I thought I would start a list of books I've got on my shelf I would recommend to others.
'Ready Set serge' - quick & easy projects you can make in minutes by Georgie Melot
I read her introduction on Amazon and ordered the book on the strength of it. She offers a practical way to get comfortable with your machine by using it to make useful items. Each one is then stepped up if you want a bit more of a challenge. Instructions and photos are clear and easy to follow. Here is where I found out about wrapped corners which somehow got missed off my 'Learn to use an overlocker' courses!
'Sewing with Sergers' the complete handbook for overlock sewing by Gail Brown and
Another invaluable reference on my bookshelf, in a handy size (5 1/2" x 8 1/2"). This covers just about everything in a friendly simple manner that even I could understand as a complete newbie. Lots of simple line drawings, all black and white for clear definition. Helped me no end as my first overlocker had a pretty useless manual, and no matter how good a course you go on, your tutor is not there when you want to ask something at home! My copy has loads of highlighter marks on.
Still lots of things for me to try, but I am now thinking of getting their next book, 'Creative Serging' as I feel more confident now and want to know more.
BAGS & PURSES
'The Bag Making Bible' the complete creative guide to sewing your own bags by Lisa Lam (foreword by Amy Butler)
I found Lisa's blog site looking for someone reviewing overlockers, and was hooked (u-handblog). This book is unique in giving you the techniques to make bags - choosing fabrics, structure and reinforcement, linings, closures, handles & straps, pockets, edgings and trimmings. Each chapter gives you a free pattern to try using the techniques explained and a pull out pattern sheet is included. The instructions and photos and clear and easy to follow. I love this book, I have learnt so much and put it all to good use!
Her next book is due our soon, and I am sure I will want to add it to my collection -
'20 Floral Bags to Make' (aka 'Bags in Bloom') with simple embroidery stitches and easy to sew patterns
I attended a course by Susan as she lives just up the road, and bought the book afterwards. I did embroidery at school back in the 60's - 70's and knew most of the stitches, but the threads used and the way of using them were all new to me. I must admit I have not used the patterns for the bags, just the embroidery ideas but it is a beautiful book and a real inspiration which I have used on a couple of my bags already.
'Very Easy Crazy Patch Work' simple techniques, Beautiful Projects by Betty Barnden
This is a very beautiful book as well as being easy to follow. I only wish I could have a stash of her fabrics! Nevertheless she has talked me through my first attempts at patchwork and I have produced several bags which have given me and their recipients great pleasure! Again the photos and instructions and clear and easy to follow, especially for someone starting from scratch.
Well these are my favourite books on my shelf at the moment, and I can recommend them all. Available from Amazon or The Book Depository at http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/ who offer free delivery worldwide.