for the sewing library :: the holiday gift guide

2014 holiday guide2

holiday guide_books2

Every seamstress needs a sewing library. With sewing in the middle of a cultural renaissance, books on the craft abound. My sewing library is full and ever-growing. So when your seamstress isn’t sewing, maybe she can cozy up with cocoa and a book–this spells out all sorts of delightful.

1. The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits, Alyson Clair. This book came out in the spring, and it gave me the courage to jump headlong into sewing with knits. It’s basic, yet thorough; simple, yet clear. Knits sometimes get a bad rap, and this book clears the way for you to tackle knits for yourself.

2. Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, Gretchen Hirsch. I’ve talked about this book before, and I’m still smitten with it. Unlike Gertie’s first book (which I also love) this one addresses styles that are more conducive to my stay-at-home-mom lifestyle. Not only does she delve into the history of women’s sportswear, she includes whole chapters covering skills for both wovens and knits, fitting techniques, and even patternmaking basics. You’ll just pour over this one again and again and again.

3. Couture Sewing Techniques, Claire Schaffer. This is one book that I do not own. But I want to. The more I read about couture clothes, the more I want to know. This book is highly rated on Amazon and written by a Vogue pattern designer and expert in fashion design history. Plus the cover is so pretty.

4. Magazine subscriptions. You know what’s great about a magazine subscription? Every issue is a present! Good magazines include Threads and SewStylish (from what I can surmise, the latter sells only single issues instead of subscriptions–you can find them at any chain craft store).

If you’re looking for an indie option, I have good news for you! Colette Patterns launched a new digital magazine this month called Seamwork. The content itself is free, and you can purchase a subscription for patterns that accompany each issue. A monthly subscription to the patterns is only $6! The patterns are going to be for quick, gratifying, and learning projects. I can’t wait to dive into them! Remember: magazines are the gifts that give all year round!

5. Fabrics A-to-Z, Dana Willard. The author of this book is also the brains behind one of the biggest craft blogs out there: MADE. I bought this book a couple of years ago with some gift money and am so glad I did. As someone who was relatively unfamiliar with fabric content and type, this book was a life saver. She covers five major fabric categories and gives you the low-down on care and handling for over 100 different fabrics. The pictures are high-quality enough to give you an idea for the texture, which is awesome when you’re standing in front of the bolts trying to decide what it is you’re looking at. One final perk is that it’s a lovely size that can fit in your purse so that it can easily come with you to the fabric store. Honestly, this book is an essential for me.

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