Happy Friday + Sewing Happiness Anniversary

Happy Friday! Somehow I totally missed that this Wednesday was the one year anniversary of Sewing Happiness. A whole year! Yesterday, I attended a marketing meeting for Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet coming out in August and I’m currently working on the illustrations for the book that is slated to be released in 2018, so I’ve been a bit preoccupied…

It’s interesting because I think Sewing Happiness is doing just as well as Little Kunoichi in terms of sales, which I hadn’t expected. I was gently warned that because the book topic is so niche, it was a gamble. A crapshoot, if you will. Then again, every book is a gamble and nothing is ever guaranteed. All I know is that I love making books. Absolutely love it. I want to keep creating books and I want to keep improving my skills. I feel incredibly lucky that I get to do this, especially with Sasquatch Books/Little Bigfoot.

I received many wonderful responses for Little K, but maybe it’s because the content was so personal — the emails and feedback I’ve received from people who read Sewing Happiness have been so heartfelt and candid in astonishing and humbling ways. I’ve always been prone to tears, but it’s been a year of consistently wiping at tear-stained cheeks. Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out!

I often get asked, “What’s your favorite project from the book?” I have origami pillows and fabric buckets scattered all over my little abode, and the eco bags and knit dresses often come in handy, but the most used and loved item I sewed is the cross-back apron. Hands down. I made about ten of them for the book, and I wear one every day (I have them hanging on a hook in the kitchen and will grab one that strikes my fancy — I can even wear some of the kid’s versions because I made the straps adjustable).

A little behind the scenes: this image was cropped in for the final, and the bamboo stick was tied to a nail above the kitchen doorway on one end and a curtain rod on the other end…

I listen to a lot of audio books and podcasts, and the pocket that’s part of my many aprons is perfect for my phone. I wear it when I cook, do dishes, paint and sew. There’s something comforting about donning a long apron and puttering about the house. If you have the book, have you tried any of the projects?

See how the fabric was taped to the wall? This image didn’t make the cut, but I liked it.
I actually preferred my hair down, but the powers-that-be thought my messy bun was better so that’s the version that ended up in the book. K is holding extra sprinkles in her scooped left hand there.

I need to dive back into illustrating now, but I plan to do a round-up of projects I’ve seen from Sewing Happiness around the web and on Instagram. They’re so awesome!!

Have a delightful weekend, all!

A year goes by fast
Book babies are so lovely
J’adore my lit kids

P.S. The images are outtakes from the photoshoots. Styled by the incomparable Rachel and shot by the always fun George.

21 thoughts on “Happy Friday + Sewing Happiness Anniversary

  1. I made the teapot caddy with embroidery for a friend. Loved choosing the embroidery pattern! Hand work is s very calming. Thank you for a wonderful book!

    1. Fantastic! So happy to read that you tried the trivet and the different embroidery options – thank you, Cheryl!

    1. 🙂 It’s definitely something I feel very enthusiastic about and I feel like the possibilities are limitless! Thanks, Greta!

  2. ‘Sewing Happiness’ is a wonderful book. I very very rarely buy sewing books these days (I am a grandmother and retired so a lot of the stuff out there just doesn’t do anything for me) but so glad I bought it. I have been sewing for many, many years but it has inspired me so much. I would heartily recommend it to both beginners and more experienced sewers – particularly those who lives are not what they would wish!

    Well done you! Like Tammy, I am hoping there will be another sewing book……

    1. Oh, thank you for your comment Julia! What an honor that Sewing Happiness made your discerning cut. 🙂 If I were to do another sewing book, I think I’d want to try something totally different. Not sure what that would be, but hmmmmm….now I’m starting to think about it…

  3. I’ve taken to looking for it when I’m in a bookshop, and, you know; every time I’ve been in a new-to-me bookshop and thought to myself “this is a great bookshop” – there it’s been. Maybe only half a dozen sewing type craft books but Sewing Happiness is one of them.
    I must email you a photo of a sewing school near my house that had a copy in the window.
    Happy book birthday.

    1. Thanks for sending me the photo, Shelley! It’s always so exciting for me to see my books out in the big yonder and it boggles my mind that it’s all the way out there in Australia. How crazy surreal and wonderful this whole experience is!

  4. I borrowed Sewing Happiness from the library and loved reading through it. Didn’t have it long enough to try a project, but this reminds me to put it back on hold!
    I would love to hear more about the podcasts you listen to.

    1. I love finding out that people have been checking out Sewing Happiness from libraries! I don’t know what I would do without libraries and I’m so pleased that there are copies of the book floating around in libraries around the world! As for podcasts, it’s a mixed bag and I root around itunes to see what sounds interesting. The only one that I listen to regularly is The One You Feed, but I’ve also loved episodes of Start Up (with Alex Blumberg – I listened to the first two seasons completely riveted), The Good Life Project, The Happiness Project, Stuff You Should Know and The Lively Show. Thank you, Sarah!

    1. Thank you! K often teases me that I get so emotional about the book and the connections I’ve made through it. I feel lucky that I got to know you a bit better through the book, Eva! xo

  5. I love Sew Happiness, it’s such a pleasant read and great to just flip through the pages. I find the photography very inspiring! I keep meaning to sew myself the apron… I cook a lot but I’m very messy in the process so it would be super useful. Hopefully I can get around it soon!

    1. Thank you Delphine! I saw that you made the cutest fabric buckets on IG a while back – loved them! 🙂

  6. I am so glad that you like when people sign out your book from the library. I am a naughty librarian and have been renewing and renewing your book. Luckily we have more than one copy. I have made your zippered pouch (I made 20 for my book club) and my good friend Barb, a very talented seamstress, made me your cross back apron for my 50th birthday this week. Also two of my other dear friends went together and bought me my OWN copy of Sewing Happiness. Thank you for this book.

    1. That’s fabulous! I love hearing your renegade ways, Jodi! What an honor and what great friends you have!

  7. I read this article and thought of you: Going From Bond Girl to ‘a Normal Life’ https://nyti.ms/2lCUGl2
    Esp. this line line made me think of your revelations in your sewing book: “Japan was giving up its real self in its rush for economic development,” Ms. Hama said. “I realized that Japan had to get back to its real self. And so did I.”

    So you are not alone in your quest for more simple, more authentic living and creativity. Yay for kindred spirits!

    1. What an interesting article, thanks for sharing Natasha! Clearly, she was coming from a far more exciting set of experiences, and it’s admirable that she chose a path that felt right for her when it could have been so easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour. Hope you’re well!

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