05 August 2009

my sewing bible

This was either a birthday or Christmas present from my parents when I was about 10 years old, and I can't live without it. Debs has recently been showing her old sewing and pattern books and I thought it was a good idea.
I clearly remember pouring over these pages as a child, itching to do everything in it.
.. but childhood gets in the way, plus a lack of pocket money to buy the necessary bits and pieces.
I have made things using ideas from this book, using leftover fabric from Mum's stash. She made most of my clothes.
My first quilt was inspired by this book, an English paper pieced hexagon using more leftover clothes fabrics.
And the bookmark? It's a smocking sampler from high school, I think it was Grade 8. I enjoyed doing it so much I finished off a few of the other girls samplers as well. I haven't done any smocking since but the urge has always been lurking in the shadows, waiting to resurface. Naturally a little smocked dress may evolve...
There are so many things in this book that I've never done (I did do the macramé once), but I think that's what keeps us going - that yearning to do something new and different. I still use this book on a regular basis, it's one of my greatest resources.

I recently found the 'Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing' in a second hand bookshop. It's amazing too although I don't seem to feel the need for it so much.


  1. What a great resource. My copy lives near the top of a stack of books on the shelf beside my overlocker. Daughters are a wonderful excuse to smock :)

  2. oh aren't these old books gems, i have a few too and they have everything in them you could ever need to know. I LOVE your Wristers they are absolutely gorgeous!

  3. I have an old McCall's version. What a classic. It has inspired many a craft - yes, even macrame! Smocking was the only needlework I actually enjoyed at school. Ann :)

  4. Jen it is funny I have the same book but the graphics are different on the cover. It is a great resource. You do wonders with your work, making something stunning from the basic instruction.
    I think you could write the newest version.

  5. I have the same book...a second hand one and it's how I learnt to do feather stitch...and I still go back to it regularly...cos I also forget stitches and have to refresh myself LOL♥x

  6. Fab book, I have one similar somewhere ... and smocked dresses on cute little girls <3

  7. From what I hear the old Readers Digest Books of any kind are a huge resource. I received the sewing book for Christmas as a gift but haven't gone through it yet. I think I'm going to track down the one you have too.