Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ooh, I love sewing (and hate computers)

This is the second typing of this entry since my cursed computer ate the first one. It always thinks it knows more than I do. Hah!

I am looking ahead to a 4-6 week convalescence after knee surgery so I am hoping to do a lot of sewing when I am home (and not doing leg exercises). My first project is a winter jacket which I have been studiously avoiding--it is hard to sew purple wool when it is sunny and warm outside. However, I do need a winter coat and it must be completed...did that sound convincing?

Being me, I have been out buying books about sewing. I have more clothes than any one person could possibly need--making your own is so reasonable in price, why not have a lot of clothes? So I am looking for some fun little projects like pillows (for my beloved daybed where I spend so much time reading), stuffed animals, bibs (for a project at church), bag and purses (like shoes, one can never have too many) and pretty little things.

Sew Retro by Judi Ketteler is both a history of sewing since the mid-1800s and a project idea book. Home sewing became increasingly popular when pattern companies sprang into being, making dressmaking much simpler. In my 4-plus decades of sewing, patterns have gone from $1.25 to $21.95 (Vogue, of course)--wish I'd kept some of those patterns I loved in the past. The book's projects include Opera Bag, Pinch-a-Penny Change Purse, Birds of a Feather Table Runner and Groovy Patchwork Throw (guess which decade that one's from?). Fashion has reflected the times--think of the craziness of the 1920s inspiring the flapper, the economy of the Depression when women made dress from flour sacks (flour came in pretty calico-printed cotton bags back then), the freedom of the 1960s brought changes that would never have happened at any other time.

I adore Mary Engelbreit so I had to buy Stitched So Cute, a book of needlework and embroidery projects. There is the cutest little stuffed owl made with bright colored fabric, rickrack and buttons. I want one!

Amy Butler is one of the darlings of the sewing world right now. She designs fabrics, makes patterns and has a host of linens, papergoods, etc. with her designs as well. Amy Butler's Style Stitches includes instructions for 26 different bags, large to small and easy to difficult. I need to conquer my abhorence of putting in a zipper to make some of these but, groan, groan, that can probably be done. In time.

Last, but not least, is Boo (can you imagine willingly calling yourself Boo?) Davis's Dare to Be Square Quilting with the cutest owl quilt on the cover. There are some stunning pillows and, I won't tell you what since I hope to make one for a coworker at the library, the cutest and most offbeat pillow idea (I'll have to adapt this one since it is actually a quilt) I've ever seen.

All in all, I should have plenty of little sewing projects to keep me busy. Maybe I'll use up some of the lovely fabric stored in 40 or so boxes in my beautiful pink sewing room. (I just got a new Hancocks of Paducah (a huge fabric store in Kentucky) catalog so I know I'll be buying more....)

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