I ♥ Patchwork
I bought I ♥ Patchwork by Rashida Coleman-Hale, as in my grand sort out of my bedroom / office / craft space (photos soon, promise), I discovered that I have way too many small pieces of fabric, not tiny but not really big enough for clothes making, so that discovery, along with a lovely photo someone sent me recently (5th photo down) and of course the V&A quilts exhibition, which I’m desperate to go to, has reignited my interest in patchwork.
So, I bought the book and first thing I should say when reviewing this book, is that it’s not particularly patchwork-y, despite the cover and the title, but that’s ok, I knew that already courtesy of some Amazon reviews I checked out. I also knew (from the reviews I read) that this book has a heavy emphasis on brown linen, now that did make me hesitate before clicking on that buy button because as much as I like linen, linen has to be the most expensive fabric in my favourite fabric store (my town’s other fabric store, which is considerably more cheap and cheerful, doesn’t even sell it). So I can forsee the constant challenge of trying to find different alternative fabrics for projects from this book. However there are some nice projects in this book, unfortunately, at least for my taste, not the sewing machine cover, which is one of the projects reviewers on Amazon liked and prompted me to click on that buy button, as I need a new sewing machine cover and well I don’t like it (I think it’s a little too like draping a table mat over your sewing machine). Anyway, projects I do like:
- The travel sewing kit is cute and useful, if I made that I could see me using that a lot, as I’m officially the odd mum who sews outside dance classes.
- The patchwork ball is nice but more suited to children younger than mine.
- The cosmetics pouch is sweet.
- The little lamb softie with her patchwork skirt is cute.
- The fold up eco bag is quite a good idea, I always feel guilty if I forget to bring a bag to the shops, but I think if I made this I’d make it a wee bit more colourful.
- Mini pincushion magnet would be useful in my new craft space.
- Utensil basket could be useful to.
- The flower mobile would be sweet for babies.
- I can see myself using the slim line pencil case (and may actually buy brown linen for that, as it would need much).
- And finally the cloud tote bag is I think the nicest thing in the book.
All in all, it’s a nice book and it does have some useful stuff on technique, particularly paper piecing, which I was curious about.
Alabama Studio Style
Now this is a beautiful book, I was aware of the first book in the series when it came out, the Alabama Stitch Book but I was more of a newbie sewer back then and just looking at the book cover on Amazon intimidated the hell out of me, with it’s beautiful work, but I kind of wish I’d got it back then, as going back to Amazon now, Alabama Stitch Book is on a 2-3 week delivery schedule and I don’t have the patience for that, so I skipped straight to the second book and oh do I like it, from the moment I ripped open the Amazon box, it truly is a lovely book just to hold even but once you open it, the projects and the amount of detailed but accessible instruction, is inspiring. I will probably at some point try and stomp on my impatience and order the first book to.
The Alabama books are unique in that they feature beautiful projects (mainly clothes), made out of jersey and all hand sewn, like basically a lot of couture clothing and I think if I made one of the pieces of clothing in Alabama Studio Style, yes it would take me an age but as long as I got it right, wearing it would make me feel like a million dollars. The projects start with a simple, unembellished dress and then go on to items of clothing and things for around the house, which have beautiful applique or embroidery or stencilling or a mixture of techniques. It also has (and is this the ideal craft book for me or what?) recipes! That combined with the projects and the beautiful photography and the almost coffee table feel of the book, makes for one inspiring book, that is just incredibly pleasant just to look at, let alone make anything with!
So, what am I going to make with this, hmm, pretty much everything (although it could take me several years), but projects I particularly like;
- The basic tank dress (the unembellished dress I mentioned), I could see myself wearing this all the time, I have a thing for dresses, as they’re basically just one piece of clothing you throw on and then you’re sorted, so you’d think I’d have lots of dresses in my wardrobe but I don’t, as the cost of a good dress (and trying to find one that fits) often puts me off, so I need to rectify that.
- Then there’s the tank dress with relief applique, which is um the basic tank dress with a beautiful applique pattern.
- Eyelet-embroidered Gore skirt – now inspired by an embroidered skirt in White Stuff, I’ve actually been trying to alter an existing skirt of mine to make it similar and the amount of embroidery on it is taking ages, so just looking at the eyelet embroidered gore skirt makes me think yep, that’s gonna take a while to (I’m also (I’m not going to have any skirts left at this rate, the way how I start altering them and then take ages to finish) reverse appliquing another skirt of mine at the moment, that’s taking ages to).
- Medallion Boudoir Pillow – which despite the insertion of the word boudoir into the title is a lovely masculine pillow, I may make this for my dad next Christmas, if I can bear to part with it, as particularly in the colours they’ve chosen it reminds me of quite a Welsh design.
- Inked and quilted camisole dress – now this dress is so beautiful and must take so much work, if I made this it would be very hard to actually wear it for fear it was going to get covered in whatever child related messes my children were currently projecting at me, but it is a wonderful dress.
- Spiral applique and beaded camisole dress – another jaw dropping dress, if I made this I would feel like I was something out of a dream.
Sigh, so many things to make, so little time!