So, I pushed through tonight and finished the sweater… well, the crocheting part anyway. I’ve still got to weave in ends, block, and add buttons. But the hard work is done! Phew!
In a two weeks I’m going down to Portland to pick up a used sewing machine from my aunt. I’m really excited! It’s been a while since I sewed anything, however, so I bought myself a book so that I can re-teach myself the basics. It’s called S.E.W – Sew Everything Workshop: The Complete Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide by Diana Rupp.
I’ve read the first few chapters, which cover things like assembling a sewing kit, choosing a machine, setting up a sewing area and other helpful tips. The book is written in a very down to earth style and the author’s passion for sewing definitely shines through. Included in the front of the book are 10 patterns for you to sew, with instructions for them in the body of the book. I haven’t got that far yet but I’m going to guess that the patterns cover a lot of common sewing techniques so that you can get the hang of doing things like sewing hems, putting in buttonholes, sewing curves, adding lining or interfacing and that kind of thing.
The whole book is colorful, easy to read and full of lots of color pictures and easy to understand diagrams that fill out the text in a way that a lot of books on crafts that I’ve come across recently does not. It really is a step-by-step guide! I’m so looking forward to following along.
Even more I’m looking forward to honing my sewing skills so that I can enhance my crochet projects. In the meantime, while I wait to go pick up my new sewing machine (squeeeeeeeeee!), I’m going to keep reading and working on that sweater for my Mom… she’s showing up to see my new nephew. I’m making her the Big Bow Cardigan for her in Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool. It’s going well. Much better in fact than when I attempted it before. I highly recommend Julia Vaconsin’s sweater as a beginner sweater project. It’s so simple, it’s all single crochet and it’s fast to make up. I adore her designs. She makes both crochet and knit designs, so she’s a good choice for knitter’s too! Anyway, when I finish it, I’m going take the whole sweater to JoAnn’s with me so I can pick out some cool wood buttons. I saw some there that are two toned wood that has a swirling inlay design that I think my Mom will like.
In other news, I found this very cool blog by a Finnish fashionista whose main interest is recycled clothing. Her focus is high fashion and she shares some really amazing design and cool tutorials, designs/designers, and inspirations. I added her blog to the news feed on homepage and I read every single new post. Check her out! Since I stumbled on this I’m really interested in recycled fashion and have spent a good amount of time looking for books and tutorials to use once I’ve mastered my sewing basics. Some of the more interesting looking books I found include:
Annika Sanders & Kerry Seager
I came across this one on OutsaPop. They take old clothes and turn them into some of the coolest retreads I’ve ever seen. Check out this Trouser Shirt tutorial. Unfortunately, in the US it’s import only.
I still have yet to lay hands on this book… but I’ve seen some photos from inside it online and the projects look really fun and inspirational. The design style is definitely less edgy than Junky Styling’s but they seem fun and on trend. I can’t wait to see it!
Born Again Vintage
Bridgett Artisse & Jen Karetnick
There are some really yummy reconstructions in this book from what I can see. I’m waiting for a copy that I have on hold to come to me from the library. But the pics I’ve seen online are really getting the the creative juices flowing. So I can’t wait to see all of the projects from this.
Ultimately, I’d like to be able to combine crochet and sewing together to create some unique items… take my crochet up a notch. I’m really looking forward to ramping up to sewing, finishing up the cardi for my mom, and (bonus!) taking that little weekend trip to Portland. Hopefully, I get to go to Powell’s… again!