As far as I can tell, many of the best pattern books I can find in English and French are based on a very Japanese style. Not only the clothes featured, but also in terms of the book layout and the styling of the images.
So, while in Japan I went straight to the source and picked up a couple of original Japanese pattern books for myself.
Even though the instructions are in Japanese they’re clearer than many English books! The ones I picked up are in line with what I’m already doing.
These fabric blocks will make a great addition to the Welcome Baby Box portfolio! I’m going to give a few patterns a shot over the next week or so and will let you know how they turned out!
I also mentioned in a previous post that I was very disappointed not to have found even one piece of fabric that I wanted in Japan. The truth is I did quite a bit of searching, and set aside a full half day to explore an area of Tokyo mentioned in the Tokyo Craft Guide that I bought before going. Unfortunately, after a day searching, I get the feeling that the guide is designed for people who live in Tokyo on a long term basis or are there for a few months. It’s definitely not appropriate for tourists who just need clear, concise directions to the exact shop they’re looking for. The style of the guide invites exploration and time taken to drift from place to place with breaks for lovely cafe’s in between shops.
Also, to be quite honest, the maps are not especially accurate. They’re very sweet, hand-drawn maps, and in keeping with the sweet style of the guide, but unfortunately, not especially helpful when you’re really just trying to find a shop to get some fabric and you don’t know the area. Japanese maps need to keep in mind that authorities are not so hot on street name signs. It’s a bit like Brussels in that! So, I actually ended up missing the kinds of places I wanted to see. I couldn’t find two of the fabric shops listed, that would have been perfect for what I was looking for, and the only one I did find stocked European fabrics such as Liberty. Which is not really what I was looking for at the other side of the world.
So I got no fabric. However, in the giant craft shops (which also have a limited stock of kinda boring fabrics…) I found the most amazing paper!
I stocked up on stationary, some of which is beautiful, some of which is just total kitch trash!
The best thing about them are the little sayings, which are so obscure to be almost philosophical! Check these out… Why so selfish Stella?!
I’m totally going back to Japan to play with that owl in his forest.
So, my trip to Japan – win for paper, fail for fabric. Once I start on the patterns I’ll post some pics of the results!