Must Learn Japanese

Seduced by the gorgeous designs and beautiful photographs, I allowed myself to be persuaded that using Japanese craft books would be a piece of cake. Hah!

Not only is almost everything apart from, bizarrely, the titles,  in Japanese  but you start from the back and work to the front and that goes for the instructions too.   Of course I was prepared for the Japanese and even, thanks to my younger daughter’s Manga obsession, with the fact that you read back to front but I wasn’t prepared for the teeny tiny print at which you must stare in the vain hope of gleaning some information that might help you make the beautiful item you crave.

Nothing daunted, I managed (by using a magnifying glass) to pick out some measurements from in amongst the symbols and, with the aid of the excellent diagrams, to actually make something – hoorah!  I was chuffed to bits and have been showing off  because Mr. Tialys and the two Miss Ts couldn’t believe I’d actually bought a craft book in Japanese and hoped to make sense of it.  So, yah boo  sucks to them and here is my creation which I decided to make using French linen and Liberty of London – my two favourite fabrics.


Still, I like a bit of a challenge now and then – I’m hoping it keeps the brain active although have no evidence so far –  so this may be a new obsession.


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  1. #1 by UniqueNique on September 28, 2011 - 13:03

    More power to you ;~D I think that little bag is adorable well done

  2. #2 by Jan Marriott on September 28, 2011 - 14:16

    well. it IS cute.

  3. #3 by Scribbled Field Notes on November 21, 2011 - 05:03

    I couldn’t resist and picked up a copy of this book.

    You’re absolutely right. The teeny tiny print is really hard to make out, even if one reads Japanese. I also have rather basic sewing skills so even if I practiced for eons, I could never hope to duplicate your beautiful results, let alone in an hour, as the book title breezily promises. (#@?!)

  4. #4 by annie reed on March 8, 2013 - 02:49

    Where can I find this book? I so want to make that beautiful bunny!!! HELP- thank you-

    • #5 by tialys on March 8, 2013 - 11:27

      Hi Annie. I’ve had a look on Ebay & Etsy for you but nobody seems to have this copy at the moment. It is called ‘Cotton Time’ and I think this copy is from 2009 but as most of the info on the cover is in Japanese it’s hard to tell. I can give you the ISBN number though so this should help your search. It is ISBN978-4-391-62842-5. Good luck.

      • #6 by Missy DeLaet on December 6, 2013 - 17:09

        Hi I know a bit late to the party but here’s a site that may help find the book. The link is actually directly to the book. I want to try to make the bunny, even if I can’t read the directions, there has to be pictures right?

      • #7 by tialys on December 6, 2013 - 17:25

        Well done for finding it – it’s expensive though isn’t it?
        Yes, there are definitely pictures and teeny tiny writing which includes the necessary dimensions, so get the magnifier ready or scan it in and enlarge it.
        Have fun.

  5. #8 by Chez Shea on September 6, 2016 - 10:12

    OH my goodness-this is amazing! I love craft books, but find I get bored with the sameness of them. This Japanese craft book looks amazing-but sounds so complicated! The bag is a triumph!! You should sell them.

    • #9 by tialys on September 6, 2016 - 10:42

      Thank you. I did sell them for a while actually but, to be honest, they are rather fiddly and I decided it wasn’t worth it for the amount I could charge for them. The Japanese craft books are wonderful – always beautifully presented and, as you say, a little different.

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