Seattle and My New Found Love of All things Japanese (photo heavy)

20 May

So, I guess I’m starting at the end of my trip. After PR Weekend concluded in Portland, I invited myself to Christina’s place in Seattle, WA.

On Monday I spent the morning exploring downtown Seattle.

I found the first Starbucks (I found out later it actually wasn’t. But, I thought it was at the time and that’s good enough for me), Pike Place Market and the the Daiso store.

I think we all know that I loooove pink. I actually have very little in my wardrobe, but loads around the house. My stop by Daiso, the Japanese $1.50 store in Seattle did NOT help. Sisters, check this out:

Pink tape dispenser(s). The smaller one is for classes (hopefully draping this fall) and the larger one is for home. Totally excusable. Tape is a necessity in pattern design, right?

Pink mini bento boxes for lunch. They even come with mini chopsticks.

And loads-o-blotting paper. I’ve been told I shouldn’t get wrinkles because of my tragically oily skin. In the meantime, I blot, therefore I am. These things cost a small fortune around here. But, from Daiso, $1.50 a box of 200.There was more I picked up. But, I made myself sit in the aisle and put things back (cone shaped coffee filter holder, tea and coffee canister, etc). It’s going to be ugly the next time I’m in the Pacific Northwest.

And, check this:

Sewing supplies! Machine needles, hand sewing needles, elastic, velcro, covered buttons, zippers, shirt buttons, flat head pins, lots and lots of sewing supplies. I wish my dollar store was like this!

And, on the Japanese… I got two new Mrs. Stylebooks and a new for me Lady Boutique from Kinokuniya Bookstores in Seattle ( . I can’t buy them locally anymore :( And, these were $10 less each than I’d been paying! Christina has committed (cough) to buying them for me and just bringing them at PR Weekend Philly in 2010.

And if you’re unfamiliar, these are the drafting directions

Finally, the thing I may have like best about Seattle are the home styles. Seriously. I am in love with Craftsman style homes. It fits my whole ‘urban cottage’ aesthetic.

Everywhere I turned there were houses ripped from the pages of the now defunct Cottage Living. Not one red brick row house with marble steps to be found!

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33 Responses to “Seattle and My New Found Love of All things Japanese (photo heavy)”

  1. kelli w. May 20, 2009 at 19:47 #

    i am so jealous. i am obsessed with pretty much every japanese page you showed us. i want them!

  2. Alethia May 20, 2009 at 20:02 #

    Now, that is what I called a fantastic dollar store or $1.50 store. $10.00 dollars for each one of those books? that’s a bargain!

    I can tell you had a great time.

  3. Christina May 20, 2009 at 20:17 #

    You are welcome back anytime! There’s another fabric store I need to show you.

  4. Gorgeous Things May 20, 2009 at 21:03 #

    What a wonderful time! I love that picture of you and Christina. You both look fab!

  5. Cisa May 20, 2009 at 21:20 #

    I squee’d out loud at the adorable packaging on the sewing supplies. So jealous!

  6. annie May 20, 2009 at 21:36 #

    Oh I am so jealous! Such awesome pattern inspriation. We have tons o craftsman here in South Orange and Maplewood, NJ. Its a gorgeous little secret just 30 min outside NYC (by train, my favorite mode of transport).

    love the red tee and the plaid bag.

  7. Antoinette May 20, 2009 at 21:38 #

    Ah, but coming from the land of 60′s ranch style homes, red brick row houses with marble steps are charming!

    • cidell May 20, 2009 at 22:20 #

      Funny! I was marveling at the ranchers! I hadn’t seen one in about 20 years!

  8. crackerjackheart May 20, 2009 at 22:39 #

    I’m from Seattle. I don’t live there anymore, but last time I was visiting my folks we went to that same dollar store and I got some cotton fabric that has four leaf clovers printed all over it and says “happy symbol leaf” everywhere. It is hilarious. I’m using for pants for my friend’s daughter who was born this St. Paddy’s Day.

    I’m glad you had fun. It’s beautiful city full of wonderful people!

  9. Belinda (sew4fun) May 20, 2009 at 23:29 #

    I love the photo of yourself and Christina. I’m so jealous. It sounds like everyone had such a fabulous weekend together. I’m loving seeing all the photos though and the reports.

  10. Becky May 21, 2009 at 00:05 #

    I looove Daiso. I was in the SF Bay Area for a wedding and a bunch of people thought I was nuts for wanting to drive to the suburbs to go to Daiso while I was there.

  11. verobirdie May 21, 2009 at 02:48 #

    I’m jealous too! This seems like heaven.
    In fact, I’m not jealous, I’m glad you had a great trip and I wait for your next pictures.

  12. Bunny May 21, 2009 at 05:44 #

    That little red number alone is worth the price of the magazine! May I live vicariously here?

  13. Lisette M May 21, 2009 at 06:18 #

    Craftsman style homes are my favorite ( I too subscribed to Cottage Living:(), I like to call my rancher a “poor man’s craftman”. I see why you like Mrs Stylebook, the designs are wonderful! I’ll satisfy myself by seeing you make up these beauties.

  14. kathleen May 21, 2009 at 06:30 #

    I love Seattle – we always go to Daiso whenever we are there. Such cute stuff! I’m glad you had a good trip!

  15. Connie B May 21, 2009 at 06:43 #

    How pretty- all of it! The Mrs Stlyebooks are to die for!

  16. ClaireOKC May 21, 2009 at 09:23 #

    Thanks for all the Japanese pattern update. I love their stuff too – it’s so architectural – it’s a really innovative and creative way of designing and sewing. Thanks.

  17. Claudine Celebuski May 21, 2009 at 10:20 #

    What a great trip! I love that red sleeveless top with the ruffles in back, and it happens to be the project that I’m currently working on!

  18. MelissaB May 21, 2009 at 11:36 #

    Looks like you had a wonderful time! I’m totally checking out that $1.50 store when I go visit my sis in July. I need oil blotting paper too and it’s soooo expensive. Cheers to staying wrinkle free because we have oily skin (at least that is my hope too!).

  19. Grace May 21, 2009 at 12:21 #

    I love Mrs Stylebook, too. I wish my neighbor that sews/knits/crochets and reads Japanese hadn’t moved back to Honolulu (from LA).

    We have Japanese dollar stores in LA, too. But Seattle is the closest US mainland port to Japan.

    Pattern Magic 2 should be arriving in your mailbox in 2-4 wks. It was on backorder at Books Sanseido. But check out what I did find and buy:

  20. brocadegoddess May 21, 2009 at 16:50 #

    OMG!!! I love love LOVE that red top with the ruffles peeking out at the back! Since I have no idea whatsoever where/how I’d get any of these books in Canada (except I guess for in Vancouver maybe – the totally wrong side of the country for me) and I have no one to get them for me, I guess I’m just gonna have to rip it off, oh well ;oP

    It’s kind of a pity that the population of Canada is spread so thin across most of the country, making things like a “PR weekend” so logistically difficult….except in the ‘big 3′ of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver cause I’d just love to do something like this sometime, I’ve been so starved for sewing friends most of the last 4 years!!

    Glad you had a great time though! What inspiration get cracking on more projects it must have been!

  21. katharinec May 22, 2009 at 02:20 #

    Great trip! Christina is a peach for being a hostess. Thanks for sharing the great pictures :)

    Your Seattle pictures are making this American girl very homesick–for Asia!

  22. mjb May 22, 2009 at 07:48 #

    I love that blue tie-top and the black dresses! Of course they’re the most complicated designs so it’s not too likely I’ll make them, but still :)

  23. beegee May 23, 2009 at 00:07 #

    All your other purchases are ok, but how much do I l-o-v-e your Japanese sewing books? I covet them :)

  24. katyrenee May 24, 2009 at 13:27 #

    Did you really get the sewing books at Daiso? I think I may need to take a trip by there. I too love the red top with the ruffles peeking out. Gorgeous!

  25. Kaylene May 24, 2009 at 19:15 #


    Where in Seattle did you find Mrs Stylebook and Lady Boutique? I checked at Daiso this weekend, and they did not have them. In fact, they looked at me a little crazy, when I was insistant that they had had them in the past.

  26. Cindy Lou May 25, 2009 at 15:37 #

    What a great trip you all had! I would have had a hard time not buying one of those sweet little Seattle houses. How picturesque the whole place is. Weren’t you at least a little tempted to send for your things and not come back East?

  27. YC in Seattle May 30, 2009 at 09:46 #

    @Kaylene, I think the pattern mags should be at Kinokuniya (in Uwajimaya) — I have seen at least Mrs. Stylebook at the main store downtown.

    I just found out today that Daiso has an online store! Not as good as going to the actual store, as it only sells in bulk, but for those of you not in the area, better than nothing?

  28. kathi s May 30, 2009 at 16:02 #

    Hi Cidell,
    I was sorry not to have been able to make it to Portland. I so enjoyed meeting everyone in LA last year.
    I was in Japan in November and your Mrs. Stylebook photos brought back some great memories of touring the Ginza where the women and girls all dress to the nines- their stylishness puts our schlumpy dress to shame! Lets bring back style to American life! Let’s wear some of those fabulous garments we’ve been sewing (and get a tie onto DH- ha!).

  29. Anadiaz June 4, 2009 at 06:18 #

    The japanese Style Book looks GREAT! So much better than the usual Japanese pattern books!!!


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