'F' for Fabric Crafty (& Handy)

Building My Sewing Library

In the interest of learning how to make non-floppy purses and other goods, I’ve been doing a bit of reading. I’ve been making my way through the archives of the blogs you’ve all suggested (thank you!), and I bought a few books.

Sewing Books
Amy Karol’s Bend-the-Rules Sewing, Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing, Amy Butler’s In Stitches

And of course, there are flickr groups for each of them.

I haven’t made anything yet, my favorite of the bunch so far is Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol (of Angry Chicken fame). It seems perfect for someone like me that’s just getting started.

I also ordered a handful of patterns (maybe six or seven?) for purses and skirts. Yes, I want to eventually make skirts too. I’m most excited about the Bag Pattern from the Curiosity Shoppe.

The Curiosity Shoppe Bag Pattern

Cute! Six different styles, and I think I might actually be able to make most of them.

I may have gone a little overboard, eh? Such is my personality. When I decide I want to do something, I throw myself into it full force. Sewing, you’re on notice. I will master you. And then I will slipcover an ugly old bench.

Reading Recommendations

For those of you that are of the bookish persuasion, I set up a little bookshop here on the site. Check it out, will you? The sewing books are there, and I’ve added a few of my other favorites under the different categories.

I also added a link on the far right sidebar – just look for the little stack of books. I’ll be adding new titles to the bookshop now and then, so feel free to check back every so often.

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  • Tara
    January 17, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    I have been reading your site for a while–love it! I just bought the same 3 books yesterday from amazon. I got a sewing machine for christmas and have been learning too. Not as easy as I thought…trying to make the perfect gym bag. Hope you bags come out okay!

  • raya
    January 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    You will love all those books! Amy Karol’s is great and she is so good at explaining things to new sewers like us. And Amy Butler’s has SO many great patterns – there is not one thing in there that I don’t want to make. Have so much fun! This year my goal is to master pillows, then we can slipcover together.

  • Making it Lovely
    January 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Raya, I saw the little desktop containers you made from the Amy Butler book. So cute!

  • Kirsten
    January 17, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I just bought the Amy Butler book and got the Simple Sewing book for my birthday. The next step is to set up my new craft area in what was formerly our “music room” and what is becoming our “creativity space.” I’m so excited. My first big project will be a free yoga mat pattern from Amy Butler’s site. But first, maybe a bed-side stuff keeper or one of those document duvets?

    Good luck with yours!

  • Lili
    January 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Oh I love the lotta book! The bag pattern with the side pouch for magazines? so cute!

    Now we can talk shop together ;)

    I love the book widget too. Can’t wait to have my own.

    Its not a handbag book, but you should check out this book: Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. I think i’m going to get for myself as a prezzy.

  • Aimee
    January 17, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I got the Bend The Rules book for Christmas and now I just have to reclaim my craft/sewing area so I can try some of the fun things in there. It’s been years since I have sewn, but I really want to make more clothes once I get back into the swing! Can’t wait to see your projects. :)

  • Jules
    January 17, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Love the widget, Nicole! Your selections aren’t half bad, either. ;)

  • lanielawrence
    January 17, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Sooo very interesting, your post today! I too pulled those books from my shelf in my office at work, and packed up the brand new sewing machine that I had sitting in an unopened box under my desk. I purchased 3 of her patterns from website yesterday.

    I am great friends with a good friend of Amy’s, and we were speaking of how inspirational her books, patterns etc are. You should check out her collection at K and Company http://www.kandcompany.com/artists/AmyButlerBio.html.

    The fabric store is having a 50% off sale this weekend, and I plan to sew away. Just to let you know, your post about your bag inspired me! :-)

    – Lanie

  • Sarah
    January 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I received both Simple Sewing & Bend the Rules for Christmas and unfortunately won’t really have a chance to make anything for a while. Like some of the other commentors I have to get my craft space up and running. But I did inherit all of my Grandma’s sewing supplies so at least I have plenty to practice with!

    I agree that the Bend the Rules seems good for beginners (which is what I am). I love both books though!

  • Kathy
    January 18, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    I think you might also like Celine Dupuy’s Simple Sewing with a French Twist… it’s really great and inspiring! Plus, it’s printed on uncoated paper, which I personally love! ;)

  • Caitlin
    January 18, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    I just went over to Raya’s blog and saw those adorable fabric boxes! I might have to pick up that book too!

  • Tiffany
    February 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Hey there, this is way off topic from your post. But, I’m a first timer on your site and was scrolling through when I spotted your beautiful yellow curtains in your dining room. Did you make them, or buy them? Please tell me your secret.

  • Making it Lovely
    February 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t have any yellow curtains in the dining room… do you mean the ones in the living room? I bought those at Crate & Barrel.