Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Musings by Knitwits - Improv Sewing

Once a month Christinabean and I like to bring a craft, knitting or cookbook to your attention. We both love to pick up a pair of knitting needles or some other type of needle, or putter about in the kitchen and we like to share the love when we find a book that will help. This months selection is:

Published: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Pages: 320
Copy: Publisher through Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

These 101 creative sewing projects can all be completed in less than a day--some in less than an hour Playful and inventive, the projects include clothing for all ages, accessories, home decor items, and furnishings. Most feature embellishments and decorative effects -- simple touches that personalize a project with charm -- and use interesting textural fabrics, such as jersey knits, linen, and felt...even paper and vinyl The authors walk readers through the sewing basics, demystify the lost art of simple pattern-making, provide visual guides to stitches, and give easy instructions for techniques such as applique, doodle-stitching, and layering of fabrics

I started sewing when I was 16, with my mothers help.  I needed her help because the pattern I chose was probably one of the most complex dress patterns I could have found.  Luckily, she walked me through it step by step and gave me the confidence to keep going.  She never once doubted that I could do it and I went on to wear that dress for several years. (Thanks Mum.) Having said that, it would have been sooooo much less stressful for me to start with an easier project - like one of the 101 that can be found in Improv Sewing.

These projects are all simple and straightforward and most would be wonderful starting projects for a beginner or just for someone who loves to sew, but doesn't have a lot of time.  Many of them use already available items, such as old dress shirts (skirt), vintage table cloths (floor cushion), old t-shirts etc.  How about wrist warmers from an old sweater that has felted in the dryer?  There's even a purse made from an old leather jacket - I'm going to try that one for sure. 

Have a fancy to try embellishing?  Improv Sewing shows you simple yet effective techniques that don't take forever.  These are not cookie-cutter designs, but allow for lots of expression and personalisation    The blurb says all of these projects can be completed in a day, and after looking through the book I believe it. You can make a dress, or a napkin. A skirt or a tablerunner. Scarves, hats, pillow covers - ideas for christmas here anyone? I just wish I'd had access to this book when I started sewing.


  1. This one looks great. I've been sewing since doll clothes when I was about 6 years old, but always looking for quick, cute projects.

    Thanks! I've put it on my "wish list."

    1. I'm sure you'll have fun with it when you get it.


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