Reported by Jen Geigley
If you’re going to brush up on your sewing skills or try something new, there’s no one better than Martha to show you how. The latest addition to the Martha Stewart Library is Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts, which covers everything you need to know about sewing, from thorough explanations of techniques, to over 150 classic and contemporary sewing project ideas.
This book is ideal for anyone, from a beginner who has just purchased their first sewing machine, to sewers of all experience levels who are comfortable with the basics but want to learn different techniques.
Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts is beautifully divided into two sections, and is organized encyclopedia-style, which I love. The first section, Basic Techniques, gives guidance on sewing, appliqué, embroidery, quilting, dyeing and printing.
In these sections you’ll find thorough explanations, photos, and diagrams, that cover everything from hand sewing to machine sewing, hems, the anatomy of sewing machine, batik dyeing, patchwork, embroidery stitches and gorgeous applications of stripes, patterns and Japanese sashiko. The topics covered in this first section will give you tons of ideas for projects (before you even get to the ‘projects’ section of the book!)
The second section of this resource is called Projects A to Z, and this is where you’ll find tons of ideas for: animals, aprons, bags, bath linens, bed linens, bibs, blankets, books, clothing, coasters, cozies, curtains, decorative pillows, dolls, flowers, handkerchiefs, nursery, organizers, pets, pincushions, pot holders, quilts, shades, slippers, table linens, upholstery, and wall decor (it’s Martha, after all).
One thing that I really enjoyed about this book is that for each project idea, there are several projects to choose from (for instance, under ‘bags,’ you’ll find sixteen bag project ideas with photos and how-to’s). This book is truly chock-full of sewing inspiration.
Another thing that I adore about this book is that it includes a CD with full-size clothing patterns and project templates that you can print at home – no paper templates that you have to enlarge at a copy store.
And of course, in true Martha fashion, the styling, photography and design of the book is clean, modern and pristine. And so inviting.
The project photos alone make you really want to whip up a quilt on a Saturday afternoon. The thorough explanations and diagrams make you actually believe that you can sew your own custom classic Roman shades. Below are a couple of my favorite projects that I decided to try from the book.
I made this for my daughter’s room and she and I both love the pop of color it adds above her bed.
And then I had to make an heirloom tomato pincushion, page 278.
Both projects were obviously easy ones, and they turned out to be extremely cute. My next project from this book is a quilt; I’ve started cutting the pieces and can’t wait to get started on it!
Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts covers it all, and I think this beautiful and practical reference material belongs on every crafter’s shelf. It is truly a good thing.
Author: Martha Stewart Living Magazine
Publisher: Potter Craft
List price: $35.00
- Beautifully organized and photographed.
- In-depth explanations and guidance in all sorts of sewing techniques.
- Includes a CD with full-size clothing patterns and project template that you can print at home.
- This book is a timeless, all-inclusive resource that you can turn to again and again for years to come.
- If you regularly pore over Martha Stewart Living magazine, you may have already seen some of the projects in this book.
- If you’re an advanced sewer, you may find that some of the projects in this book are geared more toward beginners and intermediates.
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