Handmade Home

I have to admit, these hands have held many a sewing book.  Be it something I have bought, borrowed from the library, or indulged in some corporate hospitality in a prolonged stay at Borders in Glasgow, I have read and used some of the most talked about sewing manuals that are doing the rounds at the minute.  And I have often been disappointed.  In many cases, if you've read one, you've read them all...how many patterns for bags and little girls' dresses does one need?  If the patterns are interesting, then the cost of getting nice fabric to the UK is so cost prohibitive, I am left thinking that the projects are just not do-able with the scraps I have lying about.

Which is why I approached Handmade Home with a bit of trepidation.  I really like Amanda Soule's blog.  Her first book, The Creative Family, was good, but I wasn't really in sync with it when I read it.  Most of all, I was worried that Handmade Home would be just another book I would re-sell on Amazon.

I can't tell you how delighted I am to say that I genuinely love her second book.  The writing and photography are excellent, but most importantly, the projects are useful and definitely things I would make for our family. It is all based around recycled materials, and unlike some other books that have rather specific requirements about what kind of materials are required, Amanda gives a more general specification around the weight of the materials (ie, mid-weight, ie shirts, rags, trousers).  I think this is a key point to the book's success for me, as I am very limited on what I can source from our local charity shops (a rant post for another day, I think) and it opened it up for me to think what we DO have that could work.

I found the book really inspirational.  I have been in a bit of a creative slump recently and the book was a great kick up the bum to get sewing again.  And my first project...a set of wall pockets for Ellis's room.

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I used a heavy-weight linen I bought very cheaply from ebay as the backing. I used a range of Kevin's old shirts for the pockets. Using the button hole side at the front, meant I didn't have to hem the top of the pocket, an added bonus. I am in the process of making Ellis a quilt out of his dada's shirts, so it should hopefully all tie in. For the tree pocket, I used a piece of linen I stamped ages ago. The pattern uses buttons to hide the stitching of the hanging loops, but as the room has a bit of a woodland theme, I used leaves cut out of a dark green felted sweater. The wall pockets are perfect for a bit of a bed-side table for wee man, as his room is a terribly awkward shape and there is no where to put anything. The project took only a few hours, which is good, as sewing seems to really bring out my sickness. I will definitely be delving into more projects from the book...some prefold nappies and a braided rug are at the top of my (very long) list.

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Obviously the camera is still broken. I am sorry about the bad photos at the minute!!! Its driving me crazy, but hopefully will be back to normal soon.

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