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kokka fabric

Japanese Fabrics

Kayo Aoyama for Kokka Fabrics

September 3, 2018

Today’s blog post about Japanese Fabric is about the Sketch Series by Kayo Aoyama.

I went to check out her Instagram account – kayoaoyama and immediately fell in love! She not only designs fabrics, but also product packaging and other accessories.


Kayo Aoyama also has a website – where you can see a full range of her fabrics and designs. Her designs are inspired by organic shapes, mostly derived from objects of nature like plants and stones. But what I love most about her designs are how she combines them with such amazing colour palettes.

I’m primarily a pastel palette lover, so immediately, these two fabrics jumped out at me.


This is called flying cups, and the pink is a little lighter in real life. But the unique thing about this fabric, is that it is made of a special fabric called typewriter fabric. It was my first time coming across this type of fabric and initially I thought it must have been some kind of translation error, but no, it is called typewriter fabric and it seems to be a Japanese term for this type of fabric because if you tried to Google in English you just get lots of fabrics with actual typewriters printed on them 😂.

If you search タイプライター (for typewriter) and 生地 (for fabric) in Japanese or in Rakuten, you will get a whole bunch of the correct results. So from what I gathered, it is thin, very smooth, densely woven, 100% cotton fabric. And when I finally had the chance to touch it, I was so impressed, I wanted to make bedsheets out of it. Because it really reminded me of Egyptian cotton. It was smooth and cool to touch and you can barely see the weave of the fabric.

There’s a better explanation from this Japanese website that I found, and it’s quite a long explanation so just an excerpt

Type typewriter fabric is a long and thin cotton yarn woven with high density. Because the fibers are densely woven, it is a material that can be said to be a representative of functional fabrics that are durable but also lightweight and warmth retained.

If you are interested to know more, click on the link above and use Google translate to read it. It’s really interesting!


This double gauze fabric is called forget me not and is super soft and the color is really pretty too! Will be lovely for a little girl’s dress! Doesn’t the flower motif remind you of a particular monogram label? 😉


The other one I wanted to show you is the flower ball print. Made up of large clusters of watercolor flower prints, this design is a soft canvas and comes in 3 colorways. I really liked the blue one but in the end I chose the other two colorways because I wanted to make a matching set and the greens in both colorways matched perfectly.


Needed some new cushions for my new place and these really brightened up the room!


Made 2 card holder pouches. I only needed one but I thought having two will make the photo look much better!


In Kayo Aoyama’s website, she says

My design is inspired by organic shapes, like plants and stones. I draw by hand, because the uneven lines or trace of brush makes reminds me the most of nature.
My wish is that my design will brighten up your everyday life the same way a fresh bouquet of flowers will add that extra sparkle to your home.

I think she really has achieved it hasn’t she?

Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Japanese Fabrics

See Design for Kokka Fabrics

August 8, 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about Japanese fabrics, There are many new collections to introduce so I’ll do it one by one! I’ll need time to sew them up as well you see…

Today’s post is about a fabric from Kokka fabrics, from See Design by Donna Gorman.


I’m usually not really a pink person so I didn’t think very much about it. But when I actually saw the fabric real life, I was immediately struck by how Marimekko it looked! I’ve always been a big fan of Marimekko designs. Especially the geometric prints. In my younger days I used to buy their bags and even bought some fabric for my stash. The fabric was soooo expensive that I can’t bear to cut it up.

And then recently, this popped up in my Facebook feed. About a free pattern project using the latest See Design fabric on Kokka’s English blog. The project is a balloon bag and you can find this and more free patterns from Kokka’s English website here But what really caught my attention…..

The featured project is a puffy bag in the shape of a balloon made with the seedesign series by designer Donna Gorman. Gorman, who worked at Marimekko for 24 years and is now active as a freelance textile designer, expresses her vision and contemporary design through the seedesign series with a variety of products.

So when I know that new fabric is coming in, I suddenly feel more daring about sewing up my existing stash. I even deliberately wanted to make it look more Marimekko like so I surfed around for Marimekko bag designs and found one in my Japanese sewing book. So here it is!


Presenting the tulip bag with two convenient outer pockets. A simple golden magnetic clasp enclosure. The original design didn’t come with any zips/closures but I wanted one to stop things from falling out 😂


As I wanted the bag to stand up on it’s own, I used byAnnie’s Soft and Stable foam interfacing (it’s a sew-in and not fusible). The lining is from Cotton+Steel Basics range – Counting Stars.

The pattern is called a tulip bag and it’s from this book (aff link to cdJapan)

Kantan, Benrina Tezukuri Bag / Boutique-sha

I hope you like what I made and I’ve got lots more yummy fabrics to show you soon! Till next time!