Spotted: new releases

I’ve been talking about this book update for a while, I finally find the time to write it. It will be divided into several parts, otherwise it might be too long…

“Kids no jimbei to yukata + baby” (Jimbei and yukata for kids and babies). You can easily guess what this book is about. Those are traditional summer clothes for children. The yukata is a simple cotton kimono worn in summer. It’s lighter and less formal that the usual kimono. It’s often worn by japanese people as festivals and fireworks. The jimbei is a two pieces outfit composed of a pair of short pants and a kimono-style top. It’s also made of cotton. It’s worn mostly by men but I think women can also wear it.

“Daily wear”. The outfits inside are like the one on the cover: quite simple and large shapes. Nothing really fancy here but rather comfy clothes for daily use. There are a few pics that are not very clear as to what the clothes actually look like, but luckily all of them are listed at the beginning of the book (with unworn pics). There are 12 base-types, and for each 2 or 3 variations (the clothes are numbered from A01 to L02). You can find a little of everything: dresses, tunics, camisoles, skirts (2 types I think), pants (1 type I think), outerwear. They have a few cardigans/jackets/coats that I actualy found quite nice and useful. Otherwise the rest of the clothes are not to my taste (not fitted/shaped enough) but for those who like that kind of clothes they might be nice, there are nice design ideas.

“mainichi, harishigoto” (“Daily needlework”). This book is mainly about accessories. Many bags, aprons, some small things for the house. You can see a few examples on the book’s Amazon page.

“Ito Masako no harishigoto” (“Masako Ito’s needlework”). A slightly different book, in the way it offers the patterns. It is composed of several short sections, each one of them talking about a different subject related to sewing/fabric. What I found funny is that the subjects are not really linked to each other. Here are a few examples: Ikea fabrics, repurposing old sheets, marimekko fabric, hankerchiefs (two types), running stitch, linen, smocks. With each subject they give the pattern for one garment. You find one page of text describing (I think) the subjet, then a picture of the garment, then two pages of pictures related to the subject. It’s more of an actual craft/art book than just a pattern book.

Spotted: Drape Drape

I’m devoting a whole post to this new release. Since it’s a little different I took more time to look at it and I can write a more detailed review.

It’s called “Drape drape”, and is, as you can guess, about creating drapes. All the clothes inside (women clothes only) are draped and quite loose fitting. At first I was happy to see this book, because I’m interesting by this technique. But I was a little disappointed: the clothes are not easy to wear at all. They have strange shapes and because they’re so loose, they sometimes do not cover enough of the body (especially when you consider that the model doesn’t wear anything under). You would definitely have to add other layers. Other people might love them I’m sure, but they’re not really my style. So this book seems to be more interesting as a drape learning and inspiration tool than a quick pattern book.

Let’s talk about the technical part now. It starts by explaining basic sewing things and tools as often. They also explain drapes and the different techniques they will use to create them: tucks, gathers and a combine technique that they call “drape drape”. Each garment then uses at least one of those. There are text and pictures to describe them, as well as explainations on how to construct them from the pattern (like how to cut, fold and sew to create tucks). They also talk about sewing machines and sergers, as they seem to use a serger to make the clothes. I’ve read on the internet that it is recommended to have one to use this book. As they don’t seem to add any advice for people who don’t have a serger at home, I can understand that. I guess you’d still be able to make the clothes without, but it might take more time.

As for each garment explanations, I think it’s not that easy to understand the construction if you don’t speak japanese. The drawings are not as detailed as they are in say the “One day sewing” series. It looks more like the “Stylish dress book” series: some garments have very detailed drawings, and other only have two or three for the hardest parts. They also show you how to place the pattern pieces on your fabric and the pattern shape, with numbers indicating the different construction steps. But with all those tucks and gathers it’s sometimes difficult to understand the pattern, and how from this weird 2D shape you will get this 3D piece. ^^; I’m not saying it’s impossible to use for non-japanese people. Just that you have to be willing to spend quite some time staring at the drawings and making sense of them, and trying everything on your muslin first. I definitely recommend doing a muslin, because I’m sure this can lead to many mistakes and you don’t want to ruin your nice fabric. So I’d say this is for patient and determined people, who want to learn more about drapes or create orignal clothes. And with at least a little experience in sewing. But of course I don’t have the book and didn’t make anything from it, all this is based only upon my browing in the shop. It might be easier than it seems.

And to thank those who have read all this, you can see some scans of the book here. ^^

Giveaway alert

Before giving you more consequent news from my litte forest, here is a little advertisement for a giveaway. This month Bleu de rose (“rose’s blue”) is 1 year. For the occasion the author is offering to one lucky reader a cute head band, which can also be used as a bracelet or necklace or anything you want. And it involves pretty hand crochetted flowers too!

So if you’d like to take your chance, go over there and check her post before August 24th 9pm belgium time. As it’s written in French though, here is a warning: the headband she’s giving away is not the one pictured, it’s another one of similar style. You can even browse through her blog while you’re there, she’s showing some cute things. ^^

Ikea love

No jewellry yet, I’m sorry, but the past days it has been too dark to be able to make nice pictures of it and show you. And since it’s quite late and I can’t check and resize the new book releases pictures right now, you will get a little post filled with cuteness.

The other day I checked the French Ikea website. I don’t exactly know why, but since I was a little girl I liked Ikea very much. There was one not very far from where we lived, and we went there regularly, to go look for a piece of furniture, eat meatballs with cranberries or simply check the latest stuff they had. Here is a small selection of items I’d like to get if I had a home to furnish.

I love that kind of cushions! Or rather, I loooove cushions and I love that kind of design they have there. You can find the same kind on the lampshade bellow (both pictures are of the same object).

I’ve been dreaming of this for years! I really hope they will keep selling it for some more time, until we have a room to put it into. I’d transform it into a cosy sofa for lazy days, topped by a nice quilt and lots of comfy cushions! How does that sound?

This one isn’t as nice as the previous one (even if it’s white, it’s a little too square, not soft enough), but it’s still cute and could perhaps be considered as a subsitute.

This is only there for the lampshade at the bottom left corner, with the circles. So cute and fresh!

When I was little I wanted one of those so badly, but never got any. I really like them.

A simple but nice little table.

A strange and funny lamp.

And you, which interior brands do you like? What kind of furniture or decorating objects would you like to fill your house with?


Today I made my first piece of jewellry! Or rather, my first real piece. I already “made” a necklace to go with my teddy bear skirt before, but it consisted in assembling already made pieces together more than really creating something from scratch. Appart from the overall idea I can’t get much credit from it. Here I made everything, from the design to the actual construction using basic materials. And the result doesn’t look too bad. ^^ I’m really happy I could actually finish it and transform my idea into an object. I don’t have any picture right now, so I will post again later to show you the result, and you can tell me what you think about it. I’d really like to do other pieces like this, and explore this idea that I have, so I hope I’m not the only one who likes it. ^^;

My work space

Grand’Sev from Au Bonheur des ours organised this summer a little game, asking everyone to share pictures of their workspace. Some time ago I was talking about the reorganisation of my sewing corner, and I’ve been meaning to share pictures ever since, so I decided to join. The deadline was supposed to be yesterday (woops!) but she very kindly extended it for those like me who were late (I’m really sorry! m(_,_)m ). So finally, here are some pics of where I’m spending most of my time.

No, the desk is not always this neat. I just wanted to show it as it is in its best days. ^^ This room is supposed to be a shared working room between my husband and I, so each of us has a desk in it.  So this desk that you see is used as a working-on-computer desk, preparing-packages table for work, cutting table and sewing table. But those past weeks my husband kindly let me use his desk for my computer, so I have more space for sewing on my own. I chose it quite big to that it would be easier to cut fabric and sew. I love my desk!

This is my inspiration corner, and also where I keep flyers for sales and events. The cork board is part of the changes I made recently. I can’t put anything on the wall (can’t make holes in it), so I didn’t think I could have an inspiration board. Until I realized I just had to let it on the desk against the wall! It works, and I really like it. It’s much better than the cords (my temporary solution) for inspiration.

And here are my materials! Under the desk: fabrics. The bag stores those that are waiting to be washed. But really I have another pile of fabrics sitting on the kotatsu in the living room, waiting for me to buy another storage box. Near the desk: several things that are too big to go somewhere else (pattern paper, cutting mat, batting…), some patterns and inspiration magazines and my iron. On the shelves: top shelf = sewing notions and some tools; then my gothic lolita magazines, doll magazines and doll pattern books. On the last shelf are my doll clothes, it’s no sewing stuff. I also use a shelf somewhere else to store my human pattern books and other craft related books. You can also see a little piece of the flower dress, which proves that it exists! ^^

Today’s finds

It wasn’t exactly panned, but today when going to the city center to look for material for a new sewing project I decided to go check Off House. It’s a second hand store where you can find lots of stuff, among which clothes. I wanted to see if they had things I could use as cheep fabric source (like clothes or sheets). It seems a lot of people around the web use things they find in thrift stores.

Conclusion: it wasn’t such a nice idea for the wallet, but from a strictly personnal point of vue it was a really good one! I didn’t find any clothes to buy just for the fabric (they don’t have linen). Things were ugly or too expensive or too difficult to use. But, I did find two very cute top, so cute that I couldn’t leave without them! Okay, I have to say in my defence that it cost less than 1,000 yens in the end, so it’s not a really big bad idea. ^^

First is this adorable little blouse. The fabric is very thin and therefore see through, I will wear  t with something underneath. I loved it the moment I saw it: flocked fabric (is it how you call this?), very delicate, small pleats, frills, puff sleeves? Yes! It reminds me of some vintage pieces. I was really surprised to see it there, not already bought and for such a ridiculous price! I have to admit I’m not 100% sure it looks perfectly okay on me, but it was so adorable and so cheap, I had to get it! In case I can’t wear it I can still use the fabric for doll sewing.

And then there is this top that reminds me of the 50′s~60′s. I might be wrong and it might be totaly different from what they wore, but it makes me think of that period. I think it’s the collar and the ties at the shoulders. ^^ I love it! I like everything about it: the overall shape, the previously mentionned details, the dots and the colors. And of course since I love 50′s fashion and it reminds me of that time, I had to like it. It was slightly more expensive than the other one (but still cheap), I hesitated for two seconds, but it was too nice and uncommon to leave it there. ^^; I wasn’t sure you’d see the collar very clearly on the first picture so I took another one:

Now I have to make myself a long and wide white skirt to go with it! Which is fortunate because I already had an idea of that kind. ;)

And for those who might wonder, yes, I did also find the supplies I needed for my project. ^^ Just have to do it now!