Celebrity Sewing Bee cover

Celebrity Sewing Bee

Francine Coffey’s Celebrity Sewing Bee
Coffey
1974

Submitter: When the title says “celebrity sewing bee” they really meant a lot of Dinah Shore. The one area that was really popular during the pandemic was our crafting section. So much so, you could spot the books that needed weeding by glancing over to that section and seeing what did not go out the door. This was one of them – and with reason.

Holly: I can’t imagine why a sewing book with celebrities from 47 years ago isn’t popular anymore. <sarcasm> There are all kinds of great ideas here: put fabric on your ceiling, or Elmer’s glue some fabric to your floor! Make a diet-friendly birthday cake-shaped bag! Re-purpose bandanas into a dress (hey, if you can make a skirt out of curtains, you can make a dress out of masks! I’m sure that’s the next craft craze.)

T-shirting cover

T-Shirting

T-Shirting: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Getting it On Your Chest
Platt
1975

Submitter: I had high hopes from the cover this book might be a groovy book that, when put out on display might get someone to check it out. But alas, its one of those disappointing craft books with bad black and white images.

Holly: Fair warning before you scroll down: two of these images are potentially NSFW. One is a t-shirt model with “special skills” (image 6 below). This might have been a cool book in 1975, but I agree with Submitter: black and white images are just disappointing in a craft book. I want to see those chest handprints in living color (image 3 below…NSFW…).

Hippie Crafts cover

Hippie Crafts

Hippie Crafts: Creating a Hip New Look Using Groovy ’60s Crafts
O’Sullivan
2005

Submitter: This book has not circulated since being purchased back in 2005. From the looks of it, I can see why! Maybe Mary can delight us in some of her 60’s threads.

Holly: Mary is cool, but not this cool.

Mary: I am quite certain I sported a few similar items, but I am going to say no to the vests in the 5th picture. Some of these should have stayed put in the 1960s.

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.

easy vests cover

Double your fashion statement

Easy Reversible Vests
Doak
1994

If you look back on the books we have posted about sewing and knitting, vests seem to be the fashion accessory. I honestly don’t get it. I love quilts and quilting, I just don’t want to wear one. The only person I can think of that pulled off the vest look was Diane Keaton in Annie Hall.

And yet I bring you another vest book. This time you will really get your money’s worth with the whole reversible thing. If they were actual quilts instead of a “fashion statement” I would be all over the color choices and techniques. I think I am going to say that the quilted vest needs to be retired as a concept. (Right next to the fancy sweatshirts) Make a lovely quilt for the guest room instead.

Sewing Casual Clothes cover

Sewing Casual Clothes

Better Homes and Gardens: Sewing Casual Clothes
1966

Submitter: My library holds an annual new book drive where we work with a local group who feed k-12 kids in food-insecure situations to provide a (hopefully) brand-new book to each kid over the winter break along with enough food to last them until school starts again. Unfortunately, sometimes we get donations that are weeded from other libraries, including this gem. I can’t imagine any current teenagers wearing any of this. For that matter, no one of my generation would have worn any of this either, and I’m getting old.

Holly: A book drive is not an opportunity to clean out your basement, people. Have a heart.