September 01, 2022 2 Comments
by Molly Hamilton
The 305 A Japanese Interior pattern is one of a set of home goods patterns that Folkwear released in the 1990s. It is also, by far, the most popular of our home goods patterns. You can make up to 12 items from this pattern, plus the pattern includes a large sashiko design, as well as instructions for sashiko embroidery or quilting and shibori dyeing. Both of these techniques are beautiful ways to traditionally embellish garments or fabrics.
To give you an overview of the 305 A Japanese Interior pattern, I will go over all the items you can make in the pattern.
First, there are the futon, which is a general word for many types of cushions and quilted bedding. Zabuton are fairly large (24”x24”) floor cushions that are used for sitting. Of course, they can also be used on sofas or beds. This pattern has three options for making Zabuton, particularly as to the covering of the Zabuton. There is a very simple cover, a more complex folded (and stitched) cover, and one in between. Pattern pieces are included for the Zabuton.
Next, the Shikibuton is the bottom quilt. This is a single person-sized thick quilt that is laid on the floor and slept upon. The Kakebuton is a top quilt – and is slept under. Both of these items do not have pattern pieces, but measurements of fabric and instructions are provided for how to construct them.
There are two patterns (and instructions) for Makura, or sleeping pillows. Pattern pieces are included. These are pillows that are for resting the head. Makura #1 is most similar to a regular bed pillow. Pillow #2 is round and was often firm (perfect for keeping hair from getting disturbed too badly at night). There is also a pattern for a cover for the #2 Makura (to make it more decorative and to give the option of washing the outside). These pillows are much smaller than the Zabuton and are only 9"-13" wide. These pillows are also nice throw pillows for sofas or beds.
There are also instructions for making a folding foam mat. This is ideal for a small bed that can be folded up and stored easily. This can be used under the Shikibuton for extra padding and comfort. These folding mats are quite comfortable futon beds and could even be great for car camping. I love how they fold up and are easy to store.
This pattern also has instructions for making Noren, decorative curtains that can be hung at windows or across doorways. They can be used to separate spaces in a room as well. These are a beautiful place to use the sashiko embroidery (and the pattern provided) or special fabric. Traditionally Noren were made in a dark blue or brown and might have decorative border. You can make these just about what ever size you desire; instructions are given for how to measure and construct the Noren
Finally, this pattern provides instructions for making a Yogi, or quilted sleeping kimono. This garment was another way to stay warm when sleeping in cold weather. You can use any kimono pattern (or our own 113 Japanese Kimono) to make the yogi. The instructions tell how much extra fabric is need, batting required, and construction alterations for transitioning a regular kimono pattern to a yogi pattern.
My stepfather flew airplanes in the Coast Guard and spent some time in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s. He had a Kakebuton and folding foam futon mat which he had brought back from Japan, and which I absolutely loved to sleep on growing up. I enjoyed sleeping and lounging on the thick and soft brocade silk of the folding mat, and the Kakebuton was beautiful and warm and fluffy (also made of silk, but I'm not certain what it was stuffed with). Perfect for making a special bed on the floor for one person. Wonderful for when I wanted to sleep in the living room, or had a friend to spend the night. It is a memory I still cherish.
I hope the description of this 305 A Japanese Interior pattern might inspire you to try to make one or several of the items in this special pattern. They can be wonderful gifts for loved ones in your life (holidays or weddings especially). And they can create beautiful memories for you and your own family.