Spools and books

I have new things. Would you like to hear about them? I thought so.

Twas my birthday. One of the new things was a present. It was this:

That be an impressively sturdy and handsome rack for my many spools of thread. NO MORE must I suffer the diabolical thread entanglement that keeping all your spools in a drawer engenders. How deluxe! Twas from my Ma who knows of spool-related chaos herself, being rather skilled in the sewing arts. Hooray!

The other new things were impulse gifts from me to me. Top two from the interwebs (did you know the $AUD is back under the $US again? Bummer. I missed that prime shopping window) and bottom one from a real bona fide book shop.

Here comes the slapdash review. The top two I bought more out of curiosity than necessity since I’m familiar with the beginner/intermediate sewing concepts therein. At some stage I’ll make something out of them and will be able to report back on the instructions. Burda’s instructions are notoriously bad, and Colette’s are notoriously good, but I expect Burda will have lifted its game for the book.

Both have that rather spiffy spiral binding that allows the book to lie flat. We like that. Colette’s patterns are tissue for cutting (yay!) while Burda’s are paper for tracing (less yay, but ultimately more resilient I suppose). When I heard Burda was doing a book full of variations on their patterns, I thought that was a good idea. In actuality, it’s based around 5 basic patterns with detailed instructions for three variations of each, then a photo gallery of variants. I would have liked some more info about each… the pictures are quite small and a few words about each modification would go a long way. But, overall, a killer reference for a newish sewer who wants to experiment a little.

Colette’s book is a far more sophisticated operation. The tome is so cohesive – while Sarai’s style is much pinker and prettier than my own, it is a delight to see it perfectly integrated throughout. The Burda book looks a bit piecemeal in comparison (but of course, you get a sprinkling of different styles/approaches which has its own benefits). There’s a lot more info here about fabric types and I like her ‘do it properly, get it right, here’s how’ approach.

Now, the third book: Pattern Cutting by Dennic Chunman Lo. Here’s a review at Fashion Incubator with an industry perspective and some corrections. This book is a corker for the over-achieving home sewer. I have a bucket of pattern cutting books and this is the only one I’ve read cover to cover. The combination of paper geometry, modelling for a 3D mannequin and *gasp* a real, flesh and bones human, makes it outstandingly clear why you do the things you do. It assumes that you already know a thing or two, which I like, and the book design is very clean and clear. Me likey.

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