101 costumes cover

Costumes Gone Wrong

101 Costumes for All Ages, All Occasions
Cummings
1970

This book sure looks old and the illustrations are awful. I just want to cringe at “instant Oriental” as well as some culturally insensitive assumptions. Yikes.  It certainly needs to move on from a public library collection.

This isn’t really for a serious costumer or theater person and it also seems a bit much for the basic Halloween costume or even school play. Is there a real need for an “Instant Napoleon”?

magnificent macrame cover

Not so Magnificent

Magnificent Macrame
Solvit
1979

Another macrame book for your consideration. I dislike this one for being ridiculously oversized and square. (I really dislike oversize books.) If macrame is your thing, than I suppose this isn’t too bad. The crafts seem to be mostly wall hangings. (Ugh!) There is also that earthy 1970s brown, harvest gold, and avocado green theme throughout the book. I think it is time to admit that maybe 1970s decor wasn’t that great. (In case you need more evidence: this book on home decor, or this one, and especially this one by Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Wit Knits cover

Wit Knits

Wit Knits: Lively And Original Hand Knitting Designs
Hostler and Brandreth
1985

Submitter: While weeding out the craft section I came across this absolutely dated yet lovely gem. John Iman modeling of sweaters? Is the public still being served by this book? Probably not – but it will do well on the sale cart.

Holly: This. Is. Amazing. And by “amazing,” I mean “awful.”

Mary: This is beyond precious. I have never seen so many people happy about wearing sweaters.

macrame cover

No! Knot Again!

Macrame
Bogen
1974

Time to take another ride in the way back machine to the early 1970s for some more groovy macrame. There are some nice choices in accessories for both home and to wear. Note the collar necklace. I am trying to think of an occasion that would call for such a necklace, but I am fresh out of ideas. Maybe you should pair it with the “skirt” featured in the next picture. (I think it goes without saying that you will need some kind of legging under the skirt.)

In the final picture there is a “vest” to wear, which I thought was a tote bag. Of course I have to wonder what one would wear underneath. Next to the vest there is some kind of costume. Maybe it is for a Halloween party where you are dressed up as a macrame wall hanging.

singer sewing book

Sewing Fundamentals

Singer Sewing Book
The Complete Guide to Sewing
Hutton and Cunningham
1969

Note the “groovy” cover. Sewing books probably have a long shelf life in terms of content. Mechanical machines still work the same way they did 50 years ago. Yes, there are more bells and whistles, but fundamentally sewing is pretty much the same as it was decades ago. Knitting, needlepoint, and other crafts that have been around forever also can have a long shelf life as well. Weeding is usually condition or low circulation. The obvious other time to weed is when the book just looks out of date due to fashions. This really depends on the title.

country crafts cover

A Little Bit Country

Country Crafts and Food
Better Homes and Gardens
1983

This is one of those craft books around a theme. It’s less about craft instruction and more about style. The pictures are carefully composed to create a look as opposed to focusing on a particular item. This runs the gamut from decor to clothing to cooking. This probably runs closer to design or home decor rather than straight up crafting. Soooo what Dewey number do we give this item? Most were in the 745 range but a significant percentage went with 641. This kind book really bugs me, because I do want to stick it in both 745 and 641. I did a lot of buying of craft books a few years ago and whenever the books mixed and matched topics like this, it made me a bit twitchy. To be totally honest, I really avoided this type of book since it really didn’t do either topic justice. But I digress.

tree houses title page

World Class Tree Houses

Tree Houses
Wills
1957

This book was weeded from a local collection. The book was tired looking and was outdated and hadn’t left the shelf in decades. I was curious about the author and found out that Royal Barry Wills was an architect and was pretty influential. His work work was mostly in New England and was considered to be the master of the Cape Cod style.

Considering this was geared to children, the text was more complex and instructions weren’t easy to follow. I think this is more a vanity project, given the author’s credentials. This is not to say this book doesn’t have worth. I am sure that architecture geeks would say this is worth keeping. That may be true, but it still doesn’t belong in a modern youth nonfiction collection.

bazaar crafts cover

Bazaar (or Bizarre) Crafts

Easy Bazaar Crafts
Gerald Knox, Ed.
Better Homes and Gardens
1981

I know craft fairs are a thing, and many people like the idea of hand made items for gifts or whatever. Not to take away any of the skill involved in creating these….things, but why would anyone want to spend time making or buying this stuff? I can honestly say I have never needed a hand shaped purse. (Although there are times that I would think a purse with a raised middle finger would be kind of funny…)

This type of book obviously isn’t for me, but I also question why we would need a book specifically geared to the bazaar or craft fair types? They don’t look particularly different or easier than other crafts.