I 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
This 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
I’m 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
Let’s 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. Organize your sewing space – Studios Magazine
Getting 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!
5. Make handmade gifts – Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist
Author 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!
6. Break out of a sewing rut – The Quilting Arts Book: Techniques and Inspiration for Creating One-of-a-Kind Quilts
If 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.
7. Design your own fabric – Eco-Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles
Everyone 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.
8. 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.
If 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 each issue.