Pure, unadulterated eye candy.
That's what Japanese Sewing Pattern books are.
If you have never had the thought of sewing from Japanese Sewing Books, then let me introduce you to them! I am by no means a trailblazer in this endeavor, there have been many bloggers that have dabbled in Japanese sewing patterns. But- since I am just getting started, I thought I'd like to share with you my experience.
Quick disclaimer: I am not an affiliate for any Japanese sewing book whatsoever. I just think these books are totally boss and wanted to share!
First and foremost, there are a few very informative websites that have a plethora of information and tutorials and even some free patterns, all geared towards learning to decipher and sew these gorgeous things!
Why Japanese patterns?
Well, to be frank, it's no joke that our family is very enthusiast about all that is encompassed in the Japanese culture. I don't think I need to prove my point on this any further than to say, my blog is titled sew chibi!!
But for those who are not like me, Japanese patterns have a perfect blending of vintage yet are progressive in their own way; appropriate for little girls; have a delightful French feel to the garments; and the patterns a lot of times have extremely descriptive details on how to make the items, sometimes with an image for each and every step!!!
Where can I search to find out about them before I make the plunge into buying a book?
Here are a few websites that I frequent for information:
From these websites, you can learn a lot. There's dictionaries, sew-alongs, flickr pools... japanese sewing books in particular not only has free patterns that she's found but she has a whole section on Translation Requests (look out for a couple I just currently sent pics for help on next week I think... as soon as she puts it up!)
You also can never know enough when it comes to learning new sewing techniques, am I right?! And so sewing from these books are bound to expand your sewing skills!!
Oh! and in every children's sewing book I've picked up, there's always a pattern or two or three in there just for mamma too!!! Seriously- how cool is that!!!!??!
Where do I buy them?
There are a few places that I personally suggest: first and foremost Kinokuniya. This is a Japanese Mega bookstore that has multiple locations around the world... I used to be spoiled living in Philly being so close to the three story headquarters in NYC, but there is a mini version in Beaverton (suburb of Portland) that I go to now. But I miss the onigiri selection at the cafe and the magnitude of the one near Grand Central Station. But hey, a girl can't complain too much, right?!
Not near a Kinokunya? I bought 4 books from Ebay from the same seller (she had free shipping direct from Japan), but for a full spectrum, look up Japanese craft (or sewing) book. Then, bam, hundreds of books to sort through. And now you understand what and why I spent most of my New Year's Day chillaxin' on Ebay.
And finally, when in doubt, check Etsy. It is in my experience that Etsy is the most expensive though :-(
Two other tools worth mentioning:
(for us Americans who don't know the metric conversions off hand. It's important because you will almost always have to add in your seam allowances yourself. They're not added in, but they'll tell you what they suggest (usually 1cm, 1.5cm for gathering areas, and then 3cm for hems but that is just a generalization and by no means an overall rule)
OKAY! Now the big question: WHAT SHOULD I BUY???
By no means am I telling you you have to buy these books in particular, but it's nice to look inside and hey, maybe you'll decide like me to these! I will be including the ISBN number since it is virtually impossible most of the time to find these books online without an ISBN number.
The book that I'll be showing you today is from the 2012 Heart Warming Life Series. ISBN 9784529050678 (I got this one for 10% off $27.30 at the local Kinokuniya. Thanks Robin for the heads up on the sale!!)
Translates into something like "Easy to Wear Knits for Girls". Basically it's for materials with a little bit of stretch but some of the items could possibly be made with lightweight wovens since they have button closures.
Keep an eye out for a variation on this from me in the near future;-)
love the neckline on the one on the left
Love everything about this outfit!
The other thing I asked Yi Fran to do a translation on was the blouse on the left.
In LOVE with both of these!!!!! See the ears on the hood??
Will be trying this one maybe soon
Yeay!!! Mamma sewing!!!!!!
Here's an idea of what the pattern instructions look like. See the arrows and the summary of the steps above it? Love that. The steps then look like step one at the bottom for each step.
Here's a pic of my little arm shaker while I tried to take pictures. It's a good thing she's cute! Oh, and those two blurry things? A couple of her most favorite toys in the world: balls!
Dedicating these posts to Max, my bloggie BFF.
More to come!!! Keep ya posted, hahaha!!!