happy coincidences

I went to my local Borders over the weekend with the express purpose of paging through Wendy Mullin's new book, Sew U. There has been so much buzz on the internet and in print (case in point: the small blurb in the current issue of Nylon...), plus it sounded like a winner with three patterns included! I mean, why hadn't someone thought of that before?!
1970s sewing book 5/10

I was very impressed with what I saw. The book seems neatly divided up, with a "you can do this!" attitude that is refreshing in a sewing book. It is aimed more at those that haven't any or much sewing experience, and thus overlapped alot with stuff I already know. However, as my sister put it: "it is very user-friendly". Besides the clear tone that the book has, great illustrations for everything, I love the spiral binding. I only wish publishers would do this for more how-to books--it certainly would help when referencing! I also really appreciate Wendy's encouragement of pushing the envelope with the basic patterns she includes with the book (or any pattern for that matter). Most books say that people new to sewing shouldn't deviate from the pattern, but the impression I got from Sew U is quite different! I only wish I could have bought the book, but I can't right now... :p
1970s sewing book 6/10

Then, I went home and just happened to be looking through my fashion/sewing bookcase and ran across a vintage sewing book I own. The Golden Hands Complete Book of Dressmaking was published in the 1970s and covers almost the exact same topics Sew U does! The format and tone, although a little dated, is very friendly and how-to. The book even includes (graphed) patterns, and extensive notes and instructions on how to alter them for different looks. I can't believe I forgot I had this (this is what happens when you have too many sewing books...)! The picture above is from the book and I've uploaded a few others on my Flickr account. I think I shall eventually size up and try the blouse pattern for starters. I saw a lot of cute, floral print blouses in the Spring 2007 runway shows, and this would be a great way to get a few. ;)

above: click on the images to view larger; more located here.

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