Friday, June 13, 2008

Crafty bookshelf, post 3

Let's Make Cute Stuff!: Cute Stuff. I've blogged about this one before. It was a birthday gift from my friends Jenn and Daniel, and we used it to make business card holders and tissue pouches at our last Lady Scouts meeting, the one at my place. The book lives up to its name and is full of cute stuff that is easy to make and just so so adorable!

Let's Make Cute Stuff!: Cute Dolls. Same deal as above. I used this book to make a stuffed bear for Daniel as a birthday gift to him. I had some issues sewing the stretchy jersey, but that was to be expected. In all, another cute and fairly easy book to follow to make big versions of the Cute Book "mascots," plus some new ones, too!

Simple Gifts to Stitch. This book is pretty nice and has some interesting projects in it, though they tend to require materials that aren't easily obtained by me (vinyl, swiss dot fabric, silk organza...). Maybe I just don't know where to look. Anyway, I like a lot of the projects in here, but I don't think I've made anything from it. If you're interested, Finny and Donk are using this book for their current sew-along.

Crafter's Companion. I read this book all the way through shortly after I bought it this spring. I really liked it--it's heavy on the hows and whys of other crafters and light-ish on the projects, but each of the crafters profiled contributed one, and I made the fabric box contributed by the Small Object creator Sarah Neuburger. I blogged on this before, too, but despite my frustrations with creating it, the fabric box has been very useful and is a nice addition to my sewing desk.

Last-Minute Fabric Gifts. In the same series as the other Last-Minute books. This one came before Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts, and I think I was hoping for something more along those lines when I bought this one. I haven't made anything from here yet, but there's a tote/bag I like and also some nice scarf ideas. It's a useful book to have, but I don't "stock" most of the materials required by the projects (LOTS of linen, felted wool, dye-able silk) so none of them would be very last-minute for me.

Making Handbags. I bought this book a few years ago when I was taking a class in grad school on independent magazine publishing. For our final project we had to do a lengthy paper on a new magazine we were hoping to (theoretically) launch. I'm pretty proud of my project (still!), which was for a crafty feminist magazine called Ione (after my crafty grandmother's middle name) that would feature a variety of different crafts as well as profiles on women crafters and essays about feminism, particularly the (arguable) 3rd wave branch that's reclaiming "women's work". Anyway, I bought this book because I liked the bag on the cover and have since made it a couple of times, both lined and unlined. The felt I got (which was acetate, not wool) didn't hold up very well, which is a bummer. The other projects in the book are hit-or-miss, but it's a good basic instruction book.

Making Vintage Bags. This is another of my Crafter's Choice introductory books. The bags aren't as varied as you might expect--most of them are variations on 4 or 5 styles, but they're pretty interesting. A lot of them use interfacing and batting and other things I'm not used to using for handbags. I have big plans to whip one up in the next week or so, so will keep you posted on that progress.

Everyday Fashions of the Sixties as Pictured in the Sears Catalog. This was a post-birthday present to myself last year. It's inspiring to look at these old photos (A-line dresses and go-go boots!) and wonder what it would've been like to wear those things. I think I originally thought I would make clothes based on or modeled after those in here, but that hasn't happened yet. I really do need to get back to some garment sewing in between all these quilts!

Random issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting. A magazine I picked up for reference for my magazine project, mentioned above. This is how I learned to knit, though half-way through my first project (a wrap that was super simple) I realized I'd been doing it wrong, but I just kept chugging along.

Random issue of Threads magazine. Yet another magazine for my magazine class project. This has some interesting features on pleating and covered buttons. I feel like I should subscribe, but I also have the feeling it's expensive. I've just looked into it, and it's $32.95 for a one-year, six-issue subscription. Yeah, I can't really afford that.

Learning to Love You More. This book doesn't really fit here, but I didn't know where else it would fit. This was a Christmas gift from Rob this year, and it's full of inspiring assignments and projects from the website, which I used to check regularly. It's good stuff, though somehow oddly unsettling.

Quilts of Gee's Bend postcard book. When we went to see this exhibit at the MFA three years (?) ago, this was the only souvenir in the gift shop that I could afford. It's still intact, and a nice little portable catalog of some highlights from the exhibition.

In case you were wondering, the little shelf above these books is filled with back issues of Bitch magazine, which I really love. The bottom shelf has a fabric basket that contains all of my yarn and my meagre knitting supplies.

And that's it for my crafty books! It's turning into quite a library...

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