Since the weather has finally turned warm here in New England, we are all eager to get outdoors. For me that means a chance to bring out some lighter reading for lazy days on the porch. Some will pack bags for the coast, others head lakeside. Wherever your summer ventures take you, we know that many sewers are readers too and might appreciate sharing some of their book finds that follow a sewing or handcraft theme. The ones listed below are examples of books I’ve found interesting over the years that somehow play to my avid interest in handcrafts and sewing. Please use comments to add your suggestions.
Threads: My Life Behind the Seams in the High-Stakes World of Fashion-Joseph Abboud
Interesting biography giving us glimpses into the world we tip toe into each day. Even if you’re not in the business I think you’ll find this interesting as he discusses fabric and fiber along with design inspiration and implementation. One of my favorite quotes from this book :
"Linen is the Rodney Dangerfield of fabrics. It wrinkles, it droops, and it’s tragically misunderstood–but I love it."
The Dive from Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer
Very light reading for lazy, hazy days. The main character, Carrie, is an avid sewer and the author uses some of her sewing exploits as metaphors to what is happening in her life. Before you judge too quickly the actions of the main character, remember that she is 23 years old and her angst and the way she handles it reflect that fact. I didn’t think this was great fiction, but I liked it as a summer read with the added benefit that some scenes took place in a fabric store!
The Lacemaker Janine Montupet and Lowell Blair
Historical fiction featuring the work of lacemaking and the harsh realities of life in the 1600’s in Alencon France. I recently remembered this book when talking to a friend about lace making. I found this book fascinating and disquieting at the same time. I’ve never tried making lace, but I can’t look at lace without thinking of the workrooms in 17th century France.
The Magic Sewing Machine by Werner
Fantasy for young children. If you’re looking for something to intrigue the youngsters in your life, this is a fun read for the K-2 set.
Call the Darkness Light Nancy Zaroulis
Some of my favorite reads are historical fiction. This one takes place in the textile mills of New England in the mid-19th century. It’s generally considered one of the best on the topic. Beyond the mills, it touches on all of the struggles of immigrant life in that era.
Craft to Heal by Nancy Monson
A lovely little book that supports our creative needs. Here are several healing lessons the author offers:
"Crafts can help you reconnect with your authentic self, your core beliefs and values, and your higher power. As gifts of the spirit and to the spirit, they bring beauty to the world."
"Flow occurs when you love what you’re doing so much that you become totally absorbed in it and get total joy from it."
Of course, I have a very long list for summer , but I singled out the ones that have something to do with sewing or fashion for this entry. Please make your suggestions too so all of us can add to our lists.
On my list so far–
Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style
Love this character on Project Runway so I think it will be fun to read, but I can already guess his point of view!
"I Don’t Have a Thing To Wear" The Psychology of your Closet by Judy Taggart and Jackie Walker
This one looks like fun for a lazy afternoon! I’ll let you know.