Sanae Ishida masterfully covers the art of sewing with a flair that only a mother can produce. The author dives head first into sewing projects, providing the reader with seasonal projects. These projects are designed to nourish the seamstress’ mind as much as they are designed to provide inspiration and hands-on learning.
Profound happiness is a key focal point of Sewing Happiness: A Year of Simple Projects for Living Well and with each project mentioning how Sanae found happiness.
You’ll be reading and learning a book on sewing that ties into your own happiness and life to help you overcome challenges. In an unintrusive, simple way, Sanae works her magic when explaining how going through a year of simple projects forced her to rediscover her passion for sewing and take a real look at her life. It is a wonderful read that I think everyone will enjoy; even if you are new to sewing.
Cracking Open the Chapters
Sanae starts off by telling you that this isn’t your typical sewing book. But don’t let this fool you: you’ll become a better sewer with each passing chapter. The book is divided into seasons:
And there are a total of 20 unique projects that the reader will uncover and bring the book full circle. When you dive into the chapters, you’ll find truly functional projects that can be used to master your knowledge of sewing.
The summer section is a prime example, with the following projects:
- Origami pillow
- Tooth fairy pillow
- Triangle eco bag
- Cross-back apron
- Yoga pants
Sanae tells you about her life through each section, working up to each project and the meaning and peace each project gave to her. If you believe that sewing is therapeutic and has the ability to change your outlook on life, you’ll start using Sanae as inspiration by the end of this book.
Did I mention that Sanae suffers from chronic illness and managed to make all of her daughter’s fashionable clothes at home? How many seamstresses can say that they’ve been able to make all of their children’s clothes? Not many. You’ll find vibrant pictures that display the intricate detail and beauty each garment have to offer.
The book includes a beautiful array of projects aimed to provide function and life to your sewing.
This is not your typical short sewing book that just gives you directions and patterns to follow. Instead, this is a 240 page masterpiece that provides every last detail to complete your project from start to finish.
Easy-to-Follow Instructions and Information
Information-packed, this book has a different layout than you’re used to seeing in a sewing book. What this book offers is:
- Descriptions and photos that explain the way the project will look
- Step-by-step instructions on a separate page
You’ll notice that all of the projects are broken down seasonally, which you may or may not like. You may be turned off by the layout, but once you dive into the projects and their instructions, you’ll find that the book is intuitive and really puts you into your next project hands-on.
Just give a few projects a try and you’ll be a big fan of this book.
The directions are well-thought-out, and they help the reader confidently pursue each project. The patterns are all very simple to go from idea to fruition, and you’ll learn how being creative is a major part of being healthy.
- 20 projects for every season
- Functional projects that are easy to do
- Brilliant directions
- Story-telling and a memoir in a sewing book
- Different page layout and writing style
The writing style is a little different, with the reader needing to dive deeper than the first few pages of the book. Fantastically written, the book does go into the author’s life quite a bit, which is not what most readers are accustomed to in a sewing book.
But once you sit down and get into the projects themselves, you’ll find that they’re fun and easy to complete.
The writing style and memoir will keep you on your heels ready to flip to the next chapter.
It’s the perfect book for new and intermediate seamstresses who think sewing can be both practical and therapeutic.
You’ll learn a lot about life, sewing and happiness from Sanae.
Our Favorite Sewing Books
Sewing Happiness is a fantastic book. There are so many great sewing books for people of all skill levels. I have shared a bunch of books that I go back to and recommend to my friends. You can find my sewing book reviews post here: https://grandmalikestosew.com/beginner-sewing-books/
Jessie has spent her whole life sewing and crafting. Her passion is to teach others to sew, especially her grandchildren. She currently lives in Washington State and loves to spend time with her family and enjoy the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.