Monthly Archives: February 2014

echino’s square style dress

Size: 156cm (around chest), 83cm (dress length)

Today’s project is a square style one-piece dress made with kalmia from echino’s 2014 new design collection. Kalmia has an impactful design as if a collection of large flowers are layered over. Since the dress is loose-fitting, it is perfect for a loungewear. It can also be worn like a tunic top with a pair of leggings or jeans. If you wear a belt around the waist, it becomes stylish casual wear.
It is easy to make with almost all straight stitches. Make sure to iron the folded fabric when preparing a bias binding tape for the neckline. Using an iron while attaching the tape to a neckline will result in a clean looking finish.

□Outer/front Fabric:200cm (110cm width)

Fabric shown for this sample: echino kalmia JG95900-903 (B)


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

2014 echino collection part 2

Perfect pattern for making small items

Continuing from our last Textile Story article, we are again introducing echino’s 2014 new design collection. This time the designs include birds and bees motifs. The bees, especially with their small sizes, will be great for making pouches and coin purses with clasps. The echino’s designer, Etsuko Furuya, shared stories about her design inspirations and how to make use of different patterns. We hope that you will find her stories helpful in your craft making.

bee JG95900-904 Cotton Canvas

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Just like its name, the bee has a beehive design. “Since my childhood, I have always recognized the hexagon shape as a form of beehive. When I looked at this design anew, I was able to draw it as a geometric design in an interesting way. While the design consists of only bees and hexagons, the use of color made the beehives look very unique. It is a perfect pattern for making small items.” (by Furuya)

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A natural basket in honey color

Size: 20cm (W), 20cm (D), 10cm (H)

We are introducing a project using echino’s new 2014 design collection. Today’s creation uses echino’s “bee.” It has a unique beehive design with bees scattered around a sea of hexagons. The creator is Anri, the artist who introduced us to such projects as a lampshade and glasses case using echino’s decoro series of fabric. Her new creation incorporates “weaving (knitting).” Why not try to create this stylish basket that is perfect for using at home?

Design & work created by:Anri

Fabric shown for this sample:
echino bee JG95900-904 (c)

□ Fabric (lining): 40cm×90cm
□ Hemp cord (medium thickness jute cord for gardening/shipping):One 100m roll
□ Two Size 10 Knitting Needles


We interviewed Anri about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think about the fabric you used for this project?
Anri: It is a cute fabric. Because of its smoky color tone, I instantly thought of using it for a zakka (everyday household item) that has a natural feel.

KF: Can you tell us about any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
Anri: Since a hemp cord for gardening and shipping is naturally twined, it has a nice feel. Adding a lining made from your favorite fabric quickly turns this into an original and darling basket.

KF: What are some tips for making this basket?
Anri: The basket is made using only moss stitches without having to increase or decrease stitches. You can create it in a variety of sizes by changing the measurements. Adjust the size of the lining bag after weaving the basket to match its size.

KF:How should we use this basket in everyday settings?
Anri: The lining is detachable and washable. It can be used in many settings. This time I made a square basket thinking it could hold towels and linens. By making it a rectangle, you can create a lovely house plant holder.

KF: Thank you very much, Anri! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

Instructions: How to make Basket

Weave (knit) a basket by using gardening/shipping jute cord. More natural than a craft thread, the jute cord will make it look naturally stylish. Above all it is very inexpensive.

There is no increasing or decreasing of stitches. It is very easy with only moss stitches.

For the bottom, pick up stitches from four bottom sides. Though it takes an extra knitting step to continue from the bottom to the sides, it comes out to be a solid square basket.

Close up the four corner sides using needles to finish the basket.

After cutting the fabric, fold and iron the top edge of the sides while it is still flat. Then sew together the sides and press the seam open.

Leaving the side seams open, run a stitch over the fabric. For the thread, after some thinking I avoided tone on tone and chose yellow, one of the colors of the fabric that was really distinguishing.

Sew together the bottom and sides. Before sewing, iron the corner edge of the sides. It works as a marking as well as making it easy to sew.

Cover the basket with the lining bag to finish.

I wondered which directions of the design pattern on the side walls would be the best. For this one, I chose the direction so that it looks as if bees were circling around. If you are not too fussy about the directions of the pattern or the stitch lines, you could simply create a lining bag by making a rectangle bag with sides gussets.

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

echino’s decoro lampshade

Size: 25cm (base diameter), 30cm (height)

Following last week’s project, today’s project again features echino’s latest collection, decoro. It is a perfect fabric for a room décor project. The artist Anri selected the twin for her creation. This twin’s design is filled with a pair of zebras and bees in stripes. Taking advantage of the fabric’s unique design, Anri came up with a lovely lampshade.

Design & work created byAnri(

Fabric shown for this sample:
echino decoro twin JG99550-51 (D)

□Fabric (Outer Fabric) : 110cm (W) × 30cm (L)
□Interfacing: 110cm (W) × 30cm (L)
□Hand knitting cotton yarn (medium)
□Wire: 1.3m (1.5mm diameter)
□Thin linen tape: 2.2m (0.7cm-wide)


We interviewed Anri about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
Anri: I decided to create an interior décor item to make good use of the fabric’s retro look. The cotton/linen broadcloth presses well and is easy to sew. While stitch lines are hardly noticeable on today’s project, choosing an interesting thread color could affect the look of the final work.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
Anri: The fabric consists of four different designs that are all so beautiful that it was hard to pick one particular design. I wanted to use and showcase them all! So I decided to use the technique of pleating, utilizing the entire width of the fabric. To keep the fabric tight and maintain its shape, a medium thick interfacing is affixed to the entire back of the fabric. This helps to hold the pleated shape, makes your work easier, and builds a solid looking lampshade.

KF: What are some tips for making this lampshade?
Anri: You can be very creative by adjusting the height of the shade, the width of the pleat and the size of the ring to your taste. For today’s project, I used a lamp fixture that is easily-available at DIY stores for a few dollars. You may also select an LED ready socket or antique looking fixture for different purposes and ambience.

KF: How should we use this lampshade in everyday settings?
Anri: It will look cute with ribbons and linen tapes passed through the holes around the shade. Since the fabric has such a design impact, it adds fun in a space that is normally bare, such as in staircases, hallways or bathrooms.

KF: Thank you very much, Anri! Here are the instructions and step by step photos taken by Anri. Enjoy crafting!

Instructions How to make lampshade
1. Cut the wire roughly to the measurement with ends overlapping. Don’t worry about being too precise as it will be secured at the exact length in the next step.

2. Wrap the cotton yarn around the wire ring to be the exact diameter. The yarn will prevent the shade from slipping and make it stable. Besides cotton yarn used for this project, any type of solid and non-slippery yarn is recommended.

3. To catch the socket, secure the small wire ring in the middle of the middle wire ring. These ten strings will act as a guide when the shade is attached in the subsequent step and will make the job easier with ten yarns for ten accordion-folds of the shade.

4. Iron the interfacing on the entire back of the cut fabric (30cm length). Try to press it slowly and carefully without stretching the fabric. Make sure that the iron is set at the right temperature. When it is set too high, it could sag the fabric. Set the temperature in the middle at first and adjust it as you go along to achieve a clean finish.

5. Iron in a zig-zag manner at every 5cm to create a pleat. To fold easy and evenly, iron it before the edges are treated. This way, the edges are not bulky when folding. Manually doing this step is not as accurate as doing it by machine. So when you first prepare the fabric, leave the side (vertical) edge uncut, and make the edge of the folded pleat be the width. This way, you won’t make mistakes.

6.Serge the horizontal edge of the fabric at the top and the bottom. Interfacing normally keeps it from fraying, however the finish looks nicer if treated. Next, sew the tape to the outer side of the fabric. When doing this, make sure to match the colors of the thread to the colors of the fabric and interfacing to keep stich lines from standing out. For this project, dark blue for upper thread and ecru beige for bobbin thread are used. In the picture, you may notice upper thread appearing as dark blue dots.

7. The edge is complete with tapes securely sewn. In order to keep it pleated, thinner tape is recommended. For this project, loosely woven linen tape was selected.

8.With the right sides facing each other, sew together the edge of the pleated shade to make a tube. The edge of the tape is also sewn together. Leave some seam allowance, cut off the excess and serge the edge. Top stitch on the outer side of the fabric to press it down.

9. Attach the tubular fabric shade by sewing it to the wire ring (from step 3) at 7cm from the top of the shade. You need 7cm so that the bulb is placed as close to the center as possible and the black socket can be hidden. This may be a little tricky, but the radial yarn helps to identify the sewing position.

10.As in step 9, sew together the tubular fabric shade and the large wire ring at 5cm from the bottom of the shade. The size of the bottom ring could be the same as the top, if you would like to make a cylindrical lampshade that is also nice. You may omit the bottom wire ring, but it helps to keep the nice shape.

11.When it is lit up, the design motifs appear through a soft ray of light. You can spot a star silhouette up on the ceiling which is the shape of this lampshade.

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

Eyeglass case made with echino glass design fabric

Size: 15.5cm (L) x 10cm (W)

For today’s project, we selected ni-co, the latest line from echino fabric collection. echino is kokka’s most popular brand. Glasses-b is a uniquely designed fabric with almost life-size eyeglasses neatly aligned. And of course, the project is an eyeglass case. Today’s creator Anri, loves clothing and she makes about 90% of her wardrobe herself. The only items that she doesn’t make are jeans and shoes. Anri says, “I am not sure if my clothing are stylish because they are handmade, but I truly enjoy them and I am so proud of my creations!” A fashionista’s stylish taste gleams in today’s project.

Design & work created by Anri(

Fabric shown for this sample:
echino ni-co JG99700-702 (D)

□Fabric (Outer fabric, Lining fabric) 30cm (W) × 40cm (L)
□Leather piece (Opening fabric) 10cm (W) x 10cm (L)
□Quilt batting 30cm (W) × 20cm (L)
□Metal spring-loaded clasp 1cm (W) x 10cm (L) 1 piece


We interviewed Anri about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
Anri: With modest thickness, canvas fabric is versatile for clothing, interior décor or everyday general goods. Since the base is an off-white color, it tends to hide slight spots and smudges and broadens the possibilities. It was difficult to decide what to make because ideas kept coming to me. The cotton linen is a very durable material, so I chose to create something that you use and carry in your bag every day.

KF:Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
Anri: I created a whimsical design in such a way that it can easily be identified as an eyeglass case. To provide some protection, a quilt padding is added. This is an extra step, but you will feel the glasses are secure. Another element that I thought people would want is that it’s easy to open and close with one hand. For that purpose, I used a metal spring-loaded clasp. To keep it from being bulky, it is tightly finished without adding any gathering at the top. Leather is used for the opening since you can just cut it off and no finish is required. This way, the clasp can pass through a tight opening without jamming the seam allowance.

KF:What are some tips for making this case?
Anri: Since a small hole at the top leather piece (opening fabric) is used to turn the case over, there is no need to create a separate opening for turning. In order to avoid fabric that is attached to the opening from fraying, make sure to securely backstitch at the end. When sewing, use straight pins or clips to hold the leather and quilt batting as they tend to stretch and could affect the measurements. This way you can create a clean finish.

KF:How should we use this bag in everyday settings?
Anri: Whether at home or at the office, it looks cute just being placed on a table. I think it also suits men.

KF:KF: Thank you very much, Anri! Here are the instructions and step by step by step photos taken by Anri. Enjoy crafting!

Prepare the material
You only need these small square pieces of fabrics. Precise measurement and cutting will make the subsequent steps much easier and create a very clean finish.

1. With the right sides facing together, sew the outer fabric and leather piece (opening fabric) together. The quilt batting is sewn together with the inside lining. When sewing quilt batting with the fabric, make sure to pin around the pieces so that they will not move and will stay in place for the next process.


2. With the right sides facing together, sew the case body pieces. As seen in the picture, stitch all the way to the top without sewing the leather piece. Make sure that you backstitch several times to secure the end in order to make the turning process easier.


3. Use the opening created with leather pieces to turn the case over. It is very tight, but if you do it slowly the fabric goes through. If you cannot turn the case over or feel uncomfortable doing so, you could leave a small opening for turning at the bottom of the inside lining.


The picture shows the whole case after being turned out. Put the case lining inside. The seams of the quilt padding may look bulky. If you don’t like the look, you could cut a small diagonal piece on the bottom corners of the seams. The corners of the pictured sample is not cut. It is an as is look of the finished project.

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