Mar 18, 2019

Sewing School Fashion Design Make Your Own Wardrobe with Mix-and-Match Projects Including Tops, Skirts & Shorts By Amie Petronis Plumley & Andria Lisle

"I received a free copy of the book in exchange for writing a review"

Learning to sew can be difficult, but rewarding once mastered! There are many different places you can find some helpful tips and guidance. Yet I do feel I have found a simpler way for young sewers and even beginners to learn, from a recently released book! 

This book is known as Sewing School Fashion Design by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle. It's part of the Sewing School Series and is made perfectly for young boys and girls who want to make their own fashionable and stylish clothing. Even beginners, as adults can get their hands on this book and learn sewing for themselves by following along with the photos that illustrate each step and written directions. Like any good guide book, photos are the key for many, especially myself. You won't get lost with the words when you can really get an idea of what is happening through an image.

Additionally, the steps are organized perfectly to help you reuse those taught skills from the beginning to use on the projects that continue throughout the book. After you get an idea of what you may need for each project and what each tool does, you then get helpful tips and examples on perfecting those skills and why these steps may need to be taken before or after working on a project. This could be as simple as learning to use a specific stitch, pinning, patterns set up or how to prepare each piece of fabric for sewing. Plus, you can get creative with many fun projects that add additional crafting into the mix, like embroidery design or just creating pockets and ruffles.
Even with the wonderful projects inside, kids and even beginners of all ages will learn to use these skills to build other articles of clothing and form new and unique styles that are stunning! As with great guidance by these two authors, they made this book to be a perfect course in sewing fashion and have cleaver creations that can be remade in all types of fabrics. So no more finding the same outfit that everyone else is wearing, when you can really take design creating into your own hands and recreate your next new shirt, skirt and many other articles of clothing to wear! 

Finally, this is a wonderful book. It's simple to follow and very easy to understand. The book breaks it down and makes sewing for newcomers or those who have some knowledge and want some new ideas, how to sew beautiful clothing simply! Now you can finally have a wardrobe full of beautiful clothing and all designed by you!

About The Authors:
Amie Petronis Plumley is coauthor of Sewing School®, Sewing School® 2, Sewing School® Quilts, and Sewing School® Fashion Design. She is an elementary school teacher at Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee, where she inspires students to sew in the classroom, in an after-school sewing club, and at a wildly popular summer sewing camp.

Andria Lisle is coauthor of Sewing School®, Sewing School 2®, Sewing School Quilts, and Sewing School® Fashion Design. She is Curator of Strategic Engagement at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

Book Information:
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 4
  • Series: Sewing School
  • Spiral-bound: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (March 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612128602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612128603
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 9.5 inches
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Essential French Grammar 2nd Edition By Mike Thacker, Casimir d'Angelo


"I received a free copy of the book in exchange for writing a review"

Here is another good book for those learning French. If you have ever wanted to understand French or start learning the language, well this book, Essential French Grammar by Mike Thacker and Casimir d'Angelo breaks it down and allows the reader to grasp the grammar and speak the language perfectly. Additionally, it will not only teach you how to speak the language but also write it correctly. As there are more to the words then just being words, which I mean, there are additional pieces to keep in mind when speaking or writing the French language. They have feminine and masculine articles, which also makes the word a bit differently spelled and spoken. No problem though, this book makes it a piece of cake to learn it correctly the first time.

Also, the book does a great job making it clear and easy to see what you are being taught and how to actually understand that section before going to the next. However, a tip from myself, is that I would only take in a lesson or a few sections in a day so you can get a good understanding of the book and easily review it over again later or the next day. Even sometimes doing a section a week to give you a great understanding is also a plus! Of course, there are plenty of exercises to help one really get the information down and stick in one's mind while going through the book. 

Each chapter does have its own section of words that fall under a specific category, like nouns and verbs. Additionally, in these sections, which there are plenty of sections to learn, there are key points that you will learn while going through each part. Occasionally you have French book and it's starting with the alphabet and same like objects or items that you will learn together. Well, this isn't true with this book. You will learn the same like words in each group, but only if they fit the category, for example like nouns and what common used ones you will need to know. So don't think you'll find a section called colors or shapes or food in this book.

Finally, I am very happy with this book. It's quite different, but it gets to the point when it comes to grammar. If you already know how to pronounce letters or understand some nouns and verbs, but never really can recall which is feminine or masculine, which verb to use or how it's used in the sentence, well this book can help! It's gonna take time to learn, but everything that is new and difficult will take time. So to get a good book that will help make things easier, well this is one good book to own.

About the Authors:
Mike Thacker was Director of the Language Centre at the University of Surrey from 1991 to 2005 and has taught at all degree levels.

Casimir d’Angelo was Director of the Language Unit at the University of Cambridge from 1998 to 2014, and has taught at all degree levels. He is presently the Director of Global Training Centre at the China UK Development Centre.

Book Information:

  • Series: Essential Language Grammars
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (July 12, 2013)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1444166891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444166897
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches

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Mar 16, 2019

Stays and Corsets Volume 2: Historical Patterns Translated for the Modern Body 1st Edition Mandy Barrington

"I received a free copy of the book in exchange for writing a review"

There may be so many different books on histories unique styles of clothing. Many illustrate some ideas and tips of crafting your very own pieces, possibly for plays and theatres, costumes or other purposes. Sometimes, your searching and trying to find more than just the most seen clothing worn, but those parts that may be worn underneath and hold things in places. Especially for women, who need to tighten the waist and make their dress fit a certain way. 

The most used garment that were part of every woman's outfit would have to be the corsets and stays, especially when talking about history. However, it seems to be coming back in other unique ways. Though if you have ever been searching to find the right book to help you draft patterns and ideas for a specific design that may make you feel like you were living in the era when that corset or stay might have been used. Well, then I found the right book for you!
The book, Stays, and Corsets Volume 2 by Mandy Barrington is something that illustrates and explains each step for making the perfect draft every time! There are details on each page that go in order for the reader to draft the pattern on paper. You are guided through with many clear view images, which I feel every book should have when teaching a subject, especially drafting a pattern.  In addition to drafting, If you never knew how to measure the female body, well then you're in luck! this book really explains how to measure each part, so you get a well-fitted piece every time.
Many beginners, just like myself who want to learn by seeing and have that feeling of someone guiding them through each step, well this book does just that! The directions are written clear and easy enough to follow. However, one issue that may be a struggle, but not a giant problem is the measurements are in centimeters(cm). In my case, I'm still trying to get used to using cm, instead of inches. Then again, it's not a giant problem, since sewing clothing with centimeters is always used in many patterns which can come from online or in a book. However, that might be one problem that could arise if one isn't really used to reading centimeters.

Regardless, there are two easy fixes and that could help. One of those would be by using a  converting calculator online. Additionally, using a ruler, you can also check it for the inches by measuring in cms and seeing the opposite side for what the inches may be. That is if you have a two-sided ruler.

Now for the joy, which always puts a smile on my face in all books. This is that the book includes patterns of corsets and stays of all types and designs. Not are you able to learn to make one type, which would still be nice too, but this book allows you to make plenty of fun and fabulous styled designs that will make you feel like apart of that historical era. 

The dates begin with the corset of 1598 and move up to the 20th century. In each separate time period, they all have a little history lesson, which can be quite interesting. I was taken away by what I didn't know about a corset and who or why they were designed the way they were. let me say, it's quite remarkable to read and discover something new. 

One example, talking about the 1598 time period had a corset know as 'pair of bodies' and of course many were smaller back than, but the size would really be squeezing your middle. It was as small as 53cm(21 inches) in the waist. Now that is a tight squeeze! However, it was the first version mentioned in this book, there are many other periods of time, which illustrate and explain each the same way.

In addition to what I mentioned, the book is set up for each new design and time period. What you get is the history part first, giving you an idea about the style and design, as well as the type of stay or corset that it's focusing on. Plus you also get to learn to create and see the drafted design guiding you with images and text. Oh yes, I should also mention that there is a true image of the created corset. Allowing you to get a real glance at the final project. 

I felt that each design had a really lovely appearance and was easy to follow along with the pattern to make it. There was one that really would work on a wedding day occasion, and it is quite fancy. This would be the Bridal Corset. it is something that really would make an impression. It's all white with lace and has such a beautiful detailed design. Though that is just one, there really are so many types that are worth creating and trying out, even for costumes or setting a new trend on this planet. 

Finally, I really enjoyed this wonderful array of stays and corsets. So many beautiful styles and helpful, clear guidance to draft each piece. It really is a wonderful book to own and super helpful in creating your very own corset as well as learning about them.

Author Bio
Mandy Barrington is a Senior Lecturer in Costume at the Arts University Bournemouth and a recipient of The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2016-18. She has a first class honors degree in Costume design and a Masters in Costume. Mandy has worked professionally making costumes for shows such as My Fair Lady at the National Theatre, London, the hit West End show Wicked, and Sleeping Beauty at The Royal Opera House.

Book Info:

  • Routledge 
  • Published August 24, 2018 
  • Reference - 272 Pages - 174 Color & 39 B/W Illustrations 
  • ISBN 9781138061255 - CAT# Y331705
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