Sunday, July 17, 2022

Weekend Review: Sewing with Vintage Linens


Sewing With Vintage Linens / Samantha McNesby
Iola, WI: Krause, 2003.
128 p.

I picked up this book from my library because I do like upcycling and thrifting, and love the idea of reusing old linens -- I already use sheets and tablecloths in my sewing, but this book takes on a little more detail in using old quilts, embroidered linens and so forth. 

The book is mainly focused on household items, like pillows, footstools, totes, hanger covers etc. But there are also elements that will be useful to garment makers, like using linens to make children's clothes or covered buttons. And the techniques are useful to adapt as you see fit. 

It starts out with an introductory chapter on how to select appropriate linens -- what to look for and where to find them, and well as cleaning and caring for your finds. Then the the next four chapters cover different types of projects: Embroidered Accessory & Handkerchief Projects, Cutter Quilt & Sheet Projects, Vintage Clothing Projects, and Scrap Projects. There are a variety of ideas in each, although small quilts and pillows do play a large role. There are a few ideas that I haven't seen before, but a lot of these kinds of projects are everywhere on Pinterest these days. 

The last chapter is an interesting one on techniques and this is where I think a lot of the information can be carried over to whatever project you can think of for yourself. She discusses painting on fabric, photo transfers, aging fabric by dyeing, fading or bleaching, and includes tips on quilting. There are some interesting ways these could be used. 

I think the book is nicely organized, with a good number of projects shown. The illustrations are lovely and just looking at them is inspiring even if the styles of many of the projects are a little outdated in some ways. Look beyond the exact fabrics used in the examples and you can come up with some modernized projects using the ideas but updating them to your own colour and print tastes. 

I enjoyed investigating these ideas and think this book is still relevant especially if you have a shabby chic or Victorian-esque aesthetic. 

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