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Japanese Fabric – Nekoneko Fabric Shop

November 1, 2017

Over the past few years, I have seen many new local “stores” / FB groups involved in the selling of Japanese fabrics. This is great news for us crafters in this part of the world, since we can escape paying for the hefty shipping fees importing them from Japan either through Rakuten or Etsy. However, most online sellers tend to bring in the more safe and popular options in terms of brands and colorways, so it is still quite hard to find a full range of Japanese fabrics in terms of both designers/brands/substrates without having to resort to Rakuten or even better, a visit to Japan. Now when I travel to Japan, I tend to focus on fabrics that are usually not sold out of Japan, or special substrates like knit and nylon tafetta and laminated cottons. Tend I lug them back by the bagfuls, only to finish sewing them quickly and find myself needing more. I think I don’t go to Japan often enough!

And then I discovered Nekoneko fabric.

nekonekofabrictypes

Nekoneko fabric is an online store based in Singapore (yay!) and it’s funny how I discovered it because my friend BK (aka fabric shopping partner in crime) who is always in the know for great bargains, asked me to go check this shop out because there was a sale going on.

Here’s what I found out – that Nekoneko sells not only the usual range of popular fabrics from Kokka (like lots of nani IRO), Yuwa, Lecien etc, there are also hard to find fabric types like waterproof nylon tafetta (for making wet bags/waterproof bags/eco bags), knits (yay knits!), canvas, linen, double gauze and of course cottons like cotton lawn, cotton sateen. I also discovered that they have Koizumi fabrics, which is a large fabric manufacturer in Japan but they usually sell in Japan only. I have been hoarding the Hanauta prints (see the butterflies print on the top right hand corner of the picture above?) because I can’t bear to use them up. Now that I know where to find them, I can finally use up my stash!

And here’s the best part. There is free shipping to Singapore and Malaysia for purchases over $50, which is so easily done when it comes to buying fabrics :P. Fret not if you are located overseas though, there is FLAT RATE international shipping and the shipping charges are more than reasonable!  SGD8 (less than 6USD) to United States and many parts of Europe as well.

It was such a coincidence that BK asked me to check out the shop because the next day the owner of Nekoneko fabric (Jean) actually messaged me on Facebook.

I asked Jean to tell us more about Nekoneko fabric

___

Tell us a little bit about Nekoneko fabric and what the name means.

Nekoneko Fabric’s name came from my love for cats, and I have wanted a fun and unique name (aside from the fact that my cats own everything anyway)

Who are the founders of Nekoneko fabric ?

Nekoneko Fabric is a family owned and run online shop based in Singapore. It was the result of years of planning and a leap of faith taken.

What inspired the creation of Nekoneko Fabric?
Legal reason to hoard fabric! Jokes aside, it started from my love for sewing and crafting, and the desire to make beautiful fabric available at an affordable price

Me : I don’t think any of us need legal reasons to hoard fabric… lol… but I’m glad you thought that way! 😛

What kind of fabrics do you sell on your online store?
We specialize in unique apparel and crafting fabric, from Japan at the moment (Nani Iro, Cotton + Steel, Kokka, Yuwa, Cosmo, Lecien, Koizumi) and we are expanding into fabric sourced from elsewhere (Indonesia, Korea, China, France). Our range includes Double Gauze, Cotton, Canvas/Oxford, Lawn, Sateen, and Nylon Taffeta.

Do you sew? if yes, what type of sewing do you do? (apparel, accessories, etc)
I am a trained apparel patternmaker who has also found a second love in crafting as well. Womenswear, mens wear, bags, small crafts. I like sewing challenging pieces e.g YSL Mondrian inspired dress, Chanel’s Little French jacket, men’s jacket in a Nani IRO double gauze etc.

Me : Wow, with skills like that I don’t think you even need a reason to hoard fabric!

What are your future plans for Nekoneko fabric?
We are planning to launch our own patterns and apparel brand in the future.

Me : Sounds awesome! Can’t wait!

Where can we follow your creations and find out the latest news about Nekoneko fabric?

Our online fabric shop can be found at
this url – www.nekoneko.co as well as on
Etsy – nekonekofabric.etsy.com

You can follow our latest news on Facebook and Instagram as well!
www.facebook.com/nekonekofabric
https://www.instagram.com/nekonekofabric/

___

Fast forward many convos later, a huge bag of fabrics arrived at my doorstep with lots of lovely fabrics for me to make and GIVEAWAY to my readers as well. 🙂

What this means for both me and all of you, is that for the next couple of months, you will be seeing lots of new makes with Japanese fabric from Nekoneko fabric. I will be introducing different types of fabric and with each fabric I will be holding a giveaway! I already have these lined up – Nylon tafetta (light waterproof fabric), knits, nani IRO double gauze, and of course cotton!

So the first thing I wanted to make was this wire frame handbag from the latest Cotton Friend magazine. I actually made one already but it was a failed piece because I was using a pre-cut Japanese fabric with geometric prints and being very stingy with my Japanese fabric I cut it right on the edge without thinking about the alignment of the prints. So even though it is a very cute bag I can’t get over how the centre is misaligned, which is why there are no pictures of it. But I really like this pattern and size because I keep using the “failed” bag on school runs when I only have to grab a couple of things, so I decided to make another! This time I made sure that the prints will be centralized.

When I saw this geometric circle print I knew it would be perfect! This print is from Koizumi Lifetex from the Le Depart series, and it’s a medium weight cotton canvas (85% Cotton 15% Linen) which makes it perfect for bags, aprons, pouches, bags… did I say “bags” twice? Yes because it is so cute for bags I made 2!

wirebagfront

This is the first bag – the wire frame bag.

sideview

Side view

wirebagopen

The bag can stand wide open by itself! So easy to rummage for stuff.

liningandlabel

After making only 1 small bag, I had lots of fabric left. I wanted to make another that will show off more of the print.

So I did.

cubetotefront2

This is a really cute cube/box shaped bag. The leather strap was a happy find. I was actually searching for something wide and lighter for another bag pattern. And it turned out to be so matching with this print.
cubetotefront

This is what the bag looks like when sitting on its on.

innerpockets

2 inner pockets for my phone and cards

bagbase

I was agonizing over whether to show this photo or not because I didn’t get it to match up perfectly… sigh…

cubetotecarried

This is how the bag looks when carried. Don’t you just love the shape? This was inspired from a bag tutorial on a Japanese youtube channel (link to the tutorial here) but there is no real instruction on how to make the bag, only how to draft the pattern. It’s such a nice and roomy bag design that compliments the prints so well.

Love this print? Nekoneko fabric is very generously sponsoring 4 x 1m of this fabric in all the different colours, for a giveaway!  To make things more exciting, I will be giving away 1m of a different color each day so there will be 4 days of giveaway in total. Remember, the same color won’t appear twice so comment to enter once you see the color you like!

ledepartcolorways_l

This giveaway will be held on Instagram only and the first giveaway will start tomorrow.  Follow me on Instagram – instagram.com/japanesesewingbooks to find out more!

ledepartcolorways

Giveaways Japanese Fabrics

Christmas Sewing in October and a Modes4U Giveaway!

October 6, 2017

Just as I was feeling sad about the slowing down of Japanese sewing book new releases that always happen in the last quarter of the year, I get excited once again, by sponsors who feel the festive mood (in advance) and want to sponsor GIVEAWAYS for you all!

Today our lovely sponsors from Modes4U.com are giving away 4 very nice Cosmo fabrics of 1m each.  It is a lovely mix of double gauze, canvas with gold metallic embellishment and cotton fabrics. One lucky winner will get ALL of them! But more about that later. Let me talk about my Christmas sewing first!

Is it too early to start sewing for Christmas? Well, after factoring in shopping time + shipping time + procrastination time + sewing time, I think it’s just about right!

For my own little Christmas project this year, I wanted to go green. Not the color green, but that I wanted to make my own fabric Christmas ornaments and reusable gift “wraps”.  I found the perfect fabrics just for that!

kokkacreambearchristmas

This fabric is a Oxford fabric from Kokka, featuring colorful animals and Christmas ornaments. There are a few other colorways for this fabric but I love the different shades of blues. I love how it deviates from the traditional red and greens, yet retaining the Christmassy feel. Click on this link to find more Kokka fabric on Modes4U. There are also lots of non-Christmas fabrics of course, and they will make great gifts for the avid sewist / crafter / fabric hoarder in your family!

However, I also wanted a pop of red, as a contrast color, for both “wrapping” presents and as matching co-ordinates to my blue/turqoise/navy ornaments. I didn’t want it to be too focussed on Christmas motifs too, so I picked this really cute print with white bears and snowflakes on it.

minnymuuwhitebears

This fabric is printed by Lecien and is designed by koko seki for the Minny Muu collection. There are lots of Lecien fabric on Modes4U too.

I paired it with some left over small bits of trim from past projects and here are the results of my Christmas sewing.

christmasornamentsontwine

christmasornamentsonframe

christmasgiftpouches

Making the ornaments didn’t require much fabric, so I made these drawstring pouches which will be great as gift “wraps” No need for paper + tape/ribbons. Best of all, it can be reused for keeping small items like hair accessories, earphones in your bags. No waste!

christmasdrawstringpouches

Looking plump when filled up and ready for gifting!

See, Christmas fabrics and sewing decorations don’t have to be all reds and greens. But if you do like the traditional prints, you will be able to find them too at Modes4U. They have lots of Christmas fabrics, not just from Japanese brands like Kokka and Cosmo, but also the from Michael Miller, Andover, Robert Kaufman to name a few. You’ll have to explore their Christmas section. It won’t be easy because there are so many to choose from! I also love the fact that there is free international shipping above 60€ / US$70 / £55 which is quite easy to achieve because not only do they sell fabrics, they sell all kinds of cute stationery, squishies, plush toys, bento boxes etc from Japan.  So you can really do all your Christmas shopping here.

So now, for the GIVEAWAY!

Modes4U.com will be giving away 4m of fabric to one lucky winner! These are the fabrics you stand to win. There is a good mix of fabric types – double gauze, cotton fabrics and even canvas! All the fabrics are from Cosmo Textiles from Japan. This will be a good chance for those of you who have always wanted to try a variety of Japanese fabrics.

modes4ucosmofabric

Here’s what you have to do.

1) Comment below to tell us your favorite item from Modes4U.com.

2) Extra chances for readers who follow Modes4U or Japanese Sewing Books on the following pages. Please also include your FB/IG id when commenting below so that we can identify you and award you extra chances for winning!

Modes4U Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/modes4u
Modes4U Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/modes4ucom
Japanese Sewing Books Facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/JapaneseSewingBooks
Japanese Sewing Books Instagram : http://www.instagram.com/JapaneseSewingBooks

3) Extra chances for people who blog about this giveaway and include link to this giveaway post (right click and copy link address to this blog page) + Modes4U.com. If you add this to your blog, please leave your blog address+link to your post in the comment below so that we can see it too!

This giveaway will run for two weeks from today 6th October- 20th October 10pm (Singapore time). Winners will be announced on the following day 21st October right here on this post. I will also be notifying the winner via the email you have used to comment below, so please do check your emails! If the winner fails to respond within 48hrs, another winner will be picked.

ETA : The Winner of this Giveaway is Jeannette Makad! Congratulations Jeannette, I will be contacting you via your email for your mailing details. Thank you all once again for participating!

Finished Projects Giveaways

Sew Good Knits and a Giveaway!

September 29, 2017

Toddlers grow at an alarming pace. Much faster than I can sew. And can you believe it I have actually depleted my knit stash from Japan. I can actually buy and ship them in from Japan but knits are bulky, and most shipping forwarders charge by volumetric weight. So even if the price of the knits are reasonable, by the time I get it shipped to me it may be double the original price. So… I have been on the lookout for knits. Good quality knits that are comfortable and can withstand the abuse from a toddler ;P It is hard to find nice prints for boys too. There are lots of pastels and pinks and unicorns out there but I the range for boys is limited to cartoonish cars, superheroes, and I usually don’t like the bright and gaudy colors they come in. Then I came across Sew Good Knits, a Facebook group for preordering European knits. They are based in Singapore so it’s extremely convenient for me (don’t worry, they ship internationally too!)

They specialize in knit fabrics that are made in Europe, most of which are certified organic according to Oekto or GOTS standards, which is more reassuring given that I am buying them for my toddler. To be honest, I have been a little hesitant in ordering because they are quite pricey. I do know that it is due to the quality and I have heard lots of raves from others in the group who are big fans and vouch for the quality of the fabric. But I held back until…….

diggershirt

I saw this fabric! My boy is totally into diggers right now, and dump trucks, and tractors…. the list goes on. So when I saw this, I fell in love instantly. I knew he would love it and I love it too because the print is so simple and well, no gaudy colors!

tshirtbook

I used the raglan tshirt pattern from the above book – Knitwear for kids. This is one of my most frequently used book for knits. There are step by step photos for some of the patterns, including this raglan tshirt.  Read my review here. Buy from amazon.com or cdjapan (aff links)

Back to Sew Good Knits. So I ordered a couple of prints, and guess what…. they were kind enough to send me some extra fabrics for me to sew and blog about. Yay! Will work for fabrics anytime.

harempants

This print was is perfectly co-ordinating with the gravel on the digger shirt don’t you think? I immediately decided it was going to be a pair of harem pants. This harem pants pattern is modifed from an old issue of Cotton Friend. It’s no longer in print though so I don’t think I’ll tempt you by posting it here. 🙂

diggerset

Look at the complete outfit! So adorable right?

And like how the others had raved about it, the fabric is really soft and amazing. It’s stretchy and soft and the color doesn’t fade after washing. I love it! The best part is, the knits are much wider than normal fabric widths, so even with a fat half, I can make a toddler shirt or a pair of pants/leggings out of it. With a full yard, I can make a whole outfit for him or even something for myself (the mint squares below is reserved for myself ;P)

sewgoodknits

Now I have a mini stash of Sew Good Knits!

 

I reached out to Celine, who is one of the founders of Sew Good Knits, to find out more about their little start up, as well as their big plans for the future.

Who are the founders of Sew Good Knits ?
Celine Khoo and Ruth Mak

What inspired the creation of Sew Good Knits?
The love for high quality, organic knits with interesting designs, especially some nice boy friendly designs! Euro knits fit the bill since they were still fairly uncommon locally. Also we were ourselves spending a lot on shipping buying from retailers based in the US who offered a variety of euro knit brands. 

What kind of fabrics do you carry in Sew Good Knits?
We specialize in knit fabrics that are made in Europe, most of which are certified organic according to Oekto or GOTS standards. Jersey and French Terry are the most common types of knits we bring in as we feel they are the most versatile. Some of our local customers may shy away from French terry as they think it’s warm for local weather but we try to ensure that the French terry we bring in is lightweight and suitable for the Singapore climate. 

We also carry ribbings in a variety of colours to complement the fabrics that we carry and we hope to be a one stop shop for sewists looking for materials for their next knit project. As the majority of our fabrics are made from organic cotton and through processes that are safe and good for the environment, they are very safe for babies and children. At the same time, the high quality of our fabric ensures ease of sewing because of the stability of the knit fabric as well as the longevity of the garment sewn. 

In the long run we would love to be the sole distributor for all euro knits but it is a challenging process given the small market here and also the sheer number of European designers. We would love to stock them all! 

Do you (or your co-founders) sew? if yes, what type of sewing do you do?
Ruth :  I own a handmade business that had been born out of the love of sewing. I sew apparel for myself and my children, and it’s quite fun to try and create certain looks for myself that I’ve never tried before. My boys have also learnt to appreciate that their mama-made items are truly unique to them and I may have created a problem for myself, as I’ve recently discovered that they are having a hard time giving up the ones they’ve clearly outgrown! 

Celine : I mainly sew for myself and my kids as currently with my youngest just starting to walk, my crafting time is limited. I love sewing apparel mainly as I find them most practical. I used to have a real fear of sewing knits as I thought them to be really challenging but now when I need a quick stress releasing project, knits are my go-to as they sew up so quickly on a serger and are just generally more practically for daily wear for kids!!! 

What are your future plans for Sew Good Knits?
We’re working on an online store, but progress has been painfully slow as we’re both mothers to 3 children each, and managing the pre-order group has been quite time consuming. We are keeping our options open with regards to including wovens in our inventory, especially if our suppliers offer these options as well, but knit fabric will still be our mainstay. 

Where can we join your Pre-order group and keep up with the latest news about Sew Good Knits?
Our Facebook Group for pre-orders is www.facebook.com/groups/sewgoodknits
Our IG handle is @sewgoodknits ; and our yet to be launched website is www.sewgoodknits.com 

 

Now that you have learnt more about Sew Good Knits, here is a chance to win some of their gorgeous fabrics!

There will be 2 concurrent giveaways to enter. One will be on Facebook and the other on Instagram. Follow the instructions below to enter either or better still, both! 1 yard of Euro knits will be given away for each giveaway. On top of that, there will be a mystery Fat Half (Fat half) that will come along with your prize!

Here’s how to enter. 

FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY

1 yard of the following fabrics from the latest range from Paapii Design + 1 mystery FH will be given away.


facebookgiveaway

CLOVER FOX ORGANIC JERSEY in SUNNY YELLOW

  1. Join the Facebook group for Sew Good Knits.www.facebook.com/groups/sewgoodknits
  2. Like and follow JapaneseSewingBooks on Facebook.
  3. Comment below the giveaway post by telling us your favourite fabric from any of the knits in the Sew Good Knits collection. Hint, you can browse the retail album for existing stock, or any of the fabrics listed in any of their preorder albums. (note that these album links are only visible if you are a member of the group)

INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY

1 yard of the following fabrics from the latest range from Paapii Design + 1 mystery FH will be given away.

instagramgiveaway
VARPU ORGANIC JERSEY, FOREST GREEN

  1. Follow Sew Good Knits on Instagram (http://instagram.com/sewgoodknits)
  2. Follow Japanese Sewing Books on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/japanesesewingbooks/)
  3. Comment below the giveaway post on my Instagram page, and tell us what you are going to make with these fabrics.
  4. For extra chances to win – Repost the giveaway banner and hashtag #sewgoodknits
  5. For extra chances to win – Post a photo of your Euro Knits makes (for example fabrics from Käpynen, Ommellinen, Majapuu, PaaPii Design and more). It doesn’t have to be purchased from Sew Good Knits, we just want to see your creations! Important – please include the hashtag #sewgoodknits so that we can discover your photos.

Items 1-3 is compulsory in order to participate, items 4 and 5 will give you extra chances to win!

This giveaway is open worldwide and ends 6th October 2017 10pm Singapore time (UTC +8)
The lucky Winners will be announced on the following Monday (9th October 2017)

Good luck!

Giveaways Japanese Fabrics

Giveaway – nani IRO Cotton Sateen

April 28, 2017

Remember my raves about the new nani IRO cotton sateen last month? Well, we have a treat for you!


naniirogiveawaybanner2

Our very generous friends from ElizabethLittle.co is sponsoring a nani IRO fabric giveaway, and the fabric to be won is none other than the smooth, drape-y cotton sateen I was talking about.

naniirocottonsateengiveaway
Fuccra : rakuen アマルフィ(Amalfi)

Click here for more detailed images of this fabric listed on Elizabeth Little’s online store
image © ATELIER to nani IRO by KOKKA co.ltd & Naomi Ito

It was hard to capture the details on photo but the white birds on the fabric have a pearl glossy sheen to it. It’s really beautiful in real life!

naniirocottonsateenrakuen

For the giveaway, ElizabethLittle.co will be giving away 2m of this gorgeous fabric, perfect for making a dress. By the way, the dress I made with the same cotton sateen in the earlier blog post? Was made only with about 1.2m of the fabric.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

This giveaway will be different from the previous giveaways where you have to comment only. This time, we want to see what you have made with nani IRO fabrics, or if you are still stashing them for that special occasion, let us have a peek at your stash too! Since we are going to share pictures, this giveaway will be held on Instagram only.

Here’s how to enter. Go to the Giveaway post on Instagram

  1. Like the Giveaway post on Instagram and Follow @japanesesewingbooks on Instagram
  2. Hop on over to ElizabethLittle.co’s Instagram page and follow @elizabethlittleco
  3. Post a photo on your own Instagram account with one OR more of the following :
    – your nani IRO makes (and hashtag #naniiromakes – two chances for each post)
    – your nani IRO stash (and hashtag #naniirogiveaway)
    – or repost the giveaway banner image from my giveaway post (and hashtag #naniirogiveaway)
    IMPORTANT! We will only be able to find your entry if you add the correct hashtags so don’t forget to do so!
  4. Tag at least 3 friends in the comments below the giveaway post (on Instagram), whom you think will love to take part in this giveaway. One tag per comment please! The more friends you tag, the more chances you have to win!

As you can see, posting a photo of your #naniiromakes will give you an extra chance to win, because we really want to see what you make with this lovely fabric!

This giveaway is open worldwide and ends 12th May 10pm Singapore time (UTC +8) That’s two whole weeks to give you more time to upload your photos. The more photos you submit, the greater your chances of winning! The lucky Winner will be announced on the following Monday.

MYnaniiromakes
My #naniIROmakes!

Can’t wait to see all your nani IRO makes and fabric stash. Have fun and good luck!

This Giveaway has ended. Thank you for your participation!

Giveaways

10000 Facebook Likes and 10000 Youtube Subscribers Giveaway

February 3, 2017

10000likes3

Sometime during the mad rush last week, I noticed an exciting thing happening. My Facebook Likes crossed the 10,000 mark! Coincidentally, the number of subscribers on my Youtube Channel crossed the 10,000 mark on the same day! It was almost neck in neck and Facebook won by just a couple of hours. 🙂

Anyway, since it’s such a BIG milestone for me, and even though I only took like 5 years to get here, I decided to do not 1 but 2 Giveaways to celebrate! I was thinking for a while how to combine these two giveaways since they crossed the big 10k at the same time. But I decided it might be best to have them separately, and I’ll start with Facebook first and follow up with the Youtube giveaway next week (while I figure out how best to run a giveaway on Youtube since I’ve never done one before)

So what’s up for grabs? A Japanese Sewing Book of your choice! Really! You get to choose! The only requirements are that it must be still in print and is available for purchase and should be either in Japanese or translated into English. I will then buy it for you and send it to you. I know it’s kind of risky for me to do this giveaway but as I have received lots of enquiries through various channels on buying books you have seen on my blog, I thought this will be a great chance for you to win that book you’ve always wanted. I will try my best so don’t make it too difficult for me 😛 If you have no idea what book to get, just have a quick browse through my book reviews. Here are some quick links to browse the books by category.

Japanese Sewing Books in English (for all the books that have been translated into English only.)
Japanese Sewing Books (in Japanese only)
New Releases (recent releases from the past couple of years should still be readily available.

If you are still spoilt for choice, you can also write down your desired category (Kids/Ladies/Mens/Bags) and I will make a recommendation for you. Sounds fun? Head over to my Facebook page, Like it (if you haven’t already) and comment on this post to win!

Facebook giveaway ends 1 week from now – 10th February 2017 at 9am Singapore time (UTC+8). Good luck!