Sunday, April 11, 2010

Martha's Sewing Encyclopedia: Bib Pattern & Book Report

My mother-in-law used to give handmade baby bibs as a new baby gift. She bought them at a certain craft fair for years, but now this particular seller is no longer there. For a while now, she has been trying to persuade me to make and sell bibs.
 Cupcake Bib
I have no interest in making anything to sell, really. For one thing, my full time job keeps me plenty busy. Also, I have rights at work that sometimes I ignore all together at home. For example, I get a state mandated 20 minute break everyday. Whilst crafting, I often work for hours without a break!

Cherries Bib
Anyway, my mother-in-law is incredibly good to me, so I decided to surprise her with a trio of bibs that she can gift at any of the dozens of showers she goes to.
Dog  Bib
It was my first project from my new Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of  Sewing and Fabric Crafts.

This bib is from the Oilcloth Bib pattern in the book. It has an additional crumb catcher pocket- which would be awesome if I had oilcloth. I printed out the pattern from the enclosed CD. (The shape of the bib is the same as this pattern from her website.) I used lightweight denim and quilt batting from my stash. The bibs my mother-in-law used to buy were gingham, but I am a denim gal and I am also Stash Busting this month. It's not as sweet as pastel gingham, but maybe it's more forgiving of stains?

The pattern calls for snaps, but I have only Velcro in my stash, so Velcro it was! I used an Ellison Press cutout from school as the pattern for the cupcake, a Google image for the dog, and I free handed the cherries.

Over all, a very easy pattern to make. The first bib took about a bit longer but the rest took maybe 20 minutes or one episode of  Modern Family on Hulu.
Trio of Bibs
Now for the book report...
I read the Martha Encyclopedia of  Sewing Crafts. It is a really great book...with some limitations.

The Pros:
Photography- This book is detailed and gorgeous. Lots of pictures illustrate the tiny details of sewing. I hope to study the pictures to help my own photography skills.
Tutorials- Martha is the master! There are very detailed and well written insturctions.
Background info- This is truly a sewing encyclopedia with glossaries and resource pages galore.
The enclosed CD makes printing out patters very easy. The enlargement is done for you! The patterns on the website require you to enlarge them. Not a big deal, just more time consuming.
Inspirational- there are some techniques covered that I would like to try-such as dying fabric.

-Most of the projects (or something very similar) are on her website already. 
-Many more projects are inspired by bloggers who I have been reading for years. For example, stuffed animals from felted sweaters- hello Betz White!
- Martha is a business woman- this book is not about using what you have! I have a list of craft supplies as long as my arm that this book makes me want to buy!

This would be the perfect book for a beginning sewer because it really will "grow" with you.  I like the informational sections more than the patterns and tutorials. Tutorials are available on the web a plenty. What Martha does is give detailed instructions on the "right way" to do something. She really does educate the reader about fabric choices, tools, stitches etc. This really is a full text of everything from curtains, to blankets, gifts and quilts. I would never want to choose only one craft book, but you could have just this book and sew for the rest of your life. It is very complete. Makes me want to get the other Crafts encyclopedia too.


Sarah said...

At first I didnt think I liked the craft encyclopedia b/c it was the same stuff rehashed over again. But actually? I like it all being together in one book. The sewing book is on my want list.

Heidi said...

I know the pattern called for a snap but I think Velcro bibs are so much easier! You can do them and undo them one-handed if needed, which is very handy when you're dealing with a squirmy baby who has food all over his face. I love what you made! the dachshund is my favorite. :)

Christy said...

Those bibs are so cute! Personally, I love denim for bibs.

That book is on my wish list too. I have the Craft Encyclopedia, but I haven't really given it a fair shot. Guess I should give it another look.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

My doxie Rudi thoroughly approves! :)

I am peeking out of my turtle shell to say thank you for your kindness and support. Be blessed.

Wendy said...

They are really cute! Love the cherry one. I got the Encyclopedia of Crafts and really wasnt impressed that much.

Kelley said...

oooh, love the bibs. so cute. and thanks for the overview of the book- i agree that it is nice to have everything all in one book. the web is great but there is something about being able to take it along with you to the beach or park or whatever. thanks for the info- it helped! :)

sara's art house said...

Cute bibs!

RedHeadedStepChild said...

My Husband got the book for me for Mother's Day. I haven't tried anything yet because I'm trying to finish other crafts I've got going first. It's calling me tough...