Sewing Happiness: A Year of Simple Projects for Living Well (Paperback)
A how-to guide and personal memoir full of sewing projects and inspiring stories that promote creativity, happiness, and fulfillment
When Sanae Ishida was diagnosed with a chronic illness and lost her corporate job, she thought her life was over. Suddenly faced with unexpected challenges, she was forced to take stock of her life. What was most important to her? What brought her joy? These reflections led her to rediscover her true passion: sewing.
Inspired to succeed at just one thing, Ishida vowed to sew all of her daughter’s clothes—and most of her own—for one full year. In Sewing Happiness, Ishida recounts her incredible journey, reflecting on how sewing helped her survive such a difficult time in her life. Part memoir, part how-to guide, it features twenty sewing projects and variations (including Japanese-inspired home goods, children's and women's clothing), all organized by season and stitched together with Ishida’s charming anecdotes. Complete with photos and easy-to-follow steps, Sewing Happiness is at once a guide to the craft and a guide to enjoying life in all its beautiful imperfections.
About the Author
SANAE ISHIDA writes, sews, draws, and takes photos almost every day. She lives with her husband and daughter in Seattle. She is the author of a book of sewing projects and personal essays, Sewing Happiness, as well as three children's books in the Little Kunoichi the Ninja Girl series. Both she and her daughter have too many handmade clothes.
2016 Homemaker Magazine Best Home Sewing Book Award Winner
“In a world of Pinterest-perfect styling and overposed, overedited sewing blog photos, Ishida’s honesty is refreshing, and her thoughtful musings on the importance of “taking a break”—whether to sew, enjoy family, or simply appreciate our lives—are a delight.”
“[Ishida] stitches together a memoir, a delightful medley of sewing projects and a strong lesson in wabi-sabi, the concept of finding beauty in imperfection.”
“Part sewing-pattern collection, part one woman’s personal tale of her self-help journey, this book aims to be as inspirational as it is useful.”
"You might be sewing a pattern, but confidence will also emerge on the other side of the presser foot, and that, Sanae assures, will bring you sewing happiness."
“This book is beautiful. It’s beautifully written, beautifully styled and photographed, and beautiful to hold in your hands. It’s the kind of book that you would be thrilled to receive as a gift, and even more excited to give away to someone you love.”
—Closet Case Files
“A lovely book, and very relatable if you’ve ever struggled with your health or with finding meaning and joy in your life.”
—Sew Mama Sew
“This book is more than a collection of projects…[it] is an open, honest, raw and vulnerable conversation about how making things can heal us.”
—A Happy Stitch
"Sewing Happiness actually digs down deep into the idea that crafting is a meditative, health-boosting practice that really has the power to transform how you feel...bring on the sewing machine!"
—Dream Green DIY
"[Sewing Happiness] is part memoir, part sewing book, and filled throughout with beautiful photography and illustrations. It is a joy to read."
—Cut Cut Sew
"Sewing Happiness is a beautiful and touching book about the healing power of making. Part memoir, part craft book, and all gorgeous, you won't be able to put it down."
"This book, unlike most other craft/sewing books, had me reading each and every page, each and every project introduction. It's moving, inspiring and, of course, instructional as well."
"No book has described the healing and life-affirming practice of sewing more beautifully than Sanae Ishida’s Sewing Happiness."
"Shows readers the power of a little creativity in their lives."
—Mother Earth News