13 July 2008

inspiration, japanese style

I don't think I have too many words for you right now, but I did promise to share some more of those Japanese craft books I picked up in New York. The top four photos are from the book entitled "One Piece," ISBN: 978-4-579-11149-7. The bottom three photos are from the book "Linen and Cotton," ISBN: 978-4-277-72252-0 (this is the book that my shirt came from). I will say a few quick things on the topic of Japanese craft books while I'm on my little soapbox here.

The first is that I don't believe they are for the beginning sewer (unless you happen to read Japanese fluently), but they are perfect for someone who has basic sewing skills, and a decent understanding of clothing construction and following a pattern. I say this, not to discourage you beginner sewers out there (by all means go for it!), but to say that in my brief experience with these books, it is best to not go into a project from a Japanese craft book necessarily expecting to produce something exactly as it's pictured.

I personally view these books as inspiration, or as a jumping off point. Sometimes, it's super easy to follow the directions and pattern exactly how it's intended, but often, it's not so easy (again, without understanding the Japanese directions). I've thoroughly enjoyed the handful of garments that I've constructed so far from Japanese craft books, and will definitely be making more in the future. I think my desire (and so far limited ability) to design and construct my own patterns has definitely been furthered by these projects. It's probably the combination of fairly simple designs and the extensive amount of thought required to figure out how to construct these simple designs. So, I would highly recommend trying one of these books (there are tons available on ebay and etsy- and Amazon Japan, though that scares me), just be prepared to wind up with your own interpretation of the project. Also, you can always find more info here, and here (and be sure to check out the rest of this site- these ladies are doing an amazing job!).

Obviously, I don't plan to make everything in the photos below (wouldn't that be something!). Another great thing about these books is the photographs and the styling. I just love it, so simple yet all the details are always exactly in place. They're always so calm and subtle. So even if you don't even know how to sew, you could pick up some of these books just for the pretty pictures. They're quite nice to look at.

Hmmmm, I guess I did have some words for you after all! Without further ado, some inspiration...


  1. I love, love, love the styling in these books. The photography is so pretty and simple. I keep intending to pick one up and try a new sewing project!

  2. I'm hoping to get a pattern or two traced this week for my daughter from one of my Japanese craft books. I just love looking at these.
    On a side note, we you shopping at Seward this afternoon?

  3. beautiful photos. you don't know how much i wish i could look at one of those outfits and then re-create it myself. i'm just not that crafty.

  4. these books always have such great styling and are full of inspiration.

    thank you for sharing!