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Archive for the ‘Japanese books’ Category

I finally used a pattern in a Japanese book!

I used this pattern from Cotton Time Magazine:

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I thought it was a tunic, but it was more a dress length, so I shortened it, and moved the pocket upwards. 

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It’s a one size pattern, though I’m sure somewhere in the text is the explanation of how to alter the sizes. I also added some width to the side seams from the waist down (originally its a straight shape), and two darts in the back.

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Next time I may even remember to add ALL of the necessary seam allowances….

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I love the colour combination though, apparently I’m not over my yellow phase yet! The main fabric is a light weight white and blue striped cotton, and the yellow is from a re purposed thrift store cotton curtain.

It works very well for all the extra hours spent outside recently, absorbing and enjoying the great weather.

More on the Japanese front, my latest visit to BOOK-OFF resulted in this book:

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It’s all about using your serger, with the usual abundance of step by step photos, and cute tops like this one:

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Oh, and did I mention the full sized pattern sheet, with not one but THREE sizes? definitely on my to do list!

This book also has some jackets, cardigans, and skirts, all designed for sergers, and some for cover stitch machines. The ISBN is 9784529044127.

Ciao for now…

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… And we couldn’t be happier about it.

It seems that the sun is here more often these days, and we’re doing our best to enjoy it!

So what have we been up to the last weeks?

The boys picked up this book from the library, and we had fun with some of the ‘experiments’, like inflating balloons with baking soda and vinegar, and painting with salt:

 

We have been busy learning new skills…

 

And re-learning old and forgotten ones…

The only thing I remember from my knitting lessons in elementary school, is that I knitted something very vibrant blue. I had no memory what so ever of learning to crochet, until in our latest visit to Israel I found some hooks and yarn, at which point I had a vision of a flimsy, poorly shaped crocheted table cloth. ahhm.

I was very surprised then to learn that while my conscious brain had deleted every memory that had to do with hooks, needles and yarn, something survived. And that while my first attempts to follow written directions failed miserably, If I just let my fingers do their own thing, they did remember – and there they were – stitches miraculously forming on my needles.

Not entirely brain dead then – very good.

I’ve since found some better books, and I’m very slowly practicing what to me seems more like an exercise in relaxation then a new craft. But I do mean that in a good way.

My latest toy:

A vintage singer sewing machine (model 329) found in a thrift store, all metal, nice and clean, with a little note saying “tested- working”.

I couldn’t stop myself. It is indeed working, and even has a manual, extra bobbins and a bunch of feet to match. I never had so many feet to play with before!!! neither did the kids – so everybody is very happy with my new-old machine.

What did you say? using my sewing machines to actually make something?? No – no time for that right now, and some lack of energy too. But in about month from now, my parents will be here, and I’m getting ready for much more sewing time…

BTW – I came across several Japanese craft books dedicated to knitting lately, and since my skills are nowhere near deciphering knitting instructions in Japanese, and my goals for the next couple of years only go as far as knitting some simple scarves, those books went straight to my Etsy shop, where you can still find 3 of them.

Have a great week everyone!

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What could be better then buying Japanese craft books, you ask?  Borrowing them from your public library of course! I found a bunch of books in the Vancouver library, and enjoyed them a lot, without my wallet complaining.

So here’s the first one:

Simple stitch life, ISBN 4579111036

It has very nice and clean embroidery designs, done on bags, scarves, tea towels, etc.

Blouse:

Necklace:

Bag:

Book cover:

Mini album:

If you’d like to borrow this book, here’s the link from the Vancouver public library’s web site.

BTW – I have a few other Japanese craft books for sale in my shop!

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Corny, I know – but what can I say, the Japanese craft books got me too. I would have probably stuck to drooling over photos on the net, since the prices of buying these books (+ shipping) kept my addiction under control. But then, one dark night, some frantic searching of the internet led me to an amazing discovery – the Vancouver branch of BOOK.OFF. Their prices are usually lower then anything else online, and you never know what you’re going to find. I was there twice so far, each time bringing home a pile of books full of beautiful photographs, tons of inspiration, and very few words I can actually understand…

Handmade felt (ISBN4-277-43002-3)

This book has some beautiful projects such as bags, hats, scarves, felt flowers, baby boots, small toys and a few other cute things. Almost all of the projects feature neutral color schemes and simple, understated designs which I just love.

I have never tried felting before, and I’m building up the courage to actually try one of the bags in this book. The only “small” problem I had to solve first is the use of wool. You see, I happen to be a vegetarian, and I strongly object to any unnecessary suffering in animals. This was never an issue in the past since I didn’t care much for wool products. Until, that is, I started reading crafty blogs and through them was introduced to modern craft books and especially the Japanese style.

So I started researching the net once again. I didn’t like what I found at all. To cut a long story short, it appears that most of the wool around us these days is derived from Australian sheep, which have to go through the painful process of mulesing. I certainly didn’t want any part of that. Then I tried for to find a local farm which practices some better policies towards the animals, but i was unsuccessful.

And then I found Homestead Wool and Gift farm. Exactly what I was looking for: small, animal friendly, family owned and operated. They don’t let the animals reproduce, which means no animals are slaughtered for meat AND they have an online store. I ordered a nice sampler of wool, and I strongly recommend Homestead farm to anyone who is looking for wool products (they also carry hand spun yarn) and is concerned with animals rights. Even if you don’t spend your days at PETA headquarters – give them a try. Jim and Sandy Ryan are very friendly and helpful, and where else can you find the names and photos of the sheep providing your wool???

Now I just need the time and patience to start learning something completely new. Anybody seen some animal-friendly cruelty-free TIME running around?? oh, I’ll google it later…

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