Vogue Sewing Book. This vintage book (from the 1960s) was a total score! I got it for $8--slipcase and everything--at a lovely bookstore in Portland, Maine when Rob and I took our "spring break" trip in March 2007. It is full of information on how to flatter many different body types, plus examples of and information about all kinds of garment details, like knife pleats and peter pan collars and ruffled hems... Whenever I get back to garment sewing, I will be using it quite a bit.
The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing. I used money from a small quilted wall hanging I'd sold to buy this book. It sort of goes hand-in-hand with the book above. The Vogue book has more examples, while this Singer book has more tutorials.
S.E.W: Sew Everything Workshop. Sew Everything Workshop. I bought this book post-Christmas with some of my Christmas money. I've only made the cardigan in it, and it turned out a bit big and boxy. A lot of that may have to do with the heavy wool felt I used, though. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and I plan to whip up the Flouncy Tank from some linens in the near future.
Sew U. Another post-Christmas purchase by me, but from two Christmases ago. I've read different portions of this one and they're all very clear and informative, but not dry, either. Word on the web is that Wendy has the BEST patterns, especially for pants. I've been wanting to make some nice tailored pants for myself for a long time, but am always too intimidated to actually purchase some of the lovely men's suiting fabrics at my local fabric store. However, while typing this, I had a brainstorm about the skirt pattern in this book and that being useful for a cute eyelet-lace-edged A-line I've been dreaming up... That might be something happening in the near future! I need to assess my zipper situation first, though.
The Cute Book. Of course! Quite possibly the best unexpected birthday present ever! From my friend Kate for my 26th year. For her next birthday, I presented her with a little basket full of a dozen of these little guys! They are so cute (obviously) and so fun to make! Though I'm still struggling with the whole French knot bit... And I can no longer find the perfect color of felt to make the squirrel. I'm continually on the look-out for it, though.
Toys to Sew. This book is a wonderful little gem I found at the MFA bookstore on my lunch break one lovely Friday. It was an unexpected splurge, but it has served me very well and continues to inspire me. As a kid I loved my stuffed animals more than anything else, and I had a hard time weaning myself from them. This book brings them back to me! I've made all of the dinosaurs out of felt for Christmas gifts (see images here) as well as a miniature version of the elephant and a full, lovely version of the turtle. I actually cut the body for a second turtle for myself at the same time, but it took me a good 8+ hours to make the first one (a gift for my wonderful co-worker Lora) so I haven't been ready to tackle another one just yet.
Softies. Another of those you-can-be-a-"grown-up"-and-still-love-stuffed-animals! books. I think I've only ever made the elephant from here (I blogged about this before) but I still love this book and need to flip through it more.
Super Crafty. This is possibly my first crafting book and the one that started this little collection. It was a birthday gift from Rob way back in the day, possibly for my first birthday after we moved to Boston and were so poor! I had asked for it, and he went out of his way to get it for me. I did make one project inspired by this book. On the wall in our living room are 24 small (4" x 6"?) canvases painted in a variety of solid colors and hung in a random-ish diamond kind of shape. It is the focal point in the room, and even after nearly two years I haven't tired of looking at it. I also painted three solid canvases, these are a larger 8" x 10", and hung them on the wall above our bed. It's a good, easy, lovely solution.
antique needlework book. This was a gift from my office Secret Santa this past year. The binding is starting to fall apart, so I have to be very careful with it. It has line drawings, some colored photo tip-ins, and tons of instructions to make all manner of embroidery stitches as well as knitting and crochet. Such a cute little resource.
Things I Made - creative journal. Purchased from my Amazon wishlist by my brother this past Christmas, this little book is what I've been using to keep track of completion dates and notes on my projects. It's small and neat and interspersed with quotes about creativity.
Missing: Sew What! Skirts, which I've loaned to Jenn. I am not super impressed with this book. I bought this one along with the Built by Wendy one post-Christmas a year and a half ago. I think the book is helpful in it's sections on measuring and waistbands and the nitty gritty, but I am not very pleased with the skirts shown throughout. When I pulled the book out to loan it to Jenn and flipped through it again, I realized that it may be a better resource than I'd been giving it credit for, but I just haven't sewn any skirts in forever, so I haven't revisited it.
In case you were wondering, that bottom shelf is stacked full of back-issues of BUST magazine, which I love and am afraid to part with! Hence the storage.