November 28, 2012

Sewing Library: Japanese Craft Books

I thought it might be fun to start a new series here about what's in my sewing library. I have so many sewing books that I just love and so many interesting items that I think you might find interesting too. I hope it will broaden your sewing horizons just a little and give you some ideas for trying out new things that maybe you didn't know about before. To start this series, and since I'm working on a certain someone's coat from a Japanese book, I thought I would share some Japanese craft books with you. I thought it might be more exciting to go through them one by one because these truly are luscious little books. So let's begin.

What are Japanese craft books? They are wonderful little books that contain anything from clothing to crafts to knitting and crochet photos, illustrations, instructions and patterns. The ones that I'm familiar with dedicate an entire book to one type of craft. For example, with Japanese craft books that are dedicated to sewing clothing all the photos in the book will be of something you can make. The instructions are usually located at the back of the book along with line drawings and the patterns are just like the patterns in a BurdaStyle magazine - they are all nested on top of each other on one big page meaning that you have to trace them off and usually add seam allowances in order to use them. There's usually something like 20 patterns in each book and all of the instructions are in japanese. For those of us that don't speak japanese though, the illustrations are magnificent. Very clear and very easy to follow for someone who is well acquainted with sewing.

I think one of the most interesting parts about these books is that the book is also dedicated to a certain style of clothing. I have a book on skirts, one on women's clothing, one on men's coats (same one that I'm using for my hub's coat), etc. Today I wanted to share my book on handbags. I never even make handbags, but when I first picked up this particular pattern book, the bags just made my mouth water. Sometimes I get really itchy for a crafty like project and these types of books are wonderful to turn to for that. I love how the Japanese can take something like a handbag and make it look so elegant and refreshing.

Aren't these just wonderful? I also wanted to give you my favorite resource for getting these pattern books. This Etsy shop here is marvelous and they provide excellent service and they always have great stock on a lot of these books. Go have a gander and enjoy yourself!
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