Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sunday April 28, 2013 Oh Sew Easy!


To sew or not to sew is rapidly becoming an important question. After years of neglect, sewing has become the hot new trend among crafters.  Sewing circles are popping up in large urban centers as well as small towns where women, as well as men, get together to practice both their creativity and their skills.  The BBC recently jumped on the trend by premiering the new television series “The Great British Sewing Bee”, a reality show where contestants are challenged to display their stitching prowess and their sewing design skills. Unsurprisingly, the idea was recently purchased by a US network, so expect something similar on your TV soon.

Personally I’m not a crafter, sewing included.  It’s not that I haven’t tried, as the bins of unfinished projects in my storage room will attest, but sadly I simply lack the patience and the persistence to complete a project to its end.  So I was surprised to find myself flipping through the bounty of new sewing project books that are appearing on our library shelves. Whether you want to learn the basics, make an attractive and one of a kind gift or release your inner Coco Chanel, the library offers stacks of books to meet your needs. Here are a few of my favourites, ranging from simple to sublime.

A is for Apron: 25 Fresh and Flirty Designs by Nathalie Mornu. This is a great starter book with ideas for sprucing up a store bought apron to templates for making a charming personal creation. The book is bright, colourful and fully illustrated with easy instructions.  There is even a section on using recycled materials for the eco-friendly.

Carry Me: 30 Boutique Bags to Sew by Yuka Koshizen. Can you ever have too many bags? Probably not. The cleverly constructed bags that are shown here combine the look of Japanese fibre art and simple sewing techniques to create unique and functional works of art. Projects include everything from roomy totes, to laptop bags, to delicate evening wristlets.

Improv Sewing:  101 Fast, Fun, and Fearless Projects by Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut. This book features 101 fun and fast projects, most can be completed in a day and some in only an hour. Using a variety of interesting and unusual materials and aimed at all skill levels, this is a great book for beginners or someone looking to make a quick gift.

Simply Sublime Gifts: High-Style,Low-Sew Projects to Make in a Snap by Jodi Kahn. Looking for a great birthday gift, want to mark an important anniversary, need something really special for the holidays, this may be the book for you. With clear instructions and loads of pictures you’ll have everything you need to produce an item to be treasured. This is also a great book to get teens into crafting as it features fun items they would love to own or to give as gifts.

Sewing in a Straight Line: Quickand Crafty Projects You Can Make by Simply Sewing Straight by Brett Bara. According to the author if you can sew a straight line, you can create anything.  Ranging from home d├ęcor to fashion, the book offers 28 fresh and modern projects that anyone will enjoy.

Dressmaking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Own Clothes by Alison Smith. Whether it’s creating your dream wardrobe, updating an old top or starting on the road to design, everything you need is here. The book features information, instruction and inspiration to take a sewer to a seamstress and beyond.

Lori Kauzlarick

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