A week of fun

The week that went by have been really interesting in the craft area. Not that I got much done, I didn’t have time. But I met really nice people and discovered very interesting things! I’m a doll collector, and as such I am part of online communities (and have met real dolly friends in Japan). If you want to read more about those dolls please go check my other blog. Many people of the doll community are into sewing, to make clothes for our dolls. From June 24 to July 2 there is a big doll event in Tokyo. It’s about Blythe doll, which maybe you’ve heard of people she’s getting more well known accross the world. Part of this event is about an international customizing/clothes making competition. The finalists have their dolls exhibited in Tokyo.

Some of my Flickr contacts happened to get selected, so they came to Japan for the event. And if you’re wondering what this has to do with sewing, well, just check the previous paragraph again: this competition is partly about designing and making clothes. Those dolly friends are all into sewing and are as fabric addicted as I am. ^^ A good part of their stay in Tokyo consisted in hitting the fabric shops there. And since we had dolls and sewing in common we decided to meet and have some fun in both areas.

Which led to 4 days of talking, long walks in Tokyo, meeting japanese doll people, going to doll events and shopping in fabric and notions shops. We spend a lot of time talking about fabrics and notions, compare fabrics, exchange tips, asking for advice (at least for me! ^^; ), discover new things. It was really nice and stimulating! It’s much more fun to go fabric shopping with someone else with whom you can comment what you see. Thanks to some japanese friends I was able to discover two very interesting shops. The first one is a tiny lace shop in Harajuku called The Lace Center. They have vintage lace as well as very nice modern lace, and also sell books about lace and clothes and accessories adorned with lace. The prices are a little high but they have very nice stuff. My friend who was with me that day just fell in love with one of their books: it’s a compilation of several french department stores catalogs from 1900. She didn’t get it that day but couldn’t resist and a few days later when I saw her she had bought it! I’ll try to write a post about it to give a little details. The other place I discovered is like lace and ribbons paradise: it’s the two Mokuba shops in Asakusabashi. I think I’ll also write another post about them, because they deserve some details. It’s a pity I didn’t take any pictures. Maybe another time (’cause there will be other times).

It was a really nice week! ^__^ I’d do it again anytime (well, maybe after some rest and a little more productive time).


My dress is completed! Well, not exactly since it’s still missing the sleeves. But technically I can wear it without sleeves so she can be worn now. I won’t have time to add the sleeves before tomorrow… ^^; And it turns out it should rain on the 23rd, so I won’t wear it since it’s a very light/summery dress. I guess the sleeves will wait a little more then…

I don’t have any picture of the whole dress yet. I’ll show some as soon as possible!

Work in progress

Because I don’t have anything to wear. :) Actually I haven’t registered on this website (the goal is to make a garment matching the given conditions, right now the rule is to use a flowery fabric), but I thought it was funny that I was currently working with flowers. I have to finish it for the 19th, or the 23rd if I can’t make it before. I don’t have much left to do before I can wear it, but I’m wondering whether I should add sleeves or not…


I started to reorganize my working space a little while ago. My sewing/working table was full of fabric, papers and various stuff and I couldn’t use it anymore. I’m not the most tidy person, but I realized I can’t sew when I’m surrounded by a mess. I need a big clean space. So I started to tidy everything up, sort and organize all my stuff. It’s nice to do this once in a while! :) I bought some more boxes so I could sort everything in a more practical way. I’m still missing a few things, among which a new box to store my fabrics. But I already like the new look of the place. :)

Tutorial links: felt stuffies

To follow up on the previous post, I’d like to share a few links I collected about felt stuffies. First, here is a link I found very useful, on how to choose a stitch for hand sewing felt (with links to detailed pages about those stitches): http://www.futuregirl.com/craft_blog/2007/10/choosing-stitch-for-hand-sewing.aspx.

And here is a list of nice tutorials I found for felt stuffies:- Sasha the seahorse- Supercute Sea Creatures- Sigmund the octopus (I started one months ago, but sadly he’s not finished)- Buche de Noel: part 1, part 2 (I wanted to do one for Christmas, bought the material, but didn’t have time to do it… next year maybe?)- Bonhomme en pain d’épice (French)- coeur décoratif (French)

And what about you? Do you know any good tutorial on the subject you’d like to share? I’d love to discover new interesting ideas. :)

Felt decorations

As I said before, I’ll show you some older projects while I don’t have new ones to share. Here are two felt decorations I made for Christmas. They were both intended as gifts, but I ended up keeping the star since I wasn’t so happy with it: the felt is damaged, it seems it wasn’t washable as I had been told… :s

Both have been hand sewn and hand embroidered. I decided to start learning embroidery last year, and I love it! I haven’t done much yet, so I’m really a beginner, but it’s very pleasant. I find hand sewing and embroidery very soothing. Hand sewing being much slower than machine sewing though, I generally use my machine. So I really appreciate hand embroidery (complex machine embroidery is definitely out of my reach at the moment! ^^; ). And what I like is that even very simple embroidery can really change a project from really basic to pretty. You don’t have to be an embroidery master to make lovely things, anyone can do it (yes, even you!).

Those were my first felt stuffies (and actually first stuffies ever, felt or not). I’m more used to using fabric rather than felt. But it’s really nice for that kind of small decorative objects! I’m sure I’ll use it again in the future. Maybe in the near future, since I have some ideas for summer decoration. It’s very easy to use, you just have to be patient and methodical in order to have nice stitches and stuff it correctly. And in the end you get cute little objects! Just an advice: carefully check whether your felt is washable or not. And if it is, wash it before use, as I’ve heard felt can shrink a lot when washed. I always wash fabric before using it.

Spotted: new releases

New books spotted this week at the bookstore…


Another book from the “One day sewing” series: “Natsu ni kitai fuku” (“Clothes to wear in summer”). The clothes are of the same vein as those of the previous books: simple dresses, blouses, tops and skirts/pants, with one or two accessories. It’s nice, but maybe not essential if you have the previous ones. There are a few new things (or variations around something shown before), but for the most parts the clothes are very similar to what’s been shown in previous books. At least that was my first impression.


The third volume of their “beginner series”: “Hajimete tsukuru skirt”, which is all about skirts as you can guess. Once again there is a book for grown-ups and a book for children. The latter, called “Hajimete tsukuru kodomo fuku skirt & pants” also has a few pants patterns.


Another third volume, this time of the “Happy homemade series”. This one is called “One piece pattern kara tunic, blouse mo” (which litteraly means “From one piece patterns, tunic and blouse also”). I think you can guess easily what the book is about. ^^


“Coton, linen, gauze no onna no ko no natsu fuku”: “Summer clothes for little girls made of coton, linen and gauze”. From what the cover sais it seems 1 meter of fabric is enough to make them. Sizes, after what the covers says: 95~100cm and 100~110cm.


An accessories book: “Natural komono to accessory (“Natural small things and accessories”). I might have bought it if I hadn’t already got a linen/gauze accessories book in March and/or if I knew how to crochet. A lot of the projects in this book involve crochet. There is a good number of flowers here. Some very nice crochet necklaces. I think it’s also in this book that I saw some separate collars, especially a lovely sailor collar bordered with a crochet trim. I can’t remember what the other projects are, sorry. But this book is a nice one, quite inspiring.


This book that I couldn’t photograph [picture added on August 17th], which is about formal dresses for little girls. I found some of the dresses very cute, and some a little too “grown-up” for my taste.

And this magazine about children clothes: Cucito, July 2009.


I think that a little introduction would be good. After all it’s always nice to know who you’re interacting with, isn’t it? I’m a young woman who currently have the pleasure to live in Japan. As you can guess I love clothes, sewing, and crafting. It’s a real treat to live in Japan when you like sewing, they have such wonderful books and prints!

I’ve always liked pretty clothes, even if my definition of “pretty” wasn’t allways the same as those around me (especially the other pupils at school). I especially love skirts and dresses. Both my mother and grand-mother know how to sew, but sadly none of them ever taught me. I regret that a lot now, when I see so many people that started sewing as child. I’ve done a few small things but really nothing much. I started drawing clothes in the corners of my notebooks in middle school, but strangely enough I didn’t decide too learn sewing before I was in grad school, at past twenty! It probably seemed to be an obscure art one couldn’t learn by itself. But I fell in love with gothic lolita fashion, which is expensive and wasn’t at all easy to find in France at the time. That, plus trying on a very cute skirt only to discover that once again the cut was strange and it didn’t fit me at all decided me: I was going to learn sewing!

My first accessory, a neck corset, made my mom laugh the minute she saw it ; so she taught me how to do a proper hem. My first skirt was done on my grandmother’s sewing machine, with her much useful help. From there I continued mainly by myself. Luckily there are plainty of ressources available: my mother and grandmother who try to answer my questions the best they can with the distance between us, books, the Internet… I’m so thankful for japanese books and their detailed drawings, they taught me so much! And the Internet is a wonderful source of inspiration. I’ve been sewing irregularly the past years, but now I’m back and I think it’s for good. I have tons of ideas and I can’t wait to realize them. I’m still not very quick, but I’m sure this will improve with practice.

Before I get something new to show you (ahem, my pile of projects to complete is too long for my taste), I’ll post about former projects. And in the meantime you can also pay a visit to the other blogs I’ve linked on the left. They’re part of those I’m following (I love Google Reader). I’ll probably add others later, so check back from time to time.


Just a little note to say that I’ll try to write all my posts in both French and English. You probably noticed it before. ^^ I wanted to write in French (it is my mother tongue) because I read some French blogs and want to join the “Japan Couture Addicts” community, which is a french community. I know some French people have a hard time understanding English. But I also read a lot of blogs written in English, and to reach the crafting community as a whole English is the best option. I’m always frustrated when I discover a blog which could be interesting but is written in a language I don’t know. So I’ll be using both! I hope this organization of posts, whith a succession of paragraphs in French and paragraphs in English will be understandable. It’s the best solution I found with this free blog (I didn’t want to create one blog per language)