listed!


Can’t wait to get my hands on it. I sure hope they don’t leave the kit out for overseas shipping.


 Title : Sewing Pochee Spring 2014
ISBN : 978-4-529-05316-7
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue


Translation Request – C zip

Today’s translation request is for Sheri, who needed to make this jacket for a wedding later this month.

The pattern is from this book which I reviewed two years ago

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Patterns (C/ 1 side)
Back bodice, Front bodice, Yoke, Front edge facing
Front neckline facing, Sleeve slit facing, side slit facing
Pocket top, pocket bottom, outer sleeve,
inner sleeve

Materials (double gauze) = 108cm wide

Open fastener (zip) 49cm x 1 pc
Fastener (for sides) 2pcs, 11cm (for sleeve opening) 2pc
9cm (for pockets) 2pcs

Order of make (star symbol means to refer to diagram)
*Attach interfacing to the wrong sides of all facing pieces
*Overlock/zig-zag stitch the outer edge of the side slit facing
and sleeve slit facing.

01 Sew the 2 back pieces together with a flat-felled seam

02 Attach zips to pocket openings, make pockets and attach to
front bodice

03 Tack the zips to the front edges of the front bodice, sew front bodice pieces with
yoke outer piece (right sides together). Sew front neckline facing piece to yoke inner piece.

04 Align and place the front edge facing pieces to the front edges of the bodice,
then the neckline + back inner yoke pieces over the front bodice neckline + back yoke
outer piece, all right sides facing. Sew all around from the front bodice edge, to the neckline,
then to the other front bodice edge.

05 Attach the back bodice to the yoke. First sew the back bodice and outer yoke together,
then fold the seam allowance of the inner yoke inwards and stitch in place.

06 Sew the side seams with a flat-felled seam, attach fasteners

07 Finish the front and back hems with a double fold hem. Stitch in place.

08 Align the outer and inner sleeves along the seam lines and sew with a flat felled seam,
attach fasteners similar to the side seam.

09 Sew the underarm seams with a flat felled seam.

10 Finish the sleeve opening with a double fold hem, and stitch in place.

11 Align the armhole with the sleeves, right sides together and sew. Overlock/serge both
layers of seam allowances together to finish the edge.

Happy sewing Sheri! :)

Book Review – FU-KO basics

Have you been waiting for me to review this book since you saw me post its arrival on Instagram? Ever since I started blogging about monthly new releases, I have been increasingly drawn to shopping directly from (I’m not an affiliate to by the way, in case you were wondering) But I use it a lot to look out for new books. Sometimes you can find new books listed on that are not even listed on the book publishers own website.

Out of the many new releases from the recent months, I picked 4, and hoped they were good, since being new releases they usually don’t have the “Look inside” feature so I have to rely on descriptions. Judging a book by its cover is quite a difficult thing! :P But I played safe with two of my choices – Cucito and Pochee are may sewing magazine staples, and they take months to get to my local bookstores, so I bought them online. I will be reviewing all of them over the next few weeks, starting with this one.

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Clothes for girls that I want to make

Lots of easy wearing clothes for active young ladies. I love how some of the styles and even fabric choices are quite adult looking, but so adorable on the little girls.   The book is divided into 3 main sections

1. One piece/dresses
2. Co-ordinates – tops & bottoms
3. All season wear (with fur accessories)

Sizes from 90-130cm. There are also 3 projects that include size 80cm. The yoke dress (on the cover), back button dress and long bloomer pants (I have highlighted them below)

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size 80cm included for this dress pattern

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I love this fabric, but it kinds of hides the main feature of the dress – there is a front button placket, can you see it?

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I love these little dresses, very simple and comfortable. It’s called the Relax dress.

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Section 2 features co-ordinating tops and bottoms

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size 80cm included for this pants pattern

The title of the third section is about “all season fur goods”. It’s not all about fur though, what it actually includes, are patterns that you can use for both Spring and Winter, simply by changing the materials/accessories but using the same pattern.

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Light coat for spring time.

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Layer up and add a faux poodle fur tippet for a cozy look

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Perfect for spring!

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Layer up and add on a thick cozy scarf made out of knitted fabric. What is knitted fabric? The book source pointed to a physical store and a manufacturer (Naka CO Pte Ltd) but I couldn’t find it listed there, so I googled for knit fabrics and found this picture on Selvage Blog which actually credits the Japanese fabric to Miss Matatabi’s store. The knit pattern on the fabric above looks different of course, but I am guessing it is a similar type of fabric, where the fabric actually looks like it was knitted. That would be an awesome shortcut to knitting!

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Size chart for this book
The first column on the left indicates – height, bust, waist, hip.

There is only one project that has a detailed, full color, step by step sewing lesson. That’s for the dress on the cover of the book.

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For the rest of the projects, this is the standard layout for the how-to-make section. Every step is explained using a diagram.

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Close up of one of the diagrams.

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2 sheets of actual size pattern paper attached.

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Title : 作ってあげたい、女の子の洋服
ISBN No : 978-4-529-05296-2
Author : 美濃羽まゆみ Minohane Mayumi
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue

This book is serious full of stuff I want to make. I think I am going to start with the relax dress. How about you?

April Sew-Along Poll Results

The results were very very close, and the winner (by 1 vote only) is the  Sleeveless Dress with Bow Sash!

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From Feminine Wardrobe: Town, Party, Resort (in English) pg 6.

I will be filming the sew-along video next week, and posting it up the week after (21st April). If you have the book and would like to sew along, do mark the dates in your calendar! If you don’t have the book, you can buy it here from Amazon . For more pictures inside the book as well as sizing information, check out my book review here.

I will be posting up one of my new book reviews either later today or tomorrow, don’t miss that as well. :)

New Japanese Sewing Books for April 2014

I can’t believe it’s already the first week of April. Here are the new releases for this month. Happy browsing!


Best Dresses (by Machiko Kayaki  author of Skirt ala carte)


手ぬいで作る! おとな可愛いおしゃれ服
Make it by hand! Cute and Fashionable clothes for adults (hand sewing book by Emiko Takahashi)


一枚裁ちでつくる かんたん手ぬいの大人服
Made by one piece – hand sewing adult clothes (also by Emiko Takahashi)


ステキに手作り ハイミセスの夏服
Splendid handmade summer clothes for mature ladies (Special edition by Lady Boutique)


レディブティック 2014年 05月号
Lady Boutique May edition

You may notice that there are two books released this month by Emiko Takahashi on hand sewing. You can check out her website about hand sewing and her works here.

Poll – Sew Along for April 2014

Time for a Sew-Along Poll! I made up my mind this year, to make good use of my Japanese Sewing Books collection and it’s time to do so. I’ve shortlisted 3 “I will most likely wear” pieces that I want to make,  but I need you to help me decide which one you would like to sew-along to.

Here are the 3 pieces. Pattern and book information listed below each picture.

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 Sleeveless Dress with Bow Sash
From Feminine Wardrobe: Town, Party, Resort (in English) pg 6.

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Pattern O : Sleeveless Flare Blouse
from I Love Tops (in Japanese) pg  32

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Pattern D : Button-up blouse in Liberty print
From Stylish Dress Book: Wear with Freedom (in English) pg 9

The Poll will end in 1 week’s time and I will announce the sew-along pattern of your choice next Monday. Will be filming the sew-along video next week so expect the sew-along to be sometime in the 3rd week of April. Go on and vote now!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 31/03/2014 08:53:15
end_date 07/04/2014 22:00:00
Poll Results:
Select your choice of Sew-Along Project for April


Japanese Fabrics – nani IRO 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about fabrics, maybe it’s because I haven’t been buying much lately. This might change soon after checking out the nani IRO 2014 collection! It’s been out for a while now, but I’ve never had time to look at it carefully. Here are the designs for this year and my favourite picks from each of them.



The POCHO series is the quintessential nani IRO fabric. My first purchase was a Pocho in turquoise and red water color spots in 2007?  That was the first time I discovered nani IRO . It just caught my eye in the fabric shop and I spent quite some time at the rack deciding which color to buy. :P

The signature irregular watercolor spots that comes in varying color combinations, sizes and layout every season. Available in double gauze (the 4 colors on the left)  as well as Cotton hemp canvas (the 2 bolts on the right), and even quilted versions for 3 of the colors  (1st, 2nd and 4th from the left) but unfortunately already sold out on the official online store.

This has got to be my favorite color combi. I love pastel and this would be gorgeous on a bedspread!




The Mountain Views fabric series features strokes (in watercolor) put together to look like a mountain scene. What’s fascinating about this piece is that you can’t really see the big picture from the close up shot. But here’s a picture of the finished sample (below). Gorgeous and rather unexpected use of colors but with mind-blowing results. Available in 5 colors for double gauze and 1 color for laminate (this color only)




nani IRO fabric IS Art. You can hang it up on the wall, especially if you can’t bear to cut the fabric up. Available in Cotton gauze and cottom hemp canvas (only the first bolt on the right) If you asked me to pick out my favorite color out of the 5 bolts, I would have picked the 2nd and 4th. Probably last on the list would be green. Until I saw this….


Isn’t it mesmerizing? Now i think this might be my favorite color combination. I don’t know if the colors look more muted in real life though since I have not seen it in real life yet, but from what I see on my screen it is just a beautiful work of Art. I can’t stop staring at it. I would even consider buying it to hang up on the walls if not for the fact that greens and yellows are not part of my decor palette.



A very very sweet range of fabrics, and I like all the colors. Only available in double gauze so I am thinking new dresses for the girls? It’s always easier to justify shopping for the kids, although the pleasure of shopping is all mine :P


I love this black fabric too with white contrast prints. Something for me?



The Sen Ritsu line is another very sweet fabric which features beautiful watercolor wildflowers.  Available in both double gauze and cotton canvas.




The Corsage Kosa-Jyu series is also about flowers, but this design is only available in dual layered knits. I have some knit fabric from nani IRO’s past collections. The dual layered knit fabric simply means that it is made up of two thin knit layers, very soft and airy and perfect for Spring and Summer!




nani IRO fabrics are wearable art pieces. Sometimes the hardest decision to make is which section of the fabric design to cut, since different sections will give you very different results. I love this photo of the baby wearing a Water Window (in green) and carrying a little rucksack made out of Freedom Gerden fabric.




Shine Many Ways features diamond shapes composed of  ”pixels” painted in watercolor.  There is an ethnic feel to the design, and for the first time, the fabrics are available in Cotton Sateen (above two colors only). There are two other colors in the same print but in double gauze material.


Also updated on the website, free patterns using the 2014 textile range.  Go check it out!

freepatternsAll images from naniIRO official website. Visit the online store to see the entire collection. Past years collection are mostly not on sale any more but can be viewed from the Textile museum page. There is also a Basic range as well as other ready made goods for sale on the store. Unfortunately they don’t ship internationally but you can use a forwarding service if you want.


Have you bought any of the nani IRO 2014 collection? Share with us if you have them on your blog, post your links in the comments below!



Book Review – Straight Line Sewing Dresses by Sato Watanabe

We had a one week school holiday last week, which meant very little time for any sewing or blogging. One thing I look forward to during the March school holidays, is the Kinokuniya book sale! Unfortunately I did not find many newly released books. Or maybe I have ruined my own “real-live” shopping experience by exploring too many yet to release books online. I only have myself to blame for that! :P

In the end I only bought two books this time (amazing self-control isn’t it?). One is the English version of the Bunka Fashion Series Garment Design Textbook 1 – Fundamentals of Garment Design which I shall review later. The other book is this one – a straight line sewing book by Sato Watanabe. The same designer who created I Am Cute Dresses: 25 Simple Designs to Sew. She has two newly translated books that will be out soon over the next few months, I listed them on my Japanese books in English page and you can check them out if you like!

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Back to this book. This is not a new release, in fact, it was first released almost ten years ago in 2005, but the last print in 2010 was actually the 7th print run! Must be a good book to have been reprinted so many times! The book Let’s take a look.

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There are 26 designs in all, which includes some overlapping of designs but in varying lengths/sleeve options. There are no patterns included, instead, you have to follow the diagrams to construct the patterns. Easy to do since they are all straight line diagrams. What I like about this book is that some of the patterns don’t really look like they came from straight pieces of fabrics, the designs are also pretty wearable in today’s context, although the fabric choices needs some updating :P Just be warned though, the patterns only come in one size. The completed length and dimensions are provided, so that you can gauge if it will fit you or if you need to make adjustments to the given dimensions.

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Here’s an example of the how-to-do section. There are very brief text instructions and the steps are presented in detailed diagrams instead.

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A close up of the diagrams. Very little shortcuts or cross references here, so it’s pretty to easy to follow, not to mention easy to sew since it’s all straight lines!

Title :  直線縫いでダダダッとつくるワンピース
Author :  渡部 サト (Watanabe Sato)
ISBN : 978-4-309-28019-6

Translation Request – for Janene

This is a translation request for a pocket dress, requested by Janene, from a book that I almost forgot I had!


ISBN : 978-4529047678


Pocket Dress on Page 12


1. Fold over the top edge of the central panel fabric, sew a casing and insert elastic band.

2, Make side pockets on side panel fabrics, sew top and bottom side panel fabrics together.

3. Place back  bodice and front side panel fabrics right sides together, sew shoulder seams. Overlock/zigzag both layers of seam allowances together and press the seam allowance towards the back bodice.

4. Place front side panels and centre panel right sides together, sew together and neaten edges all around, through the neckline, with bias fabric.

5. Sew side seams, overlock both layers of seam allowances together and press towards the back.

6. Finish armholes with bias fabric.

7. Sew a double fold hem to finish the hemline.


Happy Sewing Janene!

Mailbox Surprise Series

Here’s what I was busy with last week  (hence the lack of posts ;P). Sewing for the very cool Mailbox Surprise Series hosted by Marta (of DoGuincho) and Marte (of Compagnie M.). Here’s a peek of one of the two projects I made. Hop on over to read about it and see more pictures!