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Charms half-round tote bags

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

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Spring is coming and that means it is time for some new bags. My favourite type of bag is a very simple tote bag. Something I have been sewing for so many years from a pattern that is easy to make up as you go.

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I chose Ellen Baker’s Charms Half Round fabric because I fell in love with the design and it is that beautiful cotton and linen blend weight. So perfect for bags. This fabric also comes in gold, which is super lovely as well.

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I chose to line the bags with some Japanese fabric from my stash from years ago. Since I went with a not so bright lining I wanted to add a pop of colour to our bags. Something a bit subtle so it didn’t distract from the lovely fabric design. I chose some pinkish purple embroidery thread and did some top stitching before sewing the bags together. I got a bit adventurous and had fun with the A on my daughter’s bag.

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Ani and I are both super happy how the bags turned out. And she quickly announced that this it the fifth bag that I have made her. I am sure we will get a lot of use out of these bags and you will see them pop up in our photos over the next half year.

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


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

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This month I decided to try out some nani IRO laminated canvas. I had a completely different project in mind when I ordered my yardage, but then I realized I wasn’t taking advantage of the water repellent nature of laminated fabric and decided to make something else we really needed, which was a new portable diaper changing pad. The one that we had been using came with our diaper bag and it is of really poor quality! The binding started fraying and falling off immediately. So I thought this would be a really awesome fabric to make a new one with! And a really simple project too.

Laminated nani IRO Changing Pad and Diaper Clutch by you & mie

The fabric is everything you’d imagine it to be. Beautiful and sturdy, but not too thick. It’s laminated on one side. Machine washable, but easy to wipe down for quick cleaning. It really is the perfect fabric for this project, but would also be great as a bib, any pouch, lunch sack or tote bag. Fellow Miss Matatabi Maker, Leslie, used laminated double gauze to make a gorgeous laptop case.

The print is called Water Window and it’s so simple, yet stunning. And I love the watercolor details that you can appreciate close up. It’s not your typical print for a baby product, but I think that’s what Hideko and I love about it. And we’re the ones that have to carry it around and use it, so that’s all that matters right?

Laminated nani IRO Changing Pad and Diaper Clutch by you & mie

For the changing pad, I just cut two large rectangles of the fabric and then rounded the corners. There are 2 layers of thin batting in between and then I finished the edge with store bought bias tape. I love this color combo, it just never gets old to me! I was originally planning on attaching the whole thing by machine (top stitching one side while hopefully catching the other side underneath), but since both sides of this project were going to be very visible and I knew the “wrong” side wouldn’t look that great, especially around the corners, I decided to hand stitch the binding on. I’m so glad I did! It looks much cleaner this way.

Laminated nani IRO Changing Pad and Diaper Clutch by you & mie

One of my latest discoveries is magnetic snaps. I LOVE THEM. They are so easy to install and so functional and infinitely better than velcro! I used 2 layers of fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric before inserting the snaps. How did I not know about these before?

Laminated nani IRO Changing Pad and Diaper Clutch by you & mie

I also wanted to make a little diaper clutch to carry a couple of diapers and wipes around. Sometimes when you’re out and about, you don’t want or need to drag the whole diaper bag or backpack with you for a change. It’s nice to be able to just easily grab what you need. My diaper clutch did not come out perfect and there are some parts of it that I’m not thrilled with, but it’s definitely functional and I know we will use it!

Laminated nani IRO Changing Pad and Diaper Clutch by you & mie

Also a very simple project, this started out as a rectangle as well. I bound the two short edges with the same bias tape. I used magnetic snaps here as well (with interfacing to make the fabric for stable), cut out a hole for the opening of the wipes package (bonus, this fabric doesn’t really fray!) and then sewed up the sides to make little pockets.

Laminated nani IRO Changing Pad and Diaper Clutch by you & mie

The biggest problem here is that I didn’t have enough fabric. Like I said, I originally had a different project in mind and when I changed directions, I was determined to squeeze these two things out of what I had. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really enough, so the size and shape of the clutch is a little off. I also cut the hole for the wipes lid a little too big. Well, I cut it the exact size of the plastic lid, but since fabric stretches and it’s so close to the bottom of the clutch, it naturally gets pulled open more than I hoped. In hindsight, I should have cut the opening smaller and stretched it to fit over the lid snugly.

Laminated nani IRO Changing Pad and Diaper Clutch by you & mie


It’s not perfect, but we’ll get tons of use out of it. And I learned a couple of lessons here, so there’s value in that as well. Here are a couple of tips when sewing with laminated canvas!

– Use a brand new needle! You’ll need something sharp to pierce through the laminate and a new needle will make your sewing much smoother.
– Iron the wrong side on a medium/low heat setting. If you need to iron the right side, use a layer of muslin or cotton fabric in between and use a medium/low heat setting. I recommend testing it out on a small piece of scrap fabric first if you’re worried about melting or damaging the fabric.
– If you need to hold layers of fabric together, use clips instead of pins. When I was attaching my binding, instead of pinning together the two layers of laminated canvas, two layers of batting and the folded bias tape, I used clips. Pins will put holes in your fabric and just be time consuming and tiring for your hands.

That’s it! Otherwise, it really is easy to work with and fun to use!

Happy changing!

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

Hey hello, it’s Selfish Sewing Week time again! Selfish Sewing Week is co-hosted by the lovely Rachael from Imagine Gnats, with Indiesew and Kollabora, and is all about celebrating and sewing for yourself!

This week I made a True Bias Sutton Blouse but turned it into a dress.

sutton dress : miss matatabi

I bought the pattern shortly after it was released because it seemed like it would be a great staple for my everyday wardrobe. I made a muslin (below) which I love and wear all the time. The Sutton features a v-neck, kimono sleeves, inverted back pleat, and slit sides with the front hem higher than the back. I omitted the slit sides on both the dress and the blouse although I do like this feature and will probably add it to future Suttons.

sutton blouse : miss matatabi

The fabric recommendations for the Sutton Blouse are lightweight woven fabrics with a good drape, such as silk, rayon, lightweight linen. I had a rayon / cotton blend lawn in the shop that seemed the perfect weight so I made the muslin with that (this print is no longer in stock but I have a similar fabric here). This is a pretty straightforward sew, but may be slightly trickier if you use a slippery fabric. It helps to go slow and don’t sew while you’re sleepy. Obvious advice I have ignored more than once.

sutton dress : miss matatabi

For the dress version I purposely chose a fabric that differed from the recommended fabrics and used one of my favourite nani IRO by Naomi Ito prints : Water Window in wata gauze. Wata gauze is a loose weave double gauze that is fluffy and a bit thicker than usual double gauze. I was expecting this would make a more casual Sutton than if it were made in a fabric with more drape and it did. It’s a bit sack-like but I can tell you it is the most comfortable dress. Wata gauze is so light and easy to wear and this print, I can’t tell you how much I love this print. It just makes me so happy to look at.

sutton dress : miss matatabi

The wata gauze dress and lawn blouse differ slightly in finished size. The dress is a looser fit, the v-neck is deeper and wider, and the sleeve openings are larger. I made no modifications to the sizing and used the same pattern pieces for both but the wata gauze does have more give and stretches more than the lawn so I’m certain the differences come down to this. I think the dress could do with taking in a little and I may eventually shorten it to blouse length but for now I’m going to enjoy it as it is.

sutton dress : miss matatabi

And if the awkwardness of the photoshoot wasn’t already apparent, here’s some twirling, pretending to be an airplane, scarecrow, dance like nobody’s watching except that they are, and I don’t know what else.



Ok, so the Sutton Blouse. I like it a lot and I will make it again! Thank you to Rachael for inviting me to take part in SSW again! Are you also sewing for yourself this week? What are you making?

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

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Picking a fabric for this month’s Miss Matatabi Makers project was easy: I had been looking forward to the release of Ellen Baker’s new collection (‘Charms‘) of Kokka for months. While everyone is raving over her super cute sheep fabric, I had my heart set on a different one: the scallops. The design reminded me a bit of a print by the Scandinavian home decor brand Ferm Living, which made deciding what to make also a piece of cake: something for the home.


I saw these little mattresses a few weeks ago, and decided to try and make something similar. I bought three of the cheapest Ikea baby mattresses, ten meters of piping, three hidden zippers, and a few meters of gorgeous fabrics.


I like how they turned out. And of course, the mattress in Ellen Baker’s fabric is my favorite. Next up was adding some cushions. Here, I mixed some left-overs from my stash with a few Miss Matatabi fabrics. My favorite is this cushion in Kokka’s Muddy Works canvas. Frances added it to my order because she thought it would look well together with the other fabrics. Frances is brilliant. (haha An, Kokka is brilliant ;) – F )

Next to it is a pillow in another Kokka fabric: Jubilee Printed Matter Line.

If you’d like to know how to make a mattress cover, keep an eye on my blog in the next couple of weeks for the tutorial.

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

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.

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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.

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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!


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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!


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