Since I started Mee a Bee I've become obsessed with Japanese sewing books. Buying, borrowing, even just browsing. I thought I'd share some of my favorites.
Hands-down the most useful one in terms of sewing techniques is this one from the Heart Warming Life Series published by Nihon Vogue-Sha. It was published in 2007. You can view it here on the publisher's website. You can click on the large yellow button below the cover photo on the publisher site for a inside preview.
These are my scanned pictures. Left: one of my favorite model (isn't she sweet) with a very nice version of a messenger bag. This one has a patchwork flap which is lightly padded with batting of some sort. Handmade bias binding finishes it off. I think you can see why this is one bag I won't be making.
Right: front cover. ISBN 978-4-529-04336-6
Mothers of upcoming new entrants to kindergarten might consider buying this book. It covers all the *basic needs for school kids. The patterns are illustrated and some methods are shown step by step with photos. It's relatively easy to adjust the patterns to your school size requirements when you know that seam allowances are usually 1cm. By reading the finished dimensions and comparing them to the cutting out instruction measurements you can see where you need to add or subtract.
Right now there are a lot of books like this in the stores. It's also the time to get the best fabrics. Even though school starts in April the acceptance letters have gone out. I've seen lots of puzzled mothers (in small teams) clutching photocopied diagrams from their respective schools at my local stores.
* lesson bags, shoe bags, lunch bags, smock, swimming kit bag, pencil case, tissue case, etc