Anything Japanese is assuredly beautiful, especially when it comes to handmade. In Zakka Sewing, authors Laskey and Mori have come together to produce a truly gorgeous book that will inspire handmade aficionados, no matter where they live in the world.
Zakka is a Japanese word meaning ‘household goods’ – everything from tea towels to baskets and totes. They are functional objects, sure, but they also don’t need to be immune to clever and beautiful design.
Author Laskey first fell in love with traditional handmade zakka items via the enormous online crafting community available worldwide. Wanting to create her own Japanese-design-inspired treasures but finding only instructions in Japanese, she did what any resourceful crafter would do, and set about creating her own zakka book – in English.
Teaming up with Mori, a Japanese designer living in the US, Laskey approached the best Japanese zakka designers to create a book brimming with the very best of Japanese craft. What I love about this book is that all the projects provided were created by authentic Japanese zakka crafters, living in Japan. And the authenticity shows.
Featuring 25 stunning designs, the book opens with an appliqué pot holder and continues through a tartlet pin cushion, bunko-bon (small paperback) book cover and onto linen baskets, purses, pencil cases, coasters mats and much more – all with that divinely whimsical Japanese aesthetic and using traditional decorative fabrics and elements.
The book includes notes on basic materials, stitches and techniques, and plenty of clearly-detailed instructional diagrams and templates. There are also difficulty ratings and adorable zakka facts – like the fact that in Japan, everything needs a cosy cover, especially electronic equipment.
Stunning photography by Inoue, round out a gorgeously-styled, must-have craft book for anyone interested in fine handmade textile design. A book of finesse and charm, I feel like I’ve been let in on some ancient Japanese textile secrets in Zakka Sewing. It feels very special indeed.
Title: Zakka Sewing
Author: Therese Laskey & Chika Mori
Photographer: Yoko Inoue
Publisher: Stewart Tabori Chang
Publication Date: Oct 2008