Monthly Archives: December 2013

Wannabe Mickey and Minnie Print Fabric

You can become a popular character!

Of all the famous characters, Disney character’s popularity is the best by far. Recently, Disney products with an unconventional use of motif or color are catching on popularity. This “you can be a character” print fabric was designed to respond to the need for a playful fabric that can be used to make items for a new school year, or to transform you into a famous character such as Mickey or Minnie. A large pattern border is repeated at 60cm, which is the size just perfect for making a lesson bag or a smock.

Wannabe Mickey Border  G7009 Oxford (Ox)  GQ7009 Double Faced Quilt Fabric

  • 09_2
  • 09_3
  • 09_4
  • disney

Mickey’s iconic pants, shoes and hands are used as design motifs. The three-circle Mickey pattern is placed in-between as a design accent.

Continue reading

Inspiration 32
Christmas felt cake


It’s already December. There is less than a month left this year.
Everywhere you look in town, you see holiday displays. The beautiful Christmas lights along Omotesando Avenue or Roppongi Hills have created a Christmas atmosphere in Tokyo. This coming March 11 will mark the 3rd anniversary since the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred. Seeing towns spangled with lights and crowed with people, I feel that Japan has been regaining vitality little by little. But thinking of those who are still evacuees while towns are in a celebratory mood, I also make a wish for everyone’s happiness and health.

While people feel busy with special events and parties in the last month of the year, craft shows for Christmas are held throughout Japan. The other day I went to an “exhibition & sale” style craft shop named “ATELIER FIVE” which was opened for only 2 days in Nishiogikubo*), Tokyo.

The small gallery was full of felt items by Kuniko Kitamuki and her pals’ fabric or knitted accessories.

In the picture is a Christmas cake Kitamuki created with sheets of felt. The whipped cream around the cake was also made of felt.

“Fold each felt circle in half, sew several pieces together, open it, and you will have such a round stuff.” Kitamuki said.

The small fuzz balls on the top add color to the cake stuffed with the winded and fluffy woolen yarn. The mock sugar cookies of Santa Claus and snowman are lovely, too. The Matryoshka dolls placed behind the cake are also the creations by Kitamuki. Each doll is in a different colored hood and different appliqué apron. The felt sheet of 20 square centimeters, which comes in various colors, is ideal material to work with and is so versatile. Don’t you think it must be fun to create Christmas felt ornaments with your children?

The gallery where the 2-day shop “ATELIER FIVE” was held is located a 10-minute walk from JR Nishiogikubo Station. Roaming around the neighborhood, there are lots of interesting shops, such as vegan confectionery shop “khanam”; “Re:gendo” restaurant where reusing a traditional Japanese house; and “café orchestra” restaurant that specializes in Indian curry. There are small but unique and cozy shops along the quiet streets where you feel like stopping by.

The popular fabric stores “Country Quilt Market” and “Early’s Print” are also in Nishiogikubo. Most of you will visit Shibuya or Harajuku when you come to Tokyo. But please keep mind that the town Nishiogikubo is one of recommended places to check out in Tokyo.

You can see the blog of Kuniko Kitamuki at

*) Nishiogikubo is a district in Suginami Ward of Tokyo. It takes 13-15 minutes from Shinjuku by JR Chuo/Sobu Line.

Inspiration 31
A girlish skirt with “Tabris” fabric


Masumi Saito, who produces children’s clothing and fabric accessories from her brand named “sinafuku”, is familiar to you since her items are frequently featured in this website. She is very good at making use of printed-fabric to create vivacious items. Her creations are not only cute but also highly practical. That’s why Saito’s products are always popular among mothers caring for small children. The “candy-shaped purse”, which she created with “Tabris” fabric of Plump Cheeks for our Craft & Sewing column (the Japanese-language version) posted on 11/20/2013, is full of the features and spirit of “sinafuku”.

Saito said she really loved the “Tabris” print with angel & unicorn motifs and would want to make other things with it. True to her words, a skirt has been sewn with black “Tabris” which she didn’t use for the candy-shaped purse. By adding a blue lace trim makes the skirt cute and girlie.
The girl wearing the skirt in the above picture is Saito’s oldest daughter. The skirt and the candy-shaped purse from same fabrics in a different coloration are perfectly matched. For her daughter, Saito coordinated the solid purple tops to bring out the printed skirt. With the same colored tights and black boots, the girl became very stylish. Saito will soon post the sewing tutorial for the skirt in her blog. I can’t wait to know how to make it.

But wait, there’s more! I recently received a message from Saito that she also made a ribbon headband with the leftover fabric after the rest had been used for the skirt. No doubt the cute headband is frequently used in the holiday party season. Hoping that it will be shown in her blog, too.

You can see the blog of Masumi Saito at

Tunic dress with “Citrus Trees” fabric from FOLK MODERN

Finished Measurement:44cm(W) x 85cm(L)

The “Citrus Trees” from FOLK MODERN with fresh orange fruits turned into such a beautiful tunic dress. The center-front button is the charming feature of the dress.

Remember, the neckline and body pieces will be misaligned if facings get stretched by fusing. Be careful not to stretch the neckline’s facing when applying the fusible interfacing to the facing.

Snip the seam allowances when you attach the bias binding tapes to facings of neckline and armhole, and they will be finished beautifully.

□ Outer fabric: 110cm(W) x 2m
□ Interfacing: 30cm x 80cm
□ 1 button of 2cm diameter

Outer body: FOLK MODERN (Citrus Trees) JG41600-2 (C)


Click here for Sewing Instructions (PDF format / A4 size)

Tulip print mini Boston bag

Finished Measurement:21cm(W) x 14.5cm(H) x 5.5cm (D)

We have made a little retro-ish tulip print into a mini Boston bag. The bag, which is small but big enough to put a long wallet in, is handy for a quick outing. You can also use it as a cosmetic bag.

The key point for the beautiful finish is lining up the handle patches equally on the bag. It seems a simple tip, but actually the bag will not look nice if the patches are either crooked or unequal. Keep in mind that these are most observable parts!

Pin the match mark and the center of bottom to sew the gusset piece and body panels together. Be sure to keep the meeting point of zipper and bottom gussets, if not aligned the bag’s right and left height won’t be even. Once you stop sewing on the curve of the body, your bag will lose its curved shape. To avoid the misshaped, quickly sew the curve line without stopping.

□Outer fabric (cotton/linen canvas): 110cm(L) x 30cm(W)
□Lining (cotton/linen canvas): 110cm(L) x 30cm(W)
□Interfacing: 100cm(L) x 35cm(W)
□1 zipper 30cm

Fabric shown for this sample Outer body:FOLK MODERN Tulips JG41600-4 (C)


Click here for Sewing Instructions (PDF format / A4 size)