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Meet Mariko Nakamura, dressmaker and author of Sew Japanese

Mariko Nakamura began designing at a young age, drawing pictures of dresses that her mother would sew for her. This was the first time she experienced the special feeling of wearing handmade clothes. Now, as a mother of two, she mainly enjoys designing children’s clothes. We met up with Mariko to talk about her work as a dressmaker.

Hi Mariko, what makes you passionate about your craft?
I have always thought that there is something special about objects that are handmade. There is a special satisfaction to make them, and when it comes to clothing – to wear something that you know has been made with particular attention and care for detail is a nice feeling!

What sparks your creativity?
When I watch some beautiful old films with costumes, I always get excited to see them. Or when I see some beautiful and respectable sewing techniques of garments from antique markets, it really inspires me.

When did you start making things?
When I was 9 or 10 years old, I started making little dolls from felt. That was my starting point to making. Then, I started making more clothes or bags with my mother when I was a bit older.

Which is your most cherished childhood memory?
When I was a child, I used to go to some shops selling sewing stuff with my mother, got some ideas what I could make with them, then making things with her. Sometimes, I made a drawing of what I wanted to make, and she helped me to do it. It is a really cherished and warm memory from my childhood.

Could you describe a typical crafty day in your life?
I love going to the Portobello market on Friday, looking around for antique stuff or vintage buttons or ribbons. Then, I enjoy thinking about designs, and starting making patterns, sewing clothes and having many breaks with coffee and sweets. That is my typical crafty day.

9781909397408Mariko Nakamura’s Sew Japanese (Pavilion, £16.99) is available now