So I got a couple sewing related items for christmas/hanukkah, mostly in the form of books. I also got some fun Star Wars toys from Mr. Husband which you can read about on the Toy Box.
You’ll have to excuse my briefness in reviews of the books because, while I love them all and think they deserve nice reviews, I am low on steam from staring at a computer screen full of spreadsheets and dynamic frequency graphs all day for the last week.
Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals: Holy Cow, you can’t get any cuter than these. My favorite animals in the book are the walrus and penguin, but there are tons of other cuties. And patterns are included on a CD for all of them! I bet these could be made in fabrics other than fleece but the fleece is so soft and fuzzy looking I’m probably going to have to find a good 100% recycled fleece source (thinking Polartec right now, since I don’t know any others made in the USA and [from StephC's research] it’s at least made from at least 50% recycled plastics).
Sewing Victorian Doll Clothes: A super awesome find by my Dad at one of his favorite used book stores. This is one of those things you didn’t even know you needed until you got it! It’s complete with authentic patterns from museum collection dolls, tons of big color photos, and lots of historical detail about the dolls and their clothing. I don’t currently have a doll that would fit these clothes, but there are quite a few at my Grandpa’s farm that belonged to my Grandma that (if no one else in the family cares about keeping) I might be able to use as models.
Gertie’s Book For Better Sewing: This one my mom, Bia, bought for us to share long distance (so she’ll read/use it then next time I’m able to visit I might take it back with me and so forth). Nether of us would probably ever dress in Gertie’s full skirted 50s dresses, but there seems to be a lot of good information in the book and the patterns could easily be “modernized” I think. I haven’t looked at it too closely (since I don’t currently have it) so we’ll see later.
DIY couture: Now this book I am super duper excited about, the whole philosophy of author (and blogger) Rosie Martin is exactly my mind set. I don’t care much how perfect my sewing is and I don’t really see the need for perfection, so this book’s semi slap-dash mindset is so perfect. Other than being shown how to sew from my Mom and Grandma, when I was little I would just wing it sometimes and it was always a lot of fun. This is the book I would recommend to beginners, you don’t need to worry about cryptic pattern instructions or bad fit because it’s just based on simple measurements or garments that already fit you. The styling of the outfits is a little out there for me, but there are at least 8 alteration suggestions for each project and it’s easy for me to see at least one piece I could rock. Maybe not the baggy trousers but that’s just 1 of 10 I don’t like
Couture Sewing Techniques (Revised and Updated): Bia bought this for me not knowing that I actually already had the first edition of the book, that’s ok because then she could just have one. The introduction of the new version seems to imply the only difference is an extra chapter on couture techniques for special fabric and some different images through out the book. The photographs of designer garments is really great and I personally enjoy reading the history of couture sewing. I haven’t tried any of the techniques but when I finally get around to making some nice blazers I might read it more thoroughly.
Threads Magazine Archive: Talk about epic. There is so much information inside that little disc and it’s really interesting seeing how Threads has changed over the years (way more weaving and fiber art back in the day). And it can be install as many times as you want so Bia went through her stash and chucked all the old hard copies she’d been keeping. I hope they release some sort of update in the next few years, maybe every 5 or something since it was pretty expensive.