As promised in my last post, I’m back to tell you about the books I bought while we were visiting my folks in England. I thought I’d tell you a bit about each one (like mini-reviews) and show you my favourite projects from them. So, here I go.....
I bought ‘Weekend Sewing’ (by Heather Ross) from a super-cheap book shop in Lichfield. Sorry – I can’t remember the name of the shop. The book cost £5.
Most of the projects seem fairly achievable, and the introduction to the book states that all of them can be done in a weekend (or a day, or just an hour or so). The ‘look’ of the book is bright and fresh, there are lots of diagrams to show you exactly what to do, and the photography is gorgeous! There’s a huge range of projects (over 40), including: bags and pouches, table linens and other kitchen stuff, slippers, gloves, dresses, skirts, PJs, and babies’ and kids’ clothes. I especially like the clothes in the book, as I think craft books with an equal balance of ‘garments’ and ‘other stuff’ are a rarity. Since buying the book, I’ve read some pretty negative reviews of it on Amazon (yes, I know it’s normal to read reviews first, THEN buy). These reviews say that there are errors in a few of the patterns/instructions. I was really disappointed to read this, as I LOVE this book, and was really excited to get going on some of the garment projects. Of course, some of the reviewers were going crazy about this, while others wrote that the errors didn't really bother them and weren't a big deal. So, I guess I just need to try the projects for myself and see how they work for me. Even with a few errors, though, I think the book was great value for money (at the price I paid for it). I’m not sure, though, that I’d be willing to pay the RRP of £14.99 knowing that there are problems with some of the projects.
These are the projects closest to the top of my ‘to do’ list (I’m hoping that none of them are the ‘problem-projects’):
I bought ‘Sewing Green’ (by Betz White) from the same bargain bookshop. This one cost £6.
The book contains 25 projects, all of which are made with organic or repurposed materials. There are also lots of hints, tips and resources to encourage environmentally-conscious sewing. Like ‘Weekend Sewing’, this book has a fresh, modern look and some lovely photos. There are also some really beautiful projects (pretty skirts, gorgeous cushions and blankets, super-cute kids’ stuff, and the AMAZING scarf on the front cover, for example). As I was picking out my favourites to show you, I realised that they're all felted thingamabobs. So, I guess that's what I feel the book does really well. But, I have to say that I’m not so keen on other repurposing projects - I’m not particularly taken with projects that blatantly ‘look’ repurposed. And this book has four or five that I’d put into that category (for example, an apron made out of an old shirt, a bag made out of old jeans, and a sunshade made from used Capri Sun cartons). For some people, though, as I’ve read in other reviews, these are the projects that are most appealing. Each to their own, of course! I’ll definitely be trying out some of the makes in this book, and I’m pleased I picked it up.
These are a few of my favourite projects:
The third book I wanted to share with you wasn’t a bargain book shop special. I got it from Simon for Easter (don’t worry – I had plenty of eggs too). This one’s called ‘The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos’ (by Heidi Adnum). At the moment, the Amazon price is £8.44.
I LOVE this book!!! I thought I was on to a winner by putting it at the top of my Amazon wish list, as the 6 reviews there are of it on Amazon at the moment are ALL 5*. And I wasn’t disappointed one little bit!!! I took night classes in photography many moons ago (when I first went to uni). The classes were great (especially the ones where we got to mess around in a darkroom), but I’ve forgotten most of what I was taught, and digital cameras weren’t around then (or at least we didn't learn about them). This book starts from the most basic of basics (which really helped to refresh my memory), and goes on to explain things in finer detail (covering how to get the best results when photographing different types of craft products, how to edit and store your photos, and how to use your images to promote your crafty business). There are also pages dedicated to sharing practical photography hints and tips from well-known crafters. And, best of all, the book is a treasure trove of amazing photos of all kinds of crafty products!!! I’ve read the whole book through, from start to finish. It explains everything (camera settings, lighting, composition, etc) in easy-to-understand terms, and the author’s writing style is friendly and informal. I can see myself dipping back into this book (for advice AND inspiration) time and time again. I’d definitely recommend it!!!
Oooh – this has turned into a super-long post. Sorry!!!
If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.....
Happy Sunday to you!