Monday, September 15

Sew What?

I am a attempting to become a burgeoning seamstress. Key word "attempting". I have stacks of fabrics I've been hoarding and scheming about turning into works of domestic goodness. However, sometimes I get overwhelmed with the thought of just where to begin. But last week, my friend Leigh Wells, who is the über seamstress, gave me a lovely gift. I aspire to sew as well as Miss Wells, and she brought me this vintage copy of McCall's Sewing Book. The ultimate sewing bible for all us wannabe sewing fiends. I found a ton of these vintage sewing guides online, and you can link to them here for around $10.

Inside McCall's many pages are very simple, how-to's with detailed diagrams, outlining each step along the way. Now, with McCall's handy guide in my possession I finally feel like maybe I can get started with the many projects on my wish list: a gathered curtain to cover my hideous dishwasher; a long, down body pillow for my bed; even dresses, skirts and tops too!





A couple of other wonderful how-to-sew books I love are In Stitches by Amy Butler, Simple Sewing from Lotta Jansdotter, and Simply Sewing With A French Twist by Céline Dupuy.

18 comments:

Amy Elizabeth said...

I'm so happy to hear you inspired to sew. I can't wait to see the results!

karina said...

Sure you will do something great, talented girl!
I write the post about you, and your journals design.
The Sunday in my morning walking I was thinking about you and the journals I could not find, as I took a picture of an hornero nest, I posted it too, today morning.
Have you see an hornero nest, you remind me of this productive bird.

lisamarie said...

I started sewing two years ago, by taking classes at the now defunct stitch lounge (craft gym on bush and van ness is still around, i believe) and since then I have made pillows, purses, skirts and a ball gown! All you have to do is pay attention and work on it. Good luck!

Janet said...

Good luck and have fun with it. A couple of other good books are Teach Yourself Visually-Sewing, and Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.

littlebrownpen said...

I recently bought Lotta's book, and can't wait to dig into it!

foo said...

Oh, goodness, my mom had that very sane sewing book!

I used to sew 90% of my clothes in high school. I cannot imagine that now with the cost of fabric and my lack of patience! But it is easy to sew a tablecloth, napkins, curtins.

Sewing is a really good talent to have.

I used to do loads of embroidery and cruel stuff too.

Inklore said...

It was that same little stack of three books that inspired me to start sewing again last year...Have Fun!

FancyPants-design said...

Good luck!! It looks like you at least have some gorgeous fabric to work with :)

Joyce said...

I can't wait to see what treasure you create!!

lynne said...

how fantastic! and you have such a great library there. can't wait to see what you cook up with that lovely fabric!

mayaluna said...

You've got the perfect books to get you going. The Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing (recommended above) seems to be the bible for many sewists. Amazon has lots of used copies. I've also really loved "sew what! SKIRTS" Have fun with all of that terrific fabric!

Amanda said...

You have a beautiful stash of fabric ready for your new hobby. Can't wait to see what you whip up!

annechovie said...

Victoria~ I so admire the way you seem to be able to do everything well! Write, photograph, style, decorate, etc., etc. I can't wait to see some of your creations! Sewing has always frustrated me - I would love to be able to make things, but I end up breaking needles and making a mess before I even get started. I suck at sewing!

sfgirlbybay said...

thanks for all the support - now i've gone and done it...i've got to sew something to share!

janet & mayaluna - thanks for the other book recommendations, too!

anne - i get pretty frustrated, too....so time will tell if i can become the seamstress i want to be! :)

woodley park-zoo said...

I've read around the way that the bottom book in your pile, the french one, is pretty and all but the instructions are a bit confusing/frustrating? Just something to watch out for if you try to follow it word for word...

I always checked out the Readers Digest book from the library (probably paid way too much in late fees over the years) as my bible. Really need to get my own copy!

Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing this! I am also attempting to learn to sew and I tend to get intimidated. I think I'll go hunt for this book.

Amy said...

I also just started sewing recently. Amy Butler's In Stitches books and free patterns on her website are great for beginners! good luck - I can't wait to see what you make!

Eva said...

i have that old macall's book, too. and i can't really sew...but i've used the great diagrams and illustrations in that book as inspiration and even material for collages (don't worry, i photocopied it). good luck!