FCC disclosure: Fons & Porter sent me these modern sewing books in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.
With all the recent news about sewing and quilting magazines being shuttered, it’s good to know that craft book publishing is still going strong. The Quilter’s Paper-Piecing Workbook by Elizabeth Dackson and Sundressing by Melissa Mora are two new modern sewing books from Fons & Porter that prove my point. With gorgeous photography, really fun projects with a modern aesthetic, and clear instructions from industry experts, these books are a perfect addition to any sewing library.
The Quilter’s Paper-Piecing Workbook is from Elizabeth Dackson, modern quilting’s foundation paper-piecing queen. She’s responsible for making paper piecing a mainstream element of many modern quilts, and her geometric patterns perfectly combine traditional and modern design. Her 18 projects in the book range from “Practice” (a lovely, non-threatening term for beginners) to “Daring,” and her sense of humor comes through in her approach to this technique. (My favorite part might be the introduction title: “A Tawdry Tale of a Girl and Some Paper.” HA!)
Overall, I think it’s fabulous how this book has a little something for everyone. Dackson’s tutorials for paper piecing are second to none, and it’s helpful even for experienced piecers to read the tips and examine the step-outs. But I also really like that there are more challenging projects for those who are up for taking risks in their quilt designs and a helpful “troubleshooting” section for when those points just don’t match up. And rather than printing the templates at the back of the book, the Quilter’s Paper-Piecing Workbook includes a CD for easy printing and duplicating. It’s a great all-around resource for paper piecers of all levels.
For the garment sewists, Sundressing is another staple in your book collection. Created by Melissa Mora of Melly Sews and Blank Slate Patterns, another industry powerhouse, this book celebrates everything that a summer sundress is supposed to be. It might be almost fall now, but I’m already planning my wardrobe for next year. The book is divided into sections for different styles of wear: everyday dresses, chic dresses, more formal dresses, etc. It’s fun to see how many different ways a sundress can be adapted.
I particularly enjoyed how Sundressing includes dresses for women and girls together. Obviously this is because I have a girl of my own, but it’s fun to compare the styles and see how they might work together. Mora explains in her introduction that a lot of the dresses in this book are modeled on “basic bodice blocks,” each designed to be customized via muslin for a perfect fit and to allow interchangeable skirts between designs. It’s a great, simple approach for those who are interested in beginning to alter designs for a better fit.
Ready to get back into sewing and quilting after a long summer? Dust off the machine, crack open one of these babies, and get stitching! Which one piques your interest?