Fun with Japanese Sewing Patterns
February 7th, 2010 | Link

If I can just have a goshdarnit-that-was-smart moment here:

Through Yoshimi the Flying Squirrel, I found the Japanese pattern company anneedeux, which has some nice top patterns and sells them (and other patterns) as downloadable PDF files. With a little help from a Japanese-speaking coworker, I was able to download two of them last week (payment is through PayPal, and everything went quite smoothly once I got through the cart checkout). I was super-excited until I went to print off the PDF files, and realized that (1) Mac Preview software doesn’t read the PDFs properly, they require Adobe Acrobat (it took me two days to figure that out); (2) the pages scaled down slightly, so I had to change the printer settings to not do that; (3) the reason why the pages had scaled down slightly was because–of course–the PDF was A4 size, not US letter size.

So I shrugged and figured I could take the files to a print shop and print them on legal size or something. Slight delay, no big deal. But today E. and I were taking advantage of Superbowl Sunday to go shopping downtown and as we made the rounds of our usual haunts, we stopped at Maido, a Japanese stationery store in the Westfield shopping center, to stock up on Pilot HI-TEC-C 0.4mm blue-black rollerball pens. And it was there that I found the answer to my problem: A4 Kraft paper!

(I had already reached a similar solution this morning in the ‘tub: I could cut some large sheets of card stock down to A4-size sheets on the Kutrimmer and manually feed them through the printer. Except my Kutrimmer is buried under a pile o’ stuff right now, so I left the idea percolating.)

On the way home, I reasoned it was unlikely that electronics companies would make different printers for the US and Canada than they would for the rest of the world, and I was right: the paper tray adjusts to take A4 paper. And the lightweight Kraft paper went through the printer without difficulty. So I was able to print off the pattern sheets and now I’m going to tape them together so I an cut out my patterns. w00t!


  • Carol says:

    You amaze me with your ability to do so many things well. It’s funny you mention the A4 thing because all our paper here in Australia is A4, (or metric), not US letter size and I’ve sometimes had to try cutting paper to your size, not A4. Look forward to the photo of the skirt and whatever other goodies you make.

  • Shannon says:

    Thanks Carol. If only the US would join the rest of the world on the metric system! (I find it ironic that the auto manufacturers, who lobbied so hard against the switch decades ago because of the costs to retool all their facilities, don’t even do much manufacturing in the US any more.) Then again, Canada is on the metric system and still use US letter/legal size paper. I can’t see either country switching to A4 now.
    I made a muslin of the skirt and it fits well, but I need to get an invisible zipper before I can make the real thing. Maybe next weekend…

  • Jeanette says:

    I’m planning on bringing a stack of A4 notebooks with move back to the US. American paper just looks so odd to me now, all short and fat.

RSS feed for comments on this post.



My name is Shannon Hale. This blog is on indefinite hiatus, but it contains archives of the last 10 years of posts about bookbinding, knitting, sewing. and other random things in my life.


2014: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2013: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2012: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2011: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2010: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2009: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2008: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2007: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2006: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2005: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12