Today’s post is not about fabrics, but the super cute notions you can use to jazz up your back to school projects. As you know, there must be hundreds of tapes, name labels, fabrics with popular characters from Disney, Sanrio, San-x etc. So today I will not talk about those but show you some of the interesting ones that I like.
What makes a handmade back-to-school accessory even more special? The fabric of course! I have a weakness for Hello Kitty and Sanrio characters in general, but they are pretty common and in a way not so “special”. So today instead of talking about the popular characters, I will feature some famous characters from all over the world that have made their way to Japanese fabrics.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar! My kids love this book. I’ve read it countless times and we’ve even went to watch the theatre version by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. See the “Example of Use” diagram? The fabric is printed with different illustrations all on the same fabric so that you can cut up different parts for the handles, bags and pouches. Cool huh? The fabric is made by Kokka in Japan.
Pénélope Tête en l’air – We first discovered this TV show on ANA’s in-flight entertainment and despite it being in Japanese, it was the only cartoon that my daughter watched over an over again. She loves the little blue koala!
Shinkansen is a character from Sanrio. It’s literally named after the 新幹線 which is the Japanese bullet train. This print is for the boys (and girls who love trains!)
My all time favourite. I remember watch Barbapapa as a kid on TV. I never thought I would see it again till I went to Japan. It seems pretty popular there going by the number of merchandise I can find there. I bought a new Barbapapa schedule book, and Kinder Surprise figurines. But I wasn’t so lucky to find the fabric this time. I would love to get hold of these!
The bears’ school is about the life of 12 living bear cubs at the dormitory on the top of a mountain. Sounds cute already! I haven’t read the books but I keep seeing these bears in magazines like Cucito and Pochee, and I see the fabrics pretty often online. Both the author and the illustrator are Japanese but apparently the books have been translated to French and other languages.
Suzy’s Zoo is by an American illustrator but it’s also very popular in Japan. This is also produced by Kokka.
Last but not least, let me introduce you to a show called みいつけた (Miitsuketa) I’m not sure if this TV show is available outside Japan, but while we were there, it was showing everyday in the afternoon. My kids didn’t understand a word they were saying but they were nonetheless fascinated by it. There are 3 main characters. A weird looking cactus (or at least I think it’s a cactus), a chair, and a kid. Strange but true 😛 Take a look below…
This is my first post of 2013. I’m sorry it has taken so long. This year we took our holidays one week later than usual. When we got back, there was only 1 week to finish preparing everything for the new school year, not to mention having to do it in between meeting up with friends and family for the holiday season.
For the first post of the new year I would like to share with you some changes in the blogging schedule as well as what I hope to achieve this year. For the whole of last year, I stuck to a 3 blog post a week schedule. Those of you who are bloggers will know that preparing for a single blog post, including the research and photographs, will take at least a few hours. When it comes to preparing free patterns and tutorials, it takes even longer than that. But I have always wanted to include more free patterns and tutorials because it would be more meaningful to have sew-alongs. In order to do this, I have decided to cut down the number of blog posts a week to 2. This is so that I can devote an entire week to preparing a sewing video and free patterns for download.
Also, to make the blog posts more organized, I am also going have different themes for each month. All the sewing projects, free patterns, book reviews and fabrics (and even some giveaways) will be related to the theme of the month. I will be posting mainly on Mondays and Thursdays, and the posts will rotate between free patterns, book reviews and fabrics as usual. I will still be taking in translation requests so keep them coming. In addition to that, on the last week of every month there will be a free sewing tutorial/pattern/video based on the theme of the month. I hope I can find time to pull it off. Wish me luck! 😛
For this month’s theme, it was a no-brainer. I have been doing nothing but back-to-school sewing for the past one week. I made a new pencil case, new wallet, new art apron and a new lunch bag is in progress. So the theme for this month is Back to School. 🙂
And to kick this off, here are some free patterns I found on back-to-school projects. These patterns are from a craft shop called Pirol that is located in Kyoto.
This is the link to the free pattern list. http://item.rakuten.co.jp/pirol/c/0000000475/ There are tote bags for art, shoe bags, bento bags, water bottle carriers, simple drawstring pouches, rucksacks, pianica cases, messenger bags etc.
Browsing is easy, just click on the thumbnails of the projects you want to make and you will be directed to the individual how-to-make page. The patterns are usually simple geometric shapes so you can just draw them out directly on your fabric like I do, or you draft them out on paper first using the measurements given.
The instructions are not always very consistent. Some are quite brief like this one below, with most of the steps in point form and some diagrams. There are also some simpler patterns that have clearer diagrams. But if you have had some experience in sewing, it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out?
I know that not all of you are preparing for the new school year but this should come in handy sooner or later. You can’t have too many bags! 🙂
Well, that’s my post for this Monday, see you on Thursday with post about fabrics suitable for kiddy bags!