Thursday, July 9, 2009

Books and stuff

Karen was the great enabler for recent additions to my sewing library. Not that I need much of a push to buy books! She did introduce me to with it's great selection of sewing books.
I got 3 of them yesterday and I am waiting for Claire Shaeffer's Couture Sewing, which I have never owned, but have taken out of the library and paid enough overdue fines to have actually paid for it! I have seen some good reviews for The Zapp Method of Couture Sewing, it was cheap, so I clicked my mouse.

The Complete Book of Sewing Short Cuts by Claire Shaeffer is from 1981, so not expensive, but I love the other books of hers I have and use a lot of her techniques when I sew. With patterns having such skimpy instructions these days it helps to have additional sources. I looked through it last night and there is a lot of great information here. There is a newer edition of this book with a dffierent cover than the one I received.

Kenneth King does some amazing embellishment on his clothing and while I am not big on heavily embellished clothing, or even lightly embellished being pretty much a minimalist, there are times when I'd love to know how to bead, even small bits, so I bought his Designer Bead Embroidery. It is well worth the price, with gorgeous photos and what seem like terrific directions.

The other book, or rather cd book that I bought is Behind the Seams The Shaeffer Collection
Volume One CHANEL. This was produced by David Page Coffin and I bought it online directly from him. It's really gorgeous and maybe worth the $45 with shipping that it cost. I started looking through it today and I think that in some ways it's a perfect addition to Shaeffer's Couture book.

I'll have a review of my jacket in a few days. I am working on the white Hot Patterns Sunshine top and a pair of brown linen and lycra pants. It may wait until I have full outfit to show you.
I am chucking my black linen pants that I finished but never reviewed. Ther are construction pictures posted, but the fit is awful in the front crotch and everything I did to try and make it fit better just made it worse. I decided to start from scratch and tissue fit step by step with Palner Pletsch's Pants for Real People. I always tissue fit tops and jackets, but I haven't fully used it for pants. I bought Patti Palmer's dvd on pants fitting and I decided to give it a try.
I am using Sandra Betzina's V2948
It takes more than the usual amount of fabric because of the princess seams. Especially since I added some extra to the hems and I increased all my sas to 1". I was short so I used a different, lighter fabric for the waistband facings. It's all cut out and ready to sew.
The princess seams made fitting for my flat butt much easier. I used a size larger so that I could do the recommended (from Patti Palmer) tuck in the back without having to add to the side seams. It keeps the side seam centered, which I have had issues with in the past.
I'll keep you posted on my progress.


  1. I'm still thinking about the cd on Chanel, love to hear more on this when you've seen more. And though I'm not embellishing much either, a book by Kenneth King will certainly be worth the cost.

    Your outfit sounds so good, do post pictures soon!

  2. Great books to add to your collection.

    I love your blog.

    Come and see what's new at my blog at

    You can also check my 8 year old daughter's sewing blog at

  3. Sorry I enabled you, but you'll enjoy them. I'm not much of an embellisher either, but that book made me want to put beads on everything. I have the Zapp book as well, and I'm still waiting on my Couture Sewing.

  4. I have the Zapp book and the Schaeffer book. Im anxious to hear about the Channel CD. Enjoy your reads.

  5. Obviously, I inherited my book addiction from you. :-D. I bought yet more books last night! I always prefer to own reference books that I use frequently because:
    a. As you pointed out, you save money after all of the over-due fines are added up.
    b. You can write in it and attack it with post it notes.
    c. It's always there when you need it.
    That's why I never went off to school without my Greek Mythology book and my source documentation reference guide. (...or a French, Spanish and English dictionary or a box of other books that I can't live with out...)

    Enjoy your books!

  6. YOu don't have to appologize Karen, I am very happy with my books. The KK book on beading is absolutely gorgeous. I'm still waiting fo rmy Couture sewing.

  7. Nice additions. I'm slowly adding to mine too.