Friday, June 6, 2014

Dress like Downton Abbey Anyone? My New Book and Zine Stash


Just a quickie today because I've been really naughty with my time ever since I got up.  It might have to do with that little dose of vitamin C I had before bed. I made me sleep like a log, even though I had all sorts of lovely dreams...and then I woke up wanting to do a million things except for the things I really needed to do. You have days like that? I secretly have them everyday, but some days I have more self control than others. It's Friday afterall...

So I decided to update some of my latest book and zine purchases. I basically want to show you some of the photos of the Downton Abbey Magazine I got from Interweave. Although I am not a follower of the BBC show, I do like the fashions from that time period. So here are some photos for your enjoyment...notice the last picture at the end with the awful head piece. Some things were not as successful, and the section on accessories was the worst. The available patterns can be downloaded on Sew Daily's website. Don't forget to keep scrolling to see more books and magazines.

This was so cute, and I thought it was a pattern on the skirt, but it's the blouse.
The skirt is much nicer than the blouse.
Cute...but I don't think boys would wear this out.
Surprised to see home accessories.
Not so attractive. It made me laugh.
Now for the next batch of things...


I went magazine nuts over the Memorial Day weekend. I ended up buying every single copy of Stitch either in paper (2013 issues), or digital (all the back issues from 2008-2012). I'm not sewing many crafts...but I've been inspired since my trip to Japan. I also think that the more I read and look at what people have created...it will light some spark in me. These magazines are not the best, but there's always one project that is the cream of the crop. I feel like there should be twenty projects at least. But that's just my opinion.  You can get all these magazines directly from the Interweave website.

Then I went kind book nuts...

All the books I purchased were used except for Bunka and came from Amazon dealers. Consider buying any of your books used. It's cheaper, and it saves trees. I have never been disappointed with the condition of my used books.

This first one is a Rowan knitting book.  I love Rowan knitting patterns, but I have yet to try one. I just got my first batch of Rowan yarn shipped over from the UK, so I'm looking forward to working on that project soon.  Rowan has lovely modern knitting designs inside. I am eyeing the pattern on the right (from the book) for Fall.





I have been meaning to pick this book up for a while. I think it's out of print, and there's some copycats out there. I found this one used for a few dollars plus shipping. It's in great condition, and the pictures are bigger and better than my other favorite sewing book: Reader's Digest (the 1960s version that is). Check out the color photos! If this book was printed today, it would probably cost more than $40.




This is another used book I got on patchwork from a popular Japanese designer. It's super, super basic, and that's what I wanted. I have never really made a quilt of my own. I helped my daughter with one, but I don't think that counts. We also might have made some simple mistakes.

I thought it would be helpful to get a beginners book just to make sure I'm not skipping any technique and wasting my time in the long run.  Again, another wonderful book for step-by-steps.




And...to move me along further into possibly making a quilt...I picked up another one of Elizabeth Hartman's quilt book. I used one of her books for my daughter's quilt. I like her simple, modern designs (notice the title). I think I've never been interested in quilts because the shapes looked really complicated and busy. I have always preferred designs with more white space, be it in print (paper) or textiles. It's just my thing I guess.


My biggest disappointment, and my most expensive purchase.  All the way from Japan...is the Bunka Fashion Design Series I. I know about 80% of the information in there. It's meant for the beginner sewists...real beginner. There will be an explanation on buttons and snaps. I think for English-language how-to sewing books, there's a lot better ones out there written by either the classic sewists, or even the Indie ones like Colette and Tilly. This was not really a necessary purchase. I feel like I need to get the second series to really give it a chance though. So stay tuned for that one. But here's some inside photos for you...




Bunka's button explanation.




This last book, I was so happy, happy, happy to get was Mel Clark's first knitting book... I didn't even know she had another book. I own her second book "Knit Two Together" with Tracey Ullman.  I feel like Mel Clark has been my knitting teacher. My knitting really improved after I started using her book.

If you want to see all of Mel Clark's patterns, you can find her on HERE on Ravelry. She has some lovely baby layette patterns too.


This is going to be the first project I make out of Mel Clark's book. I already tapped about six things, but this one was so cute.

I'm still knitting things out of her second book. I used to carry Knit Two Together with me to my local yarn shop to buy all my yarns for her projects. The owner eventually bought a few copies for her store because she saw how wonderful the designs were.

Mel Clark used to own a yarn store in Santa Monica, which is where I think Tracey Ullman met her. Anyway...that shops closed now, and she's moved back to New Zealand. She is such a knitting treasure and I love her work because her designs look complicated but they're not.

HAPPY HAPPY SEWING!