Thoughts of Japan

When I was a young girl I had a fascination with Japan.

I had attended a course in porcelain painting, and my teacher was a wonderful and very inspirational Japanese woman. Often during the course we would ask her to tell us something about her background, and then we would be painting while she told us stories about Japan. She hooked me up with a girl my own age in Japan, and we were pen pals for several years. Unfortunately we lost contact many years ago, but the relation made an impression, and I moved on to studying the country on my own, and among other things using my fascination in school assignments. I never went to Japan, so that was it. Until.

From Amy

Well over a week ago I received a package from Amy – I bought a Japanese book and magazine from her, that she wasn’t going to use, and I am soooo happy I did! I have been hearing about Japanese pattern books, since I first started sewing and reading sewing blogs, but I have never actually bought one. Therefore, seeing the lovely things on Amy’s blog gave me the push I needed.

Japanese pattern book and Cotton Friend

Everything about them is beautiful – the patterns, the design, the lighting, and really just the Japanese style in general. Even the instructions have that undefinable something about them – just take a look.

Japanese instructions

I’m sure it’ll take me a while to work up the nerve for this – however, when I do, I’ll probably be making dresses like these for the girls and myself. I think they’re stunning – just love the simplicity!

Japanese dress for Mother and Child

When I take it on, I’ll be looking to Jennifer on Moving Hands. She has an overview of Japanese Sewing and Pattern Terms that’ll definitely come in handy, and besides I love her blog and the things she make. The materials she works with are just gorgeous! Apparently her overview of Japanese Sewing Terms disappeared, but check this one out instead.

So that’s my history with Japan – so far. I’ll let you know when the tale continues!


  1. Marina says:

    De japanske håndarbejdsbøger er så smukke og jeg deler gerne din fasination selvom jeg ikke kan læse sproget. Da jeg for mange år siden var i japan blev jeg både bjergtaget af den meget sikre smag og dyre smag japanerne har for det helt naturlige løftet bare en anelse op til kultur.

  2. Ulla V. says:

    Jeg holder også utrolig meget af de japanske(og ikke mindst franske) sy- og broderibøger. Deres enkelthed og elegance tager pusten fra mig gang på gang. Måden fotografierne er taget på, stoffet som modellerne er syet op i og ja, ikke mindst modellerne selv.

    Og deres mønstre er nemme at gå til – det eneste jeg lige skulle undersøge, var de anderledes størrelser. Men Google reddede dén for mig. ;0))

    Jeg vil glæde mig til at se det bøgerne inspirer dig til. :0))

  3. Lisa says:

    I love Japanese magazines/books too! Can’t wait to see what you create. They really are very inspiring.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Nice book selections! I have saved that issue of Cotton Friend–it is one of my favorites of all the issues. The woman who created the top for the front cover (whose daughter is featured in the photos) is a regular contributor to the magazine, and even has a line of fabric, now. Have fun with the sewing! Glad that my translations are helpful.

  5. Karen says:

    Let me know if you need any help with these patterns. I love figuring out the illustrations and the challenge of construction. I have learned so much from Japanese pattern books!

  6. CreatureofHabit says:

    It took me forever to get the will to take the patterns out of the book, I didn’t want to mess them up! Lol… but once I dug in, it was fun. Keep in mind the patterns don’t have seam allowance, and they run a bit loose (IMO). Make a muslin pattern and you’re all set. I know your creations will be beautiful! 🙂

  7. Susan says:

    it’s cool that you have set out to try a japanese book. I myself have only startet sewing in april 2009, so it’s good to see one can come far in short time.

    This is kinda off topic, but how do you get the little flags in the comment?
    I have recently started a sewingblog, so just want in on the tips and tricks. Maybe you don’t use blogger, and I can’t get it (the flags, that is)?

  8. Millie says:

    How exciting for you to be starting into something that inspires you. Looking foward to seeing the results.

  9. Carla says:

    Looks lovely, Astrid. I’ve got a couple of Japanese craft books. My favourite is Waldorf dolls and crafts…gorgeous! I was just looking them over yesterday. I haven’t actually tried any of the patterns but I find the photos totally inspiring.

  10. arun says:

    Hi Astrid, I was a little excited to see Japanese books/magazines in your blog! I am here to help you, too… Whenever and whatever you would like to know, feel free to contact me. 😉

  11. Astrid says:

    Thanks all for your sweet comments – it’s nice to know I have several friends out there to turn to when I’m stuck in the Japanese… 😉


  12. Jenny says:

    I completely agree with you about the Japanese pattern books! I love everything about them. The style and lighting and simple beauty of them. I just bought one myself and am trying to work up the nerve to try something out of it. I will check out the link that you wrote of to learn a little bit more! Have a wonderful week!

A penny for your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.