I’ve been sent another fabulous translated Japanese craft book to review thanks to Tuttle Publishing, one that cat lovers will enjoy.
The Cat Lover’s Craft Book contains 17 assorted craft projects all themed around cats!
Created by a collective of cat loving crafters, the projects in this book are diverse in both style and crafting techniques used. Whether you like to embroider, sew, crochet or knit, there is something in here for you to try your hand at.
I thought I’d try something different for this review. Instead of just including images from the book I thought it would be helpful to make a flip-through video. It’s at the top of this post if you haven’t watched it already.
Wandering aimlessly through book stores and flipping though art, design and craft books that look interesting has got to be one of my favorite ways to shop. Unfortunately buying online takes away that opportunity to flip through a book and decide if it’s worth buying, so I’ve created a little video to give you that experience, albeit a virtual one.
The Cat Lover’s Craft Book Review
As you can see in the video, the book is divided up into 3 main sections:
- Step-by-step photo tutorials
- Templates, supplies and assembly instructions
At the front of the book are all the finished projects, photographed very attractively with most projects featured over a double page spread.
I like how they have created several variations on each project so you can see how they look in different colours/fabrics. It really gives you great inspiration as to how you can adapt each cat craft project to suit your own style.
As is usual for most Japanese craft books, every technique required to complete each project has step-by-step instructions, so in theory you should be able to make every project even if the skills used are new to you. Although, I do feel that basic sewing knowledge is assumed, as sewing techniques aren’t covered as thoroughly as knitting or embroidery.
It’s important to note that knitting and crochet patterns are presented in chart form rather than written instructions with abbreviations. I actually find charts easier to work with and follow than written patterns because you can see where each stitch goes before you start. There is no misinterpretation, it’s right there in the diagram.
The final section contains all the templates, instructions and supplementary diagrams required for each project.
As you may already know from my past craft book reviews, I like to make at least one project from every book I feature, so I decided to make a special gift for my cat loving niece.
Little 3yo Amalia is cat OBSESSED! She absolutely loves anything with a cat on it, and if it’s green or orange (both her favourite colours), even better!
I would have loved to make her a knitted cat bag, but time wasn’t on my side, so I opted for a variation on the Cuddly Cat Pillows.
Cat Pillow Soft Toy from The Cat Lover’s Craft Book
In the book this cat pillow is made with denim, a pair of socks and a hand embroidered face. I adapted the project slightly to use a felted wool sweater and striped fabric from my scrap basket. I made the cat smaller, (the size of the actual template in the book un-enlarged), and also machine embroidered the face to save time.
Because I’m super lazy, I didn’t even bother transferring the embroidery pattern onto the wool felt (which can be tricky). Instead I machine stitched the design straight on top of the pattern paper and then tore it away. I’ve actually used florist bouquet wrap (similar to non-woven interfacing) to trace the pattern, but tissue paper would work just fine too.
Once I had the basic outline design on the felt, I just stitched over it with a free-motion machine embroidery technique. The colour was added onto the thread with fabric markers. See, I told you I was lazy – I didn’t even bother to change the thread colour!
I think he turned out pretty cute. He certainly full of purr-sonality!
In conclusion – Even though I’m not really a ‘cat person’ I must say I really enjoyed the quirky designs in this book. Some of my favourite projects include:
- Cat Tail Umbrella Handle Cover – Such a uniquely Japanese idea
- Knitted Cat Pouch – The button cat eyes are so clever
- Shrink Plastic Pins and Earrings – Gorgeous illustrations
- Cat-Shaped Door Stoppers – Delightfully vintage inspired
I can see myself making plenty of gifts inspired by the cat crafts in this book. I think it’s worth owning just for the embroidery and appliqué designs alone.
I’ve yet to meet a Japanese craft book that I didn’t like, and The Cat Lover’s Craft Book is no exception.
Available in Australia from all good bookstores and online booksellers. See links to purr-chase below:
The Cat Lover’s Craft Book : Easy-to-Make Accessories for Kitty’s Best Friend
Format Paperback | 80 pages
by Neko Shugei (Various authors)
Publisher – Tuttle Publishing
Language – English
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This post contains affiliate links. The featured book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.