I received an email a couple of months ago asking if I would like to do a book review for Sanae Ishida's new book Sewing Happiness. I first "met" Sanae through Pinterest years ago, I didn't even know she had a blog back then. We seem to share a lot of the same tastes, I would repin all her pins and she would do the same with mine. I have loved reading her blog and have been honoured to have had her contribute to not one but two issues of STYLO.  So of course I HAD to say yes to the review, I had no doubt I would thoroughly enjoy the book. What I didn't realize at the time is how much I would love it! Not only does the book have some really great crafting and sewing projects  and  the photos are gorgeous but what I loved most about it were her memoir and the stories being told. The journey Sanae took from being sick and over working in the corporate world to living a simpler, healthier and creative life is all so inspiring! I loved that each project had it's own story and that it continues towards the back of the book where the instructions are. 

The book has a total of 20 projects to make, all pretty simple with easy to understand instructions. I really liked that the projects are separated and correspond to the four seasons, it gives you the opportunity to revisit the book and find little projects to make over the year. I decided to make a summer project- the market tote. It's a traditional Japanese construction and is made from one piece of fabric! You need to do a little thinking and visualizing to figure it out which was so much fun. Of course I had to make mine as big as I possibly could!  

We are headed to the beach in a couple of weeks, so I wanted to make a bag that could carry all of our towels and maybe a few snacks and toys. The mountain fabric is a Nani Iro canvas from Miss Matabi's. It's perfect for this type of bag, it feels sturdy but not too stiff and well the print is amazing! By the way have you seen the new Miss Matatabi shop? So pretty and there is a 10% discount at the moment- just saying. 

For now I am using my bag to hold my current knitting projects. It's great for holding all that chunky wool and big knitting needles. Hopefully I will be done by the time we head to the beach or maybe just bring my knitting with me! 

For the handle I used some turquoise leather I had. We had a Moroccan ottoman a while back and the kids pretty much destroyed it by jumping and playing on it so much. So when it was time to get rid of it, I cut out all the good pieces that were left of the leather. It's not often I come across leather this colour. Sometimes being a hoarder isn't such a bad idea!

Of course I couldn't just make one project! It would be very unlike me. For this next project, I made a camera strap & wrist strap. I've been luckier than Sanae and haven't fallen in a pool yet with my camera. I do use my camera everyday and have always wanted to get a wrist strap for the very reason that you never know know when the camera might decide to slip out of your hands. I am not sure why I never thought of making my own strap! I didn't use the exact instructions from the book but I was definitely very inspired by it. Another great aspect of the book it it's power to inspire. 

I ended up making a camera strap and a wrist strap. And look how pretty! I sued some scrap Nani Iro double gauze fabric I had, [also from Miss Matatabi's] - how cool is that! I need to make some more so I can match with all my outfits! hehe. 

I added some sating fabric on the neck part of the strap, so that when I film and make videos the strap can glide easily. One of the reason I never bought a camera strap, as that feature is important to me. And that is why customizing and making my own things is so satisfying. 

And I am most excited about my wrist strap, as I have wanted one for the longest time. 

I love that the leather is super soft and flexible. I used the same upcycled turquoise leather as for my bag. I was able to make it just the length and width I wanted. This is so practical to have when shooting overhead and to be free to take any angles you want without the fear of dropping your camera. 

Besides these two projects there are dresses, pillows, book covers and so much more, with each image prettier than the next. It's a gorgeous book to give as a gift. And I cannot say it enough, it is so inspiring and really just makes you want to slow down and live a happy and more creative life. I just read Sanae will be publishing more books in the future, how exciting is that! 

And for some more exciting news I have a copy of Sewing Happiness, as well as a 45$ gift card to shop at Miss Matatabi's to giveaway. 

The giveaway is only open to US residents ( so sorry!) and will end in a week from now- June 23rd at midnight (EST). All you have to do is leave a comment below, letting me know how sewing makes you happy. For extra entries follow @SANAEISHIDA and/or @PETITAPETITBLOG  on Instagram ( leave you IG handle in the comments below- do it twice if you are following both accounts). 

Feel free to share the news!

GOOD LUCK and happy Sewing!