love making lists, and I love seeing other people's lists of the top
this and that. There is something very satisfying about having someone
else do the legwork for you, wade through the clutter, and highlight
things you might like. So here are my Top 10 favorite products for
sewists from our online store. And we just happen to be having an
awesome sale, so it's a good time to stock up so you can meet all the
New Year's sewing goals listed below head on.
1. Make really cool clothes - 49 Sensational Skirts: Creative Embellishment Ideas for One-of-a-Kind Skirts
is one of my favorite project books ever. Author Alison Willoughby is
an incredibly creative designer, and I'm convinced you can never have
too many cool skirts. I've made several of the skirts in this book, and I
find Alison's design ideas constantly inspiring and unexpected. You can
easily adapt her ideas to suit your style, from subtle and stylish to
full-on fashion theater. If you love art-to-wear that is actually
wearable and easy to sew, this is the book for you.
2. Take a sewing class in your pajamas - Quilting Arts Workshop: Master Machine Quilting DVD
always interested in learning new sewing techniques and regularly take
classes to expand my technique repertoire. But sometimes I'm just too
busy to commit to a class. Enter the fabulous workshop DVD concept. What
could be better than learning at home, with your sewing machine right
at hand? This DVD is one of my faves because it offers a great tutorial
on free-motion stitching and thread sketching. These are great
techniques to use on any project, from clothing to quilts to add surface
embellishment. You can dress up a simple project in no time. It's like
doodling with your sewing machine. Too much fun!
3. Sew one-of-a-kind accessories - Carry Me: 20 Boutique Bags to Sew
be honest. How many times have you walked through a boutique and looked
at a fancy handbag, gasped at the price tag, and thought, "I could
totally make that." Well, this book will show you how. The
boutique-quality bag projects in this stylish translated Japanese craft
book are some of the best I've seen. With detailed step-by-step
instructions and inspiring photography, you will be the envy of all your
friends when they see you carrying one of these fabulous bags. And at a
fraction of the cost.
4. Customize projects with hand embroidery - Stitchy Kitty, Fuzzy Puppy: 60 Motifs to Stitch Everywhere
love hand embroidery. It's an easy way to personalize a project with a
handcrafted touch. And the facts that it's both portable and relaxing
are added bonuses. This book is another translated Japanese book, so you
know it seriously brings the cuteness. The clever cat- and dog-themed
embroidery designs are irresistible, and the book also includes simple
sewing projects to use as a canvas for your stitch artistry. The
embroidery designs are also great for doing some refashioning and
updating something from your closet or a store-bought item.
5. Organize your sewing space - Studios Magazine
your sewing space in order is at the top of everyone's list, especially
after the frenzy of holiday sewing season. Remember the last time you
cried out in frustration when you couldn't find something in your sewing
space (I know it's here!), and you promised to do something about it?
Now is your chance. Studios magazine is for folks like you and
me with lots of creative ambition and all the stuff that goes with it,
but no place to put it all. You'll get endless inspiration from the
studios and organizing tips featured in every issue from artists and
designers. This will be the year you get organized!
6. Make handmade gifts - Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist
Meg McElwee, designer of the Sew Liberated indie pattern line, has a
fabulous design eye and uses appliqué to great effect in her vintage
modern projects. She has a wide range of projects in this book that
would make perfect gifts throughout the year, from home accessories to
kid stuff to that adorable skirt on the cover. I bet you have a friend
that would appreciate receiving one of these projects as a personalized
gift. I know I do!
7. Break out of a sewing rut - The Quilting Arts Book: Techniques and Inspiration for Creating One-of-a-Kind Quilts
you are a contemporary quilter, you need this book. If you are not a
quilter, you still need this book. Why? Because I guarantee it will
stretch your creativity no matter what you sew. This book showcases the
best techniques from Quilting Arts magazine, from surface
design to machine embroidery, creative fabric piecing to embellishment
techniques. I'm not a quilter (don't tell anyone), but I regularly go to
this book when I need out-of-the-box sewing inspiration. The techniques
can be used on everything, and the step-by-step tutorials from
top-rated fabric artists are invaluable.
8. Design your own fabric - Eco-Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles
should have a stretch goal, and for me that's fabric dyeing. I love
beautiful hand-dyed fabric, however the dyeing process intimidates me.
But this luscious coffee-table book by master dyer India Flint is as
informative as it is inspiring to look at. Eco-dyeing is the
trend, and this book shows you how with lots of eye candy to keep you
motivated. If you've been dreaming of designing your own fabric for
years, one look at this book will be the tipping point.
9. Go interactive with your sewing - Quilting Arts In Stitches emag
Welcome to the future of publishing! In Stitches
is an interactive digital magazine jam-packed with video tutorials,
gallery slide shows, studio tours, articles, projects, tips, and more on
creative machine and handstitching. There are so many cool features to
the emag-print off project shopping lists and instructions, zoom in on
stitch details, connect to Web resources through hyperlinks, watch your
favorite designers talk about their own work, and get step-by-step video
demonstrations-you'll be inspired to try all the stitching techniques
from this engaging digital publication.
10. Use up your fabric stash - Stitch back issues
your fabric stash looks like mine, you constantly need fresh project
ideas so you can use some of it up to make room for more fabric. Back
issues of Stitch to the rescue! Tons of projects in every
issue, great technique information, inspiring designer profiles,
creative sewing ideas, and the list goes on and on. Yeah, I'm biased,
but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. Try it for the first time or complete
your collection. I guarantee you will get hours of sewing enjoyment from