sewing made easy cover

A Sewing Reference

Sewing Made Easy
Sara
1986 (original copyright 1950)

On a good day, I am awesomely mediocre at sewing. Actually, my ability to craft anything is pretty mediocre. Sewing was a requirement for girls in my junior high school days. This book was probably made for people like me. I liked sewing, but not enough to get super proficient at the skill. Having a book like this was great to refer to some of the more rigorous projects as well as some easy home decor. This book was built as a basic reference for the average housewife.

sew easy menswear cover

Keeping him in stitches…

The Sew-Easy Guide to Menswear
or How to Keep Him in Stitches
Sear
1975

As a mediocre sewer on my best days, I have always been under the impression that menswear is tough to manage. A pair of trousers would probably have me crying. There is a lot of detail to a pair of men’s pants. Call me skeptical for a title that says “sew easy” as part of the title. From the illustrations and just the number of pieces in the patterns, I am sticking to my original thought that menswear is out of my league.

country crafts cover

Country themed crafts for home decor

American Country-Crafts
Time-Life Books
1989

This is part of a 15 volume set on country themed art. The books have various themes: Country Kitchen, Country Quilts, Country Style, Country Entertaining, Country Furniture, etc. I guess if you really want to be “country-styled” this is the set for you. Personally, I think this is probably overkill. This book isn’t really for the “how-to” craft crowd. It is more about stylized decorating with the crafty looking items. I can’t imagine what the library was thinking by adding this book. Want to bet it was in a donation pile and someone thought it looked like it was in great shape?

serger gifts cover

A Surge of Serger Crafts

Distinctive Serger Gifts and Crafts
Baker and Young
1989

I have always been a bit fascinated by a serger or overlock machine. For those not in the cult of fabric, a serger finishes seams but also cuts the fabric. They look kind of cool with all the spools of thread and they usually have a neat finish to the seams. As a sewing hack, I have always wanted one. Serger-related materials are definitely worth collecting. I probably would have bought this (back in the day) based on the title alone.

Angel a Day Crafting

Angel a Day

Crafting an Angel a Day
Scott, ed.
2000

If you are a fan of rather weird looking or cartoon-like angels, this book might be for you. There is a wide variety of angel themed crafts. I am not a fan of these types of decorations, but I know a lot of people like this stuff. What I did like about this book were the instructions. The skills required were not ridiculous like some of the books we have featured. Good craft books are really about instruction. This one is better than most. Depending on condition, this might work fine for your collection.

1 or two angels for the Christmas tree, perfectly fine at my house. Any more than that, especially given how these angels look, and I am going to have a problem. If I had to craft an angel a day, I would probably have to be medicated.

cat crafts book cover

Crafty Cats

Cat Crafts
Hendry
2002

Did someone say “cats”?

This wasn’t too bad or too great either.The book is marketed to youth, but I think some of these projects require too much stuff and/or too much skill. When I was in youth land, there would be that craft that was supposedly for the kids, but the parents ended up doing the whole thing. So as a library program idea, it’s not going to get anyone particularly excited but I also have seen the right librarian doctoring up a okay craft into something spectacular.

Quick aside: As a person who has done both adult and youth librarianship, the level of skill, creativity, and the ability the youth librarians out there bring to the table is impressive. Adult services is easy, comparatively speaking. Kids always ask questions that constantly stump me. My colleagues at all the libraries where I have worked are amazing and so creative. The business nerd in me also thinks these are the people to develop into library management. Anyway, back to our regular show…