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Book Review: Stylish Dress Book

I am so excited about this book! Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori is a Japanese sewing book translated into English. It is true to the Japanese style of craft books with beautiful styling. The dresses are made with Liberty fabrics - so very inspiring! 

This is the Table of Contents. Each dress is named with a letter of the alphabet. All of the patterns are the same length and can be shortened to tunic or shirt length if preferred.

I've already ordered fabric to make two of these looks. I'll show you in a couple of months when I get them finished ;)

As is the norm with Japanese sewing books, the written instructions are short and to the point with helpful diagrams. The pattern pieces are full size and overlap on white paper.

How about a few more pages of dresses to end the post?

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(Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.)

Book Review and Giveaway: Sewn Hats

Sewn Hats is a fantastic collection of hat designs from a who's-who of pattern designers and edited by Carla Hegeman Crim (The Scientific Seamstress). If you've ever wanted to sew a hat, the pattern is in here. Really, it is. For girls, boys, men and women, it's all here. Fun, party, work, whimisical, sun, winter it's all in here. Skill levels run from beginner to advanced, so there's something for everyone. 

Here's a gallery of the hats featured in the book. 

Excellent instructions and diagrams are included.

What do you think? Does this look like a book you'd love to have? If yes, leave a comment on this post about a hat you'd like to make! Comments close Sunday, September 16. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced next week. Good luck! 

Book Review: Fabrics A to Z by Dana Willard

Fabrics A to Z is a fantastic little sewing reference book by Dana Willard (you may know her from her blog, MADE). I would highly recommend it to anyone who sews, especially those who sew garments, accessories and/or home decor. 

The book is really straightforward and easy to use. The fabric sections are divided between wovens, knits, specialty, blended and patterns. The reference page(s) for each fabric type not only explain what the fabric is and its properties, but (my favorite part) what type of needle, thread, interfacing, stitch length to use and more (under "working with"). Oh how I could have used this book last week when standing in front of a shelf of interfacing, trying to figure out which one to buy! Or, how about when you go to the fabric store with a certain fabric type in mind, only to fall in love with another and wonder if it will work for your project. Or, there's a really good deal for a certain fabric and you're wondering what you could use it for?

At the top of the reference pages are little symbols indicating what this type of fabric is used for (garment, home decor or craft/quilt). Very handy! 

There's another section all about notions and tools (again, who hasn't stared at a notion wall, wondering which one to buy?) 

The book is a convenient, small size so it will fit right into your purse or bag. Above, I placed it next to a typical paperback so you can get an idea of the size. 

Basically, I think this book is a perfect, little sewing reference book perfect to take along on your trip to the fabric store, at home buying online and when you're ready to sew that fabric up!

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(Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.)

Lickety Split Boho Bag

This is my new summer bag. I used Made By Rae's Lickety Split Bag pdf pattern and it really did go together lickety-split. It was SO EASY to make.  Perfect for an impatient seamstress such as myself. The bag is reversible (!) and has nice sized pockets inside and out. There are no zippers or buttons or anything fussy. The straps tie at the top. I used quilting cottons so it's slouchy and soft. The fabric is from Sandi Henderson's Secret Garden collection. It really is the perfect easy-breezy summer bag!

Inspired By: Sewing with Vintage Sheets

Today I'm feeling inspired by these lovely sewing projects made with vintage sheets.

Clockwise from top left:

 

Sewing Patterns To Do

So many things I want to sew, so little time...

I'm working on (and by working on, I mean, in the planning stages):

  • Sandpiper Capri & Top by clever charlotte
  • Shearwater Kaftan by Make It Perfect
  • Hannah shorts & cropped top by modkid

Well, I'm actually "working on" a few other projects, too. In my mind, anyway ;)

 

Round Up: Tea Towel Tote Bags

I love picking up tea towels, both vintage and just "pretty", when I see them. I was thinking about how fantastic it would be to use them to make tote bags and I found plenty of inspiration on the web.

Clockwise from top left:

Clockwise from top left:

 

 

Pajama Elastic

 

Have you heard of pajama elastic? (Also known as underwear elastic.) This is new to me, but I have confidence that at least a few of my knowledgeable readers know what this is. 

It is elastic that is sewn directly to the inside of the pants or shorts - no casing needed. It is usually used for pajamas or other garments where having exposed elastic is not a problem. It is soft enough to be comfortable against the skin.

I'm beyond excited about this as I'm in the process of making three pairs of pajama shorts for my eleven-year-old. This should make the process so much faster (no elastic to thread through casing!) As with all new techniques, my first attempt is a bit shaky, but it's very easy. You make a casing like usual, but you do not need an opening. Make sure your finished casing is a quarter- to half-inch wider than your elastic. Then you stitch along the channels on the elastic. I used this You Tube video from VanillaJoy for guidance.

Have you used pajama elastic for PJs?

Rhapsodia Collection by Art Gallery Fabrics

Art Gallery Fabrics sent me some pictures of their gorgeous Rhapsodia fabric collection made into a variety of inspiring and beautiful clothing, quilts, bags and more. 

From Art Gallery Fabrics:

We want you to enter a world of golden sands and lustrous emeralds. Rhapsodia will take you on an exotic journey to far away destinations and places so beautiful and rich in color that you can only dream of... When you look at Rhapsodia you will experience the ethnic textures that were inspired by a world of rituals, rich foods, dance and the lights of Bollywood.

 

And they produced another fantastic video to introduce the collection!

They also have a giveaway going on right now over at The Creative Blog of Art Gallery Fabrics!

Round Up: 9 Mother's Day Gifts to Sew

Today I have a little round up of nine gift ideas to sew for Mother's Day. You can also find some ideas in this Twelve Pretty Gift Ideas to Sew post. You might also find ideas in my Feather Your Nest Sewing for Home round-up post. 

All projects are free tutorials. Clockwise from top left:

 

All projects are free tutorials. Clockwise from top left:

Pattern Round-Up: Raincoats & Umbrellas to Sew

It's a rainy, spring-like day here in Wisconsin. Inspired by the rain, here's a little round up of raincoat sewing patterns.

 And a few umbrella tutorials!

Clockwise from left:

Summerlove by Pat Bravo

Pat Bravo has been posting some inspiration pictures on Pinterest of her new fabric collection, Summerlove. Gorgeous, no?

In her words:

In this collection I wanted to indulge you with blooming florals made of sun-kissed oranges, aromas of chocolate and berries, a hint of aqua mist and the abundance of lush, green fields.

Below are a few of the fabrics in this beautiful collection, see the entire collection at Art Gallery Fabrics. This fabric should be in shops very soon.