Happy Black Friday! (Whew, this week really got away from me with all of the Thanksgiving preparations.) Here in the US, the Christmas shopping season traditionally starts today. Last year I did a series of round-ups of DIY gifts, and I’m planning to do the same this year, but I thought I’d share some craft books that caught my eye. I’m a sucker for pretty craft books, and they’re a great gift for crafty friends. They’re also an easy thing to put on your wish list for people who don’t know what to get you. The only problem is that there are too many out there–this list just kept growing! So here’s the first part, with sewing and knitting craft books. If you want to keep up with my picks, you can also follow my Craft Book Gift Guide board over on Pinterest.
For the sewing enthusiast
Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe – This is the first book in the Built by Wendy series of sewing books, and the most basic. There is also Built by Wendy Dresses, Built by Wendy Coats and Jackets, and Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics (I have this one and really like it).
Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing – From Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. I haven’t actually had a chance to check this one out in person, but based on Gertie’s popular blog I’d expect retro-inspired patterns with instructions for some advanced techniques.
Sewing in a Straight Line – If you know someone who has never sewn before, but wants to start, this book definitely seems geared for beginners.
Drape Drape, Drape Drape 2, and Drape Drape 3 are Japanese sewing books that have been translated into English. As you might expect from the titles, they feature really interesting draping techniques. These are definitely for more advanced sewists.
The Colette Sewing Handbook – Colette Patterns makes super cute retro-style patterns (psst, they’re having a 30% off sale today, Nov. 23!), and the book features instructions and several patterns for beginner and intermediate sewists.
The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook – BurdaStyle is a great source for printable pdf sewing patterns, and this book includes several patterns and instructions for variations. It’s a good way to learn how to start modifying patterns.
Fabricate – This book looks like it has lots of cool techniques for fabric manipulation. If you’re bored with regular fabric, this is a fun way to learn how to do new things with it.
Alabama Stitch Book – A step-by-step guide to Natalie Chanin’s approach to stitching, stenciling, and beading cotton jersey garments.
For the knitter
I actually don’t know these as well as the sewing books. But I picked them because they all have great reviews and look like they contain a lot of fashion-forward projects.