I have two nieces (thank you brother!). One is just a month old and the other 3,5 years, and I miss them terribly since they live in Bergen (Norway), so we only meet about twice a year... I will have to be the good auntie and send them little gifts once in a while so they don't forget about me (I've actually never met the new baby, but thank god for internet when you have family far away!). She's named after me btw (not only me, but me too), we have the same two first names; she's Ella Kari and I'm Ella Karin, but are called Ella and Karin, so I'm proud like a cock about it. My other niece is Julia, my favourite child!
I will post reviews of the books later, but here's a quick preview. First the one for my nieces (or for me actually, but they will be the ones that benefit from it the most!).
Carefree Clothes for Girls, by Junko Okawa. The white dress in the bottom picture is what got me, plus the fact that the author is Japanese. I've spent a total of 9 months in Japan, and I loved it, especially the culture/art so I kind of have this thing for japanese books... and I'd love to make Julia a dress with lace-ribbon-details....
As I googled the book (after ordering it) I found the book-publishing-company's website, and there are free downloads of all (I think) patterns in the book. Check out the page about this particular book, there's a list of links to the patterns at the bottom of the page. There are also patterns from some of their other books avilable for download. I wouldn't have had to buy the book to access the patterns...
Oh, well, I prefer not to have to cut and paste as much as you must with downloaded patterns and the book looks very inspiring, so it might be worth it!
With this book I'm still a bit in a state of chock, until a couple of months ago I had never thought I would buy a book about sewing childrens-wear (since I don't have any kids). Well, it's nice to be surprised by yourself once in a while!
This book, High Fashion Sewing Secrets by Claire B. Schaeffer, well, my mum has another one of her books, and it is such an inspiration to look in! I thought it was a bit of a waste to buy the same book (or am I just curious about Ms Schaeffer's other books? My mother lives 600k's away from here so it's not like I can easily borrow it...), so I got this one instead. My mum and I will have to share sewing secrets this christmas (when I visit my parents)!
Both books are sewing-technique-bibles with a bit of that extra, for example how to change patterns to make them fit better (and we're not talking taking in-letting out here but to add/remove extra ease or shape the pattern in just the right places).
The third one, Couture - the Art of Fine Sewing by Roberta Carr, is a book I found on Amazon.com as I was checking out Ms Schaeffer's books (don't you just love that function "people who bought this book also got....", aaah, seducing!).
The reviews for this book are just too good not to buy it, people call it a must in your sewing-book-library. And it looks promising from the amazon.com preview-peak inside it. I think it may be quite similar to High Fashion Sewing Secrets though, so I hope they are not too similar but rather compliment each other.
And finally, a book that looks dead boring judging from the cover. Make Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis.
In my understanding it's a re-print of a book first published in 1959 about altering/constructing patterns, with just about everything you need to know about that subject in it. I love pattern-construction. It makes me all excited to think about it (ok, I'm a bit of a nerd, in so many areas... but I'd rather be an excited nerd than bored and blasé).
Gertie at Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing calls another reprint of this book, from 1971, "the best pattern book ever", she's made a review of it if you're interested in reding more about it. That's where I found out about it.
I have big hopes for this one, I've seem images of elaborately constructed puffy sleeves from the 1971 edition, and I expect the same level of this one.
And although I'd much rather get the original version it's both much easier and much cheaper to buy the reprint with an ugly cover, it was only 150skr (=US$ 21 or about £11.5).
As I write that I realise that books are quite expensive in Sweden, it was US$13.57 at Amazon... oh well...