Japan Craft: Hat Making Book Review

Japan Craft Book - Hats

Once again, Japan fills a niche that I found lacking back home. I love hats….pretty much any style, or colour of hat. However, in Canada I have always felt like making a hat, is way beyond the skills of the average person. And only professionals could be capable of making hats. In Japan though, I found a book that made me believe that I too could make a hat.

What’s inside?

The book is called わがままな帽子 初めての帽子作り. by Yumiko Itoyama. Google has translated it as: WAYWARD HAT – MADE THE FIRST HAT or THE FIRST HAT HAT MAKING SELFISH.

I always enjoy the Google translations for the book titles….and these hats…wayward and selfish, they have to be pretty interesting with descriptions like that =)

The first thing that is great about this book, is all the styles of hats: big wide brims, flipped up brims, brims long enough to cover the ears a bit. And it has lovely pictures of each style of hat, it ends up being just a lovely book to browse. The picture show hats for adults or kids, although pretty much solely for females. Furthermore, there are hats for summer and winter and appropriate fabric ideas for each. In winter there are some faux fur examples, in the summer there is a canvas hat or even a plastic hat.

Japan Craft Book Hats

And finally, I love how they are all basically made from the same pieces, just slight variations of each. It’s amazing how different each hat can look, and yet still from almost the same pattern.

Japan Hats Book

Now again, this book is in Japanese. In many of my other book reviews I thought you could maybe get away without being able to read Japanese, here though, I think some translation will be required. If you are an experienced seamstress, you may be able to figure it out without translating. The pictures and step by step instructions are very clear and detailed.

Making Japanese Hats

Japanese hat pattern

However, I am no where near experienced and so will make sure I translate and understand what they want me to do.

I think this is pretty much one of my favourites from the book:

Japanese girl in wide brimmed hat

But there are many other lovely ones to choose and make.

I got the book in a second-hand book store in Osaka for only 800 yen. It also includes all the patterns in the back to trace or cut out.

All in all, I think this book is perfect for me. It’s got lovely pictures and fabric ideas, a lot of different styles but a similar sewing pattern each time (as a noob sewer I appreciate that)and very detailed instructions with the patterns in the back.

I’ll post pictures when I make my first one, although that may be awhile. I’m making a quilt right now, and have about 4 or 5 knitting and crochet projects on the go. But one day, I’ll get to it.


4 Responses to “Japan Craft: Hat Making Book Review”

  1. Shaun  on September 12th, 2012

    A little about the title of the book: The book would be translated typically as “The Selfish Hat Book” or something similar. However, this is a bit stupid sounding in English.

    わがまま (wagamama) is a Japanese word that supposedly means “selfish” in English, but it doesn’t. The term refers to people (or things) that prefer one type of something but not another type of the same thing. For example, if you like fried chicken but dislike honey BBQ chicken then you would be wagamama.

    So, the name of the book is a little joke that the hats are all the same but the reason for showing so many is that obviously people will prefer one over the others.

  2. sasksak  on September 13th, 2012

    Thank you Shaun for the awesome explanation! I knew I was missing something in translation. It’s those shades of meaning that a machine will never be able to duplicate perfectly.

    Thanks for taking the time to type that!

  3. Jasmin Zorlu  on October 17th, 2012

    I just met the author of the hatmaking book, Yumiko Itoyama, on the subway today in New York City! She told me to comment on her blog, but even with google translation, I couldn’t. Here it is:

    I wish I could find her email address so I could invite her for coffee and interview her for my blog! She’s written several other books.

    Lovely post, by the way! Thank you.

  4. sasksak  on October 22nd, 2012

    Jasmin! How cool is that! And thank you for taking the time to tell us about it. It’s so fun to know little details like meeting an author.

    If you ever interview her let us know! I would love to read about her hat adventures.

    And I am so glad you liked the post, thank you!

Leave a Reply