Home sewing is booming again. Inspired by sites like Etsy, Craftsy, Pinterest, and CreativeBug, by the continuing popularity of Project Runway and other fashion shows, and by the ever-growing DIY movement, there are more than 35 million sewists in America.Read more...
Home sewing is booming again. Inspired by sites like Etsy, Craftsy, Pinterest, and CreativeBug, by the continuing popularity of Project Runway and other fashion shows, and by the ever-growing DIY movement, there are more than 35 million sewists in America. Now, for this new generation that wants to make their own clothes, express their fashion sense, look great, be creative--and save money, to boot--comes Amy Barickman's The Magic Pattern Book, an illustrated guide to creating a one-of-a-kind wardrobe from six magic patterns.
What makes a sewing pattern magic? It's a simple equation: One "magic" pattern can be transformed into six different looks--for example, The Skirt (pattern B) yields an A-line skirt, a maxi skirt, a pleated hem skirt, a pencil wrap skirt, a flared bias skirt, and a ruffled mini. Then comes even more magic--there are six magic patterns in The Magic Pattern Book, resulting in thirty-six different looks. Following each look are suggestions for specific fabrics, many of them repurposed items, for a total of 216 garments and accessories. The skill level is basic, and patterns are bundled onto a CD in an envelope in the back of the book, and also found online (to be downloaded and printed out on 81/2" x 11" paper).
What makes a book magic? Another simple equation: great value, a great promise, a great package, and a great author.
Lifestyles: Making wardrobe magic
Sewing maven Amy Barickman cleverly adjusts the arithmetic of the old saying, so that “a stitch well-fixed makes six.” The Magic Pattern Book shows how just a half-dozen sewing patterns can be squared into 36 different styles, and then cubed into 216 unique looks. Detailed instructions, clear diagrams and attractive, playful photos make it easy to select which options will work best for you. Barickman offers basic cuts for every component of your wardrobe—from tank tops to trench coats—and even covers fun accessories to round out any of your home-stitched looks. A little rusty or completely clueless when it comes to sewing basics? Not to worry: A 30-page opener gives the finest introduction on “How to Make Magic” you could ever wish for. This book defines the economics of homemade clothes: The fewer resources you need, the more stuff you can do. That’s sew smart.
HIGH STYLE AT HOME
With a playful jab at the famous title of Strunk and White’s literary handbook, Erin Gates’ Elements of Style, based on her popular lifestyle blog of the same name, shows how you can be the author of your own home by drafting its outlines, establishing its tone and realizing all of its functions from basement to attic. Gates takes you on a conceptual grand tour: from a home’s entry, through the living room and kitchen, to the bedroom, bathroom and beyond—even into the closet and outdoor spaces. She has a knack for combining practical advice—on everything from choosing a sofa to arranging throw pillows and hanging a perfectly imperfect gallery wall—with humorous reflection on mistakes and lessons learned over the course of her 10-year career as an interior designer, plus honest anecdotes from her personal life. Fair warning: This book is intended for the well-heeled. (That means those who actually have space in the closet to shelve multiple pairs of high heels.) But regardless of your personal budget, Gates encourages readers to make their house a home by embracing and expressing their personal style throughout every square foot of space—however much you have to work with.
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
Whether you’re a diehard foodie or just hoping to feed your family well, Foods for Health is a godsend. Co-authored by sustainability-focused chef Barton Seaver and Ivy League-trained expert in nutrition science P.K. Newby, this easy-to-follow encyclopedic guide gives a nutritional breakdown of 148 foods, beginning with vegetables and fruits, digging into proteins and whole grains and winding up at fats, oils and beverages. From the moment you turn the page to each entry—for instance, Brussels sprout, mango, black-eyed pea or coffee bean—you discover its place in different food cultures around the world, best use and storage, growth zone, seasonal peak and impact on the planet. With a finely tuned grocery shopping guide and mouthwatering sample menus, Seaver and Newby take the stress and confusion out of health- and earth-conscious eating. Want to feel both full and mindful at the dinner table? This is the reference book for you.