Happy Homemade Sew Chic: Book Review And Giveaway

denimjacketToday I’m reviewing and giving away a copy of “Happy Homemade Sew Chic”  to one lucky reader! Above is a jacket I made out of a linen hemp blend from one of the patterns in the book. I think it’s simple yet chic, just like the book.Happy Homemade-Sew Chic Cover-1

Happy Homemade Sew Chic  (affiliate link) is a Japanese pattern book that I was sent to review from Tuttle Publishing Company. There are 20 simple and easy to sew patterns in the simple yet chic Japanese pattern style. I made one of the patterns in the book and found the directions to be clear, direct, and simple to follow. It helps that the book is also translated into English. I have used Japanese pattern books in Japanese and because the diagrams are so clear, have never had any problems, but still, it’s nice to be able to read the instructions and the pattern sheets. Trying to match up Kanji on pattern sheets is no picnic!

As an aside, the history of the Tuttle Company is a very interesting one. Charles Tuttle, an American, grew up in Vermont and worked for his father’s bookstore. He went to Harvard University and after graduating he enlisted in the military and was sent to Tokyo in 1945 to work for General McCarthur’s staff. He was assigned to the task of helping to revive the Japanese publishing industry which had been  devastated by the war. Tuttle met, fell in love with, and married a beautiful Japanese singer and decided to stay on in Japan. Tuttle began importing American books to sell to GI’s in Japan and by 1949 he opened Tokyo’s first English language bookstore. Two years later, he began publishing books to fulfill the growing interest of foreigners in all things Asian. By the time he died in 1993 he had published over 6,000 books on Asian culture.

Isn’t that interesting!

jacketdirectionsPattern directions for the linen jacket I made.

jacketbackThe back. this fabric is from Robert Kaufman and I bought it at Superbuzzy.

biasboundseamsI added the bias bound seams on the inside. Japanese pattern books often leave out the more time consuming finishing details and offer a simpler approach to sewing, but I like the look of bias bound seams on an unlined jacket.sewchicThe jacket photographed in the book.sewchic5Chic looks in linen.sewchic2These would be cute made into tops.sewchic4I can’t wait until my linen knit fabric comes in the mail so I can make up these slouchy pants.

sewchic1This would make a great nightgown!

So would you like to enter to win a copy of the book? Just leave a comment letting me know if you have ever tried using Japanese pattern books and fill out my RafflfeCopter widget!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. says

    I have tried my hand at embroidery and go back to it now and again. But I am definitely a beginner. I do love to use my embroidery machine. 😉

  2. says

    I have never used a Japanese pattern book, but have always admired what everyone makes from them! Thank you for hosting this giveaway 🙂

  3. Stephanie says

    Beginning beginner I love looking at all the patterns and have maybe done 2 projects. I am not very confident about it yet I do have an eye on a machine though because I want to add to my sewing projects. Thanks

  4. Cheryl says

    I have loved embroidery since learning at my nanny’s knee many years ago.

  5. Mie @ Sewing Like Mad says

    Ohhhh, you know I have…and that I am obsessed 😉 I would love to win this book!

  6. Mie @ Sewing Like Mad says

    And now I know why everyone is writing about embroidery, haha. I want to say I LOVED your work on the inside of the jacket…..makes me so happy to see 😉

  7. says

    Unless using a narrow zigzag stitch around appliqué counts as embroidery, I’ve never embroidered!

  8. says

    It looks really chic! I’m so happy to see the real life made version of this jacket as I have the book and was wondering if someone had sewn it yet and how it would look like. I’m not entering the giveaway as I already have this book 🙂

  9. tania says

    I’ve never done anything from a pattern book, let alone a Japanese one. I am just teaching myself how to sew so any resources I can add to my collection would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Nicki says

    I have just tried a Cucito pattern this week at KCW. I read a bit ofJapanese so fumbled through ok, and would love to try a women’s pattern.

  11. Deana says

    I haven’t tried a Japanese pattern book yet, but I keep lurking around blog posts describing the books and patterns. I’m going to need to try it soon.

  12. says

    I’ve never even seen one! My interest has been piqued this year, as I’m seeing them all over the web:)
    Now I need to google bias bound seams:) I like the look!

  13. STT says

    I have a different Japanese sewing book, but i’m too nervous to sewing it yet. However, seeing this beautiful jacket inspires me to give all these books a try.

  14. Rebecca Holmes says

    I have never sewn from a Japanese pattern book but this sure makes me want to try! The jacket you made is lovely! This is a great review.

  15. says

    I love just about every project in this book. Do I have any Japanese pattern books? Not yet 🙂

  16. says

    I’ve been sewing for thirty years, but have never tried any patterns other than the standard commercial stuff. The Japanese patterns look very intriguing and has giving me something new to think about and investigate, What a great backstory for the book as well. I would love to enter your contest. I love your blog, it’s very inspirational. Your jacket is very pretty as well. Thanks for sharing.

  17. says

    I bought a bunch of Japanese sewing books a few years back, but never used any of the patterns. I prefer the english translated versions, much easier to use! Your jacket came out beautiful!

  18. Judy says

    Love your jacket.. perfect color too.
    I have never sewed anything from Japanese patterns..But, this book looks fantastic.
    Thank you for offering this give a way..

  19. Cherie says

    I’ve never tried Japanese pattern books before. Your jacket is cute!

  20. Megan V says

    I have never tried sewing with a Japenese book…..yet! Thanks for the motivation!

  21. Cara says

    I haven’t yet, but I love this jacket, and seeing the photos of the other pieces, I would love this book! Thank you for the chance to win!

  22. jodi says

    I have never sewn with a japanese pattern book. I have a couple crochet amigurumi books in japanese, and the diagrams are very thorough!!

  23. Carrie says

    I’ve been VERY intimidated to try a Japanese pattern however, they are SO stylish and I would wear most of the clothing. I guess I should sack up and give it a try.

  24. says

    I do love Japanese pattern books. Especially those for Kids.
    I follow a few blogs where the ladies are of Japanese heritage and live in the U.S.
    They will do translations of the instructions and that is very helpful. The techniques are a bit different but I am always impressed with Japanese design sense!

  25. Mary W says

    I have used the Carefree Clothes for Girls. I love the simplicity of the Japanese patterns!!

  26. carolina says

    I made a dress like atunic with a book for little girls. I don´t remember the name right now the book but you can find free patterns online. I thinks is something like Carefree clothes for girl or something.

  27. jan says

    i have never used a japanese pattern book but oh my gosh i love every item shown on your blog!!! super cute 🙂

  28. Jo Randell says

    I love the look of this jacket. Would love the book to see what else they have in it

  29. Jess M says

    I have never used a Japanese pattern but now I will be on the lookout for some of these books, just lovely!

  30. Sally King says

    If cross stitch counts as embroidery…. I’ve never tried Japanese sewing – I always thought they looked too boxy and shapeless but your jacket sure has opened my eyes!

  31. melle@feathered ruffles says

    I haven’t ever sewn from a Japanese sewing book, but I follow several bloggers who do and I’m so curious and impressed by what they come up with…

  32. Nicole G says

    I have never sewn with a Japanese pattern before but would love to try! Thx for an awesome giveaway.

  33. Maria says

    Well, I keep seeing Japanese sewing books mentioned on a few sewing blogs so perhaps it is time that I bought – or won?! – one myself. :o)
    I like the simplicity of the designs and for someone who is still learning I think it would be a great benefit because I can focus on the sewing techniques rather than be overwhelmed by a complicated pattern.
    Thank you so much for the giveaway and I love your jacket and the hemp blend fabric you chose. I bet it looks even better on.

  34. Sandy says

    I have never tried Japanese sewing patterns. I didn’t think they were in English, so I just avoided them. This would be fantastic to be able to see the different techniques they
    use and be able to adapt them to my sewing.

  35. Cathy says

    I’ve never tried a Japanese sewing book. I think this one is going on my Christmas list.

  36. Jennifer Blackman says

    I have never sewn any Japanese patterns, but some of the clothes I have seen recently make me want to try them.

  37. Isabel A. says

    No, i’m a bit afraid to try but some times i see wonderful clothes made from them.

  38. says

    I’ve sewn with Japanese pattern – but only for my youngest daughter. Would love to make something for me 🙂

  39. Elisa says

    I have never sewn with a Japanese pattern but I would love to try it! I love that jacket you made!

  40. felicia says

    I never have, usually the pattern piece tracing scares me but I love the look of the garments that come out of them. Guess I need to overcome my fear!

  41. Kathleen says

    I have used one pattern from a sewing book! It’s still a little big large for my daughter but I’m going to start making a lot more when she hits size 4 (the smallest size in my book)!

  42. says

    Japanese Book are my favourite! I have a little addiction and collect them actually. I have sewn several things for my kids, but nothing for me yet! I know I know I will!

  43. says

    I love Japanese books for kids. Adults patterns tend to be a bit muumuu for my taste, But this one looks cute. Thank you for the giveaway.

  44. Merche says

    Wow! I love all the designs! I´ve worked before with japanese patterns, only kids, and I find them fascinating! See if I can enter the raffle copter thing!