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Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review – Making small goods with excess fabric

August 17, 2012

What do you do with the excess fabric leftover from your sewing projects? I keep my small pieces usually for doing test runs before actual sewing or serging, and at other times I make dresses for my kids’ dolls. But I always seem to be accumulating bags and bags of scrap fabrics. Faster than I can think of what to do with them.

I’ve had this book for a couple of years now, recently re-discovered it while looking for a pattern for a mobile phone case. The title of today’s book review is 余り布で作れるこもの which means Small things you can make with excess fabric. There are 110 projects packed in this book!

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Free Japanese Sewing Patterns Links Free Patterns

Free Japanese Sewing Patterns – Nunotoiro

August 13, 2012

I’ve been doing alot of sewing this weekend, in preparation for my daughter’s birthday party next weekend. I had a lot of IKEA fabric leftover from my fabric stash. Bright colorful animal print that I really wouldn’t use in the house, so I used it to make goody bags! I found a site with free patterns for bags, pouches, tissue pouch, school totes. What I really like about her projects is that she uses the nicest fabrics. And the finished product is photographed so beautifully.

The navigation is a little tricky though, there seems to be two different sections

The first is called free sewing recipes and it includes some tutorials on basic techniques
And the second section is a  Back to school sewing special –

I love how clear the instructions are,  and the photos are beautifully taken. For some of the patterns, she shows us how to vary the fabrics for different looks. And I love the fact she uses liberty fabrics! Very pretty!

Happy Sewing!

Oh, and look out for a new feature on Japanese fabrics starting on Wednesday!

Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review – Kurai Muki’s Basic Bag Making

July 21, 2012

This post was due yesterday but I was caught up with a little project. Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen a youtube bag making video that I posted a few days ago. That project is from this book, and after watching the video I was inspired to actually get started on it!

This book is called Kurai Muki’s Basic Bag Making. I bought this book while on holiday in Japan from the fabric shop Kanariya. It was sitting on the Top 10 Ranking table at the craft book section. I love Kurai Muki’s books. She has written many books on sewing, including clothes for adults and children. You can see the whole list of books written by her on her website. (The website is in frames so you need to click on the third link on the left hand navigation bar.) I have also reviewed one of her books on girls dresses called Simple+One here.

Let’s have a look at what’s covered in this book.  Continue Reading

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Kids Sewing Patterns

Book Review – All Your Kids Need Part 1 of 2

May 18, 2012

Today’s book review is from one of my most frequently used books. This is a book covers sewing and other crafty projects, all related to school supplies and school going children.

All your kids need

All your kids need

This book is also the thickest sewing/craft book I have! It’s 187 pages (not including credits 😉 As it is such a thick book, there are lots of projects and inspirations to be found within. I took so many photos of the projects included that I will need to have a 2 part book review just for this book. Today I will be covering the sewing projects for school and kidswear.

First up is school bags and accessories. Sewing is a big hobby in Japan, and most mothers will make school bags, lunch bags, accessories case for their children when they go to school. There is a special bag for every single lesson! And they all have to be co-ordinated!  When I was shopping for fabrics in Japan last year, I saw a Grandma + Mum + Daughter trio shopping for fabrics for her new school bags. They took their time deciding on the main theme (they had to choose from animals, fairies, famous characters, ballerinas etc…. ), then they had to select matching co-ordinating fabrics, it was a hard decision for the girl to make! 🙂 T. Now that’s my kind of shopping trip!

Look how a simple navy blue  bag can be jazzed up with some scrap fabrics. And don’t forget to label the bag with your name. Embroidered of course. I love how they set up the scene when the take photos of the bags. Isn’t the little tool box with the child size tools just adorable?

For lunch break, you need a bag for your bento, a separate pouch for your cup, and of course, a co-ordinating lunch mat to lay your bento and cup on. (Oops, that’s on the right page which got cut off, but it’s a mat with slots to keep your fork and spoon.

Like the appliques they use to embellish the bags? The book provides you with the templates for felt characters, all to be stitched on by hand on the bags.

And on the days you have sports/PE lessons, you will have one bag for your sports kit, and separate bag for shoes. Even the towel can be co-ordinated as well by adding a matching applique.

On the days that you have art class, don’t forget your smock, so that you get your uniform dirty!

And for music lessons, you need a bag for your music books, and matching pouches for your recorder, harmonica and castanet!

Great! We made it through the school day, let’s change into something comfortable when we get home. There are 4 casual dresses covered under the Daily Wardrobe section.

Add a cute skirt and I’m ready to play!

Now babies + toddlers need some home made wear too. Co-ordinated hat and pants. With extra booty space for diapers.

Some more goodies. Mummy needs a light weight bag to carry when she goes shopping, and the baby needs a bib for eating.

In summer, the kids wear yukatas, which are light weight casual cotton kimonos. Fun to wear!
My kids were given these during their trips to onsens, and they are really comfortable to wear.

Now for special occasions. I have made 3 dresses out of this pattern alone. The first was modified into a Cinderella gown for a school halloween party. That was 5 yrs ago, and the gown is complete worn out by now as I used the wrong type of fabric. The second one is still going strong except that the tulle layer has been stretched and distorted, but what I wanted to show you is this snow white gown I made from this pattern. I used the bodice and skirt patterns, but changed the sleeves and split the bodice into two so that I could add the piping. I deliberately used cotton instead of satin so that she could wear it on a daily basis. You can see more of the Snow White dress here.

And of course there is something for the boys too. Would he like to be a prince?

Or Peter Pan?

Cute little fairy with wings and a wand. Great for Halloween or even for play.

That’s all for today. Next week I’ll cover the rest of the book, which is an assortment of crafts and some more sewing projects. See you next week!

 Title : All your kids need
ISBN no. : 9784579111336
Publisher : 文化出版局
Pages : 187