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Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction
Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction
by Abigail Patner Glassenberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.18
64 used & new from $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Sewing More than Just Stuffed Animals, May 5, 2016
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I picked up this book from the library before purchasing it and once I realized how helpful it would be, I purchased it. Though I have some experience sewing toys, I learned two great tricks just from my first project- a stuffed rabbit. The book has sixteen wonderful projects and within each project "mini-lessons" on a variety of techniques from attaching button joints to how to sew on foot pads.

(Moving the sewing needle all the way to the right or left to get a narrower seam on foot-pads was one of the tricks I never thought of and learned from this book.)

While I have only made one project so far, it has come together smoothly. I think this is an excellent book for anyone interested in the construction of three dimensional objects in cloth, even if you're not a stuffed animal maker. I'm more interested in sewing cloth dolls, but I can already tell that a lot of these techniques will translate well.


The Making of a Rag Doll: Design & Sew Modern Heirlooms
The Making of a Rag Doll: Design & Sew Modern Heirlooms
by (Dollmaker) Jess Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.68
79 used & new from $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, but Not Practical, April 17, 2016
This is a beautiful book. The photography is lovely and the instructions are fairly well written, though at times it feels like maybe a step or two is missing. Jess Brown has a distinct aesthetic which, if you like it, this book definitely will help you recreate it. If you're more like me and the idea of stay stitching rather than making a real hem makes you cringe, than this might not be the book for you. (Or you can do what I did and just add a hem to everything.)

Having sewn two dolls from the pattern, I can't help but get the sense that the book was never really intended to be used as a practical craft book.

The patterns in the back of the book are printed on brown kraft paper in green ink on both sides. This makes them extremely hard to copy on a scanner and there isn't enough contrast just to trace. Besides which the largest patterns won't fit on one 8.5 by 11 sheet anyway, so you have to get creative. In the end, I took the patterns into work and copied them on a photocopier on to 11 y 17 paper, but I was lucky that I could.

There are no instructions for applying doll hair, at all and in places the construction instructions took me two or three reads before I felt like I understood what the author was intending for me to do.

However, I really like the simplicity of the designs and the number of clothing pieces included, but I wouldn't give it to someone with the expectation that they'll have a pain free experience if they want to make the dolls.


Jillian Michaels for Beginners - Frontside / Backside
Jillian Michaels for Beginners - Frontside / Backside
DVD ~ Jillian Michaels
12 used & new from $12.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jillian asks you to do things like "Jumping Jacks" and "Squats", April 9, 2016
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I used this DVD after I had not stepping into a gym in a decade. I tried other workout DVDs before it, but they all required moves I didn't know how to do and went far to fast for me to keep up. I

And then I tried this one. Jillian asks you to do things like "Jumping Jacks" and "Squats". Even clumsy as I am, I thought, "I can do a jumping jack."

There is a lot of emphasis on form and teaching your body how to do these moves correctly, also how to adjust for when you are not sure you can do the "whole" move. My only complaint (and this is minor) is that at nearly 45 minutes for each workout, I found when I was starting out, I couldn't get through the whole Frontside or Backside workouts. That was pretty discouraging, but each workout is broken down into six circuits, so instead I would just pick which three or four circuits I was going to do in a day and do those.

Recently, I moved onto my first "Beginner Shred" DVD and I know I wouldn't be able to get through those workouts if I hadn't started with this one and learned the right ways to do the moves. So, I guess what I would say is this- This is a DVD for complete beginners. It really will teach you how to move properly and then when you're ready, you can move onto something more complex. I'm so glad I found it.


Jillian Michaels Beginner Shred
Jillian Michaels Beginner Shred
DVD ~ Jillian Michaels
Price: $7.22
31 used & new from $4.50

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worked Well for This Beginner, April 9, 2016
So, after having not stepping into a gym in a decade, I started working out last year off and on with Jillian Michael's "For Complete Beginners." A month ago, I finally felt confident enough to try "Beginner Shred."

All in all, I found it to be an excellent DVD, but I am grateful I had experience with "Complete Beginners" starting out, because in that DVD a great deal of time is spent teaching proper form for things like Squats and Push-ups. While there is some emphasis on form in Beginner Shred, it is not as slowly and carefully explained. I also don't know that, as out of shape as I was a year ago, if I would have been able to get through the workout.

I do think that Jillian is encouraging on the DVD. She emphasizes the importance of just trying a little harder the next time. Pushing a little further. This gentle reassuring pressure has been really helpful to me when I feel like giving up. I also love that it is only about 20 to 25 minutes long, because I have no real excuse for not doing it. I mean, even on a busy day after work, I can usually find 30 minutes to break into a sweat (and you will sweat) and then hop into the shower afterwards feeling like I did something good for myself.

I also really appreciate that the exercises are low impact (I live in an apartment and try not to make too much noise exercising) and are fairly simple to do. There's lot of workout DVDs where I have literally fallen over trying to perform the moves. Some of the exercises from the First Workout are Push-Ups on the Knees, Forearm Planks, Tricep Dips, Squats with a Shoulder Press, Chair Squats with a Lateral Raise, Standing Lunges with a Shoulder Raise, and Bridges with a Shoulder Press, along with Bicycle Crunches and Donkey Kicks.


Halcyon T.™ Gooseneck Cell Phone Holder with Universal Adjustable Clamp for iPhone 4/4s/5/6/6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy, Galaxy Note, Nexus 5X/6P
Halcyon T.™ Gooseneck Cell Phone Holder with Universal Adjustable Clamp for iPhone 4/4s/5/6/6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy, Galaxy Note, Nexus 5X/6P
Offered by GoHalcyon
Price: $34.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good and Not A Lot of Money, February 11, 2016
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I'll openly admit that I was hesitant to buy this thing. Whenever I look at a product and the ONLY reviews seem to be from people who got it for free or discounted to review it, than I start feeling a little unsure about purchasing. However, I actually have really found it useful.

I have been using mine to film video of me sketching in my sketchbook. The nice thing about it for this purpose is that the telescoping arm is metal and doesn't bend, so it won't shift too much while filming. The adjustment arm is quite stiff, which I think is great. Once you get it into position, it doesn't move. The bottom clamp screws down, rather than just having a spring, so it fits over a lot of different width tables. The clamp holds my iphone 6 securely and it comes with a larger clamp, if you have a bigger phone.

There are, however, a few things I don't like about it. To start with, the attachment between the phone clamp and then neck is just plastic and I worry over time it will wear and get less stable. The threading on the clamp is stiff, so it takes a while to get it properly lined up to screw the clamp up and down.

There doesn't appear to be any sort of "button" or hold mechanism on the extension arm, so I worry that over time, it might get loose and slide up and down.

Also, for my purposes, once the phone is in the clamp, it is REALLY hard to see what is on the screen. It feels like a gamble every time I start filming. On the other hand... it was pretty cheap, so if I end up having to wrap the stand in duct tape or something, I don't think it'll bug me too much.

I confess I bought it figuring it was cheap and if I hated it than I could get something more expensive. Truth be told, I'm actually very pleased with it and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to film something directly below the arm.


Tudor Costume and Fashion (Dover Fashion and Costumes)
Tudor Costume and Fashion (Dover Fashion and Costumes)
Price: $19.22

4.0 out of 5 stars Out of Date, But Still Useful, April 13, 2015
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I know of no other study of the 16th century that attempts to as throughly cover everything from French hairdressing to textile design than Norris' work on Tudor costume and fashion. It's a magnificent mess of a book, full of illustrations, odd antidotes and a rambling sort of structure that makes finding things sometimes an entertaining challenge. Despite all this, I think it has a place in very costume history collection.

Perhaps the most telling thing about Herbert Norris opus on Tudor dress is that it was first published in the 1930s. Dover's excellent reprint of the work is well worth having on the shelf as an accessory volume to other more modern sources, but it remains very much a work of its era. When Norris was writing, historical dress studies were rarely held to the same academic standards as other branches of historical works. While Norris does provide some limited citation, it is hardly the sort of detailed annotation that a person expects from a historical work today.

Many of Norris' claims have been refuted by current scholarship; however, I firmly believe that his clear illustrations and the broad reaching nature of this work redeem it from the flaws of it being nearly 80 years old. It's a good solid work on Tudor costume, but I wouldn't suggest that it be someone's only work on Tudor costume.

And, as several people have mentioned, this isn't a pattern book. It won't help you sew stuff.


Fashion in the Middle Ages
Fashion in the Middle Ages
by Margaret Scott
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.90
32 used & new from $10.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Fashion" not "Clothing" of the Middle Ages, March 8, 2015
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Fashion in the Middle Ages is not a very big book. It is only 112 pages long and only 9 inches tall. It is not encyclopedic in scope or in depth. It is, however, an absolutely excellent little volume. A few notes which may help people- this book is an exhibit catalog. It was published in conjunction with an exhibit of the same name at the Getty in 2011. It is not a history of middle ages dress in the strictest sense.

Rather than an extensive or detailed history of medieval dress, Fashion in the Middle Ages delves into the idea of "fashion" and how clothing demonstrated wealth, class and social structure in the era. By using extensive manuscript illustrations, Scott explains how people perceived the past and foreign lands through the garments depicted. She also teaches the reader how to "read" manuscript illustration by speaking in detail about things that might be missed by the average viewer of a medieval document.

I do not know if I would recommend this as someones "only" book on medieval costume; however, it is still an excellent work on the subject and illuminates nuances of middle ages clothing as fashion that are rarely discussed.


Shoes: The Complete Sourcebook
Shoes: The Complete Sourcebook
by John Peacock
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $40.00
66 used & new from $1.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty, but Shallow, March 8, 2015
Largely a history of western European shoes, with ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and Egypt added, Peacock's work is illustrated throughout with water color and pen illustrations. There are no photographs of original shoes, nor are their multiple illustrations of the same shoe from different angles. The shoes choosen, particularly in the more recent eras, are exclusively high end formal shoes.

Each section of shoe illustrations is followed by descriptive text.

However, there are no footnotes, nor endnotes. In short, it is nearly impossible to verify the veracity of any of the illustrations which Peacock as included. As a result, this book stands as an attractive coffee table volume, but is not useful for someone one who wants a serious work on the history of footwear.


Classic French Fashions of the Twenties (Dover Fashion and Costumes)
Classic French Fashions of the Twenties (Dover Fashion and Costumes)
by Atelier Bachwitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.05
55 used & new from $4.57

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reprint of a French catalog from 1929, February 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book is a beautiful full color reprint of the 1929 catalog of the Atelier Bachwitz company. The images are lovely art decor depictions of women's dress from day to evening wear. There is a short introduction, but little other text. There are no images of undergarments, shoes or accessories beyond what is depicted in the lovely full color illustrations. A great resource for images, but not for historical context or details of undergarments or dress accessories. I'd purchase it to go along with other resources on 1920s costume.


The Clothing of the Renaissance World: Europe - Asia - Africa - The Americas
The Clothing of the Renaissance World: Europe - Asia - Africa - The Americas
by Cesare Vecellio
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $118.82
39 used & new from $46.63

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Translation of De gli Habiti Antichi e Modérni di Diversi Parti di Mondo, February 13, 2014
This large, heavy book is a translation of De gli Habiti Antichi e Modérni di Diversi Parti di Mondo which was a book of "world costume" published in Venice in 1590 by Cesare Vecillo. The illustrations of foreign places and historical figures are often fanciful, but the contemporary illustrations reflect the garments that were being worn throughout Europe at the time.

Unlike many other reprints of De gli Habiti Antichi e Modérni di Diversi Parti di Mondo, this volume translates not just the "labels" on the illustrations, but the detailed notes and descriptions by Vecillo which provide an illuminating look into the opinions of one Renaissance man about the cultures of Europe and the world. Anyone interested in Renaissance dress will find this book enlightening; however, it is not an introduction to the topic or an overview, but rather a detailed translation of a specific text.


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