Book Review Series: Fabrigami

Hi friends! I have another sneak peek from Tuttle PublishingFabrigami: The Origami Art of Folding Cloth To Create Decorative and Useful Objects.

Fabrigami via SakéPuppets.comThis 80-page book provides project instructions for turning fabric into folded treasures. It begins with a short introduction of the birth of Fabrigami — origami artists started to experiment with fabric, and Fabrigami was the name they gave it. Ah, duh. The author then divulges the Secret Formula for stiffening your fabric so it is workable like paper:

Fabrigami via SakéPuppets.comSorry, no reveal of the Secret Formula here! All I’ll tell you is…it looks messy. Which means kids will love the Secret Formula.

The projects proceed similarly to other origami books, with step-by-step illustrations guiding you through each fold. I’d say the book leans more decorative than useful, but let’s get real here — is any origami useful?

That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.

Fabrigami via SakéPuppets.comI understand the appeal of using fabric rather than paper. It keeps longer and would hold up better as an ornament or keepsake, and the possibilities for texture and print are limitless. But paper can be nice, too. So for me it goes either way, and honestly, I think you could use these patterns for both.

I leave you with this:

Fabrigami via SakéPuppets.comI’m telling you, kids (and immature grown-ups) will love this book.

Stay tuned, because next week I’ll be giving a copy away!

This book was provided by Tuttle Publishing for review, but opinions are all my own. Thanks!

Book Review Series: Wrapping with Fabric

Book Review: Wrapping with FabricTuttle Publishing specializes in English-language books on Asia, and has produced some great translated craft books from Japan. Recently they asked if I was interested in looking at a couple. Yes, please!

The first is Wrapping with Fabric: Your Complete Guide to Furoshiki, The Japanese Art of Wrapping. This 112-page full color book covers the basics of furoshiki — history, basic knots, gift wrapping and easy carry-all bags — but it goes further with some really imaginative ideas. I’ve picked up my fair share of free furoshiki handouts over the years, and this book provides instructions for wrappings I’ve never before seen: how to carry a yoga mat or wet umbrella, methods for covering a handbag (for protection or ugliness?!), and my personal favorite, the watermelon wrapping:

How to wrap a watermelon, from Wrapping with Fabric, Tuttle Publishing via SakéPuppets.comThis might be the most Japanese thing I have ever seen. When you pay $100 for a watermelon, you better be sure it’s wrapped, y’all.

Also, it seems the author and I have a little something else in common:

Wrapping with Fabric, Tuttle Publishing via SakéPuppets.comWrapping with Fabric, Tuttle Publishing via SakéPuppets.comDrinks, drinks, double drinks.

I enjoyed this book a lot, and was eager to give one of the projects a spin. I started with the simple bottle gift wrap — because sometimes I give my hooch away and cheap wine looks much better with a classy wrap. Also, I was worried that my botched first-try wrap-job might send this bottle crashing into the street, so better to start slowly with a singlet.

Wrapping with Fabric, Tuttle Publishing via SakéPuppets.comFuroshiki test, via SakéPuppets.comThe result? Not bad! A little more chaotic than the book promises, but certain to wow any crowd of semi-tipsy pot-luckers.

Wrapping with Fabric, Tuttle Publishing via SakéPuppets.comNot surprising, but the key to a successful fabric wrap is all in the fabric. Thankfully this is something the book covers generously. My trusty polyester Japan Society furoshiki was ideal — thin and smooth but not slippery like silk can be. I also appreciated the book’s coverage of wrapping etiquette, tips that would have been useful while living in Japan. Apologies to all those I offended with backward knots.

If you are looking to enhance your furoshiki game, this book is a good choice. Need supplies? I love the designs from Link Collective, who I met at an Etsy event in Tokyo. You can also embroider or sashiko simple cotton fabric using one of my patterns, available for download here.

And lastly, you can find more information about Wrapping with Fabric on Tuttle’s website or on Amazon. Happy wrapping!

Wrapping with Fabric, Tuttle Publishing via SakéPuppets.com

This book was provided by Tuttle Publishing for review, but opinions are all my own. Thanks!

Happy New Year!

2014

I hope this greeting hasn’t gone out of fashion yet. We’re still holding on to January, so it still counts! Happiest of New Years to you all!

Maybe you noticed I haven’t been ’round these parts lately. Or maybe you didn’t, that’s fine too. In either case — whew, Life! She gets away from me sometimes. It is crazy to think how the new friends/jobs/hobbies/routines that fill my days weren’t there a year ago. Thank Taco Tuesdays that they are all here now.

Sometimes I really miss Tokyo and the quiet-within-the-chaos life I had there, the creativity and adventure and amusing misunderstandings. But now it’s New York, and I feel good about the way Life has adjusted her settings. I work more and sew a little less, but I’ve also found a whole array of other things to try, like sports and books and cereal for dinner. Sometimes it just happens.

Do you ever binge watch Twin Peaks or eat hummus and bagels every day for a week and then realize you need a break? I think that happened to me and sewing. But slowly I feel myself coming back, finding a new balance. And, I really want a Rigel Bomber. 2015, let’s go!

Cheers for New Years! A happy and healthy 2015 to you all! 

Matatabi Makers: City Blazer

Hi friends. I’m still here! and I’m still sewing/stitching/(mis)adventuring! Just being a bit slow with writing and photos and … with life in general. But I recently made a linen blazer for this month’s Miss Matatabi Makers contribution, and I love it. LOVE IT! So I wanted to share it here with you, too.

Saké Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers, ByHandLondon Victoria blazer in linen and nani IROAs I mentioned over on Miss Matatabi’s blog, I purchased the ByHandLondon Victoria blazer pattern months ago and then let it sit on my sewing table. I couldn’t find the right fabric. I went to Mood more than once in search of something fancy, but it was Miss Matatabi’s linens that hit the mark. To bulk it up for cooler weather, I lined the blazer in one of my favorite nani IRO prints. Linen and double gauze are a dream combo, and the natural fibers let the blazer breath but still provide warmth.

Saké Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers, ByHandLondon Victoria blazer in linen and nani IROThis pattern has a clever construction and was quick to put together. At first I though it was too slouchy and casual. But after wearing it for, uh about 20 seconds, I realized it is exactly what my life needed. So comfortable! So versatile! These photos were taken after a bike ride through Brooklyn while waiting for the ferry. The wind picked up a bit, but I was ready. Sunset and autumn chill? No problem, man. This city blazer can handle it!

You can see more details over on Miss Matatabi’s blog. Thanks, friends! I’ll be seeing you all around again soon!