I know I said I was going to write about the next block in my Vintage Linen Revival Quilt, which I have been working on....but, I am just going to sneak in a little book review, because I am just bursting to tell you about this one.
I love sewing books, whether they are about quilting, embroidery, dressmaking or any other form of stitch and I do get tempted by the recommendations on Amazon sometimes. This was just such a case. Drawn in by the beautiful photography with a sort of Japanese spin and by the idea that it was somehow to do with not just sewing, but living well too, I bought it. I have to say that I am also often disappointed by sewing books. All too frequently I think they rely on alot of glorious pictures and little written substance. This book is not like that at all, it is a real gem.
'Sewing Happiness' by Sanae Ishida is a lovely lovely book for anyone that sews and thinks about life and it's challenges. I have to say that I was also interested largely because the author talks at length about her thyroid condition and I too suffer from a thyroid problem called Hashimotos. Ms Ishida chronicles her journey with her health, her family, her work and how they all got whipped up into a fog, which she set about banishing with life changing, life style choices, one of which was sewing. Her book is open, and honest and gentle at the same time. She almost seemed to give the reader permission to say sometimes, I feel pretty tired and it's ok.
I also liked the fact that she started sewing simple things that were practical. I am a novice dressmaker at best and the pace and simplicity of her projects was totally in tune with my slow step. I like things to be useful and purposeful and not just making for makings sake and I think just about everything in the book is both. So far I have made two projects from the book. The first is the 'Everything Bucket'. This was really quick, just like she promised and can be put together in all kinds of fabrics to fit in with your home. The step by step directions are clear and the illustrations charming and everything can probably be sourced from your stash. Perfect ingredients for success on a small but satisfying scale. I used some faux leather and a piece of fabric left over from some curtains that I had made ages ago. It looked surprisingly good when it was done.
The instructions are easy to follow, the diagrams are friendly and it works.....that is the main thing...it works.
Thrilled with my success, I set off to make my next pick - the camera strap. I love taking photos with my big camera, but the strap that was supplied with it was thick and uncomfortable on my neck and too short anyhow. I love the idea of making a custom strap - of course, I reached for my stash of Liberty by instinct. I had to buy a few fittings, but these were easy to source and if you do choose to make something like this, I would really recommend that you buy the little triangular split rings, which I found on Amazon. These fit on most camera fittings and allow you to use the bag clips to attach the strap. I tried with some old key chain rings, but they were too bulky - these are better.
I fully plan to make some more of the projects in this book. I am a little bit taken by the author's quest for simplicity, not just in making things but in life. I was impressed that towards the end of the book, she talks about how she doesn't really buy clothes anymore for either herself or her daughter, she makes them. You can check out Sanae's wonderful blog at sanaeishida.com
In conclusion, I think we could all do with a little bit of 'Sewing Happiness' in our lives.
See you in a few days,