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Felt Friends from Japan: 86 Super-cute Toys and Accessories to Make Yourself Paperback – April 6, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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  • Felt Friends from Japan: 86 Super-cute Toys and Accessories to Make Yourself
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author


After working for several toy manufacturers, Naomi Tabatha began freelancing as a 3D figure illustrator. Her original stuffed toys have graced countless magazine, book, and CD covers. She also creates baby goods and writes columns for Japanese women's magazines. Her love of making things by hand is part of her eco-friendly lifestyle.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; Reprint edition (April 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568363877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568363875
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains a good number of projects--86 is stretching it a bit, since many of them are multiple uses of the same pattern (ie: Change the only ears and facial embroidery, and a cat becomes a bear, or change the applique and one bag pattern becomes three separate projects). However, I don't have any problems with that, as paying close attention allows you to learn how to tweak a pattern or design yourself.
So far, I've stitched the deer (what I really bought this book for! I have desperately wanted a pattern for those darling kawaii fawns I've been seeing all over etsy and blogs!!) which came out better than the solo pattern I spent almost as much on, the small kitty at the beginning of the book, and used fleece instead of felt to make those cute little bags for my daughters. All patterns came out very nicely with little to no adaptation.
A good number of the patterns are on the inside of the dust jacket, and although they overlap quite a lot, I found them very simple to trace and transfer to cardstock. There were only a few that weren't full sized; mainly the patterns for the bags (which I figured out easily enough without running to a photocopier), and the appliques for the larger bags (which I would need a photocopier for if I chose to do them). Everything else is already full size, unless you want to make a bigger version.
I have moderate experience in reading and sewing to patterns, and already know all the basic stitches of hand sewing. That said, I think the patterns in the book could easily be understood by a beginning, though a bit of experience will certainly go a long way to helping you understand it. That could be said of any book though, could it not?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is amazing! The patterns turn out fantastic projects EVERY TIME! Yes, there are overlaps on the patterns ( so you might have to make more than one copy ~ OR , you can just trace the outlines of the ones you want ~ easy peasy!)but in my mind this is not a detriment at all. The author was able to impart many adorable patterns AND save trees at the same time ~ hey folks, that's a win-win! ;-D Truly, however, it was no problem at all simply make copies & trace. I bought this book as a way for my kids to learn about using patterns & successfully completing items that would inspire them to sew & create. This book did exactly that, and inspired me to make them as well! Every single object in the book is adorable, easy, fun, well-instructed, & just cute beyond all. The toys have a certain innocence about them reminiscent of a kinder, gentler era ~ 50's-60's ~. You would never feel awkward presenting any item in here to any child~ they are sweet & innocent.

You will all be happy to know that Naomi Tabatha has produced at least 2 more books of adorable felt dolls, toys & accessories as well! I found mine on ebay, when I entered her name in the search bar.

A word about the patterns~ they are dynamic, eye-popping, 3D, with lots of character ~ And her patterns are always correct. I never have to wonder if the time spent on the item will be a waste due to a wonky, ill-thought pattern ~ this simply does NOT happen with Naomi Tabatha's toys ~ I do reccomend stuffing very small amounts of fluff into every tiny nook & cranny, however~ use a chopstick or the blunt end of a bamboo skewer, and stuff fluff in small amounts, till the toy is packed HARD ~ this will bring out the very most character & dimension in these toys.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really love making things out of felt (and Kawaii culture), so I was very excited about getting this book! However, I found this book to be confusing.

The "patterns" are on the inside of the dust jacket and they all overlap so much that it's impossible to tell what is what. Also, the patterns are WAY too small. You'd have to figure out which pattern piece you need, then find it on the jumble of overlapping patterns and then enlarge it to make a decent sized animal or doll.

I like the work and style that the author used on these felt friends! Clearly the author is a talented person. However, the book is not a practical guide at all!! So, if you decide to go ahead and buy this book, just enjoy the pictures and ideas but don't expect that you'll be able to easily re-create the friends because I really did try myself. I made the bunny rabbit--I did my best (and I actually do have pretty good sewing skills), but it absolutely did not turn out like the one pictured in the book. I blame the poor result on the lack of clear patterns.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so adorable. I'm in love! I haven't made any of these yet, I just got the book yesterday, but I have no doubt I'll be making many. I wanted to leave a review before time went by and I forgot. I'm so excited to make these I just had to list some things I think might be helpful if you're deciding to buy the book.
1. These are cute, very cute. I have some vintage patterns that are very similar in style.
2. The pictures are bright and clear.
3. I had to look over the book a few times and the instructions to understand how it's set up. The pictures are on the pages in the beginning and the patterns are in the back. Instructions seem to be dispursed throughout. There are some patterns on the inside of the sleeve. I almost missed these. There are no step by step photographs, but there are drawn instructions. They don't seem difficult to follow.
4. I would consider myself an intermediate to advanced sewer, but I think if you have a basic understanding of sewing and construction you could make these. You don't even need a sewing machine. The instructions describe how to hand sew these, but I'll probably try a blanket stitch on the machine. The book calls for felt. Wool or wool blend felt would probably be best, but I'm also going to try these with polyester craft felt and and woven fabric using pellon as a stabilizer.
5. Be ready to enlarge the patterns! They are not removable, so you'll have to scan and print or trace. They are smaller than expected, but don't let that deter you! Some patterns have a specific enlargement amount suggested. What kept me from five stars is the fact that some patterns pieces overlap. I'm not sure how I'll work around that yet.
6. There are dolls, appliques, and mini bag patterns.
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