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Japanese Fabric Flowers
Sylvie Blondeau

Search Press
27 August 2015 / ISBN 9781782212287
Non Fiction/Fabric Craft

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Kanzashi flowers are those beautiful fabric flowers associated with traditional Japanese hairstyles, especially those of geishas. They are not hard to make, and can be used to adorn more than hair decorations; they are also a great way of using up oddments of fabric.

This book, translated from the French shows you how to make both the styles with just fabric, and those using the plastic Clover Flower Makers. There are sixteen different flowers to choose from, plus the more Western yoyo (aka Suffolk puff), rosette and padded "pumpkin" shape reminiscent of pincushions. Each flower has a series of captioned diagrams that are well laid out on the page but would be even better if they were all in a dark line color rather than red, pink or orange. There is a handy gallery of all the finished types, and then it is on with the projects. All these are illustrated with large photographs, often giving more than one view of the finished piece and separate parts. The print is quite small, and instructions don't always feature staged diagrams so some sewing experience is essential for the more challenging projects. You won't find any Japanese style hair decorations in here and the hanging "falls" are omitted, but instead there are many ingenious ways of using the flowers to decorate all kinds of other things. These are beautiful and unusual - water lily table decorations, lots of jewelry, Christmas decorations, Peter Pan collar with flower and a crafter's bag to name some. If you have always wanted to make your own kanzashi this is the place to discover how, and also how they fit into modern Western life.

If you cannot find a good range of fabric and Clover Flower Makers locally try for a list of supplies.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines. Her craft blog is Green Thoughts
Reviewed 2015