Posts Tagged ‘book review’

Sewing to reinvent and upcycle your clothes

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Marion Elliot’s new book Get the most from your clothes, published by David & Charles is certainly bang on trend.  If there is a person that  has not heard about ‘make do and mend’  or ‘upcycle’ has probably spent the last few years in a cave.

The aim of this book is to make you see your wardrobe or the charity shops in a different way.  It is full of ideas of how to give a second chance to those clothes that you haven’t worn for months, if not years.

It also has a few projects for children clothes and little charms, so if you want to get your children busy this summer without spending too much, they can learn a few things with this book and proudly wear the finished project.

To my taste, most of the projects look a bit homemade.  So if you are looking for a more professional finish the photos might not inspire that much.

This book however does have good advice on fitting garments, which is crucial if you want to upcycle your wardrobe or vintage garments.  The Perfect Prepping chapter is also very useful, it teaches you among other things on what to look for when buying used clothes and how to get more out of what you buy.

Have you thought of giving a second chance to something in your wardrobe?  Have you already turned a dress into a bag?  If you would like to win a copy of Get the most from your clothes and get a few more ideas of how to reinvent your wardrobe, share a few photos of something that you have made,whether upcycled or made from scrash, in Facebook or in our Flickr group.  I will announce the winner next 29th June, 2011.  Each photo is an entry, so the more you share, the more you increase your chance to win!

Good Luck!!!

This giveaway is open only to UK and Europe.

Get the most from your clothes by Marion Elliot is published by David & Charles.  ISBN 978-0-7153-3842-1

Stitch with Love — CLOSED –

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Have you seen a cushion or a bag or even a little kitchen towel that you almost felt in love with it as soon as you saw it?  I remember seeing a needle case made by the great-grandmother of one of my friends and wanting it to be mine so bad that I almost cursed my great-grandmother for not making one or at least not keeping it for the future generations (i.e. me, I would be even angrier if I knew there it one in the family and it is not mine!).  I find that these designs are incredibly simple, but is the tiny details that make them so pretty, like a little embroidered flower, or a hand-stitched ribbon, or sometimes is just the wear-and-tear that add that charm that no fabric or lace can provide.

But when David & Charles sent me Mandy Shaw’s latest book, Stitch with Love, I knew straight away that there was hope for me to own a needle case so cute that I will keep forever.  Stitch with Love is full of easy projects, all with pretty embroidery designs and all in that classic style and colours that will look good today and in years to come.

The projects are quite diverse, so you will find bags, cushions, aprons, journal covers, a sew tidy, Christmas decorations, gifts for new born babies, even gift tags!  I can picture myself receiving a present with this tag and ignoring the present but cherishing the tag for years (unless of course is that overlocker that I have wanted for years).

Another good thing about this book is that has instructions for both right and left handers.  I’m left-hander and it takes me forever to learn some crafts because I have to mirrow the instructions.  This time, I might have a good chance to learn without tears.  I am going to give a try to that needle roll using one of the linens that we have in shop, and regardless of how it looks when finished, I will keep it and handed down to future generations.

To pass on the love, I am giving away a copy of Stitch with Love to a lucky person.  To enter just leave a comment on this blog, and tell me if you have got something handmade by you or someone you love that you treasure and want to keep forever.  The winner will be picked next Monday 16th May, 2011 and announced in this blog.  The competition is open to all UK and European readers this time.

TStitch withLove is published by David & Charles (ISBN-13: 9780715338490)

Sewing Answers

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

A few weeks ago I received from publishers David & Charles a little book that made the somewhat bold claim on its cover “Solutions to every problem you’ll ever face.  Answers to every question you’ll ever ask”.  What was my reaction to this statement?  “I don’t need a book for that; I have Google and YouTube to answer all my questions”.  So because of my virtual ‘oracle’, I wrongly left this little book on the side to have a look at some other time (maybe when the internet connection was down).  I wish I hadn’t. Without having to log on, register for endless offers I don’t want, reset my firewall settings, do something with cookies (gone are the days they were something you ate them!), or virus scan, the Sewing Answer Book by Barbara Weiland Talbert is a wealth of information for both the gurus and beginners.

Look no further, the answers to your sewing questions are in this book.

You might say that the best way to learn to sew is to, well, sew and maybe one of the best ways to do that is to sign up for a sewing class or join a sewing club; and I agree.  But what happens when you are at home reading a pattern, or wondering what is the best interfacing to go for, or why you are doing wrong when machine-stitching a stretchy knit hem the fabric tunnels and ripples.  Well this book has those answers.

What I like the most of this little book is that it doesn’t only give you the definition of a term or lists the different types of fabrics, it also tells you why it is important to do something or why not to do it.  Do you want an example for that?  Let’s take something very simple, topstitching.  Many patterns tell you to topstitch a piece of a pattern.  I sometimes did it sometimes not, mainly because I didn’t know what the purpose of that was.  Now I know that it is to stabilize the edge of a fabric amongst other purposes, now that I know this I never fail to do it.

Do I recommend this book?  Absolutely yes.   Has it delivered what it states on its cover?  So far it has.  To test how good this book really is I have conjured up questions or and considered what would I need to do to if I ever wanted to this or that? and then looked in the The Sewing Answer Book and voilà the answer was there, prompting me to stop thinking about possible scenarios with my sewing machine and get sewing!

The Sewing Answer Book by Barbara Weiland Talbert is published by David & Charles ( ISBN-10 0715338390, ISBN-13 978-0715338391)

Autumn blues

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

The last few days I have really struggled to get out of bed and I have been wishing that in the afternoon I could just sit with a good book (maybe this one or the one that I am reviewing later this week -keep an eye for this one!) and a cup of hot chocolate.  I am really missing the sun and warm weather, which is so unusual for me at this time of the year.  I love autumn and early autumn usually puts a smile on my face.  It is not too cold, not too hot, you get the late harvest of the summer, and the early autumn harvest too, which means lots of baking and a house smelling of apple and blackberry cake. But already this September I am really missing the summer; maybe because it has been so good this year, so to help chase away my autumn blues I thought I would post some pictures here to remind me of my summer this year. Hopefully any of you feeling the same autumnal blues will enjoy them too.

A Woodstock cottage on a beautiful summer's day

Cycling in the countryside

Roses from my front garden

Juicy raspberries

Strawberry picking

Perfect cutlery for picnics

Very very wild chamomile in my garden

Eating dinner...and lunch and breakfast al fresco

Didn't go this summer but wouldn't mind a trip to the Caribbean!

Love,

Lizzet xx