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 The obvious other time to weed is when the book just looks out of date due to fashions.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 The book was tired looking and was outdated and hadn’t left the shelf in decades.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.

introducing macrame cover

Introducing Macrame

Introducing Macrame
Short
1970

It’s been a while since I ran into a macrame book. So I was kind of excited to jump into this gem. Actually, I ended up being a bit disappointed because it wasn’t as awful as I expected. I miss the ridiculous clothing from this book. And this one. And this one too.

This book was more about “look at macrame” rather than how to do macrame. Even in 1970, this probably wasn’t a great public library purchase. I would have been more interested in titles that showed some instruction.

old testament toys

Put the Fear of God Into Your Toys

Making Old Testament Toys
Hutchings
1972

We have so many craft books featured on this site. Holidays? Pick your favorite. Can’t decide which craft to try? We have you covered here. Holly and I have personal favorite craft books on this site: Applehead dolls, Pantyhose Crafts, and Macrame, to name a few. Old Testament toys might also join this esteemed list of crafts.

Old Testament theme? Not my favorite theme for crafting, but I suppose that might appeal to some folks. The color scheme is ugly and the 2 pages of photographs are not even amateur level. But the crafts…

finger weaving cover

Finger Craft

The Basic Book of Finger Weaving
Dendel
1974

Another craptastic craft book for your consideration. The copy I happened to see was pretty beat up. That said, all I had to do was note the quasi “harvest gold” palette of colors to determine that this book was straight out of the 1970s. Looking at the crafts, you can see this is related to the macrame books of the same era. Everyone knew about macrame, but I never heard the term finger weaving used.

Of course we have some perennial 1970s looks: ponchos, vests, and a decorative collar. I believe I have seen a similar example of an afghan on every couch when I was a kid.

This is a weeder. The dirt on the book and a somewhat broken binding qualifies it for the recycle pile. Retro crafts can be something fun, but how about a book from this century?