On Wednesday I received two extraordinary books in the mail. They are each deserving of their own posts so I'll start with the one that I spent my whole weekend with:I ordered this book from Amazon. There were no reviews at the time but I was compelled to order it anyway. I'm so glad I did. It's diverse collection of sewing projects: mobiles and embroidery and quilts and softies and ornaments and wreaths, oh my! It's published by Stash Books and compiled by Susanne Woods.
There are quite a few different designers that contributed patterns but the projects have a kindred style to them- modern and colorful but with a folksy twist. My only issue with the book as a whole is that there aren't any guidelines about project difficulty. If you are an absolute beginner at sewing, this probably isn't the book for you. That being said, I'm not exactly the world's greatest seamstress but I did manage to make this:This is the Fancy Peacock designed by Amy Adams. This was the project I was drawn to first (although I've marked off a total of six projects from the book I want to try).
I'll admit that had I some construction issues. I didn't really understand how to make the beak. The instructions say to use their photo as a guide but, since I'm a low intermediate (advanced beginner?) sewer, even on my best days, I didn't really understand what I was looking at or how to make it happen. Oh well. I also reversed the front and back pieces for the tail but that was totally my fault. The instructions were very clear on how all the piecing should go. Adams warns that the body needs to be heavier than normal to counterbalance the weight of the tail but for mine, even with a rock in his belly, the tail is still pulling over the whole piece. I stuffed a hair tie under his butt to hold him up for the pictures. I'm trying to figure out some kind of nest I can make for him to keep him upright. Do male peacocks sit on a nest?
I found the tail to be somewhat unwieldy all around, it was hard to space and sew the pieces so they fanned out properly and I had to tack it in different spots to keep it from flopping every which way. Still, I'm thrilled with the results and I just adore my little birdie. Next go round I'm going to try a few things differently that I think will help - stiffer cardboard for the tail for one. I also may make the tail slightly smaller. And I'm going to stuff the body so he's a lot heavier. Maybe some lead shot?
I really enjoyed making this and I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you like to sew this is a book you would enjoy having in your collection.