Browsing Category

Japanese Sewing Magazines

Japanese Sewing Books Japanese Sewing Magazines New Releases

New Releases – February 2014

February 13, 2014

From this month onwards, I will  be blogging once a month about new releases in Japanese Sewing Books. 🙂

The books I have listed are based on their release dates in February. Some of the new magazines due for release in March have already been listed on some online sites, I want to share them too but I have decided that I will leave them for the next month’s so that the content is more organized. Some of the books/magazines listed below have already been released and available for order, while some are due for release nearer the end of the month so you can only pre-order them.

Click on the images will bring you either to the publisher’s page, or Whenever it is possible I will link it to the page which gives you the most information about the book so that you can search for it from your favorite bookstore. Some publishers also provide sample preview pages so if it is available I will link to those pages so that you can see what is inside the book.

Happy Browsing!


Cotton Friend Spring 2014


Cotton Time March 2014 Edition


外国のおばあちゃんが作ってくれたみたいなバッグの本 おうちの小物やスカートも。
Bags,Small Goods, Skirts etc in Foreign Granny style 


誌上・パターン塾 Vol.1 トップ編
Pattern drafting for Tops with 22 bodice styles, 26 sleeve styles and 40 collar styles


新米ママもらくらく作れる かわいいベビーグッズ
Cute baby goods for new mummies to make


月居良子の かんたん、かわいい まっすぐソーイング かぶる、まく、はおる
Easy, cute, straight sewing by Tsukikyo Ryoko
(Tip : Click on the image above and you can see some screenshots inside the book by the publisher)


Pochhari Girl’s Sewing Book (L-5L sizes)


First time sewing

 More books and magazines coming your way in March! From next month onwards, I will post the new releases on the first week of the month. Stay tuned!

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Magazines Kids Sewing Patterns

Magazine review – Cucito Winter / Early Spring 2014

January 27, 2014

I bought this magazine in December while I was in Japan, to learn about the latest fabric releases of the season and to help inspire me on my fabric shopping trips. This issue is for winter + early spring, and includes a back to school sewing special.



Since it is a winter+early spring special, the focus was on warm clothing but not heavy duty winter clothing.


Bring out the shorts for spring! The floral fabric is definitely an interesting choice for boys pants 🙂


A very cute pumpkin pants for the girls. (the Japanese term provided is かぽちゃパンツ which literally means pumpkin pants) The one in the picture is made using Dyed corduroy which is great for warm weather but you can also use the pattern with normal twill cotton for a lighter spring+summer version as well.


There is another 130-150cm feature in this issue of Cucito, which I hope is going to be a permanent feature in every issue! There are 3 patterns for 130-150cm size this time round.
1. Coruduroy flare skirt with pockets
2. Frill Jumper skirt (picture above)
3. Brushed fleece jacket with elbow patches (picture below)

There are two variations for each pattern, basically using the same pattern but with variations in color/embellishments.



Sewing lesson – Using fluffy and soft fabric for sewing. This is a special sewing lesson feature for sewing on all types of fluffy fabrics, like faux furs, fleece, brushed fleece etc. (All synthetic of course!)


There are detailed step by step photographs showing you exactly how to cut and sew on such fabrics.


Once you have mastered sewing with this type of fabric, you can move on to other projects using the same fluffy fabrics.



Boys & Girls Heavy Rotation Wardrobe –  Co-ordinates feature. The words heavy rotation wardrobe probably means clothes that you will wear often, over and over again?





The magazine not only provides patterns for the co-ordinates, but shows you the many different ways to wear them as well.



There are some cute patterns for little babies/toddlers too…


Smock blouse


Vest and pants

Then… there is the back to school special.


Something I look forward to every early spring issue – Back to school sewing starts around this time because the new school term in Japan starts in Spring. So there are lots of kids fabric collections that are released around this time of the year.

New fabrics from puti de pome. (Kiyohara)


I loved this rainbow fabric so much I bought the exact combination of co-ordinating fabrics  in two colors – pink and blue, and even the sew-on applique.


Fabrics from Kokka



Nico Nico land by Lecien


Tip Top collection by Daiwabo-tex



I love these cutting layout diagrams where they show you exactly how to use the material.This is what I call well-planned fabric design. 🙂


There is even a series of step by step photographs showing you how to sew some of the back to school accessories.

My absolute favourite this season – the nyan cat panel fabrics.  My little girl loves cats. Especially on fabric 🙂



The magazine comes with two sheets of actual size pattern pieces.

There will be no post next Monday because it’s the Chinese New Year holidays. The weekend will be busy with feasting and visiting, plus Monday is also a school holiday. But I will be back next Thursday with a vote?/survey? for February’s sew along. If you have a specific request (from any of the books that I own) be sure to let me know then and I’ll see if I can include it in the future sew-alongs. Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who are celebrating the festival!

Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Magazines

Magazine Review – Cotton Time Magazine

January 2, 2014

Happy New Year everyone! It seems that I gave myself a much longer holiday than I planned to, and here’s why. I was back last week of December but had to deal with a number of issues including a mountain full of laundry, getting ready for the new school term, lots of Christmas and New year get-togethers and way too much feasting. On the technical side, there was also a problem with the server, which happened just before I left. So when I came back I had to hold back on posting till the files were migrated to the new server and the blog software upgraded. So far everything has been running ok (hopefully) and it’s time to get back to posting!

What better way to begin the year than posting about the latest issue of Cotton Time Magazine, Jan edition (No. 112), which is all about sewing and crafts for the New Year!


The cover is so colourful and cheery, it brings a smile to my face. 🙂

Freebie alert! : A free calendar….


that includes gorgeous photos featuring handicrafts…


as well as the instructions on how to make them!


FREEBIE #2 : A free sample piece of 40cm x 26cm fabric with a cute kitchen print , from the Le Ciel collection by Daiwabo-tex.


They even give you ideas on how to use the fabric.


You can cut out the printed bottle shapes and use them to make jar labels, or apply as an applique on your kitchen towels.


This year is the year of the horse, so there are lots of cute horsey crafts too!



There are also some Mount Fuji inspired crafts. This is too cute!


More sprucing up for the home. A quilted floor mat in the shape of a snow pea pod.


It’s hard work spring cleaning for the new year, so you have to cheer yourself up doing the chores wearing a cute little apron.


Instead of using disposable wiper sheets, use microfibre cloth and make a dog cover for it instead. You can pretend you are walking the dog while cleaning the house.


Other than household zakka projects, there are always a number of bags and accessories patterns included in every issue of Cotton Time.


I love the structured look of this bag (below).


Pretty wallets to make.


Other than sewing projects, there are also a number of craft projects with really interesting applications. The following is a feature on making tassels and how to use them for accessories or embellishments on your other sewing projects.


There is another special feature on cardboard weaving….


with step by step instructions to show you how to make your own hand weaving loom out of pieces of cardboard.


Can you guess what these cute thread holders (below) are made out of?


Same material as these colorful earrings below.

There are all made from プラ板. I’m guessing it is a direct translation of plastic board. I found some references online that call it Shrink Plastic or Poly shrink. I’m not sure if you have played with it or seen it before but It’s basically a plastic board that is thin enough for you to draw and cut out shapes from, then after you shrink it in the oven it will harden up and become much smaller than the original size.  You can use it to make all kinds of arts and crafts. They sell it here in the $2 shop but I’ve never tried making anything out of it because I am not sure it’s a good idea to shrink plastic in the same oven that I use for food. But it certainly looks like a lot of fun if you have a spare toaster oven to use.


One of my favourite features in sewing magazines – peeking into the sewing rooms of other crafters, especially how they store their sewing supplies.


Since it is the beginning of the year, there is also a school goods special. The official school year in Japan doesn’t start in January but I guess it is always a good idea to get started early since there are so many pieces to make!


This particular feature is targeted at Mum’s who are beginners, so the designs are simple and there are also step by step photos to follow along.


Some of the other cute school goods – bento cover with matching lunch mat.


1 large size Pattern sheet for all the patterns in the book.


Cotton Time is published once every two months by Boutique Sha.

Cotton Time / Shufu to Seikatsusha
Get your copy now from cdjapan

Next week, I will be posting up some patterns that I am considering for the sew-along. It will be a girl’s dress because I really need to get my sewing for my girls done before the Lunar New Year comes around (31st of Jan!) Help me decide which pattern to make and you will get to see it as the sew-along feature for this month!

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Magazines Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Sewing Pochee Autumn 2013 Vol 16

November 6, 2013

Sewing Pochee is published 4 times a year according to the seasons, and it includes lots of sponsored specials and special features that are more often found in magazines than books. The projects range from garments to accessories and ornaments, quite similar to Cotton friend. Yet I think it qualifies as a book because it has a ISBN number unlike the regular magazines. Never mind the technicalities, it is still one of my favorite sewing books from Nihon-vogue’s – Sewing Pochee 2013 Autumn Vol. 16.

Why do I like this book? Because they will always feature a combination of works from the “famous” sewing bloggers/crafters/authors who have published books under the Nihon vogue range. In this issue you can find the works of Nanotone, 荒木由纪, May me, a sunny spot and more!

There is also a free 25x25cm free fabric sample from a new fabric collection + ideas and patterns on how to use the fabric.

 I’m not sure if the fabric is enough for making these room shoes but the patterns are included and you can use your own pretty fabric to make these cozy room shoes.

Now let’s step right in and have a look at the garments and projects included in this issue.

 The headline of this issue. – Using one pattern to make mix-and-match clothes. I’m trying to translate the headline but it basically means you can make multiple variations using one pattern.

Round collar dress/blouse, which can be worn front or back, as a dress or a coat.

Blouse with soft gathers.

 Linen Gilet (Gilet – french for a sleeveless jacket resembling waistcoat/blouse according to Wikipedia).

 Belt detail as seen from the back.

 Some of the projects (especially the sponsored features) come with step by step photographs. These are found within the main section of the magazine in between the projects.

 Close up of the steps.

Loose Silhouette Cropped Pants

Some cold weather patterns

 Balloon poncho

 This issue’s Bernina special features the Bernina B580 (drools) and includes a pattern for making this poncho out of thick fleece fabric.

Complete with step by step instructions which I guess its supposed to show us how well it sews on thick fabric. I will have to take their word for it since we don’t even have a proper showroom here for Bernina with the full range of machines for testing out.  I will love to do a review on the machine 😛 (ok I’m just trying my luck here) Check out the pricing below for the B580!  484,500 yen is about USD4931. How does that compare to the Bernina prices where you are?

 I notice Men’s patterns have been showing up in recent magazines. And not just the usual t-shirt/shirt patterns.

 I like this hoodie with the interesting collar detail and front pockets

 Back view of hoodie, and the pattern for the bag is included too!

Padded vest. Very college boy look? The only problem with these patterns are, they only come in M size!

Those of you who follow me on instagram may have heard me wondering aloud yesterday morning. There is a special feature by Arai Yuki 荒木由纪 in this issue where they provide the adult pattern version of two of the projects in the girls sewing pattern book -きちんと可愛い女の子服. This book was released in May this year and contains 21 patterns for 100-140cm and 9 patterns for 150,160cm. Just the thing for pre-teens and teenage girls. I had this book for quite a while and somehow I thought I had already posted a review but while searching for the book review to link it up to, I just could not find it anywhere! I will review it next week.

 If you can’t wait, here’s a little thumbnail preview of the kids version of the same cardigan. I think it looks more stylish on the girl than on the lady. Perhaps its the baggy pants she’s wearing that’s throwing me off ;P

I received a few questions about the possibility of making balloon dresses in adult sizes. Guess what? You can get the adult version right here in Sewing Pochee!

For those of you who have kids, there are a number of Mama+kid matching sets for you to make.

For example, this Liberty fabric special with a pattern by blogger/author of “a sunny spot” 村田繭子

Suitable for both boys and girls – Parka coat and Jacket.

 Linen dress for Mama+girl

This pattern is for the knit pants (not the shirt). Relax straight pants for mama, sarouel pants for kids.

Dolman pullover

 Other than garments, there are also accessories, such as this bag with embellished by Liberty fabric.

A little wire frame purse and felt mascots.

 Handmade bracelets using leftover fabric.

Some cute ornaments to make. You can hang them on your christmas tree!

Make coasters out of fabric scraps.

Other than sewing projects, there are also some special sections like this one.

 Peep into the sewing rooms of popular craft authors and see how to store their sewing supplies!

 Here’s a peep at one of the sewing rooms. I spot a Juki and a brother sewing machine. If only I had space for a sewing room. Projects will move so much faster. 🙂

Now for some technical information.

Here are the adult and kids size charts. For the adult (ladies) size chart on top, the values on the left column are – (Bust / Waist / Hip/ Height). They used 160cm height for all the sizes, so just adjust the length if you are below or above 160cm.
For the kids the values on the left column are – (Height / Bust / Waist / Hip).

With the exception of the sponsored specials, special features which include very detailed step by step photographs, the rest of the projects have their “how-to-make” included at the back. A typical how-to-make page looks like this.

 There are no written steps, but you have to follow the order of make in the diagram and each step is shown in a diagram form.

A close up of the diagrams.

2 large sheets of patterns included.

 Title : Sewing Pochee Autumn 2013 Vol 16
ISBN : 978-4-529-05251-1
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Magazines Kids Sewing Patterns

Magazine review – Cucito Autumn 2013

October 23, 2013

Yay it’s FINALLY here. The Autumn version of Cucito magazine.

Highlights of this issue – patterns for the 130,140,150cm group which are not often found in books and magazines. My eldest just went past the 130cm mark, this will come in handy!

The magazine starts off with some Autumn wear basics for the cooler months. Sweat pants for boys and girls.

Also, notice the shirt worn by the boy and the Mama+girl in the picture below? They are part of a matching set of shirt patterns for both Mama+kids. Just that the boy has a tie and the ladies use a ribbon tie.

There are also skirt patterns for Mama + Girl in the same sweat pants material. The title of the pattern is called sweat skirt! Is that the official term?

 Some projects featuring new Autumn fabrics.

 Love the little bolero!

It even includes a really pretty lining for the peekaboo effect.

Next up is the special section for 130-150cm girls.

Tencel Denim Salopette pants (overalls). There is also a Salopette skirt version which is also available in 90-120cm sizes.

Cute Trench Coat with Ruffles – really cute! I love how they used the mustard yellow color too. It’s not a color I would choose to buy but it looks so good with the light brown boots.

 This issue’s special Sewing feature – Sewing with open ended zippers. There is even a full step by step tutorial showing you how to make the parka in the picture above.

 Check out the upper end of the zipper. Professionally finished!

Lots of ideas for embelishment using the same parka pattern.

As usual, Cucito always provides a few Mama+Daughter patterns.

 and some for the babies!

 Buttons on the back. how cute!

 This stylish outfit will look good on a 130-150cm girl too, but unfortunately it only comes in 70-90cm sizes.

 Something for the baby boys too. Patterns for the vest, shirt and pants, all included.

I’m quite attracted to the little boys outfit in this issue, not sure why 😛

 These two boys are wearing a sweatshirts with a really interesting wide collar with a toggle button. Really interesting and I think it will work for the girls too.

Padded vest for the boys.

Back to more girly stuff. A bubble skirt on the left, and a simple denim skirt on the right. The red and white polka dotted pocket you can barely see on the extreme right of the picture, is actually a detachable pocket.

 Remember the cute trench coats earlier on for the 130-150cm age group? Available in 90-120cm sizes too. I would buy this magazine just for this pattern! ;P

 The 90-120cm size includes a straight coat design as well.

Using all the garments you can make in this issue, you can put together some really stylish looks.

Outift ideas for the girls.

 There are some lovely hats as well, I like this one best!

Now for the how-to-make section. It starts with some sewing basics with photographs.

Many of the patterns that require more instruction come in colored diagrams like these.

The simpler ones are included near the back of the magazine in black and white diagrams like the one below.

 2 large pattern sheets included.

 Title : Cucito Autumn 2013
Publisher : Boutique-sha