Simply Stitched with Embroidery by Yumiko Higuchi


Simply Stitched with Embroidery: Create Artful Motifs for Purses and More by Yumiko Higuchi is published by Zakka Workshop. With its focus on folk art style embroidery, which has been given a Japanese twist by the author, this publication contains many step by step photographs to visually teach how to create certain projects.

About The Author

Higuchi was first and foremost a handbag designer, however she is now known for her stylised embroidery books. She has her own website

Who Is The Book Aimed At?

Those with an interest in embroidery, specifically hand embroidery which focuses on motifs of the floral kind . Artists may want to practice their skills through following the step by step guidance found within this book. It is worth noting that purses are a key feature within this publication – the embroidery designs are placed onto the purses which we are guided to create.


There are nine projects designed around purses within this publication. All are photographed and illustrated on a large scale so they are easy to observe.

Simply stitched with embroidery book review contents
The contents page

Inside, we find that the patterns are all included on separate paper where required, so that they can be copied.

Simply stitched with embroidery book review pattern pages
Pattern pages are all included, so that you can trace out the motifs.

We liked how the author includes little tricks and tips, so that we never get stuck or have unanswered questions. The stitched explored are also explained in detail, via the step by step visual instructions.

Simply stitched with embroidery book review step by step instructions
Step by step instructions are given for every stage

This could come under the photography section of our review too, however the images are very clear demonstrating each stage of each project. At the beginning of this publication, the author writes that these purses are like our own treasures. Isn’t that a lovely way to think about a project? It shows that the author is enthusiastic about their subject. Notice that the purses are not what we would call posh – they could fit into our daily lives.

Simply stitched with embroidery book review step by step instructions
The illustrations document the stages well

Some parts of the process may be lesser known to us. For example, we may not know how to put a purse together. The author explains the process so that we do not get stuck.

simply stitched projects
Building a purse can be a tricky business!

It is worth noting that although this is very much a prescribed publication, it is still open to our personal interpretation. We could mix and match the purse styles and motifs to our own preferences. The motifs could of course be embroidered onto anything we choose. A purse is not the only option.


This book is image led, each project is visually explored via large pictures which can cover the page at times. This makes for temptation! It is also great for those who prefer less words and more of the visual!

Simply stitched with embroidery book review staging imagery
The photos are all well thought out, take this lemon one as an example

Each image has been captured with previous thought. Take this one for example, where the floral embroidery on the purse matches the floral background.

Simply stitched with embroidery book review staging imagery floral
A floral example, placed next to a floral cloth

How to use your purse….yes she has that covered too via the illustrations.

simply stitched, modelled purse
Modelled purse, this author miss a trick

Focused shots are often coupled with modelled images so that we can perceive the finer details.

How to wear your project
How to wear your project is of strong importance, illustrated via the modelled imagery

What Makes The Book Special?

We loved the more unusual motifs found in this book and we value the way they have been touched upon and stylized with beautiful backdrops. Take this cute picture of the people with the musical paper.

Simply stitched with embroidery book review staging imagery people
We loved the variety of backdrops which litter this book, they are well thought out to highlight each projects beauty

Anything Wrong With The Book?

If you don’t like purses or floral imagery then this isn’t for you. The book is centred around step by step projects all involving purses, so you need to like them to read it! That being said, this is not a weakness, rather its just a warning before you go grab your own copy!

Simply stitched projects on purses
Purses are the main focus here


Simply Stitched with Embroidery: Create Artful Motifs for Purses and More by Yumiko Higuchi is available to order through this link!

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