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This was written by Leslie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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This month I decided to sew some things for myself. I think every project so far has been for my little girl. I love sewing for her but I really needed some storage bags to help me organize my big work bag.

all three


I didn’t want the three items to be made of the same fabric but I wanted them to go together. It is never hard finding coordinating fabrics in the Miss Matatabi shop! Choosing fabric is often my favourite part of the project process!

lattop case big


First up is a padded case for my laptop. I chose some Nani Iro laminated double gauze for the outside of the case. I have never sewn with laminated fabric before and I am now in love with it. It’s not too thick and is easy to maneuver. I never thought double gauze could get any better! I am now trying to think of all the projects I can make with the other Nani Iro laminated fabrics in Frances’ shop.

photo 1

This purple linen was the perfect choice for the lining. I love how it adds a pop of colour to the project. Frances doesn’t have any more of the purple linen but there are some other great colours in her shop.

cord pouch open cord bag closed

I used the leftover linen to make a little pouch for the computer cords that normally just get thrown into my bag. The linen is a perfect weight for a drawstring pouch. The polka dot fabric is an older Japanese fabric from my own stash.

shoe bag closed shoe bag open

Sewing a shoe bag has been on my list for some time now. Currently I just put my shoes in a plastic grocery bag, which is not so glamourous. I decided to go with this striped canvas. I thought the weight of the fabric would be good for holding shoes. I was going to line it with some double gauze but decided this fabric is so sturdy and thick that it didn’t need a lining. The ties for the bag are made out of some awesome Nani Iro double gauze bias tape. This specific one is no longer available but there are other bias tapes to choose from in Frances’ shop.

I might just have to stay on this selfish sewing kick for another month or two!

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Thank you, Leslie! Connect with Leslie on instagram, pinterest, and flickr.


Tokyo Train Ride baby jinbei

Horikoshi-san is expecting a baby boy this spring and made a tiny jinbei for him. She used Sarah Watts’ Kamakura print from her Tokyo Train Ride collection for Cotton + Steel and a Jinbei pattern bought locally. We can’t wait to meet baby Horikoshi!

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Mochi sewing machine cover

This was written by Cherie from you & mie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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When I saw the Fall 2014 lines of Cotton + Steel, I was so excited – so many amazing prints!! Honestly, it took me ages to decide what I was going to sew and what fabrics I was going to choose. I changed my mind a million times and STILL have dreams of future Cotton + Steel projects dancing in my head! But right off the bat I was drawn to Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Mochi collection, which is really no surprise because I love pretty much everything she has ever made. I love the fun vibrant colors of the Mochi collection and the familiar references to Japanese culture, and of course the gorgeous designs. One of the best parts is how perfectly all the fabrics work together.

Cotton + Steel Mochi Sewing Machine Cover by you & mie

So Frances graciously sent me a fat quarter bundle of some of the quilting cottons from the line and I decided to put them together and make something I really needed. A sewing machine cover!

Cotton + Steel Mochi Sewing Machine Cover by you & mie

I’ve been interested in trying out some new quilting and piecing techniques, so I thought I’d try out the ever popular hexagons. I kinda cheated though and after making the hexies, I just appliquテゥd them on instead of hand stitching them together first.

Cotton + Steel Mochi Sewing Machine Cover by you & mie

I absolutely love how many amazing little details and designs each print contains that you discover when you look at each fabric up close.

Cotton + Steel Mochi Sewing Machine Cover by you & mie

Since I was using quilting cotton and I wanted the cover to have more structure, I decided to use some fusible fleece that I had laying around. It worked pretty well and adds a bit of padding to the cover, but it’s not very stiff, so it doesn’t stand up on it’s own or anything. The cover was inspired by this one by Spool that I’ve had pinned forever, but apparently the site and post no longer exist! So I just measured my machine and made something sort of similar. The front, top and back are all just one rectangular panel and the sides are trapezoids – slightly narrower on the top and wider at the base. I pieced together some binding for the bottom.

Cotton + Steel Mochi Sewing Machine Cover by you & mie

The fabric is not only lovely to look at, but wonderful to touch and sew as well. It’s great quality. I also got one of the Cotton + Steel cotton/linen canvas prints and a sample of one of their lawns and they are all sooooo nice!

Cotton + Steel Mochi Sewing Machine Cover by you & mie


The pieces that I used were so small that I have quite a bit of each fat quarter left! What to make next? A serger cover? Laptop cover? The prints work so well alone or together with the others in the line. I can imagine a lot of cute women’s or kids’ clothes, like this dress that Rae made for her daughter. And I think these prints would make a stunning baby quilt! I can’t wait to play around more with the Cotton + Steel fabrics and see what others make with it too!

Till next time!

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Thank you, Cherie! Connect with Cherie on her blog, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

Bespoke double gauze tunic

Takubo-san made a tunic with Cotton + Steel Bespoke double gauze Spark in the navy colorway. It’s a loose-fitting tunic that can be worn layered in the winter and over a tank in the summer. One of the best things about double gauze is that it’s light and perfect for hot weather but is still warm and cozy in cooler temperatures. We love double gauze!


Miss Matatabi縺ョ縺溘¥縺シ縺ァ縺吶











Mochi wall pocket hanging

This was written by Leslie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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I was super duper excited to be able to choose any of Cotton + Steel’s new collection for this month’s project. It was a really tough decision that took me days. There are so many lovely fabrics and Miss Matatabi’s shop carries all of them. Yay!



Making a wall pocket hanging for Anika’s room has been on my to do list for a long time now. I got the pattern from a Japanese pattern book that I bought years ago. I wanted to choose fabrics that Anika would like for many years. The scattered natural canvas from the Mochi Collection was a perfect choice as the main fabric. It’s a linen cotton blend with a perfect weight for projects like this. I love the simplicity of the design and it reminds me of rice, which is Anika’s favourite food.

full hanging


There were so many Cotton + Steel fabrics that would have worked for the lining. My first choice was the Overlookserape Turquoise from the Mesa Collection and it was Anika’s choice as well. The pattern and colours are a perfect combination!

pockets close up


I thought this wall pocket hanging would be trickier to sew but it wasn’t. It was just a bit time consuming.

more pockets


I asked Anika to fill up the pockets so I could get a photo. I had not anticipated this wall hanging turning into a home for all her My Little Ponies though. Oh well, Ani is in love with it and that is all that counts.

ani and ponies


I have dreams of Anika taking this with her when she moves out in fifteen years! And that is why I chose to use Cotton + Steel fabrics for this project. They are great quality with some timeless designs.

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Thank you, Leslie! Connect with Leslie on instagram, pinterest, and flickr.


Cookie Book Otedama

Y-san likes to sew by hand, and to celebrate the arrival of Cotton + Steel’s newest collection she chose Kim Kight’s Cookie Book Drops fabric to make Otedama beanbags. Otedama is a Japanese children’s game and the beanbags are used to either juggle or play a game similar to jacks. Kim’s fun Drops fabric adds the perfect playful element to these Otedama!


Miss Matatabi縺ョ縺溘¥縺シ縺ァ縺吶









Bespoke double gauze dress

This was written by An from StraightGrain for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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When Frances asked me which new Cotton + Steel fabrics I would like to use for this month’s Miss Matatabi Makers post, it didn’t take me very long to decide. Okay, the new collection is full of stunning fabrics, but at the same time, the beautiful video the C+S ladies made about their collaborative Bespoke collection had me long for their double gauze fabrics for weeks.

In the past months, I’ve been working on developing my October MMM dress into a pattern in sizes 1-10 years (together with a bunch of other projects, so forgive my tardiness). I made a few changes to my original idea: I added (long) sleeves, and put a zipper in the back so that the pattern can be used for woven fabrics.


My starting point was the Ephemera Mustard fabric (which I used for the pockets), which I combined with Spark Mustard and an indigo green solid.


As the dress was a present for Norah’s birthday, I also made a crown in the Ephemera fabric.


Norah was thrilled with her dress. Two things stand out for her: the blue fabric of side panels (blue has been her favorite color for as long as I can remember), and the little drawing of a face on the pocket.


I’m also happy. The fit of the dress is exactly how I wanted it (let’s hope this will apply to the other sizes as well). And the fabrics are amazing: super soft, a very sharp print, and bright colors. Not that I expected anything else from Cotton and Steel, of course.

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Thank you so much An! Connect with An on her blog, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

Last year Brandon from Tuttle Publishing kindly sent me Sew Sweet Handmade Clothes for Girls by Yuki Araki for review. Yuki Araki is a much-loved pattern designer here in Japan so it was pretty exciting to see her work translated into English with the potential to reach many more people.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet has 22 sewing patterns in sizes 1-8 years for dresses, skirts, tops, pants, a hat and bag, and also includes two patterns for adult-sized tops. Mother-daughter matching outfits? Why not! The pattern sheet is neatly stored in a pocket at the back of the book. As with most Japanese sewing patterns you will need to find the pattern for your garment on the pattern sheet and trace out the size you want to make but it really makes it quick and easy being able to do this in English.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

The patterns are quite classic and simple allowing you to create a good set of wardrobe basics for your girl, and I like that knit garments are represented well too. As well as photographs of each garment there are clear illustrations and sewing steps to walk you through the process. Sleeveless Dress J pattern has colour photographs and detailed instructions. Araki also includes four pages where she shares helpful sewing tips and notes.

Sew Sweet  : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet  : miss matatabi

The feature I love most about this book is an index page with photos of each garment listed by category. I see this sometimes in Japanese sewing books and magazines and I always look there to decide whether I’m going to purchase the book. It’s a great way to see the whole book at a glance.

Sew Sweet  : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

My favourite garment in the book was Sleeveless Dress J (above) but that isn’t what I made this time. My daughter has devised a set of rules governing how she dresses each day that look a little like this – pants must be leggings, skirts can be woven but must have an elastic waist, tops must be knit. Dresses should be the Geranium Dress or, if she’s in the mood, her yet-to-be-photographed Elsa dress. She’s into comfort, familiarity, and routine and I can completely relate. We both love regular clothes as a uniform and hers is a skirt over leggings with a knit top or t-shirt. That means I have made a lot of elastic waist skirts and leggings for her over the past couple of years and I love doing that for her.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

This time I made her a version of Double-layered skirt C (above). The skirt has a ruched feature which is created by sewing ribbon channels through the top layer of the skirt. I imagined that the ribbon was going to bother my daughter if it came undone and she couldn’t re-tie it herself so I created the same effect by gathering a section of the top layer.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

The fabric (from my store) is Woodblock and Spirit Animal from the Mesa collection by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for Cotton + Steel.

Cotton + Steel Mesa : miss matatabi

The skirt waistband is not as wide as it should be because I wasn’t paying attention and forgot to add the seam allowance. Such a silly mistake but it’s fine.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

I’m pretty smitten with the Woodblock print. It’s a big call but I think this might be my favourite out of the entire C + S 2014 fall collection.

For more information about Sew Sweet, and to see other great Japanese pattern books, head on over to Tuttle Publishing.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

And if you make something from this book I would love to see it!

I received this book for review but all opinions are my own.

Shibori all the things!

This was written by Cherie from you & mie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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Hello and Happy New Year! You may be reading this in 2015, but I’m actually sharing some of my last couple of projects from 2014! But as usual, I’m just a tad bit late. Perhaps that should be my new year’s resolution ;)

Shibori Tote // you & mie

Anyways, when I was choosing my fabric for this month, Frances had suggested some white quadruple gauze (yes, you read that right – quadruple) and mentioned that she’d been dreaming of trying some shibori dyeing with it. So I basically decided to steal her idea and do the shibori dyeing myself! :P Recently, this Japanese form of dyeing fibers (similar to tie dyeing) has been gaining popularity. I’ve seen bloggers and seamstresses trying it out, as well as accessories and clothing featuring shibori dyed fabrics being sold in various places. I was a little on the fence about it at first. It looked like monochromatic tie dyeing! But I love the beautiful deep blue that is produced from indigo dye and it definitely reminds me of traditional Japanese fabrics that I’ve seen my whole life. And now that I’ve done it, I absolutely love it. I want to shibori dye ALL THE THINGS!

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

Preparing the dye bath! No children were dyed during this process.

So I decided to try out a few different fabrics from the Miss Matatabi shop:

I also dyed a pair of knit baby leggings and some cloth napkins that I bought at Dharma Trading Co. along with the Indigo Dye Kits.

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

Shibori comes from the Japanese word “shiboru” which means to squeeze, wring or press.

I won’t go into the whole process of shibori dyeing, or dyeing with indigo, because there are already so many great resources and tutorials out there. It really is a fascinating process, but it’s quite involved and I learned a few things that I thought I’d share with you in case you decide to try it out!

1. Plan ahead. The process takes time and quite a few materials. Make sure you read all the directions and gather all the things you will need and allow yourself enough time (it about half a day from start to finish).

2. Do it with a friend! Not only is it way more fun, but it’s definitely handy to have an extra set of hands to reference the directions or help stir while you’re all gloved up and opening containers of ingredients. Also, most dye kits will make a large amount of dye – enough for several people to use! I met up with my friend, Ashley (you can see her in the picture above with her two kids and one of mine), and it was so much fun!

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

The fabric comes out of the dye bath a bright, almost neon green. Then it changes to a deep blue as it oxidizes! Photo by Ashley

3. You’ll need space, and you’ll need to protect it. The dye bath has a strong smell, so choose a space outside or a very well ventilated space and be sure to cover it with a tarp or drop cloth. It’s nice to have a large surface to work on and place your fabric and not have to worry about drips.

4. Try out all sorts of tying techniques and don’t worry about how it’s going to come out! This was hard for me. I got caught up in how I wanted to fold and tie my fabric and what it was going to look like. It’s really impossible to predict what it’s going to look like when it’s your first time, so just experiment with lots of different fabrics and methods and it’ll be soooo exciting to open up each fabric and see your original design! It was like Christmas morning, I swear. And now that I understand a little better how certain techniques will work out, I’m really excited to try it again!

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

The small squares are the cloth napkins, folded like an accordion in one direction and then again in the other direction. You can see the ones near the top are blue because they came out of the dye bath first. The ones hear the bottom just came out of the dye bath and are still bright green. On the right is one of the napkins unfolded and the greenish parts will change to blue as they are exposed to oxygen.

Other than those tips, just read the directions of your dye kit thoroughly and visit online tutorials for other tips and tying ideas and have fun! I referenced these sites: Honestly WTF and Design Sponge.

Shibori Dyeing // you & mieOk, let’s move on to the projects I’m sharing here today! The fabric above is the nani IRO Jun Kan A. It’s white with a very subtle tree design in shimmery white ink. It is VERY subtle. Honestly, it’s hard to see at all when looking at the fabric in person. But I wanted to see if the ink on the fabric would resist the indigo dye and it did! It created a really unique layered look. The fabric is a cotton/linen blend. It’s beautiful and high quality like all nani IRO fabrics. It’s very easy to sew with and a nice medium weight. I decided to support it with interfacing to give it a little more structure for a foldover clutch that I made for my sister.

Shibori Clutch // you & mie

Shibori Clutch // you & mie

For the clutch, I used skirt as top’s Foldover Doily Clutch tutorial, but without the doily and with some color blocking. I love this tutorial. It’s so quick and simple, but so awesome and such a great gift! I chose one of my fabric parts of the dyed fabric and complimented it with some Kona cotton in a chartreuse color.

Shibori Clutch // you & mie

The inside is lined with Leah Duncan’s Terrain Slate.

Then I used all the same fabrics (plus some duck cloth) to make a tote bag for myself!

Shibori Tote // you & mie

Shibori Tote // you & mie

Can you see the subtle design that shines through where the fabric was dyed blue?

Shibori Tote // you & mie

I didn’t follow a particular pattern or tutorial for this bag, but I was inspired by this one and this one is helpful if you’ve never made a tote bag before (though instead of attaching the lining like Dana, I used the same method as in Kristin’s clutch tutorial).

Shibori Tote // you & mie

I wanted to add at least one zipper pocket for all the things I want to keep safe and added deep open pockets on the other side. I installed magnetic closures for the first time and though I was nervous, they were totally easy to put in and I like being able to close the bag so my stuff isn’t exposed and spilling out. The bag isn’t perfect and I’d probably tweak it a bit if I were to make another one, but I’m pretty pleased with how useful it is.

Shibori Tote // you & mie

Shibori Tote // you & mie

There’s something very cool about dyeing your own fabric and knowing that it is absolutely one-of-a-kind and that no one is walking around carrying the same bag as you :)

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

Here’s a little peek of how some of the other things I dyed came out. I still have the double gauze and quadruple gauze waiting to be sewn up! If you follow me on Instagram (@youandmie) you can probably see those projects in the coming weeks. And I seriously want to go and dye EVERYTHING now! Don’t you?

Anyways, I hope that you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you a very very happy new year. I’m looking forward to an awesome 2015!


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Thank you, Cherie! Connect with Cherie on her blog, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

How about a little Christmas fabric treat for yourself? I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate to my store and you have just 24 hours to enter!


Good luck and happy sewing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends at 6am December 19th 2014 PST. The winner will be announced here. Thank you!.

Saturday 20th – Thank you all very much for entering the giveaway. The winner is Emily S. Congratulations! I loved reading everyone’s comments and end-of-year and new year sewing goals. Happy Holidays to you all!