Do you have someone on your list who wants to learn how to use that sewing machine taking up space in the closet? A friend who’s been quietly hoarding fabric waiting for the perfect moment to start that quilt they’ve been dreaming of? The holidays can be a great time to give them a jumpstart with a good book, starter project, or kit.
For the Young Sewer
We have some great kits and books for the young and young at heart.
Sewing School and Sewing School 2, by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle, have great projects for kids itchin’ to get stitchin’. I especially like that they have projects that appeal to girls and boys.
For kids not quite ready to take on a sewing machine, we have some sweet kits. We carry several different Heidi Boyd kits that come with all of the materials you need to make an small toy or embroided felt wall hanging like the fox above. We also have several fun sock animal kits available in a variety of colors.
These finger puppet patterns are a great gift for a little maker with a theatrical side.
For people interested in sewing their own clothes, a good instructional book is invaluable. We have a couple in the store that are great introductions to creating your own wardrobe.
Sew Everything Workshop, by Diana Rupp, is a good reference book and comes with staple patterns to get you started.
The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking, by Wendy Ward, is another great choice. It’s got good information on apparel sewing and timeless, wearable patterns that would be so easy to modify for a different fit or style once you have a few makes under your belt. We got the book in a few weeks ago and we all spent some time ohh-ing and ahh-ing over the pattens and styling.
For the maker in hiding, the right book or tools can be just what they need to get started creating.
Embroidery can be a great gateway craft. You don’t need many tools or much experience to get started, but the opportunities for creative expression and learning are limitless. Every time I look at Embroider Everything Workshop, by Diana Rupp (the lady writes some good beginner books!), I’m inspired. Just like the Sew Everything Workshop there’s lots of basic instructions to get you going and lots of ideas to keep you stitching for a good long while.
Made by Hand, compiled by Lena Corwin, is a gorgeous starter guide to fiber crafts from knitting to printmaking to dyeing. Even the most tentative maker can find something here to get them started.
Classes and Supplies
Some skills are easier to learn in person. In Portland we have an abundance of great sewing and crafting schools to choose from. A class and a Bolt gift certificate for class materials would be a dynamite gift for a beginner. Check our list of local classes for some ideas.
We also carry a great range of basic supplies and tool boxes to help outfit your new sewer.
Come by the store and we can help you put together some supplies for your beginning sewer!
If you’ve been in recently, you probably noticed we have been changing up some of our fixtures. We’re still at it and we’re excited to get it done, little by little. I feel like these are some of the most noticeable “new arrivals” lately. We hope you enjoy the improvements!
Fortunately, the other new arrivals this week can hold their own to fancy new fixtures. The always gorgeous Liberty of London cotton lawn:
Around Halloween we’re sometimes asked for things like “the most garish fabric you have,” or “something really outrageous…” I tend to not order with these requests in mind, hoping to satisfy our year around tastes, not just Halloween craziness. However, I was reminded of a past request for something garish when I was photographing these bold and bright prints from Westminster’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Those familiar with the painting by Hieronymus Bosch will see the influence. These you really have to enjoy in person, but to tempt you, here are a couple pics.
I’m guessing many of you locals are familiar with p:ear and the great work they do with Portland area youth. In their words, “P:ear creatively mentors homeless and transitional youth. Through education, art and recreation programs, p:ear builds positive relationships with each young person to affirm personal worth and to create more meaningful and healthier lives.”
Why am I quoting their literature? Because we are lending a hand this season and are asking you to as well. You will find p:ear ornaments hung around the store with a much needed item on the back. You can choose an ornament, purchase the item (around $25 cost) and either drop it off at p:ear or at Bolt before December 19th. The items are mostly art supplies, not things that we sell at the store, we’re just helping spread the word. They ask that the items be “wrapped” in a sweatshirt or backpack to be given to a youth in need. Find out more about p:ear here and thanks in advance for helping!