afternoon delight

by Charlotte

Are you ever going to post a finished garment? Meh.  Probably not.  I’m just going to let them stack up like firewood.  Moving on!

This one is going to be quickie, on the subject of sewing books that are not targeted specifically to beginners.  I checked Susan Khalje’s Linen and Cotton out of the library, and have been really pleasantly surprised.  I’ve been reading sewing books and blogs for about six years now, and I’ve actually encountered new-to-me stuff in this book.  I might write something resembling a full review later, after I’ve cross-referenced other books in my sewing library.  Oh, and maybe after I’ve actually finished the book, and tried a few tips from it?  Keeping it professional, per usual.

Linen and Cotton Cover

It seems like it takes information I already know, and moves it a step further.  For instance, I learned to sew three rows of basting stitches for gathers from The Colette Sewing Handbook, but it never occurred to me to press them before attaching skirt to bodice, until I read it in Linen and Cotton.  (I patiently wait for C&D letters from the Khalje and Mitnick legal teams.)  (Am I the only one who is super paranoid/particular about sharing copyrighted information?  I guess a tip is like ingredients in a recipe, and is uncopyrightable, but I still feel the need to send both authors and publishers a check for a nickel or something, in exchange for my disclosure.)  Also, I’d never heard about sewing from wide to narrow until I’d read about it in this text.    Naturally, I popped over to the Gorgeous Fabrics website, and it appears that the ever-intrepid Ann has a video up about it.  Still!

Maybe I skipped over these bits in my other sewing books (hence, the cross-referencing before I write a full review), but I find this text nothing short of illuminating.  I went looking for other books in the Focus on Fabrics series, and only came up with the Connie Long book on knits that Nancy K had recommended.  Nothing else.  What gives, Taunton?  I, for one, would love a Khalje-written book on silk or lace, or a Kenneth King-written book on leather or novelty material (the man has made a jacket out of hair weaves, for crying out loud).

I also checked out Edith Head’s How to Dress for Success and Claire McCardell’s What Shall I Wear?, both of which will get the full Seam Ripped treatment the instant I get the chance.  (Which is to say, a half-assed-yet-two-thousand-word post that is a pale imitation of a real review.  Get excited, people.)  Look at the endpapers in the McCardell text, though:

McCardell What Shall I Wear? Endpapers

Oh, the 1950s.  Oh, evidence of how conservative some libraries are about rebinding books.  (At my school, we rebind just about everything.  This fella is on consortium loan from Marymount or Howard, I think.  At any rate, it’s a school that has its priorities in order.  Pretty endpapers must be preserved for posterity!  Put that on a bumper sticker, why don’t you?)

Advertisements