Thursday, 9 December 2010

Book Review for Sewing People

I find the issue of crafty and sewing books quite tricky. While I generally LOVE books and I especially love a good craft/sewing book, I am not easily pleased. I mean I find most books of this kind inspirational one way or another, but not enough for wanting to own them. Often there are a couple of nice things and the rest don't appeal.  And then there is a category called TREASURES. I won't part with my treasures, I sleep next to them (ok, they are stacked on the floor, I do not snuggle with them). These two books belong to that category. You might already know them, but in case you have not heard of them, now is a good time to add them to your wish list.

Cal Patch's Desing-it-Yourself Clothes; Patternmaking Simplified is good both for beginners and more experienced sewers. It starts with how to take your own measurements and takes you through step-by-step how to create your own patterns for basic pieces.

When you have mastered them, you will also feel confident changing the patterns to make exactly what you wanted to have and it will fit. Or change some ready made patterns to be moreto your taste.

If you are more experienced there are several good tips and techniques to be learnt. (Well, there was and is plenty here for me at least).

The book is visually pleasing, with beautiful photos and nice lay-out.

Cal Patch used to design for Urban Outfitters and Free People before launching her own line of clothing. She has also taught pattern making and sewing for yonks and that shows in clear instructions. She knows how confusing it all can be for a beginner.

Lisa Lam's book "The Bag Making Bible" is just that, at least for me. She is the insanely creative and skillful girl who is behind the blog and internet shop called Uhandbag. She has written eight different patterns into this book, and all of them look good. What actually pleases me most in this book is that it has chapters on different parts of a bag and how to construct them. For example in the chapter on pockets

you can learn how to make a slip pocket, lined slip pocket, bellows pocket, elasticated top pocket and darted corner pocket.

There is also a whole chapter about closures (among other topics, this is truly a bible):

This means that you can dream up a bag and then have Lisa at hand explaining you how to sew the different bits. I need this kind of weekend bag, definitely.

I am looking for the fabric for mine, have not decided as yet whether I want it in canvas or in wax cloth.

The book is absolutely packed with good hints and tips and the pictures are eye candy too. I love bags and clothes, but have my own style and go through periods of intensely liking a colour or certain colours. Combine that with hate of shopping and wanting certain quality and finish in my clothing and bags with limited finances and you start to see why I like these books. That I also adore sewing and creating and get all giddy with it, is obviously a bonus.

Both books have the format in common; there are projects there, but in essence they give you tools to create whatever you fancy. And boy, they do it well!  These books won't be on my list, because I own them already, but I would love to hear if you have any treasures in your bookshelf.


Jokke said...

Hello! Greetings from Finland! I'm Johanna a.k.a Jokke :) I like your little Elf's Hut. Lot's of pretty things.

do you mind if i knit said...

Wonderful! That pattern making book is definitely going on my wish list, I'm so pleased you recommended it, I'm desperate to make my own dresses, and I can't decipher the Japanese pattern book instructions, so this might be just the thing. Thank you so much. Love Vanessa xxx