Seeking Stitches in Japan


Nuido It Yourself - Japanese Embroidery with Madeline Scharpf

Konnichiwa Stitchers! Today I’m coming to you direct from Tokyo! We’ve been here nearly 3 weeks and it just so happens to fall during Nuido it Yourself time. I’ve kept you in my mind while I’ve been wandering the streets and I’ve snapped a few photos of all the fancy needle work that we’ve been seeing. In the past I’ve told you that embroidery is major in fashion here and I’ve set out to prove it to you. I’m looking beyond old kimonos and ancient artwork to show you a bit of needlework in today’s Tokyo.

That's me!
That’s me!

There I am in front of a Fox Shrine in the Shimozitazawa neighborhood. I’m wearing the jacket that I used in last month’s article about Boro. You can’t see the patched up elbows in this picture, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Not my best effort, although it did take a lot to get this.
Not my best effort, although it did take a lot to get this.

Ok, you’ll have to excuse the crappy picture but this guy has patched his jeans with Boro!! Japanese people don’t like to have strangers take their picture so I had to take this one on the sly. Just imagine me on a crowded subway train, pulling my Nikon out of my purse while spilling vitamins, train tickets and change, trying not to be noticed but being painfully obvious. Oh, the things I do for you!

Fancy and fashionable!
Fancy and fashionable!

Here’s some Boro style jeans that I found in a magazine. You could pay 56,000 yen (about $550 US dollars) or you could read my article from last month and Nuido it Yourself!

I see X stitch as being the next big thing, apparently so does Tokyo.
I see X stitch as being the next big thing, apparently so does Tokyo.

Tokyo Fashion Week just ended so there are lots of articles about it around right now. Check out this guy’s cross stitched top! Could you make something like it? I love how embroidery is representing this season.

Beams represents!
Beams represents!

I love the little embroidered flower accents on this advertisement in Shibuya Station. Would you wear this shirt? I know I would, but I’d probably make my own.

Go Go Godizilla!
Go Go Godzilla!

This jacket is classic vintage style and machine embroidered with one of Godzilla’s buddies. I love it when I can take someone’s picture without them noticing too much.

Anyone else having punk flashbacks?
Anyone else having punk flashbacks?

This pin is so punk and can be a DIY Holiday gift idea. Do you have some scraps of fabric and studs laying around from your old punk rock days that you could turn into a gift for an edgy loved one?

Naughty kitty!
Naughty kitty!

This sweet little coin purse was made in Asakusa, Tokyo and I bought it as a souvenir for my darling house-sitter how cares for my beloved doggies while we’re away. Of course if you’re my friend, you must expect something handmade. I’ve got to support a fellow stitcher!Well, there you have it, my best Tokyo stitchery finds all gathered up in one place. Next month I’ll be back home and I’ll whip up a nice, new tutorial for you.

Madeline Scharpf

When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things at home in the Oregon countryside where she lives with four dogs, a pig and her human family. You can keep up with Madeline’s endless fiber projects and find her travel blog at www.madelinewonderland.com as well as visit her Etsy shop.


Madeline Scharpf

Madeline Scharpf

When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things at home in the Oregon countryside where she lives with four dogs, a pig and her human family.
Madeline Scharpf
Madeline Scharpf
Madeline Scharpf

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