I thought I’d put a separate shelf on here and tell you about some of the textiles books I use and refer to — after all, you can never have too many can you? Sometimes I can get a copy into the shop and I’ll indicate if we have one in stock.
Winifred Aldrich — Metric Pattern Cutting (1980 ISBN 0632035366) and Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear (2011 ISBN 978 1 405 182935). The classics on the subject and although a bit dauntingly technical for the beginner, once you start trying to draw the shapes, it starts to make sense. Very useful if you are enlarging or modifying a commercial pattern but not necessary if you’re not interested in making your own patterns from scratch. We have a copy in stock at present.
Barbara Deckert — Sewing for Plus Sizes (1999 ISBN 156182840). A chance find for me, and I paid £8 for my copy, but it is well worth that for the practical advice and suggestions on how to make garments fit in a flattering manner for the larger lady.
Tomoko Nakamichi — Pattern Magic (2010 ISBN 978 185669 7057) and Pattern Magic 2 (2011 ISBN 978 185669 7164). These are really inspirational guides to give you ideas of the three dimensionality that cloth can assume in the hands of an expert. For those interested in stretching their pattern cutting skills really but worth a borrow from the library for any keen dressmaker.
Claire Schaeffer — Couture Sewing Techniques (2011 ISBN 978 160085 3357). I bought mine new and it’s been worth every penny: clear guidance and illustrations throughout. A book I would not be without.
Colette Wolff — The Art of Manipulating Fabric (1996 ISBN 0801984963). Just the most superb book for ideas and techniques to add into embroidery, quilting or dressmaking: borrow it from the library and then go and buy a copy. Logically organised, well illustrated, covers pleats, gathers, godets, gores, smocking, tucks, darks, appliqué and quilting. A delight.
Sandy Black — Eco-Chic: The Fashion Paradox (2011 ISBN 978 1906155 094).Thought provoking and well written and points to the work of a number of ethical designers who have style as well as principles.
Lucy Siegle — To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? (2011 ISBN 978 0 007264094). Another timely work on the same theme — and if you thought wearing cotton instead of synthetics was enough, read on: it’s quite shocking stuff. So you see where my reworked/reused garments are coming from?
Colin McDowell — Dressed to Kill: Sex, Power and Clothes (1992 ISBN 0091744644). McDowell is one of my favourite fashion writers. His considerable learning is worn lightly, and he’s entertaining as well as informative. This is a well illustrated extended essay on what we project about ourselves in our choice of clothing. And for those of us who spend our lives here on Skye in fleeces and jeans, it’s still worth thinking about!
Gina Wilde –Shibori Knits: the art of exquisite felted knits (2008 ISBN 978 030739- 3548). Another chance find for me but some really interesting work focussing on using two different yarn types, one of which felts and the other of which does not.
Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada, Mary Kellogg Rice & Jane Barton — Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing (2011 ISBN 978 1 56836 3967). I saw this at the house of a friend and had to go straight out and order a copy. It’s an irresistible, detailed guide to the techniques of resist dyeing used in Japan and I’m currently eyeing up a piece of pink silk and wondering whether to give it a go! Way beyond 1970s tie dyeing or batik…