Cath Kidston: SEW
I bought this book last year when I was looking for inspiration in my down time. This British designer’s style is very recognisable and evokes images of chintzy housewife. This book has many projects, some which are suitable for beginners and some for those a bit more advanced. At the beginning of the book it actually has a section on the basics of sewing, such as how a sewing machine works, how to draft patterns and basic tools.
She also goes into detail about how to make different types of seams and different methods of decorating pieces such as appliqué. It is a very easy book to follow and great for a beginner especially since it come with the patterns and a ready to make bag, which are in a flap on the inside cover. For those who are already advance, you already know how to make many of these, but it is still great for getting ideas.
Projects include; shopper bags, baby mobile, tablecloths, wash bags, a beanbag, child’s apron, and a quilted purse.
My Rating: 7/10
Colette Wolff: The Art of Manipulating Fabric
I bought this book whilst doing my degree at university. I was looking for ideas for surface decoration to incorporate with my screen printing. It is a jam packed book full of what seems like hundreds of ways to stitch, fold and press fabric into pieces of sculpture.
The photos are all black and white and the fabric used to teach you the methods is just plain white so you don’t get distracted by colours and patterns. The instructions are easy to follow, but note this is really a book I think for the more advanced seamstresses, as this is something you tend to use once you know the basics and you then incorporate in your pieces.
You could spend days trying out the methods, I haven't even tried most of them and I've had the book for years. It's one of those books you just have for reference and inspiration and you will have it forever!
Surface decoration methods included; pleating, ruffles, tucks, shirring, Suffolk puffs, and quilting.
My Rating: 9/10