Friday, September 18, 2009

Sew Japan--where to find books

My obsession with things Japanese extends to sewing. I just happen to be in love with the Japanese aesthetic. I think my disordered mind finds the simplicity and uncluttered designs to be peaceful, calming, and like something that is operating on a heightened sense of reality. Is that what zen is?

I found this link very interesting as I have felt a bit overwhelmed of late with so many new ideas and projects rolling out at work and for my own little art world. Balance, the push and pull that keeps things on an even keel is so very appealing to me but sometimes seems so out of reach.

Japanese sewing books have designs that, while trendy, are classic enough to last from season to season. One pattern, with a few variations, can give you many different looks. I do not read any Japanese--no, I take that back, I now do know the symbols for several common sewing terms! My point though is that when I bought my first Japanese book, I did not worry about the language problem. I bought my first book from an Etsy seller and the pics they included showed that the book had awesome diagrams. Anyone can read a picture, and if the book is over something you are familiar with you can start to figure things out.

If you have been drooling over some projects using Japanese patterns you have seen posted out there in blogland you should take the plunge. Many bloggers are kind enough to post links to places to purchase books and to post ISBN numbers to make the books easier to find.

If you are lucky enough to live in a larger city or near a city with a large Japanese population, you my find a local Japanese grocer also carries books and magazines with sewing patterns. If you are like me, you will have to find online resources. Etsy has several sellers that not only sell Japanese books and magazines, but Japanese sewing supplies and fabrics as well. The great thing about Etsy sellers is that they post lots of pics of the inside of the book and give you great information. For example, it helps to know if the book has full size patterns included, the size ranges of the patterns, and to preview pics of some of the projects. Another great thing about Etsy is that you can convo the seller for more information if you have any questions. I have bought from several different Etsy sellers and have never had a bad experience. Some sellers also sell on ebay.

If you feel brave, you can order books from Amazon Japan or Yes Asia I really like Amazon Japan because of their "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section. I discovered some great books because of that section. Look for the "In English" link to make it a little easier. Also, if you have the Google toolbar it can translate a page for you.

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