Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book Review: Applique Your Way

I'm glad I gave Kayte Terry another chance. She is the writer, stylist, and all-around embellishment guru who came up with Applique Your Way. But she also was the writer of Complete Embellishing Techniques and Projects. Remember that disaster?

Applique Your Way is very sweet and still fashion forward. Well, fashion forward for the "I like to carry a purse in the shape of an animal" crowd.

Now, for the projects, they are a bit garish for me. But I am a fan of the Rose Petal Tee and will place that on the to-do list post-haste.

Reader beware, she does dress pets in this book. So if that unnerves you, pass on this book.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Book Review: Handmade Home, Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures

Are you effin' kidding me!?!?! That's all I can think of this book.

Sorry Amanda Blake Soule, I'm sure you're a really great gal, interesting author, even. But we don't speak the same craft speak. May I call attention to pp 73 and the "women's cloth" project. No. Thank. You.

If there is one thing that I am grateful for, it is being born after 1929, when the modern tampon was first produced. I acknowledge we are a disposable society, addicted to our environmental sins. But really?

Let's see, aside from that memorable entry, the other projects are lackluster and a little half baked. I found them to be a recycled collection of popular projects widely published online and offered for free. Does the world really need another pillowcase dress?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Review: Complete Embellishing Techniques and Projects

In my world there is a line. On one side are fun crafts that allow you to have quality items in your closet and in your home. On the other side are crafts that scare me and should be reserved for that time in our lives when we need to keep our hands busy. Namely, the nursing home.

I check out the Complete Embellishing Techniques and Projects book (by Creative Homeowner) from the library. And was scared, immediately. It was a manual in what not to do with your talent. Seriously, walk into a room with any of these embellishments and folk will walk the other way.

It's a laugh, but don't bother. Unless, of course, you need ideas for the next Ugly Sweater Party you attend.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Review: Design-It-Yourself

My confidence in making patterns has been growing and growing. So I decided to see just how good I was. Turns out, I might not be. Unless you're a crib, a bed, a window, or shaped like one of the aforementioned.

If you're curious about where you fall on the pattern-making scale, check out Cal Patch's Design-It-Yourself Clothes. Supposedly it is "patternmaking simplified". This book is one to buy and one to place on a nice shelf within reach of your dressform. I'm not even kidding.

The clothes featured are a bit sackish and not even my style. But the resources and tutorials on how to do such mysterious things as folding darts and adjusting yokes. Worth buying. Worth keeping. Take the plunge. Even if you have no plans to design your own line, this will help you adjust the patterns you buy at your local fabric store.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book Review: Sew Liberated

I know you've seen Meg McElwee's book on shelves. It's the fun and much talked about, SEW liberated. As it self proclaims it has 20 projects that are meant to be stylish and not church-bazaar-ish. I finally had a chance to read through and scour the pictures. It's made for some thoughtful planning on my end and some project list building that will keep me busy well into next fall.

I would describe this book as a resource for the beginning sewing enthusiast who is looking for cool things to make while practicing all-important skills. On a whole the projects are fun and McElwee's whimsical sense of style is evident in her fabric choices and pattern flourishes.

The Teacup Corset Apron pattern is darling -- even if it smacks of Simplicity 2932. And while I'm a big fan of the looks of the Blossom Blouse, it is a straight up a rip off of Simplicity 3835. Repeat sentiments of the Petit Artiste Smock. I'm just saying...

Most original project is the camera bag. Namely because I can't imagine doing that for myself. But, now that I think about it, it's a great idea. (Nothing says, "steal me" like my gigantic Canon gear bag.)

Finally, if you want to make things easier on yourself... and you're thinking of making a little chef's hat, please buy Simplicity 3650. Lest you think this is a Simplicity ad, it's not. I'm just thinking that when a Simplicity pattern is on sale for 99-cents, you should pick it up, and just check this book out from the library for use as good fabric choice ideas.