I love Lotta Jansdotter’s book Simple Sewing, Patterns and How-to for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects. I have admired Lotta Jansdotter’s fabrics and goods for a long time now, and this book shows you how to to make things in the same style – whimsical but not goofy, useful but so nice to look at.
The book is spiral bound and lays flat open to any page, which is such a need in a book you’ll be referring to while your hands are full. Inside the front cover is a pocket holding the pattern pieces. This is the same as Amy Butler’s book In Stitches, in fact both are published by the smart people at Chronicle Books.
The front of the book goes over some basic sewing equipment and talks about different fibers. The back holds a glossary and shows some techniques. And there is a great resources page with descriptions and URLs for a bunch of online suppliers as well as sites about fabrics and textiles.
The projects are divided into chapters by function – Cook, Go, Nest, Organize. Each project has a description, list of materials needed, color photo and instructions including illustrated diagrams. You can peek at some pages at Amazon.
Each of these projects is functional and beautiful at the same time, and most of them are fairly simple things you could happily finish in a weekend at the slowest pace. This means you can spend most of your time searching for the perfect fabrics, of course. The projects range from potholders and napkins to sun hats, wall organizers, and even a whole duvet cover. Each object is straightforward, allowing the fabric used to create the interest. The patterns are mostly for things for your home, but there are a couple of apron patterns, a hat pattern and five bags (which would work really well for knitters or crafters).
I especially love the objects that could be ugly or clumsy which are made charming, like this door stop:
Simple, beautiful and function items for my home, how could I resist. Is it possible to have a crush on a book? Because I suspect that’s what I have.