I adore Japanese craft books. Lately, most of the clothes I've sewn, are from Japanese patterns. I've been wanting to share what I've learned but never quite got around to it. Then Aimee invited me to write for Label-Free. And now I have the perfect opportunity to do just that.
This will be the first post in a, how to sew from Japanese craft books, series.
Now, I just want to start out by saying, I'm not an expert in sewing from Japanese patterns. I'm far from it. I don't read Japanese at all. Not a bit. But, in the year and a half I've been sewing Japanese patterns, I have learned my way around. And I'm proud to say it has never reduced me to a kicking, moaning, I can't figure it out tantrum unlike with knitting (which thankfully, shamefully happened once with a lace pattern. Ask my husband. No, on second thought, don't).
I thought the best way to share what I've learned is to show you my entire process from start to finish. And this is what I'm going to make.
A wrap dress from ISBN 4579111494.
So let's start at the very very beginning. Maybe you don't own any Japanese craft books. Where do you start?
Finding Projects to Make
Crafting Japanese is an excellent place to start. Be still my anal retentive, everything should be alphabetized, even my spices heart because Crafting Japanese has categories. CATEGORIES, people!! Whenever I have an itch for a new Japanese craft book, and I have sort of an idea of what I want to make, I go there.
Another awesome place is Japan couture addict's. It's a French site with many contributors. I read about as much French as I do Japanese. That probably explains why, when I first saw this site, I was astounded that this one person sewed sooo much, multiple projects a day. :-D No. I am a dork. They have many, MANY contributors. Their site is easy to maneuver, even with my lack of French, because they are categorized by book.
Another place I go, is crafting in japanese on flickr. It's wonderful for getting totally bombarded with Japanese crafting. With over 5000 images I'm sure there's something there to inspire you.
Buying Japanese Craft Books
Once you've found something you want to make, are dying to make, am bouncing off the walls with excitement to make, what next? Where do I get my books? In no particular order:
Amazon Japan. They are also useful for stumbling on new books, their "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section. It's a little tricky in spots because it's in Japanese but if you are familiar with Amazon you can bumble through.
Yes Asia. They also have a "customers who bought this" section. And you don't have to pay for shipping all the way from Japan. And they're in English. Whoo hoo! Unfortunately they don't always have the same selection as Amazon Japan.
Etsy. Really nice because sometimes the sellers take a lot of pictures of the projects inside the books.
Ok. Have I deluged you with enough to look at? Yes. I think I have. More next time!