Inspiration 49
A shirred scarf

To turn a common item into a striking article with a bit of ingenuity is one of the real pleasures in making crafts. Shuhunomisin, who is a very popular blogger in handmade category in Japan, frequently presents her sewing projects with original ideas via her blog. Today’s feature is a frilly scarf which is one of her unique creations. The scarf is perfect for spring season in both appearance and usability. Here are pictures of it taken from various angles as Shuhunomisin posted on her blog.

This is made with a 58x190cm scarf sold for only 315 yen that is approximate US$3. The secret of the shirring on the scarf is a clear elastic tape, shown in the picture on the bottom-right.

“I always had trouble wearing a scarf. Even though I put it on as a fashion book’s instruction, the scarf slipped off after a while. I had wondered if there was anything to solve it. When I found a clear elastic tape, the idea leaped in my mind to sew it on the scarf. The result was excellent! The tape gave the scarf shirred so beautifully. I was excited for myself!” Shuhunomisin says.

It is pretty easy to make it.Set the tape laterally on the center with 16cm margin left on both sides, and sew it on while keeping it stretched. In the same way, the 2nd and 3rd tapes should be sewn parallel to the 1st tape.

Just 3 shirring lines make your scarf fluffy.

A collar can be instantly made.

“I had unsuccessfully worn scarves until I created this shirred and ruffled one. Now I have a fashionable scarf that is easy to put on. This is my favorite!” (by Shuhunomisin)

She recently gave a shirred scarf to her mother who is in her 70s. Shuhunomisin continues, “My mom is so happy with it which makes her look more elegant. No need to look in the mirror when putting it on. I am sure that this scarf must be great for anyone regardless of age.”

With shirring, a regular scarf can be turned into a lovely fashion item. “When you feel like something is missing around your neck, please try this scarf. It will make you more stylish than you are just wearing jewelry. It will help you a lot. I guarantee!” (by Shuhunomisin)
Cover your shoulders when it’s cold.

Wear it at a party.

Shirring creates beautiful back view.

Her blog will surely inspire you a lot. Please go to for more detail about this scarf and her other creations.

Bags, small cases and drawstring bags made with ready-to-sew fabric

Size: Bag 30cm (L) x 50cm (W)  

In today’s column, we are introducing easy instructions for bags, small cases and drawstring bags made with ready-to-sew fabric. If you prepare 120cm of 110cm-wide cloth, it will allow you to have a set of bag with the same motif. A small zipper case in camera and glasses design, drawstrings bags in headset, shoes and watch design, and a bag in denim motif are the featured projects.

Design & workKokka Fabric

Fabric shown for this sample:
 Making Cloth (ready-to-sew fabric) P28200-200 (A)

□ Fabric (Outer fabric) over 110cm width x 120cm
(Lining fabric) over 110cm width x 80cm
□ Interfacing: over 100cm width x 50cm
□ Flat knit zipper: Three 20cm zippers
□ Twilled tape: 2cm (width) x 15cm
□ Acrylic tape: 7mm (width) ×160cm

making cloth

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

Ready-to-sew fabric

A perfect fabric for making travel organizers and small cases!

The ready-to-sew fabric is here! Various cut-and-sew motifs appear all throughout the fabric. With this easy-to-sew fabric, you can quickly make large and small drawstring bags and cases. A variety of travel-related items – bags, shoes, headsets and cameras – are stylishly designed. They will definitely be useful as travel organizers. The excitement of the travel starts when you open your suitcase – this fabric will help create a fun atmosphere.

Making Cloth (ready-to-sew fabric)  P28200-200 #10 Canvas
making cloth

  • making cloth
  • making cloth
  • making cloth

Perfect for both men and women, monochrome tones and cold colors complete a cool image with this fabric. You can quickly make drawstring bags using a cut-and-sew motif or create a stylish applique by combining with other fabrics.

Inspiration file48
A tray with marguerite daisies embroidery


While cherry blossoms are falling, the pink-tinted streets in Tokyo are turning light green with fresh leaves and buds. Floral shops are full of colorful flowers as if to manifest spring is really here. In the above picture is an item I found during a time when floral motif tends to be more popular especially in spring. This is so graceful, isn’t it? The “cartonnage” tray with embroidered marguerite daisies was created by Chigusa Inoue who leads her embroidery and crafting class named Atelier Claire. Cartonnage is the art of making fabric-covered stationary items, which originated in France.

Inoue says, “Since I encountered embroidery and cartonnage, I have felt pleasure in expressing myself through the creative activities with needles, threads, and fabrics. One day I thought, “How wonderful it would be if I could share such a fun thing with someone!” That is the reason I started to run my crafting class.”

During the small-group lesson with a cozy atmosphere, Inoue inspires her students to be careful with their works so their products will last into the future. Indeed, most of her cartonnage products shown in her website are in the classical taste. This marguerite daisies’ tray is the subject of her charitable lesson which partial tuition will contribute to The Great East Japan Earthquake Fund. Inoue continues, “I made the crafting tutorial of this tray with my prayer for anyone affected by the disaster would return to the way they were before as soon as possible. I recalled the importance of connecting with others, too. I hope each participant in the fundraising lesson will make their own tray hearty and lovely as symbolized by the marguerite daisies embroidered on it.”

The tray is in suitable size for temporarily storing embroidery tools, or to be used as a sweets serving tray when you have guests. It is also perfect as a wall hanging!

For further information about Inoue’s lesson, please go to

Cami Dress

Size: Dress length 80cm

Today’s project is a cami dress made with “seed,” a 150cm-wide large print fabric from echino’s 2014 collection. This fabric contains a mixture of nature-inspired motifs like animals and plants combined with graphical geometric designs. Kayo Shimizu, who appeared in the past Inspiration column with her echino backpack creation, has returned with another interesting project.

Design & work :Kayo Shimizu

Fabric shown for this sample: echino JP95210-10 (A)

□ Fabric: 150cm×120cm
□ Elastic Tape: 60cm (1cm width)


We interviewed Kayo about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
Kayo Shimizu (KS): It is a beautiful fabric. The bright pink color stands out so much in the sea of gray. The color tone is versatile and seasonless. It is a great fabric for any type of project.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
KS: Since it uses elastic tape, it is an easy to wear, one-size- fits all dress. This dress is based on a design that I created before. I added a design twist to the previous version that was 15cm shorter at waist length. If you prefer a skinnier look, you can tighten the width toward the center on the pattern. This dress can also be worn as maternity wear.

KF: What are some tips for making this dress?
KS: Please pay extra attention when finishing the piping. Other than that, this is a relatively easy project. Also you need to make sure that both shoulder straps are at the same length.

KF: How should we wear this dress in everyday situations?
KS: Since it is a loose fitting dress, you may want to mix it with a slim look inner top or bottom. Cropped pants or rolled up pants, which will show part of your legs, will make you look very feminine.

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

Continue reading