Sewing is in my brain.

So, as most of you know, I'm working on my wedding and sewing a dress so the whole drawing/painting/art thing is put on hold...

Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to say that I LOVE sewing. I really should include all the stuff with sewing on this blog too... why not? So here goes... :)

Recently I've been getting all kinds of books about making patterns and garment construction in an effort to teach myself how sewing works. I definitely understand things a lot better after sewing a lot in the last year and one of the biggest lessons I've learned is to not try to cut corners and spend time with each garment instead of blasting through and trying to just get it done. Quality is important, and clothes wont hold up for very long if they aren't finished properly. I have some jeans I made, but I left most of the seams unfinished, and it's raveling like mad on the inside.

But anyway, my most finished and involved thing I made exactly a year ago this month is my winter coat. I learned a lot with this one too. As I tend to just go for the big project and challenge myself (to keep in interesting, mostly) A lot of things could have been different. The collar could have been bigger, I should have used a different lining, and the facing would have been better in a different fabric.

But enough with the dull details of my sewing projects past and on with some fun links!

First up is the website of my choice when it comes to finding anything and everything to do with sewing. Patterns, blogs, how-tos, and endless member projects to gather inspiration and share talent:

Next will be a list of books that I've found to be a little above the rest:

Building Patterns the Architecture of Women's Clothing : A bit more expensive than the beginner friendly, fun sewing books that don't always give you all the information.... Actually none of them really do, but this one is great if you really want to know how to make a pattern. I'd suggest getting to know ready made patterns and learn a lot about sewing and how to construct a garment a bit before you go straight to this book. There's a lot of good info and helps you visualize how things work.... plus it tells you how to measure people, draft seams and darts, every type of pocket, and much much more! The thing it lacks is things an advanced sewer would know anyway like seam allowances, how to cut the fabric, and how to construct the garment after the pattern is made.

Twinkle Sews: I think this book is pretty great because it's a bit edgy, much more modern than a lot of books on the market and it has less of a DIY mom who wants to make diaper bags and pajamas and "quick and easy" clothes feel to it. The thing I like the most is it has a range of projects easy-advanced, and doesn't assume that every person touching the book is a complete idiot/beginner. Now to the not so great things about it... It does come with patterns, HOWEVER... you have to print them out on copy paper and tape it all together to even make what you want. And not only is that cumbersome enough (actually the fact doesn't bother me as much because that's how burda style does their patterns, but they at least usually include a file you can print at a copy shop) when the pattern prints out, it's too big for the printer margins and cuts off the markings where you line up the papers so your pattern isnt all screwwy... plus they are all Japanese style patterns (which means that you don't cut the fabric while it's folded, which is slightly annoying for it wastes more paper for things that could be cut "on the fold" and more time because you're spending time cutting things out twice when you could have done one cut and had 2 identically opposite pieces. Helpful when you have 2 sleeves to cut out.) And lastly, the cover dress is basically the only thing in there with any shape. Most of the clothes are oversized t-shirts that are supposed to pass off as a dress.... I guess long story short, check it out in a bookstore to see if it'd suit your style or not. In spite of all the bad stuff I just said about this book, I still really really like the clothes. I haven't made anything yet though because of the all the bad stuff I just said about the book. :)

Lastly, and I'll keep this one short:
Built by Wendy Dresses
This book is nice because it's very pro altering patterns. It includes 3 basic patterns that all the dresses are based off of. It's great because it's a good step towards pattern-making and gets you comfortable and familiar with how patterns work. The first section is good at explaining how to do some basic sewing as well. What I don't like is how it's pretty much an oxymoron. It really is a beginners book, but at the same time it's not. A beginner would probably have a harder time trying to figure out how to do half the things in the book, especially since it's not very clear on how to add seam allowances (since none of the patterns have them to begin with, which is a good thing) and it leaves out some important info like the words "cut on fold"

But this is all from someone who considers herself to be "intermediate" I'm still no expert and there is plenty I still don't know. But I try, oh I try.