Japanese fabrics and books

APR 3, 2008

Lately, I’ve found myself utterly smitten with Japanese fabrics, especially the nature and children’s prints I’m seeing on sites like reprodepot and Purlsoho.  Sooooo tempting, though starting prices at around $18 per yard mean this stuff is not an entirely guilt-free splurge.  Still, I love the interesting color ways, the dainty but sophisticated florals, the interpretation of natural motifs…

Imagine my delight at discovering that there are also Japanese children’s sewing pattern books available on Etsy!  I picked up a few recently from Lemon Squeezey and Chocolate Swirl and have been obsessing over the beautiful photos inside.  The patterns do seem special to me, though the ladies at my local sewing shop laughed at me for trying to slog through instructions written in Japanese.  “What’s wrong with Simplicity?” they demanded.  Nothing, of course.  But the diagrams are generally very clear, the books are lovely, and with 20 inspiring patterns in each one, isn’t this a better way to go, centimeter conversion and all?  I think so.

My first attempt was a layered skirt from this book for my oldest daughter out of some brown Kaffe Fassett printsBrown_skirt_fabrics that I already had and it came out pretty well.  Of course, the first time she wore it was to a kids’ museum where she got “washable” (actually NOT) black paint on it.  Sigh.  Best not to become attached to your children’s handmade clothes, no?  Here she is modelling it.Brown_skirt_2  You can’t see it under her blouse, but the front waistband is pleated and the back has a bit of elastic for better fit.  Next, a version in an actual Japanese print!

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