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Magazine Review – Cotton Time May 2014

May 26, 2014

The covers of Cotton Time magazines never fail to brighten up my day. Look at this pretty and super colorful mix of bags, zakka, accessories…. Yes, all these projects and more are included in this month’s edition.


Fabric freebie! A 40x26cm wide piece from Sweet Charms fabric design range by Cosmo-tex. It’s the same fabric used on the bag on the cover. There are patterns for making the round bag on the cover, or a shell shaped zipper pouch, or a metal frame purse.  There is probably only enough fabric to make one project of course, so choose wisely!


The next section is all about using the “House” as a motif for all kinds of zakka goods, starting with this sweets pouch. The photo shows the pouch being used to literally carry sweets, but at 10.5cm x 7cm x 5cm it will be perfect as a little pouch for carrying keys,tissue paper, or just a little bag for your child.


House shaped Pin Cushion


Stationery organizer


Mini Felt Cases for holding jewellery and small knick knacks.


It’s Summer, and it’s time for picnics! The next section covers a whole bunch of projects for making your own co-ordinated picnic accessories! There are two different themes. The Lovely theme,


Or the Sporty theme. Patterns included – Bottle case, Cup case, Dish case, Leisure mat and  Lunch bag.


Next up, a very popular and often revisited theme in Japanese sewing books, the Granny bag pattern.

Other than the basic version, there are 5 other suggest variations of the granny bag that you can try. Here’s one example – where tucks are added to the opening. The other arrangements include – sizing down for kids, using different types of materials for the handles, and adding detachable long handles.


There are always lots of bag patterns in Cotton Time. I can’t show them all here so here are just a few that I really like  – Canvas tote with round base.


A colorful patchwork tote designed by quilt artist Akiko Endo.


A really useful pattern to have – A vanity bag that is designed to slip over the handles of your suitcase.


Other than bags, there are lots of little accessories and useful objects to make.

Like these hair accessories,


Hair band decorations, necklaces


Cute Cord rolls in the shpae of macarons, and bears! – for neatening your cables and electrical cords, and beautifying your desk too!


Get ready for summer with these summer hats!


Matching flower hats for mother and daughter


Step by step instructions for making the hats.


I just wanted to cover one last section. This is a little late for mother’s day, since I only received this magazine after mother’s day, but nevertheless a cute matching set of accessories you can still make for Mum (or even yourself!)


Father’s day is coming in a few weeks time, so you can still make this in time! There are a couple of projects, all centred around the use of leather. Like this key holder,


Small accessories tray, and even a book cover.


One large sheet of actual size patterns included. You can see that there are large number of patterns included based on the list below.


Cotton Time / Shufu to Seikatsusha

I know that many of you are big fans of the Cotton Time magazine, and many of you have asked me where to buy this from. Those of you who prefer a English shopping experience can buy it from cdjapan (or click on the image above).  Those of you who already know what you want and want to buy other Japanese sewing books as well (that are not found on cdjapan) can opt for The descriptions are in Japanese but the checkout process is very much like the English site. Both of these websites ship internationally to most destinations. You may want to compare the shipping rates and see which is better. I hope this will help you find your copy of Cotton time and other sewing magazines. Good luck and happy sewing!

Japanese Sewing Magazines Translations and Help with Patterns

Translation Request – Vest from Cucito Early Spring 2014 – for Nina

May 15, 2014

A translation request from Nina for this vest from the winter/early spring edition of Cucito 2014. For those of you who have this magazine, the pattern is on page 95.

Click on the image above to zoom in

There was another request for a kimono pattern in the same magazine to be translated, I will be posting that at a later date after I am done with my other requests.

For those of you who are interested in sending me translation requests, please read this first.

Back to School Sewing Patterns Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Magazines Kids Sewing Patterns

Magazine Review – Cucito Spring 2014

May 5, 2014

Today we are going to take a look at the Spring Issue of Cucito  2014. This issue will satisfy anyone who loves sailor suits. Especially adorable on children!


The sailor tops come in boys, girls and even an adult version for Mom! (in S,M,L sizes)

There are also patterns for bottoms that will go well with the sailor blouse.


Skirts for the girls,


Pants for the boys.


There is a detailed step by step sewing lesson for the making of the pants, which is a simple elastic waistband pants with side pockets.


In this issue’s regular feature for older girls (130-150cm), there are some pretty spring blouses, tweed shorts,


and a versatile Zip up all-in-one pattern which comes in two different variations. The dress variation (red) and the one-piece shorts romper (in black)


There is also a special occasion formal dress segment for girls.


More casual wear – The blouse on the left is actually similar to the blouse made in the older girls section, and the dress on the left is a variation of the same pattern. That fabric on the right is so familiar, I’ve actually seen it at Spotlight. It is a Japanese cotton lawn that costs about $18/m (approx USD14.4/m). It’s scary how expensive fabric is here.


More pants for the boys, I wanted to show you this one because I really like the details on the short version – cuffed hem, box pleat pockets and button details.



And now, some projects for the babies. More sailor suits. The pants are so cute! 🙂



For the girls, the outfit comes with a skirt that has a front pleat and contrast lining. This skirt pattern comes with full color step by step photographs.


Other than clothing projects, there are also patterns for accessories, like this fabric growth chart shaped in a giraffe.



There is also a special feature for embroidery. A 5 page full color special with step by step photos on the different stitches, techniques and patterns you will need to personalize your sewing creations.


Ideas for using fabric scraps – making hair accessories.


Easy and cute stuff to make for kids.


 2 actual size pattern sheets included.

Title : Cucito Spring 2014
Publisher : Boutique-Sha

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Magazines Ladies Sewing Patterns

Magazine review – Sewing Pochee Spring 2014

April 15, 2014

It’s time for Spring sewing! With Sewing Pochee magazine vol.17.


Main feature of this issue – Dresses and Tunics. Other than sewing for adults, there are also sewing for accessories like bags, wallets, hair accessories, as well as some kids patterns. Let’s take a look!


Zakka craft feature – Metal frame purses patterns and a 2 page sewing lesson with full color step-by-step photographs.


Apron dresses for everyday wear



Love the use of leather straps on this one!

Tunic dresses – there were lots of tunic dresses, about 12 patterns in all, so I am only picking out my favourites to show you.


Gathered tiered tunic



I’m not really a fan of the fabric used on this but I like the pleats and ribbon tie, plus there is a 4 page detailed sewing lesson for this particular tunic.



Interspersed between the projects  are interesting little features like this one about the sewing machines used by famous sewing bloggers/authors of sewing books. Recognize any of them?


A peek into the behind the scenes at Check & Stripe Fabrics.


More sewing projects : Bags and wallets for Springtime!


Remember the book review on Fuko Basics I did last week? I know many of you are in love with that book and the designs. There are adult versions for 2 of the projects made in that book.


The white pleated blouse,


and the relax dress that I love so much! I need to buy a whole lot of knit fabric to make 3 of these for me and my girls 🙂


and look, there’s a Men’s Polo Shirt pattern as well! Unfortunately there is only one size – Free Size.
According to the pattern instructions, the finished dimensions of the shirt are
Chest – 102cm, Length – 68cm.

Next up – matching outfits for Mum and Kids.




Matching tiered gathered dress designed by NANATONE


There are also some cute outfits for kids, like this little sailor shirt for boys (by hahaco of


Gathered Culottes by petit etalage

Here are the size charts for the projects included. All units are in cm.


The table on the top is for Adult (Ladies),  Leftmost column – Bust/Waist/Hip/Height (based on 160cm for all sizes)
The table below is for Kids,  Leftmost column – Height/Bust/Waist/Hip

Other than the detailed sewing lessons, the rest of the project instructions look like this. Not full color, but the shading helps in identifying right and wrong sides of the fabric.



A closer look at the diagrams


2 large actual size pattern sheets attached.

PLUS, an exciting announcement for a new craft magazine called tukutte that will be out in April!  The magazine is published every two months and the most exciting thing about it is that every issue inclues a handicraft kit.


The list of free kits lined up for next year is already listed!


Can’t wait to get my hands on it. I sure hope they don’t leave the kit out for overseas shipping.


 Title : Sewing Pochee Spring 2014
ISBN : 978-4-529-05316-7
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue


Japanese Sewing Books Japanese Sewing Magazines New Releases

New Japanese Sewing Book Releases March 2014

March 10, 2014

It’s the first week of March and here are some new books and magazines that will be released this month. Spring is here!


Cute baby and small child clothes


Clothes for girls that I want to make


Lady Boutique Series 3735
Adult clothes that I want to wear more of.


Lady Boutique 2014 April

cucito Spring 2014

CUCITO Spring April 2014

Sewing pochee No. 17 Spring 2014
Dresses and Tunics (headline text)


Usual clothes, Pretty clothes

P.S. Please forgive my bad attempt at translating the titles. Sometimes the titles are meant to be poetic and it sounds so different in English when translated literally.  😛