Japanese Doll Magazines

Most doll collectors who have dabbled a while have come across Japanese Doll Sewing Mooks (Magazine Books), and unless you are quite comfortable with the Japanese language, using some of the patterns can be a little daunting.  If you have some experience sewing you can follow most of the patterns, but with some trial and error that would be a lot easier to follow along if you could understand or translate what is written in the book, in the instructions and even in some cases, what each pattern piece is called.

I am a member of A Flickr Group where members discuss some these books and upload photos of items they have made using the books.  They very rarely identify the mook or pattern they used but lots of members are interested in knowing what patterns are available in what mooks and are also interested in how to decipher some of these patterns.

Japanese Sewing Books is a site that assists with deciphering Japanese craft books in general, it is not specific to Doll Mooks.  I originally used a lot of the terms on the Japanese Sewing Books dictionary of terms to help decipher some of the dolly magazines, starting playing with learning Hiragana and Katakana and some kanji (but I was quite inconsistent with that, so am not getting any better!).  I found that the Doll Magazines had a lot of terms that were not on the list on Japanese Sewing Books, so…

I have decided to start working on something similar for all us non-Japanese speaking/reading fans of these books.  It is a work in progress and you can visit it here – Japanese Sewing Terms from Doll Magazines Translated to English

Existing Pattern Indexes – by Quirky Artist is here and the BJD Pattern Index is here (only lists BJD patterns, not fashion doll patterns)


Dollybird Mooks are printed and distributed by Hobby Japan. They are classified as monthly hobby magazines.  At present there are Volumes 1 to 22. Volume 1 was printed in May 2003.


DollyBird Pattern Index (Work in Progress)

  • Dollybird Volume 1 *
  • Dollybird Volume 2
  • Dollybird Volume 3
  • Dollybird Volume 4
  • Dollybird Volume 5
  • Dollybird Volume 6
  • Dollybird Volume 7
  • Dollybird Volume 8
  • Dollybird Volume 9 *
  • Dollybird Volume 10 *
  • Dollybird Volume 11
  • Dollybird Volume 12
  • Dollybird Volume 13
  • Dollybird Volume 14*
  • Dollybird Volume 15
  • Dollybird Volume 16
  • Dollybird Volume 17
  • Dollybird Volume 18
  • Dollybird Volume 19
  • Dollybird Volume 20
  • Dollybird Volume 21
  • Dollybird Volume 22

 * indicates magazines in my collection

Dolly Japan

Dolly Japan is also printed and distributed by Hobby Japan.  This one is reasonably new and has had 4 volumes printed so far.
There are images and some information on the magazines here


Dolly Japan Pattern Index (Work in Progress)

  • Dolly Japan Volume 1
  • Dolly Japan Volume 2
  • Dolly Japan Volume 3
  • Dolly Japan Volume 4

Dolly*Dolly and Doll Coordinate Recipes

Dolly*Dolly is printed by graphicsha Japan and is the bane of search engines everywhere (well it is to me)…. No I do not want to see anything related to Dolly Parton and yes, I do want to repeat the word Dolly twice… It is not a typo! grrr (aargh)


Dolly*Dolly Pattern Index (Work in Progress)

  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 1
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 2
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 3
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 4*
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 5
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 6*
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 7*
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 8*
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 9
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 10
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 11
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 12
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 13*
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 14
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 15
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 16*
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 17
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 18
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 19
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 20
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 21
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 22*
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 23
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 24
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 25
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 26
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 27
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 28
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 29*
  • Dolly*Dolly Volume 30*
  • Dolly*Dolly Spring 2014
  • Dolly*Dolly Spring 2015
  • Dolly*Dolly Winter 2015

* indicates magazines in my collection

Dolly*Dolly also has a range of mooks called Doll Coordinate Recipe – that have volumes and special editions.  I am a little confused about the numbering and publishing order of all of these, but will be indexing all of those that I own.

Doll Coordinate Recipe Pattern Index (Work in Progress)

  • Doll Coordinate Recipe 1
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe 2
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe 3
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe 4
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe 5
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe 6
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe 7
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe 8
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe Basics
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe Easy*
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe  Hand Sewn (Felt)
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe Miniatures
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe Kimono
  • Doll Coordinate Recipe Classic Style*
  • DollHouse Coordinate Recipe

* indicates magazines in my collection

The books retail around $18 (1800 yen) new, and can be purchased online usually for far less if used, but they are only published in Japan and you can not subscribe directly so purchasing from anwhere West of Japan tends to be quite expensive and also tougher to get hold of.  I used a company that allows you to purchase online in Japan (Big in Japan Forwarding Service) and have your goods shipped to them, they then re-package it into one shipment and post it to you.  Sometimes that means double postage, but one way is domestic and the rest international. Japan also has a special postage rate for books and reading material under a certain weight.  This is different to a shopping service (where agents search for items and purchase them for you in addition to then postage – this is required for some shopping sites). I bought mine mostly on Amazon.co.jp from second hand sellers, all of them seem to smell a bit smokey, but other than that they are in great condition and since the printing quality is very high this is not a problem.  I ended up paying (including shipping) around $12 to $18 per book for mine, which is comparable to the cover price and I am quite happy with this.

Other Dolly Mooks Pattern Index (Work in Progress)

  • Unoa Freak
  • Unoa Freak 2 *
  • Unoa Freak 3
  • Life in the Dollhouse
  • Dolly Dressbook Tiny
  • Dolly Dressbook Unoa Quluts
  • Dolly Dressbook Skipper
  • Dollfie Dream Dressmaking Beginner
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