One and two-color embroidery motifs for one project isn’t something I ever thought about until I came across Zakka Embroidery book.
I was at Cross& Woods in The Hague, browsing the display of yarn, embroidery, fabrics and books when I saw Zakka Embroidery on top of a pile of crafts books.
I was immediately charmed by the quirkiness of some projects and how elegant they managed to look with only the use of one or two colors. It’s funny because I don’t feel the need to buy knitting books but apparently, I’m starting a collection of embroidery books without realising it.
One & Two-color Embroidery motifs: What is Zakka Embroidery really about?
First, what does zakka means?
I think it’s a good idea to start by understanding the title of the book.
Zakka Embroidery explains that the designs are a blend of Japanese and Scandinavian style but I didn’t find anything about Zakka. Maybe it’s expected that you already know what zakka is once you get into Japanese craft style.
Indeed, the term is Japanese and means a mix of many things/goods but as the lady behind the Japanese Sewings Books explains in her article about May being Zakka Month (I swear I didn’t even do it on purpose to release this article in May), it has taken on the popular meaning of being household or daily goods.
A look at the one and two-color embroidery motifs in zakka embroidery
Zakka Embroidery is divided into three parts.
Part one is devoted to one-color embroidery and part two focuses on two-color embroidery.
The author, Yumiko Higuchi showcases every motif against linen fabric and the result makes you want to do them all.
I’m definitely not the target for this whale bib and I’ve been tempted to make it for a couple of seconds.
Then I thought of the purpose of a bib and quickly squashed this idea.
Still, it is very pretty and it could definitely be an adorable detail on clothes.
This lily of the valley eye mask was the first motif I saw when I opened this book and I find the simplicity of the lily of the valley in green and white visually stunning and relaxing.
This book is full of beautiful and simple motifs to enhance a wardrobe.
Zakka Embroidery: More than a simple one & two-color embroidery motifs book
Everything you need to start your project
The third part of the book is about embroidery basics and craft techniques.
It’s not a big book in size but the author takes the time to establish a glossary, the basic stitches you will need as well as embroidery tips and techniques.
She also explains how to choose the size of your embroidery needle based on the number of strands you’re using.
I found this very useful since it’s not something that I saw mentioned elsewhere and I was confused about needles sizes for embroidery when I first started.
You may be thinking, that’s nothing ground breaking, but it’s still nice to have these all information in one single place.
Not just a book of pretty picture
Of course, for each one and two-color embroidery featured in the book, you can find the pattern at the end.
But what I found really great is that you also get the sewing instructions for each item featured in the book. It’s a nice change from many crafts books that seem to be full of pretty pictures but in the end, not giving you as many information as you would want from a book. I feel it’s been the case for knitting magazines too lately but correct me if I’m wrong
The projects are small, quick items, perfect if you’ve been thinking of embroidering something else than a hoop for your wall. I haven’t been seeing a lot of clothes projects that aren’t jeans and there are so many pair of jeans and jeans jackets that one owns.
Here you get fun but still useful patterns like an eye mask, a mini bag, a purse with instructions for setting up the kiss lock and variations around baby clothes as well as one-of-a-kind embroidered gift ideas.
The one and two-color embroidery motifs in Zakka Embroidery really embodies this idea of daily goods for your household, small and beautiful projects that make happy when you look at them. It’s really a nice little book and I don’t regret buying it because I really feel that I’ll make use of most of the embroidery patterns individually and maybe try my hand at a sewing project.
If you want to read other reviews from crafts books, then try our review about contemporary embroidery through the book review of Embroidered Life or our book review of Make, Thrift, for a plant dye and mending focused book.
Share your suggestions with us if you’d like to see more reviews of craft books!