Author of the Month: Deanna Csomo McCool of 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make

31 Jul

Deanna McCool with daughtersThis month we sit down for a Q&A with expert ribbon crafter and sewer Deanna Csomo McCool, author of 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make: For Perfectly Wrapped Gifts, Gorgeous Hair Clips, Beautiful Corsages, and Decorative Fun! Deanna has practiced arts and crafts since she could tie her shoes. The mother of two daughters, she began sewing bows so that her daughters would feel like princesses. Find her blogging at Sew McCool and check out her fun and fabulous designs available on her Etsy page.

1. What’s your craft? I’m a ribbon crafter and a sewist/quilter. My love of fiber arts began by sewing quilts and knitting more than 13 years ago. When my older of two daughters was entering kindergarten, I started doing ribbon work because I wanted to make her some special bows that she could wear to school. My girls wear school uniforms…which are quite plain…so I wanted to dress up my girls with some hair accessories! I made bows almost exclusively for about 6 years. I really love it! And when I’m sewing other items, I enjoy incorporating ribbons and trims into my designs.

2. What project would you consider an all-time best? My favorite types of bows to make are layered boutique bows—I can get lost in my work while deciding on colors, textures, and bow centers…and then it’s so fun to put them all together into an attractive design. The large layered bows are featured as the final project in “50 Ribbon Rosettes and Bows to Make,” and you can see one on the girl on the left, on the cover. While these layered bows aren’t always to every adult’s taste, I’ve found that all girls love how pretty they are, and enjoy wearing them. They’re like mini works of art.

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3. What project would you consider an all-time worst? In my early days of bowmaking, I had a lot of flops. One in particular was a Halloween bow—in orange and black, of course—that I thought was going to be the next best thing in the bow world. I mean, seriously, I expected to take the ribbon world by storm. I was selling bows on eBay at the time, so in addition to the bow being really scary looking (and not in the good “Halloween scary-looking” kind of way), the photograph was horrible. I hadn’t yet developed good photography skills. I don’t have the photo anymore, but suffice it to say….it was bad.

4. What tool or material could you not live without? I have a wood-burning tool that I bought for—shocker—wood burning projects, back in the early 1990s. I no longer make wood-burning designs, but this particular wood-burner is perfect for sealing the edges of ribbon so it doesn’t fray. I’m often surprised that this tool keeps on working after all these years!

5. What’s your hidden talent? I’m a decent portrait artist. I became a little obsessed with portraiture when I was in middle school, and the interest never went away. In college I minored in studio art and focused on figure and portrait drawing. I haven’t drawn portraits very much since college, but when I do bring out the pencils, the skill comes back to me. One of my professors required us to draw 50 heads, hands, and feet before the end of the semester…so I had a lot of practice during that class alone!

 

Capture1Capture2Capture39781250052117_FC50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make is a delightful collection of more than 50 decorative ribbon projects—some classic, some whimsical, some elegant—that will prove irresistible for anyone with an interest in craft. With many sizes, colors and designs to choose from, you can craft a rosette or a bow as a charming addition to an outfit, a gift box, or even a bouquet of flowers. Each design features written instructions accompanied by clear step-by-step illustrations, and absolutely no experience is necessary!

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Check out our August and September titles:

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Freebie Friday: Cute and Padded Coat Hangers

18 Jul

Wire hangers. Ugh. We’ve all used them only to find they easily get tangled up together and often leave odd shapes in the shoulders of our favorite sweaters. Today’s Freebie Friday will help you make some extremely adorable and padded coat hangers that can help solve all those problems—plus they will perk up any bedroom!

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what you will need…

  • 20 x 65cm floral fabric
  • wooden coat hanger
  • padding (old tights or top cut into 10cm strips works well)
  • 60cm bias binding
  • matching sewing thread
  • sewing kit
  • and perhaps the book that inspired it…

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Sew! is a treasure trove of simple projects all made using Cath Kidston’s popular printed fabrics. Reflecting her love of vintage-style patterns, the fabrics feature fresh colors in delightful and unexpected combinations. There are 43 fun and useful projects, all shown in stunning, close-up photographs complete with full-size pattern and on an enclosed sheet for each project, step-by-step instructions and templates.

 

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Check out our July and August titles:

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Goodreads Giveaway: Vintage Lingerie

13 Jul

I heard nothing but Oohs and Ahhhs when I passed around Jill Salen’s Vintage Lingerie last week. So we’re spreading the joy and doing a Vintage Lingerie Goodreads Giveaway. Vintage Lingerie covers a range of fascinating lingerie and garments, including 1890s corsets, 1920s French knickers, 1940s garter belts, 1950s New Look girdles and pin-up brassieres, and much more. The book includes 30 fully annotated working patterns alongside drawings, photographs, and practical advice on making up the garments.

Enter now–the giveaway ends on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Vintage Lingerie by Jill Salen

Vintage Lingerie

by Jill Salen

Giveaway ends July 16, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Can’t wait? Buy the book today!

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Check out our July and August titles:

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Freebie Friday: 1930s Blue Silk Slip Vintage Lingerie

11 Jul

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Vintage, baby!

With the onset of the Great Depression, 1930s women’s street fashion shifted, closing out the boyish lean of the Roaring 20s—flappers, Marlene Dietrich, marlene-dietrich-smokingCoco Chanel donning a man’s sweater cinched with a belt at the waist—to something more feminine, sophisticated, and elegant. It was a decade of natural waistlines and flattering fluttery butterfly sleeves worn on the big screen by Hollywood starlets like Lana Turner. Lana_Turner_in_The_Postman_Always_Rings_Twice

So this week’s Free Pattern Download, a 1930s Blue Silk Slip pictured above, is essentially about summer’s influence on my psyche, which is all awhirl with blockbuster movies and weddings and the unavoidable daily quandary of feeling cool and pretty despite the often stifling, sticky NYC heat and humidity.

The image and pattern are from Vintage Lingerie by Jill Salen, which includes 30 beautiful and historically accurate examples of period lingerie from 1850 to 1970: corsets, brassieres, girdles, petticoats… accompanied by a full working pattern, photographs, and drawings.

Cheers everyone! Be free, stay cool, and have a wonderful weekend!

vintagelingerie_jillsalen

 

 

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Check out our July and August titles:

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Author of the Month: Leonie Morgan of 100 Colorful Ripple Stitches to Crochet

2 Jul

Leonie Morgan HeadshotThis month we sit down for a Q&A with crochet and knitting expert Leonie Morgan, author of 100 Colorful Ripple Stitches to Crochet. Inspired at an early age by her mother’s granny blanket, Leonie taught herself how to knit and crochet from various books and hand-me-down knowledge.

Find her blogging at WoolnHook and check out her beautiful and inspiring Pinterest page. She lives in Wales with a wool-tolerant partner and three wool-loving cats.

1. What’s your craft? I crochet and knit – all the time.

2. What project would you consider an all-time best? My Book Blanket is my all-time-best. I used all the squares designed for my first book and joined them together. It’s really warm, cosy and full of color.

Book Blanket

3. What project would you consider an all-time worst? One of the first crochet things I made was a cropped cardigan. I missed some of the stitches out and didn’t block. I knew it wasn’t going to turn out grand but carried on regardless and wore it around the house feeling smug. As the day wore on, the arms got longer, and longer, and longer. It went in the unravel pile that evening.

Crochet Disaster

4. What tool or material could you not live without? Wool. If there was a wool drought I’d have to unravel sweaters.

5. What’s your hidden talent? Super hearing.

9781250049490_FC (1)100 Colorful Ripple Stitches to Crochet is a wonderfully illustrated and easy-to-use guide to making and using ripple stitches in delightful and inspiring ways. With 75 original stitch designs to choose from there is plenty here to appeal to every crocheter—blankets, accessories, and more! Each design has a clear written pattern, an easy-to-follow chart, and a color variation to try out. The designs range from simple to more advanced patterns and also include ripple stitches worked in the round for unusual and eye-catching projects. It even includes five great projects as inspiration for how some of the designs could go together!

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Check out our July and August titles:

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