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Home Sewn: Projects and Inspiration for Every Room Hardcover – June 14, 2016
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About the Author
CASSANDRA ELLIS is a designer and maker of high-end quilts and homewares. She runs a studio in London, where she teaches contemporary craft and interiors workshops. Her stunning designs are stocked by leading retailers, including Liberty of London.
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Top customer reviews
Two of the projects in the book are just pictures of the writer having used purchasable kits with her own fabric. There is a make your own lampshade, and make your own headboard. I don't think using a premade kit and writing the instructions count as making your own project...
One project is a linen ottoman. This on it's own this could be a great project. Except when you get to the important part of the stuffing. She gives minimal direction on this. "Stuffing of your choice"... "Up to you really"... I made a floor cushion a year or so ago. The sewing part, although complicated, was the easiest part. Finding a good stuffing, tips on getting it into the cushion, tips on not getting said stuffing all over your house... Any of those would be a really useful addition to this project.
At least two projects in this book don't fall on the right side of the handmade vs homemade. When I make something by hand I want to take the time to do it right. If I am going to spend hours making something and probably spending at least twice what it would cost to buy the same thing. What I make should look good. One project the "embroidered lambskin and silk throw pillows" looks terrible. The final project pictured is wrinkled and the embroidery is a small circle in the middle filled in with random stitches and x's. Maybe if it was a child making it this could be appreciated.
Another project " decorative silk upholstery panels" looks like she tacked on fabric to the back of a chair. Reading the instructions for this project, says that is exactly what she did. "You probably don't need instructions - the images say almost all you need"... She actually says that.
There are a few cute things. One project is making silk butterflies. Another is a leather strap to tie back curtains with. She made a cotton, silk, and leather chandelier that looks nice. But even for these projects that I might actually want to do the instructions are minimal. She takes a lots of posed pictures of the finished product, but doesn't really focus on helping people get there with great instructions. I could probably figure it out, but with a book I shouldn't have to.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
~ What ~
This one-hundred-sixty-page paperback targets those who are looking for sewing projects for home applications. After an introduction, thirty-two creations cover the topic, ending with material listings, recommended resources, index, acknowledgments, and the author’s biography.
Divided into three sections, the book is about projects using fabrics, usually natural fibers in light colors or patterns. The first section covers ideas for casual living spaces such as lampshades, ottomans, pillows, throws, panels, bookends, curtain tie backs, and log carriers. The next part concentrates on the bedroom with quilts, pillowcases, headboards, bed skirts, curtains, and duvets while the final section focuses on eating and sharing with examples of chandeliers, tea towels, table cloths, storage containers, napkins, coasters, chair covers, and bulletin boards to name a few.
Each product includes the author’s personal connection to the item in its description, followed by chart or several photographs along with a list of materials needed and numbered instructions in paragraph format.
Since I am an artist, I am always open to new creative ideas, sometimes involving fabrics and sewing. I like that this is an eclectic compilation of various concepts for decorating with cottons, linens, silks, organza, velvets, or leather. My favorite were the gilded silk organdy butterflies and the cotton, silk, and leather chandelier.
~ Why Not ~
Those who are seasoned sewers may not find many new ideas or projects included in this book.
~ Who ~
The author of four books, Ellis is also a designer of contemporary homewares and patterns as well as an interiors stylist. She works with clients on commissions, writing, styling, and interiors projects, and also runs workshops from her London studio.
~ Wish ~
With the book containing so many photographs, it is obvious the artist is an interior designer due to the layout and placement of items. I wish the many photos that were not about the project were not included.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book with over thirty projects that involve fabrics that make items for the home, this may be a good beginner’s book.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for a sample to read and review.
Projects like a headboard, various curtains, a room divider, and hanging lamp shade are gorgeous, but would do best in a somewhat large and airy home. Ellis also includes smaller projects that are more versatile: an ottoman (my favorite project in the book and also hers), book ends, heating pack, napkins, and pillows (all using a simple square or rectangular cut), and a bulletin board. Though one could easily make these items without a design, Ellis does the guess work for you on best sizing and fillers.
With her fresh take on fabric choices, I appreciated Ellis's sensitivity to cost (often using re-purposed or scrap bits of otherwise expensive materials) and her specification of which linen or leather weight to use on various projects. Some patterns give dimensions to make your own pattern, others use a downloadable design, and some use a kit that can be ordered separately (like the lamp shade). Though we all may not have a use in our home layout for the full scope of ideas presented, Ellis's beautiful vision for what a home can look like, all done with our own two hands, is inspirational, and accessible to sewers with all levels of experience.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*