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Magazine review – Cotton Time January 2016

January 10, 2016

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a restful holiday period. I did enjoy myself and I think ate a little too much during the Christmas and New Year period but I also got started on my spring cleaning. Chinese New Year is less than a month away and there’s just so much cleaning and sewing to be done! What better way to start the new year than to review the January issue of Cotton Time magazine, which is also focused around New Year crafts and crafts for sprucing up the home.



With every January issue of Cotton Time, there is a free calendar booklet. And it’s not just a calendar, it contains 12 craft patterns, one for each month.


Ok I confess, I bought the magazine just for this calendar. But isn’t it pretty? Imagine while you fill up your calendar with your sewing schedules, you can get inspired to make something at the same time!


The pattern templates and instructions are included at the back of the calendar booklet. Each pattern comes with the instructions like above.


And as usual, there is a free piece of fabric as featured on the cover of the magazine. This month’s fabric is a beautiful cotton piece measuring 40cm x 26cm from Cotton Kobayashi. The patterns to be used with this fabric include not only the scalloped edge flap handbag on the cover, but also a long wallet and seal case (which you can also use for your lip balm/lip stick)


This month’s patterns for Cotto-chan is this purple travel outfit fit for a fine young lady 🙂 All the patterns in the outfit are included (no patterns for the umbrella or the suitcase)


New Year’s Day may be over but there are still may occasions where you can make use of these paper embroidery card ideas. There are more examples in the magazine with different embroidery patterns and even embellishments with sequins and beads.


New Year Sewing Specials.


Part 3 of the New year special –
Time to give that toilet a makeover. With co-ordinated accessories, no less.



This little cardboard house is actually a storage box. For your little knicks and knacks in the bathroom.

Out of the toilet, to other parts of the house. Sewing is a great way to spice up your decor with beautiful fabrics. And this is a great way to make use of those scraps as well!


I love these co-ordinated bucket totes. These will be perfect for storing toys and laundry.


As usual, there will always be some bag patterns in Cotton Time.



This is a matching mother+daughter boston bag. They are basically the same bag but in different sizes and fabrics.


I’ve been seeing these wire frame pouches quite frequently on social media. These particular pouches, in 3 sizes, are made using wire hangers, no special frames are needed, but you have to cut up some of your wire hangers.


I thought this was so cute, it deserves a special mention. This is more of a semi-circular shape wire frame pouch, but I love the use of the poodle fur fabric with the tartan checks. Even the lace embellishment was spot on. I could never have put this combination together myself, doesn’t it look perfectly cute together?


Another wire frame pouche, this is a case for a foldable umbrella, but I don’t see why you can’t use it as a pencil case too.


Handicraft feature of this issue, no sewing involved, but I thought it was really cute! I even went to the Daiso to look for this Oyumaru, which is apparently a plastic or was it silicone clay. It looks like something my girls will enjoy doing. Although I am wondering if it is toxic. A search on google didn’t tell me much, but I did find lots of people talking about this, as well as youtube videos. So it can’t be a new thing.


Just some pictures showing you how you can make candy out of it. Apparently you only need to heat it up with hot water and it will soften enough for you to mold it into any shape you want.


The usual back to school sewing series. Patterns and fabric ideas for both boys and girls.


This is a mini gauze handkerchief. I think its a great idea! Two layers of gauze sewn together, in a long slim shape, you can just fold it in half and it becomes a square. Saves time on folding hankys.  I have lots of little pieces of double gauze that will be perfect for this.


A bag for PE gear. Not the usual drawstring bag, I like the nautical style and the extra flap on the top.


There is a special contest sponsored by Inazuma (bag handles and purse frames maker), inviting participants to upcycle anything while making use of their handles or frames. The winning entry was this purse frame bag made out of an old puffy jacket which I thought was a really cute idea.


There is also a free sewing lesson with detailed photos on how to make these gathered or tucked bags.


Cotton Time / Shufu to Seikatsu sha
Buy now from cdjapan.co.jp (affiliate link)

Title : Cotton Time January 2016 (Issue No. 124)
Publisher: Shufu-to-Seikatsu-sha
Where to buy : Cdjapan.co.jp (click link above), amazon.co.jp, your local Kinokuniya (see if there is one in your country)

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1 Comment

  • Reply Mothers Day Sewing 2016 | Japanese Sewing, Pattern, Craft Books and Fabrics May 1, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    […] fabric I used was a free sample by Cotton Kobayashi from the January 2016 issue of Cotton Time magazine, and the pattern for the framed pouch is in there too (see the tiny row of pouches above the words […]

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