....fabrics from the Garden Party range
I was going to resist. No, I thought, you've so many sewing, craft type books. One magazine review I'd read suggested that this was more for the beginnng sewer and although there are always new techniques to master and new approaches to learn - perhaps it wasn't for me.
But, I failed, I succumbed to temptation and I'm pleased that I did.
It's a spiral bound book with a pattern envelope at the back, housing the pattern pieces for the various projects.
In 'Seams to me' Anna Maria talks about your 'sewing space', be it a corner of a room or a huge great studio and about the things you will need in it. She suggests things to think about when planing to buy a sewing machine. There's a section on tools; cutters, measuring tools, sewing guages, needles, pins, threads, bindings, elastic, interfacing/interlinings, thimbles, fabric and of course colour and colour, print combinations.
She talks through (with diagrams) seam finishes, adding zips, gathering and binding. She outlines sewing by hand, thus adding style and handmade charm to your projects by using just a few embroidery stitches.
There are 24 sewing projects in the book, which are divided into; Organize with ideas for tidying up and organizing your life. Such as a magentic pin board, which although pin boards maybe nothing new, this one is different to any I've seen before. I love the way that the magnets used to 'fix' notes etc to the board are 'cunningly disguised', enclosed in fabric yo-yo's, and yo-yo's with a difference. Some of these yo-yo have centres which are left open enough to reveal another fabric inside. Very pretty and clever. I can think of a few uses for that technique.
In 'Stylize', there are a couple of pretty bags. Gorgeous cuffs - which would show off beautiful buttons and your favourite fabric and give you a distinctive style of your own. Dearest daughter wants one of these... There are skirts for little ones, although it could easily be adapted for 'bigger' ones. There's a bias cut skirt for grown up girls which can be playfully decorated with fabric squares and there are still more projects.
The 'Decorate' section contains amongst other things, a quilt, pillows (cushions) one of which is a pretty patchwork which includes gathering one of the sides of the squares resulting in a really lovely textured cushion. Did I mention that there are projects featuring lovely, lovely buttons; some on that pretty cuff, some in frames, some on a pillow (Doodad pillow).
In the 'Domesticate' Section there are five more lovely projects; a couple of aprons and a beautiful decorated dish towel and if I'd made that and someone actually dried the dishes with it, I think I'd cry. The dish towels are appliqued, yo-yo's as flowers this time, embroidered and look absolutely beautiful.... I think that I'd be more inclined to use them as wall-art than for washing up activities.
I love the way this book is written. I like the way the projects are explained. I always like to know why I'm being asked to do something in a certain way and that is kind of how this is written. I also like the way that Anna Maria says why she choses the fabrics she does, why she combined those particular colours and prints. For example, she says that she wanted the quilt to have an 'All American' feel so she went for a play on red, white and blue using some greens and browns as accents. To give the quilt more of a contemporary feel she suggests using more solid coloured fabrics as opposed to prints. I sometimes think that this is one of the hardest things about a new sewing project..... it's not always about what are you are going to make as what you going to make it out of ? what colour? does that print dominate too much Arrrh!
All I have to do now is decide which project to have a go at first.... I'm sorely tempted by the patchwork cushion and as the cuff probably won't take that long to make, I'll have a go at that as well, once dear daughter is home from school and I can measure her arm that is.