12 November 2013

Happy Homemade: Sew Chic + Sew Chic Kids


A couple more Japanese sewing pattern books to drool over - Happy Homemade: Sew Chic by Yoshiko Tsukiori and Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids by Ruriko Yamada. If you're familiar with Japanese sewing books (if you're a regular reader of this blog you will be by now!), they're exactly what you'd expect in terms of the one-page-per-pattern instructions with technical illustrations and minimal text, and the garment projects being mainly loose-fitting smock tops and dresses. Some seriously pretty smock tops and dresses, in fact. The kind of garments which make you feel like standing around gazing into your cappuccino like you're in the Toast catalogue.




The kids version features the cutest little munchkins I've ever seen! As usual, I'm coveting children's outfits more than the adult versions, but alas the patterns in this one only go up to 9 years old. These patterns are for boys as well as girls, so if you've got kiddos to sew for you're bound to find something just darling here.


Question for you. Under the "Basic Tools" section, of the 15 essential items of equipment listed are not one but two "bodkins". I'd never heard of a bodkin, but apparently it's used for threading elastic through a casing. Tell me, do you own a bodkin? Am I missing out?!

[Soundtrack: 'Grounds for Divorce' by Elbow]

41 comments:

  1. I do, in fact, own a bodkin and it is way nicer to use than a safety pin to thread elastic.

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  2. I always just use a safety pin...
    That kids book is so pretty, I love the style!

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  3. I must find those books! Those are definitely my style.

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  4. I got a pack of 2 from John Lewis for under 2 quid. They rock.

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  5. Don't bother with bodkins...Safety pins do the same thing!

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  6. I own the kids book and it is fab. the makes are easy and quick! must get my hands on the Sew Chic book, that looks fun as well and I LOVE my bodkin ( i also like how the word sounds :)

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  7. I do own a bodkin but much prefer those elastic guides sold in a pack of 3 different sizes. You can whizz round a waistband in no time with those! Must check out the kids book, not sure I can pull off the "toast model" look in the other one but looks like some lovely stuff.

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  8. Hello Tilly, I am not experienced enough to know what bodkin even is, he,he.... The kids book is seriously cute. These books remind me of the Intemporels Series by French designer Astrid Le Provost. Have a look at them, the Intemporels for Toddlers (up to 8 years old) are soooo cute too...I am planning to make a few for my girls. Also, her Coton, Lin and Liberty is a great option for simple women outfits where the fabric and simple style are the stars. Google them!
    I will add your Sew Chic Kids in my wishlist for Xmas. Pati xx

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  9. I had never heard of it, Tilly (not sure what they're called this side of the Pond), but when I figured out, on your blog, what they're for, I realized I've just used a safety pin all these years to accomplish the task.

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  10. Actually, I have two bodkins--one's a safety pin on the end of a really long (pencil length) skinny metal handle; the other is just as long, but has a loop for threading ribbon at then end.

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  11. I have recently acquired a bodkin and find it much easier to thread elastic with. When I bought it it came with a more needle like on for threading drawstrings/ribbons through which has also come in handy.

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  12. I have a bodkin and elastic guides but rarely use them. More often than naught, I read for a safety pin.

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  13. I love these Japanese sewing books. Someday they will be mine!

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  14. Never heard of a bodkin either. Just assumed safety pin was the only way!

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  15. I don't own a bodkin but I do own a set of three different sized elastic threaders which do exactly the same thing but are for different width elastics. Very useful as I used to use a safety pin and knitting needle but the pin often came off the elastic in the casing.

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  16. I do own a bodkin it came from my mother in law when I inherited some of her sewing things after she died. I have to admit I've never used it though I just reach for a safety pin

    Jackie x

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  17. I grew up using a bodkin. The first time I used a safety pin to thread elastic through a casing, was when I lost my bodkin. They are absolutely perfect for the job. They hold the elastic firmly, and there's a little bobble on the end, which makes it easy to thread the bodkin through the casing. They're really cheap, and I would definitely recommend having them.

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  18. I do own a bodkin. A safety pin can do the trick, but the bodkin in much nicer.

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  19. I dont have a bodkin, although I certainly know what one is - I usually use a safety pinn but now I am lusting after a bodkin!

    http://asaucystitch.blogspot.co.uk/

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  20. I have the bodkin like number 12 in the picture. It is just perfect for threading elastic 1 cm wide or smaller. For wider elasticity I use. A safety pin, but, even the old nappy ones with a cover don't stop me from pricking myself, catching the fabric casing, or losing the elastic completely.

    I is a klutz!
    http://bobbinsbikesandblades.com/wordpress/

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  21. I love my bodkins (got two of them!). They're useful for threading elastic, as other people have noted, but not much different from using a safety pin. However, they are great for turning tubes--easiest way I've found to do it. They won't work on a super skinny tube, unfortunately, but they're fantastic otherwise.

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  22. Yep - I have an old bodkin which I think came from my grandmother. It's only small though and wouldn't take thick elastic, so then I'd use a safety pin.

    I bet you want one now!

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  23. I like my bodkin, but it has a tendency to lose the elastic half way through whatever I'm threading the elastic through. If it's a tight casing, I'll use a safety pin. If it's fairly loose and there's plenty of room for the elastic I'll use the bodkin because it's faster to pull through than a safety pin.

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  24. I've heard of bodkins, but I always just use a safety pin, and that works fine for me.

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  25. I have one but never is near when I need so I use what I have in hand. Safey pins are always lost too.

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  26. What are the sizes like? I'm thinking particularly of the adult book. The stereotype of Japanese body shape is shorter and slighter than westerners (and born out by the 4 Japanese women I know in my town) and I wondered if this was reflected in the sizing. Not such a problem for you maybe Tilly , but could be so for some of us.i couldn't find a sizing guide on the look again function amazon.

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    1. They come in UK sizes 6 - 16, from 78cm to 102cm bust according to the size chart. I hope this helps.

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    2. Thanks, that is really helpful (well it will benonce I've converted it to imperial)

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    3. The sizing on these patterns has been adjusted for western bodies.

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    4. I played it safe and decided to try the kids version out first (they look cute in anything!). First pattern went well, one happy customer.
      http://prolificprojectstarter.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/sew-chic-pinafore/
      Thanks for the heads up Tilly. Are you planning to make anymof the adult ones?

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  27. Tee hee, bodkin, sounds like a naughty Hobbit sex toy! Definitely going to call the dog bodkin from now on!

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  28. Hi Tilly, just wanted to say thank you for featuring these lovely books. I usually worry Japanese styles will look too maternity on me, but I really like these, especially the trousers. I'm going to order the book! As for bodkins...yes of course, I actually have a selection! Pinch type for grasping the end of elastic and two or three sizes with eyes (some inherited from my Grandma). Much easier than safety pins as you have a longer smooth thing to feed through rather than one that can get tangled (or come undone).

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  29. I have a bodkin but only because I use it weave in the loose ends of knitting. I never thought to use it to thread elastic. You learn something new every day!

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  30. I do own one & it does make threading elastic & draw strings a breeze but I still end up featuring to good old safety pins & the occasional paperclip, due to having very little storage space & being an untidy crafter!

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  31. I do own one & it does make threading elastic & draw strings a breeze but I still end up featuring to good old safety pins & the occasional paperclip, due to having very little storage space & being an untidy crafter!

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  32. The garments in Japanse pattern books are styled beautifully and look really appealing but the instructions put me off. I'll look out for this one in my bookshop.

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  33. I have been coveting the kids' book. And my mom owns a bodkin, but I still use a good ol' safety pin : )

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  34. The word is familiar, but I never knew what it was. I've only ever used safety pins. I love the clothes in those Japanese books, but haven't made any b/c it seems they're always the kind that only look good on a rail-thin body, which mine is not. What do you think?

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  35. I own two bodkins but have only ever needed to use one, not sure why you would need two. Anyway very handy for threading elastic, but I also use safety pins so not really fussed either way.

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  36. Ooooo, certainly a bodkin girl. And never having thought about it before, but it is a rather delightful word. The children's book looks dreamy... off to explore!

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  37. I just ordered the kids book. Fingers crossed I master the instructions. If so I might get thenother one too.

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