I just received Zakka Sewingfrom Therese Laskey in a giveaway this past week and I already have many projects dogeared to make as soon as possible. The room shoes/slippers will make the top of my list. After that, I believe I will make several things as gifts for loved ones.
The book begins with basic terminology and techniques, both about Japanese trends and sewing. It also explains some common fabrics and materials used in the book. The patterns can be enlarged and printed, tiled, on regular paper. You can use those as the pattern pieces or if you find that too stiff, trace them onto tissue paper from there.
I found that several of the projects were perfect for my 16 year old daughter who has only been sewing for about 6 months. And yet there were projects that were nicely challenging for me, someone who has been sewing for 20 years or so. Conveniently, each of the projects is rated one to three buttons based on difficulty so you don't find yourself in over your head.
The household goods and personal items included are both functional and beautiful. How lovely would the covered tape measure be in a gift basket of sewing supplies for a seamstress? Perhaps with a copy of this book. :)