Inspiration file 36
Jewelry making you feel happy


A Happy New Year to you all.
I hope we will have fun together through this year too.

In hope 2014 brings you a lot of happiness and brilliant success, I feature a radiant jewelry as this year’s first article for this column.

The brooch in the above picture was the creation of the jewelry maker named tin. It is actually bigger than what you might guess; just main piece is approximately 7 by 6 centimeters in size. “When I got a lovely roundish antique French tassel, I was tempted to create something with it. This is it.” tin says.

tin’s creations are decorated by using bead embroidery technique that she stitches small beads one by one. She continues, “The brooch consists of both contemporary and vintage materials. As well as the antique French tassel, I set Swarovski’s vintage copper beads in the middle of the brooch. Antique French lace, tons of freshwater pearls, my hand-crocheted stuffs, and vintage beads were also stitched with.”

The concept behind tin’s jewelries is “making you feel happy with it”. Each creation is with tin’s wish that it would be worn for both ordinary times and special occasions. The brooch must be a charming accessory for your party dress. Or, the dress-down casual such as a white sweater & jeans can be more stylish.

Check tin’s other jewelries including dazzling hair accessories, corsages, and earrings at

Inspiration file 35
Yummy-looking strawberry cakes


What do you suppose the cakes in the picture are made of? Must be whipping cream?

No whipping cream. No fresh strawberries. Neither butter nor flour. The yummy-looking cakes are all made of wool roving by the needle felting artist Rio Fukuda. Needle felting is the process of intertwining or tangling wool fibers using barbed needles called felting needles. As the felting needle is moved up and down, the barbs on the needle catch the scales of the wool and entangle them creating a material called felt.

Halved strawberries as a topping on each cake are appetizing. The fruit’s pith and pink flesh recreated in needle felting technique are true to life. Fukuda says, “I added achenes, which are usually called seeds, to strawberries to make them look more real. Then I realized the ones without achenes would look way prettier and luscious.” It is the knack of her lovely creations that Fukuda dares not make them too realistic or detail.

The enjoyment of a real cake will be over after eating it up. However, the needle-felted strawberry cake that can be displayed for a long time may be a nice gift for your friend or someone special. Would it be a big challenge for you to do the same project in the picture? If so, how about trying to make a piece of cake first? Once starting, the fluffy wools will soothe your heart.

Fukuda has her own studio named “Coffret de laine”, which means a small box of wool, in Kawaguchi City in Saitama prefecture that is a typical suburban town in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Colorful and delicious-looking pastries with felts are displayed in the studio. She periodically holds a workshop there, too.

It may be a good time for you to relax by touching soft wool roving to form an adorable thing with your felting needle.

You can see the website of Rio Fukuda at

Inspiration file 34
Gift-wrap made with fabric scraps


In the picture is a mini pennant garland which was made with a bunch of leftover fabric scraps coordinated with conventional colors of Christmas – red and green. The garland of small triangle pennants, 3 centimeters on a side each, can be a ribbon to embellish the wrapped gift. The garland turns out decoratively by combining distinct textured pennants from cotton prints, linen, and felt. You don’t have to trim the row edge of each piece. But your garland can be lovelier if you cut it out using your pinking shears. Fold and press the base side at 7 millimeter, match up one pennant with another pennant, and then sew sides together with a sewing machine. If you want to make a cord between each pennant, just continue running the machine without sewing fabric. Upper and bobbin threads tangle each other, and it can be like a cord. You can also make a pretty two-toned cord by using different colored thread for each upper and bobbin.

There is another way to tie pennants together without using a sewing machine. Fold down one side of pennant to make a casing, put your favorite cord into the casing, and glue to pennants.

This garland can also become an ornament for your Christmas tree. Or, how about making a larger pennant garland for a wall decoration?

Don’t you visualize various color combination or pattern matching for your new project while looking at your fabric scraps? Such a “happy moment” to think about your sewing projects may be a special gift for yourself.

Dalarna Horse’s Toy Ball

Size: 18cm (diameter)

Today’s project is a playful toy ball, using the design of a Swedish traditional craft, the Dalarna Horse as a main motif. Anri, who previously introduced stylish items like the lampshade using the echino series of fabric and leather combination card holder on this site, has returned to share her new creation.

Design & work :Anri

Fabric shown for this sample:

□ Fabric (Front/outer fabric A): 90cm×30cm
    (Front/outer fabric B): 40cm×30cm
□ Poly stuffing


We interviewed Anri about her creation:
KF (Kokka Fabric (KF)) What did you think about the fabric you used for this project?
When I picked up and felt this fabric, the first image that came to my mind was a toy. A large print can be cute even in small pieces. I decided to cut a small part to use as an accent color piece.

KF:Can you tell us about any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
While I decided to use it as a small piece, it still has six pieces. The size is relatively large and it makes good use of the horse design with many stylish types of saddles.

KF:What are some tips for making this ball?
Make sure to align the finished lines. If you are not used to making tridimensional items, you may find it a little difficult. I think this one is perhaps easy since the size is relatively big.

KF:How should we use this ball in everyday settings?
Depending on how much stuffing you put in the ball, you can use it for many different purposes. For a kid’s or dog’s toy, it should be stuffed full and tight. A lightly stuffed ball can be used as a casual pillow or an armrest cushion. The size can be as small or as big as you like.

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

Instructions of Dalarna Horse’s Toy Ball


Carefully cut the fabric. For this project, it may be easier to draw the finished lines on the back side of the fabric. A slight change in the final size of a ball is not a significant problem, however a precise cut is critical as even a little discrepancy can become twelve fold since six pieces of fabric are pieced together in this case.


With front/outer sides facing each other, sew together. Leave the top point portion of the seam allowance open. Only sew from one peak point to another. This helps the seam allowance from being pulled to tight.


Piece together the three pieces to create two sets of three pieced-together fabrics. Sew together the two sets of fabric, leaving an opening for turning. By sewing in this order, you can avoid creating a hole on the tip of the ball.


Turn the fabric over through the opening. Stuff it with poly stuffing and sew together the opening to close and complete.

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

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty fabric for grown-up women is here!

Besides Japan, Hello Kitty popularity is spreading all over the world. With this trend, grown-up Kitty fans are increasing. This series of fabric is created for female grown-ups to enjoy Kitty. The motifs incorporated European art and the color combination appeals to non-Japanese tastes. The theme of this fabric is “Kitty fabric for female grown-ups”, and it is perfect for making interior décor goods and bags. Of course, the pop and cute element of this fabric are well suited for a new school year items.

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Kitty skull design cotton broadcloth  G50182-1 Cotton broadcloth , GQ50182-1 Double Faced Quilt Fabric

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A skull, a popular motif overseas, is used for the design of this fabric. A vivid pink color acts as its accent.

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