Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Japanese Craft Books - Patchwork

I managed to come home with only one patchwork book and one patchwork/bag book. 
The book on the left as 12 different fonts to piece or paper piece (ISBN 9784416616468). This is a really fun book and I can't wait to find some time to play around with some ideas. 
The book on the right is full of patterns for little pouches and purses (ISBN 9784766129298). Perfect for all those scraps of your favourite fabrics.


Monday, December 05, 2016

Japanese Craft Books - Sewing for Children

I really thought I didn't need any more Japanese Craft Books until the second I walked into Kinokuniya and then of course I needed to buy a few (ok my backpack came home full of them). 

 I bought two children's sewing books. The first on the left is Cotton Friend Kids - Autumn-Winter 2016-2017 (ISBN 9784834743036). The sizes range from 90-140 cm and a cute selection of coats, dresses and accessories. I'd really like to make one of the coats next winter.
The second book (on the right in the top photo) is A Sunny Spot - Girl's Simple Clothes (ISBN 9784529054607). The sizes range from 100-150cm. I'm not sure my big girls will want anything out of here, but Olive has pointed out a few things she wants. Of course it all has to be in pink. 


Sunday, December 04, 2016

Needle Shopping in Kyoto - Misuyabari

While searching for fabric stores in Kyoto I kept reading about a tiny needle shop that was quite tricky to find. Of course that meant I had to find it. I am so glad I did. Misuyabari is located just off a shopping mall down a passage way, luckily a few people gave quite good instructions. I followed these ones. 
At the end of the short passage way is a beautiful garden and at the back of it is a tiny little shop.
The family has been making needles for over 350 years. The owner was very helpful and patient and with the help of google translate we managed to work out what needles I wanted. They make all sorts of hand sewing needles and there are samples of each one to feel.

The detail on the decorative pin tops is amazing. They are so tiny that they hand you a magnifying glass so you can get a good look.
They also make these lovely sewing boxes.
And pin cushions that are full of wool so your needles don't rust. 
I bought a selection of needles, I really should have written on each one as I have no idea which ones are which now. There are quite a few needles in each packet and the packaging is really lovely.
Some of the needles have a round eye which I believe is easier to thread. 
It is definitely worth finding it if you are in Kyoto.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Fabric Shopping in Tokyo

If you visit Tokyo and you sew you really need to go to Nippori Fabric Town. It is an entire street of fabric shops! I was a bit worried about finding my way there, but it was very easy. Take the JR Yamanote line and get off at Nippori Station and follow the signs. Find yourself a map of all of the shops - it will make things a lot easier. I found a stack hanging outside one of the shops, so I assume most of the shops would have them. 
Inside Pakira where I bought the Liberty Hello Kitty fabric
A great shop with lovely linen/cotton fabric and great notions.

 I bought both of these there.
So many shops, some specialising in cottons, some knits, some dance fabrics and costumes and also shops full of buttons and notions. 

 And of course Tomato. This is the main shop and there are a couple of other branches on the street.
Linens at the Tomato on the other side of the street. So much beautiful linen. Still regretting not buying any of this. 
 On the top floor of the main Tomato branch is all the quilting cotton. Lots and lots of pre-cut fat quarters as well as bolts of fabric. Tomato has great notions and the girls chose lots of fun coloured zips.

 I only had a couple of hours to browse, but if I went back I would plan a whole day to look and shop!


Friday, December 02, 2016

Fabric Shopping in Rome

I love Rome, the food and the history. I love to wander with no aim and see what I can find.  I love that just across from where we stayed was the Largo Argentina which is now a cat sanctuary and apparently a couple of thousand years ago some guy called Julius Caesar was stabbed there.
Right behind it, you can just see it in the corner, is a store called Azienda Tessile Romana - lots of nice fabric. 
If you search for fabric stores in Rome there is one shop that appears again and again as a place you must visit. It is Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti. It is just a vert short walk from Largo Argentina (once again I swear I did not plan where we were staying based on fabric shopping - I was just very very lucky!!).
 This shop is huge! Rooms and rooms of every sort of fabric stacked to the ceiling. This is just a little of the shirting fabric.
 Wool, jersey, silk, everything.
 You can't see the ends of the bolts here, but many are labelled with designers names, including Valentino. Completely overwhelming and I came away with nothing (probably wise considering the prices).
There are a couple of others shops close by. There was one opposite the largo Argentina on via delle Botteghe Oscure there is a shop with really nice wools and other fabrics and there is a lovely little shop (it's a little tricky to find, I didn't see a sign) which sells silks, wools and other fabrics at much more affordable prices on via dei Falegnami.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fabric and Hundertwasser in Vienna

One of my favourite places in Vienna is the Hundertwasser Museum. I loved it just as much as I did 12 years ago. The girls really enjoyed it too. 
The museum shop is wonderful too and of course I needed some Opal sock yarn based on Hunderwasser pictures.
Komolka is conveniently located in the main shopping area, so I ran in for a quick look. So many fabrics! Upstairs was beautiful silks, laces and evening fabrics.

Downstairs was everything else you could possibly want. As they were going into winter there was lots of warmer fabrics, the wools were so lovely. We still had a long time to go so I restrained myself and didn't buy any fabric in Vienna, but if we were near the end of the trip I would have definitely bought a coats worth of wool.

Vienna with children - there is a great playground in the Stadtpark, the Botanical Gardens are lovely to wander (or run) around and the zoo is fantastic!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Madeline Dress in Liberty Hello Kitty

 One fabric I knew I had to find in Japan was Hello Kitty Liberty lawn. Thanks to a little help from Instagram I found some at a shop called Pakira in the Nippori fabric are of Tokyo. I forgot to take a photo of the front of the shop, but it is near the start of the street as you come from the station on the left, on a corner. It is full of Liberty and some other fabrics and there were a few rolls of Hello Kitty. Olive chose this one.
I used the Madeline Dress pattern by Peach Patterns. I have made this for Olive every summer and I still love it. It is so quick to sew and all the pieces go together perfectly. It's already been worn twice so I think the search for the fabric was worth it.