Sew U

My fingers are restless. A few months ago I challenged myself to do something new – I picked the tools to do a whole big embroidery project despite never having embroidered before. And then I finished! It’s awesome, and now I’m ready to go back to sewing – I haven’t sewn in a while, but I always just freestyled it.

So I’m ready for my next challenge. I want to sew correctly. I picked up a copy of Sew-U at the library, a book by Built By Wendy that includes patterns – but also the instructions on how to use them and how to adjust the patterns to make even more things!

Thrift Eye, Sew U Built by Wendy

I find the whole concept really awesome and can’t wait to find the right fabric to start making something, anything! You see the patterns, and learn how they work (which I knew very little about) – for these types of patterns, a good stretchy fabric will do, since they’re for items that don’t have buttons or zippers (zippers are very difficult to sew, so that’s a whole other book).

If the patterns don’t make much sense, it’s because some of the pieces are meant to be traced & cut over a piece of fabric folded in half so that the two sides match! Can you tell what these patterns will make?

Thrift Eye, Sew U Built by Wendy

Thrift Eye, Sew U Built by Wendy

Thrift Eye, Sew U Built by Wendy

The patterns that come in these books are thin pattern paper – because I obviously had to return the library book, I had to somehow save these patterns for myself. My mom had already told me that saving your patterns onto good sturdy fabric is the best way to save a piece you want to make over and over again. She suggested cutting the patterns onto denim because it is long lasting, but that’s expensive. I had actually been given a roll of stiff canvas fabric at a previous job and just used that! Now I can use them over and over again – where as paper patterns may (and probably) eventually deteriorate or rip.

I’d love if any of you seasoned sewing folk out there had any tips you’d like to pass along! I’m excited to do this, no matter how it turns out :)

I’m anxious to find a really nice fabric, taking the time to add some nice finishing touches. I even want to buy name & Made in the USA labels! Wish me luck.

Book covers into fashion 5

If you’re new to this covers into fashion series, you can catch up with the others HERE.

It’s been almost two months since my last Covers into Fashion series! I thought this installment I’d turn some recent and past favorites (and blockbusters) into sets!

I read The Fault In Our Stars a few years ago – I didn’t imagine it would turn into this crazy cinematic phenomenon! I have to tell patrons at the library every day that if they want to read the book, they’ll have to wait in a line of 300+ others waiting too! Yikes. This version turned into a home decor set!

The fault in our stars
Kaleen flat weave area rug / Sheepskin area rug / Urban Outfitters cotton bath mat / CB2 pouf

The Great Gatsby cover is just iconic from the moment it was conceptualized, it’s part of the story. There really isn’t much to say, except that I’m going to re-read it soon.

The Great Gatsby
Drop me a line if you have any suggestions for the next covers!

Best, last, longest: Nnenna Odeluga

Welcome to my “Best, Last, Longest” book series I will be running here – where I will be sharing the best, last, and longest books read by some influential and generally awesome people around the web!

This week, I have the lovely Nnenna Odeluga from Star Crossed Smile sharing her favorites!

Best book: Eleanor & Park – “It’s about two misfit teenagers who fall in love and it’s so heartwarming. I didn’t really know anything about the book going into it- I’d just seen the cover (which is adorable) and thought it looked like a good read. Not knowing what it was about, I was immediately captured by the story and delightfully surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It’s a YA book, which honestly I didn’t know until after I finished it and I think it touches on themes that affect adults too. There are funny moments, sad moments and touching moments, and I really felt what the characters were feeling. It was the first Rainbow Rowell book I read and it’s my favorite out of the three novels of hers that I’ve read. I’d recommend this to anyone and everyone!”

eleanor and park, what bloggers are reading

Last book: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club – “I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway and even though I’m currently reading the Harry Potter series from start to finish, I’ve been sneaking in a few outside books. This is a retelling of the ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’ fairytale set in New York in the 1920s. I love fairytales and I love novels set in New York, but I only thought this book was so-so. I wasn’t really able to connect with the characters in the way that I wanted. Although there are 12 sisters, most of the story is told from the perspective of the oldest sister Jo, who I didn’t find to be a particularly captivating character. I think it would have been a lot more interesting to have chapters from each sister’s perspective, although of course that would be a much more complicated novel to write. If you like the sound of a novel sent in the Prohibition Era in New York, I’d recommend The Rules of Civility instead- now that’s a really good read.”

girls at the kingfisher club, what bloggers are reading

Longest book: 2666 - “I read this book in college a few years ago and it’s certainly the longest and densest book I’ve read in recent memory. The underlying event is that there are a series of terrible murders in a small town on the border of Mexico. The book is divided into five different sections and each section is expertly woven together. I would say this book is not for the faint of heart (the murders are brutal and upsetting), but I do think it’s worth reading. I read this for class and I think that I got a lot more out of the novel since I was able to discuss it with others, so perhaps I would suggest reading this with a friend.”

2666, what bloggers are reading

Thank you Nnenna! I’ve personally read and loved Eleanor & Park too :) And even though she states it as the longest book she’s read, I really, really, want to read 2066!

What are you currently reading? I’m a big Freakonomics fan, and have finally gotten my hands on Think Like a Freak! Can’t wait to finish it!

Best, last, longest: Kelli Ryder

A few weeks ago, you saw my introductory post to the “Best, Last, Longest” book series I will be running here – where I will be sharing the best, last, and longest books read by some influential and generally awesome people around the web!

Featured first, is the lovely Kelli Ryder. Kelli wears many hats – she’s the associate editor at Rue Magazine (they just released their latest issue, read it now!) and writer over at Leopard & Lavender. Kelli is currently hosting a book club on her blog, which is awesome! And she’s doing something I find totally admirable and amazing. Along with her fiancé, they are raising $3,600 for the Avon Breast Cancer walk where they will be walking 40 miles! (support their team here). I’m also pretty lucky to have met Kelli a few times, and she’s positively charming with a warm smile just as you see her in her photos. So here are her best, last, and longest book choices-

Best book - To Kill a Mockingbird: “This was SO difficult to choose — I was such a bookworm growing up, and there were lots and lots of books that really resonated with me. However, I think my favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird. My dad read it to me once a year when I was young, and I’ve revisited it several times as an adult. It really taught me a lot about kindness, and in many ways— a lot about my father, who is a total Atticus Finch!”

Last bookWhere’d You Go, Bernadette: “I read this as part of my blogger Book Club with Better World Books. I made the mistake of starting the book at 10pm… and was awake until 4am when I’d finished the last page! I don’t always like quick & easy reads (I can get through them so quickly that I feel I’ve missed out on the details and experience), but they’re sometimes necessary. They hit that reset button in between heavier, more emotional books.”

Longest book - Devil in the White City: “I don’t think this is technically the longest book I’ve ever read, but it sure felt like it! The architecture portion was really difficult for me to get through. It really was interesting, but I still felt bored to tears with every chapter that focused on it. However, I admired the approach the author took to telling the story of Chicago’s World Fair, and I felt it would be somewhat disrespectful to stop reading it altogether. It took me months but I finally finished and was SO glad I stuck with it the entire way!”

Thank you SO much Kelli for doing this, and I hope you guys drop her a line! What did you think of her book choices? Have you read/not read them yet? I’ve personally read the first two, and they’re some of my favorites. Now I’m intrigued by The Devil in the White City! Happy reading :)

Best, last, longest

Hello everyone -

Now that I’m starting to settle in comfortably with my new job, I have more time to focus on my literary themed blog posts (sometimes these take longer because you have to do more research and gather images from other sources). And I thought it would be fun to kick off a new series to accompany my Literary take of Fashion and Covers into Fashion series. As the title states, this will be the Best, Last, and Longest books I’ve read! The idea is to then ask other bloggers or figures out there to share their picks too!

I’ll kick it off with my own picks :)

Best book – It’s SO hard to choose just one favorite, even worse when you’re a librarian and have a favorite in every genre! But if I had to only pick one, I would have to say Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. It is one of the most difficult books to read, because of the obvious heavy content. But the book is so exquisitely written, each sentence reads like poetry. You feel like you’re intruding on a personal diary, almost as if you’re not supposed to be reading it. It’s definitely heavy, and infuriating at times, but an absolute classic.

Last book – A coworker dropped this on the desk after he returned it, and I was like, “wow, I wanted to read that!” So I checked it out. The Secret Book of Frieda Kahlo by FG Haghenbeck was first on my radar a few years ago when I saw it on Door Sixteen as an in-progress book cover on Anna’s blog. I forgot about it for a few years until it got plopped on my desk. And as a Frieda lover, I had to check it out. I found it absolutely awesome, there were parts that referenced back to San Francisco, so it was nice to read about the city I live in but also an interesting fictionalized take on this important figure.

Longest book – back when I was getting my Bachelor’s Degree, I had almost planned to get a minor in Spanish (but decided not to in the end, now I can’t remember why!) – so when a class was being offered on Don Quixote, it perfectly blended my interests in Spanish and my Creative Writing major. On the first day of class I had a big “DOH” moment when we were told that we’d have to read all 1000 pages of Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes in 10 weeks! But it was too late to change my mind. I quickly found the book SO interesting though, our professor was also an amazing Don Quixote connoisseur. You quickly see that this book is very special. If I didn’t have eight billion other things to read, I’d read it again. Back in 2009 when I went to Madrid, we were able to go for a day trip to La Mancha, and it really made me so happy to imagine the story come to life almost 400 years later!

Have you read any of these? What are your opinions of them? (Good or bad!) Also, if you’re interested in being featured in this Best, Last, Longest series, please let me know :)