Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Book Review: Bend-The-Rules Sewing
Wow. I've been excited about Bend-The-Rules-Sewing ever since author Amy Karol announced it on her much-loved blog Angry Chicken months and months ago. Billed as "the essential guide to a whole new way to sew" (which I'm guessing are the publisher's words, not necessarily Amy's own), the book is like a how-to to following the Angry Chicken aesthetic and sewing sensibility, which as Amy's readers know is all about cute and easy projects that are fun, functional, sometimes silly and often kid-friendly.
As many of you know, I love the idea of sewing projects, but I'm scared to actually take very many of them on. I mean, it took me almost a year to take my sewing machine out of the manufacturer's box. So many sewing books assume that you know how to make a buttonhole or how to apply a snap or what slip stitch is, which makes even easy projects intimidating. Amy is great in that she doesn't assume that you're a total idiot if you don't understand these things, but she still explains them all simply enough that even if you are a sewing know-not, it's easy to understand. It's all written in the same conversational style that she uses on Angry Chicken, making the book and its author immediately friendly and likable. It's like she's cheering us scaredy-cats on gently, but firmly.
Of course, the meat of the book is in its projects and unsurprisingly there are dozens that I'm dying to try. Bags, tea cozies, pillows, quilts and of course, Amy's signature aprons are all in here. The pictures are gorgeous and Amy's great taste in fabric makes every single project that much more enticing. And most of them seem pretty simple, so again, there's zero intimidation.
I started off with what is without a doubt the easiest project in the book, if not the easiest project to ever employ a sewing machine: the tea towel apron. Basically, you sew some ribbon onto a tea towel and tie it around your waist. Yup. So, above you see myself in an apron celebrating one of my favourite foods, Yorkshire Pudding. I also made one from a thrifted barber shop motif tea towel that I had lying around. Thrifting and sewing together? It couldn't get much better than that.