I recently started to learn to sew. It all began when my mother bought a new sewing machine, as her old one was a nightmare to use. I have always been into crafty things. My Nana taught me how to knit at a young age and over the last few years I have improved a lot and can now knit many different things, including simple knits such as beanies and scarves, as well as much bigger projects like jumpers. So sewing seemed to be a given, and I couldn't believe that I hadn't gotten into it earlier. Now if anybody was to see the amount of books on sewing, fabrics, really anything related to sewing that I regularly check out from the library, they would probably give me a few odd looks.
Fabric stores are a whole new and different world to me. When I first went into one with my mother I had no idea where to begin. It wasn't just the types of fabric that overwhelmed me, but the different textures versions that particular fabric. There was everything from linens to silks, wools, polyester, cotton, even hide. Certain fabrics to perform different duties. I was looking for a silk to make a nice simple camisole, and I remember standing in front of a wall piled with silks for a good fifteen minutes before I asked my mum to help me find one that would be appropriate.
Since my first visit to the fabric store I have managed to sew a pair of shorts, multiple camisoles, a nice shirt, make up bags for my sister and I, and I'm currently sewing a pair of trousers. There have been a lot of failed attempts and dramas, including a couple of broken needles, but I am beginning to get the hang of it. However, I still have a lot to learn about fabrics, and I managed to find a book to help me along the way.
Cloth by Cassandra Ellis is a gorgeous book that is divided into different sections, depending on what fabric you're looking at. The book covers cotton, wool, silk, hide and linen. It looks at the history of these fabrics, the way they are made, the different variations, and what they are predominantly used for.
It also includes many amazing projects for both around the house and to wear. After finishing the chapter on wool, there is an overnight bag that I have my eye on making next! The projects in the book include cushions, bags, purses, curtains, even oven gloves! It also has many things that are perfect for using up scrap bits of fabric, including these heart shaped silk talismans.
There is something rewarding about wearing or using something that you have made yourself. I will definitely have the sewing bug throughout the Summer before I switch back to my woollen projects for Winter, and this book is a little bit of inspiration that has taken a spot on my already overcrowded bookshelf.