When I was asked to choose five favorite sewing books from the Hurt Book Sale, I knew it was going to be a tough decision. But I have finally winnowed it down to five. Here are my picks:
1) The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques: Essential Step-by-Step Techniques for Professional Results: When I ask some of the foremost couture experts in the industry who some of their favorite couture experts are, Lynda Maynard is a name that always comes up. As an insider's favorite, Lynda brings her game to The Dressmaker's Handbook. Lynda embraces the simple elegance that is the essence of couture and presents techniques in clear step-by-step instructions. From construction to finishing, she covers it all. Learn more.
2) Shape Shape: Sewing Clothing Patterns to Wear Multiple Ways: I love garments that can be worn in more ways than one. There's just something so ingenious about a design that can take several shapes. That's why I'm such a huge fan of Shape Shape. This book by Natsuno Hiraiwa has 19 wonderfully elegant designs with sewing instructions and patterns. Hiraiwa is a graphic-designer-turned-fashion-designer, and her multidisciplinary approach to creating clothing is refreshingly simple. In her foreword, she talks about her own design process and how it starts with draping and wrapping herself, using the fabric to create different shapes and designs. It was when she realized that she could carry over her design process to the finished project that Shape Shape, well, took shape. The result was an eye candy book full of projects that you can stitch up quickly and wear in many ways. Learn more.
3) Cut-Up Couture: Edgy Upcycled Garments to Sew: When you aren't in the mood to sew a full garment, restyling is the way to go. Working from a existing garment to create something new means that the bulk of the dirty work is done. In Cut-Up Couture, author Kobo Yamase uses men's clothing items to create 34 innovative designs. She shows you how to reshape and sew garments into chic wearables and many of the projects can be worn several ways. Cut-Up Couture gives recycling a whole new meaning with its Asian lines and runway-ready results. Learn more.
4) Sew Wild: Creating With Stitch and Mixed Media: If you're itching to take your sewing on the wild side, check into the books that not only mixes up sewing with other media, but also adds a multi-media dimension with a companion DVD. Take creative license to incorporate printing, painting, drawing, stenciling, and other surface design methods into 12 simple sewing projects that range from home accessories to wearables for all ages. You'll love the freedom of breaking all the rules in Sew Wild. Learn more.
5) I Love Patchwork: 21 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew: I just love it when an overarching design principle is expressed within a craft, which is exactly what happens in I Love Patchwork by Rashida Coleman Hale. Zakka is a Japanese word meaning "many things," but more than a word--it's a fashion and design movement that started in Japan and has erupted throughout Asia. Author Rashida Coleman Hale grew up in Japan, where she started her love affair with linen, and is intimately familiar with zakka design principles. She brings that charming and eccentric sensibility to the many patchwork and linen projects that fill her book. The great thing about zakka is that it revels in its imperfections and mundanity, so you don't have to be an expert sewist to make these projects. You don't even need to be able to sew a straight seam! And that's a good thing in zakka world! Learn more.
But really you can't go wrong with any of the sewing books in the sale. Pick your own top 5 in the Sew Daily Shop.
What are your favorite books in the Hurt Book Sale? Tell us on the Sew Daily Blog.