Sunday, October 4, 2015

Why Japan is a Crafter's Paradise . . .

Japan has not given up on their crafting and sewing population.  Many normal stores have some kind of a sewing section for supplies for all kinds of crafts, hobbies and sewing.  While they have many hobbies that we do not in the U.S., they have many of the same.  I found a bead store that I briefly mentioned previously.  Today, I'm going to show you a five story fabric store that is about 3/4 mile from our apartment.  I didn't take photos of each floor.  I think I was too stunned and the place was hopping.  When I walked into the front door there were bolts of beautiful classic wool plaids right at my fingertips.  At the time I was way too hot to even think about buying any wool, but it has cooled off and I'm still thinking about some Royal Stewart plaid that they had. If this link doesn't work for you because I am in Japan, just Google Royal Stewart Plaid.  You'll recognize it.  
There was an entire floor dedicated to knits, one for evening wear fabrics and weddings.  I don't even know.  I'm going to have to return soon for more research.  One of my favorite fabric lines are Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabrics.  They are pretty pricey, but they are incredibly beautiful to look at and touch. It is possible to find them in the States, but not common. You definitely want to see and touch them before you purchase.  Check their website, but you just can't tell how beautiful they are unless you see them.  You can also buy them in the states from Purl Soho.  Again, better in person.  If you live in Southern California, Purl Soho has their shipping location in Tustin, I believe.  It's definitely worth a visit, but isn't fancy like a knitting/fabric shop.  

The three photos above are Liberty. 
I've been working on this embroidery piece.  I'm not sure it's completed, but now that I have my sewing machine here (yeah, sea shipment arrived yesterday), I can buy some backing fabric and get 'er done.  I am planning on Liberty yardage for the back.  
They even had a selection of Marimeko prints.  Check out the history of the company on their website.  It is a Finnish company that began in the early 50's and is still going strong today.  Their prints were highly popular in the United States in the 60's and 70's, you might recognize them.

This is a poor photo, but I was so excited to see this.  Cosmo is a Japanese floss that I had first purchased at French General in Los Angeles.  Definitely a store to visit if you're in the area. I read on the labels that it was made in Japan.  Of course, I had not come across any yet, only DMC.  Then I saw this! All the Cosmo I could ever want. It's beautiful floss with amazing color ways.  

Then I found the Indigo.  Oh, the Indigo.  I think I will have to do an entirely separate post about this subject.  Especially when I've learned a little more about it.  In the mean time, I'm going to plan a project with it.  If you're on Pinterest, do a search of Indigo.  Maybe even on Google.  It's a feast for the eyes.  I mean it.  Especially the hand dyed fabrics, Shibori, nui, Kumo, Hagime, and batik to name a few.  I don't even know what all of those are yet.  But, I am planning on finding out. 
 I did start trying my hand at Sashiko embroidery.  They sell little kits for beginners. When you buy the needles, it comes wrapped so perfectly and inside is also a needle threader.  I love that!
This photo is a collage of the different stages of opening the pretty little needle package.  
The Japanese have a gift of presentation. 
I was suppose to mark around the piece and trim it off.  I didn't have a ruler, let alone for millimeters.  Then I realized my Moleskine notebook had a page with a ruler on it. So, there you go! Very helpful for measuring. Yes, I did already have my fabric marker.

This is the beginning stages of my Sashiko. 
The store had samples available to entice you to buy a kit.  It didn't take much. 

The fabric store had a lovely section of yarn.  I understand that crochet more popular than knitting here. I brought several knitting projects to finish, so it may be awhile before I begin a new one. Especially since I've already started other projects and am dreaming about more. Japanese women evidently love their sewing and handcrafts enough to keep stores like this in business. Their clothes sewing is an entirely different subject worth it's own post. And yes, I've purchased two Japanese pattern books already.  


  1. I LOVE the fabrics! (I don't even sew or craft much, either) They're all so beautiful. You've really started your "Japanese adventure" off in such lovely ways, with seemingly-instant besties to accompany you and show you wondrous things. I think you'll do just fine over the next few years :-D

  2. Somehow I missed this post.
    This store is Heaven for all crafters!
    Looks like youbare doing well.

    M : )

  3. Wow! Wow! Wow! Crafting heaven!!! That store sounds like SO much fun! And, that Sashiko stitching looks like a lot of fun too! It wouldn't take much for me to buy a kit and try it out too. In fact, I'm so fascinated by seeing it on your post and the photos I've seen online in the past year that I may search out a kit here. I'll look forward to more crafty posts! P.S. Maybe we should have had a few crochet lessons before you left. ;-)


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