Book Review: ‘Zakka Style’ Compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale

My hobbies and interests tend to come and go in waves. One week it’s drawing, another week it’s exercising. (Oh, if only that one would stick…)

Getting to know the talented and creative people who work at Goodsmiths has rekindled my interest in sewing and crafting. This summer, I opened up one of my favorite craft books and got sewing! It felt pretty good to be making again.

Zakka Style is a book of Japanese-style crafts, compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale. The projects are contributed by various members of the craft community. I received the book for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it lived on my bookshelf for quite some time. I would occasionally pull it out to admire all of the gorgeous projects I would eventually make someday… Then it would go back to the shelf for another few months while I obsessed over something else.

This summer, I finally got around to sewing! I made the sewing kit designed by Theresia Cookson, hoping it would inspire me to continue sewing.


I don’t have much sewing experience, but this project was fairly easy because it was all rectangles. I did take some shortcuts—the lining on the pockets was supposed to be sewn, but I used some fusible interfacing. Not only was it much easier, but now my inability to sew in a straight line is not painfully obvious.


And it did inspire me to sew more, after all! Because I had leftover fabric, I made a matching needle book. The directions are available on Instead of adding a button, I used the leather thongs from the sewing kit. I had about 10 inches left over, which was more than enough. I also lined the inside of the book with cotton batting rather than felt, because I had plenty of extra cotton batting.




Zakka Style is a fantastic book, filled with utilitarian yet adorable projects. If you know someone who loves to sew, the book would be a great gift. Otherwise, make one of the projects in the book and give that! (Psst: Check out the errata for the book, because it has corrections for some of the projects.) The projects are appropriate for those with at least some knowledge of sewing. Some of the projects look simpler than others—it’s going to be a while before I attempt the messenger bag.

This is an excellent project to make if you’re planning on travelling or if you sew on the go. Fill it with notions and other goodies, and then you’re on your way to make another project from Zakka Style. Hopefully I’ll have time to crank out another couple of projects before school starts!

If you enjoyed that, you may also enjoy…

bud the pincushion from ephemerisms, $12

pincushion from ephemerisms, $12

pin cushion from Della-Nora

vintage-style pin cushion from Della-Nora



tape measure from All About The Buttons, $7

tape measure from All About The Buttons, $7