There is a whiff of home improvement in the air come August in Portland. Folks like to get things done while there's still a bit of summer left. While scraping and painting our exterior trim is on our list, I'm just as happy (well-- MORE happy) to accomplish some sprucing inside the house.
We recently got in Lisa Stickley's, Made at Home: a Guide to Simple Sewing (North Light Books). I picked it up initially because I liked Lisa's drawings as they reminded me a little of Lauren Child's Charlie and Lola books (which I also really like). The 30 plus projects are lovely-- simple enough for those of us starting out and full of ideas for those of us looking for inspiration. Lisa details the differences between a cafe curtain and how to sew a proper drape. My favourite projects include an ottoman and a door "draft excluder" shaped like an alligator. Lisa is an accomplished textile and surface designer based in London.
Alabama Studio Style has been here for a while, but I'm not sure we gave it the attention it deserved. This is Natalie Chanin's follow up book to Alabama Stitch Book, and includes more detailed garment construction and detail, but also quite a few stunning home dec projects. I now have the urge to string a new chair, re-cover all my pillows with super soft jersey, and stencil AND SEW onto my coffee table. This book goes farther tha Alabama Stitch in explaining texture and detailing fabric printing and dying, in addition to more patterns and stencil designs.
But we're just getting started-- Bolt carries a stack of books to get you going on everything from slipcovering your sofa to upcycling failed fabric projects into beautiful and useful things for your home.