good morning! i am so happy to be today’s stop on the blog tour for my awesome friend Brett Bara‘s new book, Sewing in a Straight Line. and i am even more thrilled that at last i have a book to recommend to all of my beginner sewing students who ask me, “what book do you recommend for cute, simple projects?” which is a question i get all the time. i never had a go-to book to refer them to, but now i do! check out some of these projects:
and, before you go thinking “sure, you can make blankets out of rectangles, but what about CLOTHES?” i give you these:
there are also two adorable dresses, a blouse i can’t wait to make, and a cardi you could wear over everything! plus accessories, gifts, and home goods, all of which you can make without sewing a single curved seam. i am simply in love with her entire collection of pieces, and the fabrics and photos are just gorgeous.
Brett and i have known each other since the days when she was an editor (and i a contributor) at Crochet Today. i asked her a few questions about this lovely book:
cp: I love the idea of a sewing book with projects made only from straight seams. Brilliant! How did you come up with it?
BB: Why thank you! The idea popped into my head one day when I was sewing something, and it occurred to me that so much of what I sew is made with straight lines only. Meanwhile, it seemed like more and more people had been telling me they’d like to learn how to sew, but that it seemed to difficult and they didn’t know where to start. So I thought, if only more people could realize that sewing doesn’t have to be difficult — that you can actually make a lot of great stuff with very basic techniques — then all those people who want to learn to sew, could! And that’s how this book was born.
BB: My wardrobe isn’t 100% “Straight Line” yet – but I’m working on it! I think my favorite piece is the Heavy Metal Bag, because it was a challenge to design and sew (it’s made of faux ostrich vinyl), and I love how it turned out. I also really like the shirred dress because I still think shirring is just magical. All you do is change your bobbin thread, and you can create amazing shaping!
It always bums me out when people talk about being afraid to try anything in crafting. It’s only fabric! Nothing terrible will happen if you make a mistake. Also, it really, really helps to get over the beginner hump if you take a sewing lesson, just to get the basics down and make sure you know how to use your machine. After that, you’ll be equipped to keep practicing and get comfortable sewing.
BB: My favorite fabrics are anything with a big, bold print and bright colors. I’m especially drawn to Marimekko and anything in that genre (like Ikea prints). I’m a little bit of a magpie – my eye is always drawn to the bright flashy fabrics, and I have to make sure to keep a lid on things, or I’ll become a crazy lady walking around wearing 17 different prints, living in a house with dozens of prints in every room! As far as shopping, I love the garment district in NYC. I just wander around there and it’s like falling into a rabbit hole of inspiration.