I had the honor of being in on the secret of Mary's book writing early on as we are both C&T Stash authors. She's been a friend to me throughout both of our journeys for which I can't thank her enough. And needless to say, with the inside scoop of how awesome this book was shaping up as she went along, I could not wait to see it in all it's glory.
I most certainly was not disappointed. When you take a look at the cover of this book, it's not difficult to fall in love, but open it up and you'll have an all out romance with sewing.
The photography is gorgeous, the instructions are impeccable and you get a ton of bang for your buck with four patterns that create an entire wardrobe of clothing.
This is Mary's debut sewing book and it clearly shows she is no newcomer to sewing. She's an expert, and today, we are lucky to have a bonus guest post from her with her favorite sewing tips, below.
Oh, and did I mention a give-away? Why yes, I believe I did. Leave a comment at the end of this post, and I'll pick a winner on Monday.
Without further adieu, here's my friend, Mary Abreu:
I’m so fortunate that I get to do what I love on a daily basis. Sewing truly makes me happy and I love that I get to share that by teaching others how to sew. Seeing my students complete their first project lets me relive the excitement of sewing my first pillow and I get this warm, fuzzy feeling about sparking a love of sewing in someone else. Bari asked if I’d share some of my favorite sewing tips and I’m delighted to oblige with the list I give my Sewing 101 students. Some of these were passed on to me from my mom, while others are gleaned from my sewing experiences. I hope you find them useful tools for your sewing arsenal.
• Invest in the best tools you can. Many times there really is a difference between the cheapest and the not cheapest. It’s worth it to spend a little more if it means it’s more durable and reliable.
• Designate a sewing space and own it. When my husband was in law school, we turned the walk-in closet of our master bedroom into an office for him. Space was at a premium (two-bedroom apartment for four people) and sacrificing closet space was worth it for him to have a designated study area. It’s a lot easier to enjoy your sewing if you have some space you can call your own, whether it’s a spare room, corner of the dining room or even a closet.
• Wind an extra bobbin at the start. I rarely get through a project without needing to replace the bobbin. It’s a lot easier to just drop in a second one instead of unthreading my machine mid-stream and loading a new bobbin.
• Trim threads as you go. I am horrible about doing this but it’s really the easiest way to make sure you snip all those dangling threads.
• Use a different color bobbin thread when you gather. If you use the thread-gathered method, it’s a lot easier to separate your bobbin thread if it’s a different color than your spool.
• Remove pins ahead of the presser foot. My mom taught me to just sew over pins and it’s really been a hard habit to break. If you’re lucky, you’ll just break a machine needle or bend a pin. On the other hand, you can end up with a pointy projectile or mess up the timing of your sewing machine.
• Round the edges of elastic before pulling it through a casing. It feeds through more smoothly with no corners to catch inside the casing.
• An ergonomic seam ripper is worth it. Everybody unsews. It’s just part of the process. You may as well have one that fits in your hand for those times when you sew and serge the bottom tier of a twirly dress right side to wrong side.
• Start a sewing notebook. I use mine for keeping track of the kids’ measurements (note the date you measured), settings on my serger and a shopping list when I’m running low on an item.
• Sew for the ones you love -- but only if they can appreciate it. People who don’t “get” handmade gifts, people who point out flaws — get them gift cards. Your favorite aunt who taught you how to crochet when you were 10 and praised the 8-foot-long bookmark you made? Sew for her.