New Book and Old Pamphlets

I’m almost embarrassed at how excited I am. I finally got my copy of Couture Sewing Techniques. I have the first version of the book which I use ALL THE TIME. It’s an amazing reference book with gorgeous pictures and clear instructions. So when this updated copy came out, I didn’t think I needed it. I was wrong. There’s so much new information in this book that I was truly surprised. I was expecting the old “we just added a couple of new pages of text and re-released it” routine, but this edition has new pictures and new techniques I haven’t seen anywhere. If you’re serious about couture sewing, you need this book.

Claire Shaeffer Book
I mean just look at this. Your sleeves need never slip from your shoulders again!

Shaeffer Pages

I also want to introduce you to the Spadea pamphlets I acquired some time ago.



I love looking at the signatures on the covers and findng the names of fashion designers from the past.




This bio was a fun reminder that everyone started somewhere. I wonder if Maurice Rentner appreciated Bill? And did Bill ever win employee of the month?


There are tons of pics and some really great tips and this great writeup about this new fabric that was invented: fusible interfacing. Who knew it would last?


I’ll periodically share some of my sewing library between projects as I have a good number of vintage sewing books.. And please let me know about your favorites.


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How A Sewing Break Helped Me To Get Excited Again

I started a new job (which I LOVE!!!) in May and I haven’t had much sewing time since then. To be honest, at that time my sewing mojo was suffering so I wasn’t worried about having to take a break. As a matter of fact, I think I needed one so I could regain my enthusiasm. During my “break” I read other blogs and wondered how people kept their excitement about sewing month after month and sometimes year after year. Then I noticed a pattern: at some point, everyone took time off. Some expressed a sense of burnout. And one of my favorite bloggers, Sigrid, announced she was taking a few weeks off so I knew I wasn’t not alone.

I have a lot of interests, so it’s normal that I move from one to the next fairly regularly, but I’d put unnecessary pressure on myself to keep sewing even when it was obvious that I needed to do something else for a while. That stubbornness only prolonged my “blah” period. I was surrounded by projects but had ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE to even turn on my machine. Instead I did a lot of reading, spent as much time as I could outdoors, watched movies and discovered some new programs on Hulu. I even developed an appreciation for British crime dramas – some of which are painfully bad.

I think it worked. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been missing my machine terribly. When I see all the beautiful clothes on other sewing blogs, I make lists in my head. Even my “To-Sew” board on Pinterest is seeing a lot more action.

Anyway, I was walking home from Manhattan and I decided to stop by a fabric store. I saw a couple of  lightweight fabrics that would make great maxi dresses – the quick and easy kind. I needed to ease my way back into sewing so I didn’t want to take on anything too challenging.

This is the first dress. Actually it’s Dress 2.0. The first one was slightly too short.  This one has pockets, a belt and bra guards.


Shirring on the shoulders

Sleeve gather


More bodice action!


Anyway, I’m glad I took my break because now I look forward to sewing and checking things off my list.


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