Monday, September 13, 2010


Did you know that September is National Sewing Month? I didn't and I'm a major Craftster -- alas, just not much of a sewer. I have tried it - just not terribly good at it. Every Craftster has a bug-a-boo or bane of existence. Sewing is mine.  My sister once said that "between the two of us we must have tried every craft possible through our lives." I'm not so sure that's exactly true since there are some pretty odd possibilities out there but she was right in that we made a very large dent in the field. Anyway, she is the one that ended up with the sewing gene and produces some beautiful quilts - of which I often get to be the lucky recipient (so I don't mind not being much of a sewer if you know what I mean!)

Back to National Sewing Month. I was surprised when I researched "National (anything) Month" to find out that there are months dedicated to pretty much everything under the sun. Where have I been? I laughed when I discovered that this was in fact National Sewing Month because just last week a colleague of mine (and fellow blogger, Julie) came to me for advice on sewing. She was thinking of trying a new skill - sewing. She knows that I craft but she didn't know that I lack the sewing gene. I wanted to help her though - what Craftster doesn't want to lure (I mean, guide) someone else into the web of a craft?

My first thought was to look through our library shelves for some basic how-to guides since she hadn't been specific about a project. She was hoping to try something small and simple to get her going with learning how to sew. To be honest here, my first thought was actually "RUN!!!! This is sewing!!! How do I tell her that I have no skills in this area?" But I do not run from any craft nor do I run from requests for help. I am a Librarian after all, I have resources. I have LOTS of resources. I can do this. So I trotted to the shelves and pulled several general guide books for her. I figured that she could flip through them for some basic how-to information and maybe develop the direction in which she wanted to head.

I thought (hoped) that would be the end of it for me. I had given her books and she seemed content....but The Crafty Librarian is feeling guilty. Feeling like she has dropped the ball. She has had time to ponder the request and doesn't feel as though she has really risen to the call for guidance. Given time and a craft issue my mind always wanders down the path of possibilities. I feel I have stranded my colleague with a lot of how-to's but not a project.  A project will teach and feed a skill. And I have an idea or two in mind. Maybe we will go down this path together (just don't tell my sister!). I am going to propose these ideas to Julie and then back to some research in our shelves. I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, I invite you to explore our sewing section and celebrate National Sewing Month.  Some good general reference how-to books include, but are not limited to, the following titles (if you click on the titles you will be linked directly to our library catalogue where you can place a hold):

Martha Stewart's encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts : basic techniques for sewing, applique, embroidery, quilting, dyeing, and printing, plus 150 inspired projects from A to Z. (call# 646.2 Stewart)  This is a beautifully illustrated, comprehensive reference that touches on every type of sewing one might imagine.  Includes a number of projects to try your skills out on.  Pure Martha!

The Complete book of sewing. (call# 646.4 Complete) A guide that covers the tools and materials needed for sewing. Has colorful step-by-step illustrations and photographs of the step you might encounter in your sewing project.

Singer : the complete photo guide to sewing. (call# 646.2 Singer)  Good visual reference guide that covers equipment and techniques.   Includes projects for both machine and hand sewing.

200 sewing tips, techniques & trade secrets. (call# 646.2 A to Z) Covers basic as well as advanced techniques. Includes a HUGE amount of hints and advice like you might get from an instructor.   I was impressed, for example, with the tip regarding the use of the scissors blade as a surface to really press seams flat.