craft, girly style wardrobe, japanese sewing, sewing

Sewing for Girls – Japanese Style

I’m so excited ! Awhile back I advertised for a book swap … my wishes came true and then some!   I received in the mail this week two of the loveliest JAPANESE SEWING BOOKS ever. I LOVE japanese craft books. But I always wondered… can one actually sew clothing from a pattern written in language one cannot read?

Well, my friends, I have the answer for the question now !  Yes,,, why yes one can !

The very first thing I did onest these lovely books arrived… was study them. Carry them round, to the bath, to the kitchen (while cooking tea~!), to bed … and really study the patterns and pictures. What I do love about these books, is what it has done for me personally , on a sewing enhancement level. Saving you from too deep a philosophical session, basically sewing patterns instructions confuse me. Even the ones other people say are ”easy” to follow. {Especially those}. Now I don’t know for the life of me why, but I am just no good at following instructions. I don’t like to either. I’d totally rather look at it, study it, and get to the end myself. You know?

Of course you know. You definitely know. See how well illustrated this pattern is? There wasn’t even a need for words. I did find out thru ‘detective Angela work’ how the word front is written in Japanese (and then promptly went round drawing it to friends to impress..).  Simple.  Study.  Trace*.  Cut.  Sew.  Admire. 

*Trace was a bit of an event from hell,, but we got there. Lines. Man oh man. The lines.

Ta-dah! Here she is. Hanging on a Gum Tree, swaying in the Kimberley breeze. This is the first top in the book (Pattern a, flickr group here). Sewn in Heather Ross frogs and tadpoles, I omitted the front pockets and added a vintage pink lace trim instead. I do love it. This is the size 100cm, the smallest in this book, and looks to fit a 3-5 year old. I did add a couple of inches to the bottom to make it longer, otherwise just as in the pattern.

I’d love to know.. do any of you have a favorite Japanese sewing book? Any experience on this topic to share? Expect to see much more sewing from these books! Sewing for girls is so much fun. Thanks to you Bronwyn for this fabulous trade, I’m so happy!



13 thoughts on “Sewing for Girls – Japanese Style

  1. That is a really cute (and well made) garment! I love your colour combination – i just wouldn’t think to put the pink lace with that yellow/green, but I love it so much when I see it here! Sounds like the book swap was a great idea.


    Posted by Evi | August 3, 2011, 11:22 am
  2. adorable! and i love that fabric.


    Posted by Anushka | August 3, 2011, 2:16 pm
  3. I’ve wondered the same in the past. Surely I need a translation. They are lovely clear illustrations and I guess a picture is worth a thousand words. The dress is beautiful. I love the fabrics.


    Posted by Cheryl | August 3, 2011, 10:24 pm
  4. I love the lace trim! I’ve never bought any Japanese sewing books, but I’ve certainly seen a few that’d like to buy. I’ve been a bit concerned that I wouldn’t be able to make anything given the language barrier, but it’s great to see that the images are so instructive.


    Posted by Angela Osborn | August 4, 2011, 2:40 am
  5. Very cute! Well done for getting through it. I’ve wondered too if I could ever use a Japanese pattern book, you’ve inspired me!


    Posted by Jo | August 4, 2011, 5:43 am
  6. I love the style of those Japanese sewing patterns. This top is super cute! :)


    Posted by Christina | August 4, 2011, 7:21 am
  7. I’m like you and find it better (more rewarding) to study and follow the pictures in patterns. I had never thought of looking into sewing books from Japan or anywhere else – what a fabulous idea!


    Posted by Teresa | August 4, 2011, 8:07 am
  8. I have the same book too, but have never sewn from it. I did look at the top too and thought maybe, just maybe I could manage but promptly forgotten about it all. Thank you for the inspiration.


    Posted by Vicky | August 4, 2011, 2:52 pm
  9. what a pretty top! that lace trim is such a nice touch. I donot know the Japanese language but I can read symbol crochet patterns.I used sport weight cotton for all of the potholders :)


    Posted by Pearlin J | August 4, 2011, 6:54 pm
  10. I love the Japanese books but only bought a crochet one as I could follow the diagram. Yesterday, though, I bought an English version of the Stylish Dress Book. I’ve given up on knitting socks but reckon I’m on to something now!


    Posted by Vera @ Small Things Simple Pleasures | August 5, 2011, 5:20 am
  11. good to know! i was wondering the same thing a few weeks ago. i had found all these great japanese sewing books online, but didn’t buy them b/c they were in japanese. thanks!


    Posted by Megan | August 5, 2011, 1:43 pm
  12. Darling!


    Posted by TwirlyCurlyBird | August 5, 2011, 4:33 pm
  13. I’ve never even thought of buying a Japanese craft book, but I love the look of yours (and the fantastic top you’ve made) – I’m tempted to jump online and look for a copy of the same book.


    Posted by Jackie | August 7, 2011, 6:21 am

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“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the Breath of a Buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which run across the Grass and loses itself in the Sunset”. – Crowfoot , great warrior.

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