Reported by Francie Horton
Were you a “Project Runway” fanatic? Never miss an episode of “The Fashion Show”? It used to be that DIY fashion was only for college kids on a budget. Not anymore! Now you’ll find some of the most unlikely people are designing and making their clothing and accessories. And now there is an unusual technique book to help with that. It’s called Strands: Creating Unexpected Fabrics and Fashionable Projects by Jacqueline Myers-Cho.
I’ve known Jacqueline for several years, so when she asked if I’d like to review her book I jumped at the chance. She has beautiful work and is an amazing person to boot. Northlight Publishing even sent me an extra copy to give to one lucky reader. At the end of the article you’ll see how you can enter to win it.
The book, which even has its own Facebook page, contains several interesting techniques for working with existing fabrics and creating your own fabrics. It also shows you how to create embellishments and textures that you can use on garments you already have. Part Two of the book has projects made from the fabrics and techniques that were taught in the first part of the book. These projects are sorted into four categories: clothes, jewelry, accessories, and outerwear.
I’ve chosen a few of my favorite things to share. The first is called Paper Fabric. It’s made using a combination of tissue paper, thread, and gel medium. I was so inspired by this I made a journal with this technique. I used Jacqueline’s “Cut-Thread” variation that she mentions further in the book.
The next technique is called Give-n-Take. It’s inspired by the slashing of the Elizabethan outergarments. One of the projects made with this method is the Peekaboo Skirt. I *love* this skirt. Jacqueline used a darker fabric in the slashes for contrast but I can imagine using a sheer lace or tulle or even nothing at all.
And then the last project I want to show is a dress using her Scribble stitching. This is just embroidery that looks like a child’s drawing. So why not use a child’s drawing?! What a cute keepsake and how warm and fuzzy a child would feel every time Mom wears the “special” dress.
So, let’s wrap it up. Is this book for you? Maybe. It’s well-written and beautifully photographed. But it’s definitely not your typical sewing book. It’s edgy, unusual, and different. If you like to take risks, I’d say go for it. Otherwise, you might want to take a look at it in the bookstore first.
- Not the same thing we’ve seen in every other sewing book – different and unusual.
- Uses unexpected materials like packing tape and tissue paper to make fabrics.
- Promotes reusing, recycling, reducing waste.
- Not for everybody – some people will be put off by its non-traditional approach.
- A few of the projects feel repetitive.
- Not all the created fabrics will be appropriate to use with all projects due to a lack of sturdiness.
So, what do you think? Are you clamoring for the chance to get your mitts on this book? Leave us a comment on THIS POST, and we’ll pick a winner for a copy of Strands on Saturday, August 22, 2009. One comment per person… THANKS!