Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review + Giveaway: Making Fabric Jewelry

If you are anything like me, dear reader, you have some fabric scraps in your stash.  Actually, you have a lot of fabric scraps.  Of course you also have a lot of buttons, trims, and beads too that you are saving for just the right project. Waste not, want not!  But truth is, those scraps and trims are mainly taking up space in your stash and collecting dust.  Right?

Well I have a suggestion for you.  Why not try making fabric jewelry?

Given the size of my fabric stash I was super excited when Lark Books sent me a review copy of the recently published Making Fabric Jewelry: 20+ Projects to Stitch, Fold, & Wear by jewelry expert Marthe Le Van:

Making Fabric Jewelry, Serendipity Handmade blog

As Martha states in her introduction, there has been a "revolution" in terms of the type of jewelry women are wearing these days, and I'm sure you've seen jewelry made of alternative materials like fabric and lace are very popular right now.  With the winter holidays not far away this book is perfect for your handmade gift-giving.

All twenty-three of the projects in Making Fabric Jewelry use fabric and a variety of other materials to create avant-garde adornments, like this dramatic Pleated Posy Necklace by designer Mieko Mintz:

The nontraditional projects in this book were designed by well-known fabric, fiber, and mixed-media artists. The basic premise of this book is that you're going to reuse and recycle items from your stash in order to make something new, and if you've read this blog for any length of time you know that this is a viewpoint I strongly endorse myself.

Another unique project that I liked is the Designer Label Brooch designed by Mavis Leahy, which is a unique way to recycle vintage clothing labels into a brand new accessory.  This project in particular gave me a couple of new ideas. First, if you already sew clothes with your own label, why not use this brooch as a unique way to promote your handmade business?  Another option is to use it as a fun name tag!

Designer Label Brooch, Making Fabric Jewelry, Serendipity Handmade blog

One of the strengths of Making Fabric Jewelry for novice sewists is that even if you don't know silk from cotton there are over twenty-five pages in the Basics section full of helpful information about fabric types, selecting the right fabrics, sewing notions, needlework, and using a sewing machine.  In addition, there are several pages of jewelry making help about findings, tools, and metalwork fundamentals like wire-wrapping.

There is a fun project in this book for beginning and experienced jewelry makers alike.  Some of the projects do require some jewelry-making experience, like the Lotus Choker and Earrings, or these Kaga Earrings by Miyuki Akai Cook that are made from vintage kimono silk (how cool is that?):

Kaga Earrings, Making Fabric Jewelry, Serendipity Handmade blog
Although the written project instructions are very good, some of the project photos are very small or have only a few photos to illustrate the project directions.  In my opinion, to take full advantage of this book you will need to have some basic sewing skills as well as some basic jewelry-making experience.

I would recommend this book for someone looking for new ways to use the extras in his or her stash, and especially for those already who both like to sew and make unique, editorial jewelry.  Most of the designs are definitely conversation starters!


Would you like your own copy of Making Fabric Jewelry?  Many thanks to Lark Books for offering an extra copy to giveaway to Serendipity Handmade readers.

All you have to do to enter is be a follower of this blog (new or old!) and enter through the Rafflecopter widget below.  There are several additional entry options too.

The winner will be announced on this post on Friday, September 7th.  Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided with a free review copy of this book but my opinions are my own!

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