“Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.”

Virginia Woolf

While I will admit to being far from the easiest person to please, three things that invariably get one excited (if your mind went somewhere dirty there, you are a pervert!) are sewing, secondhand books and bargains! You can therefore imagine the Cheshire Cat style grin affixed to my visage when I came across this hefty tome in a local charity shop for the miniscule sum of 2 of our most great british pounds! Huzzah!

Complete guide to sewing

As far as I’m aware it’s the 1981 version, but more importantly it is a treat of a book which is a welcome addition to la biblioteca. On, what one would term a thorough flick through I would proclaim it to be most excellent, for newbies and old…bies. There are even sections on “Providing room to grow” (so you can force your child to wear the dress you made for their first birthday well into their early teens) and upholstery (a beginner’s guide I grant you but still rather impressive non?).


And then there are the patterns…I’m a huge vintage sewing pattern fan, but sometimes they can be borderline HYSTERICAL…here we have the full gambit…

The Good…

I actually want to make one of these quite badly…I would name him Carlos…there’s also a pretty mean looking stegosaurus named Derek which, as dinosaur names go, is appropriate in my opinion (can you really argue with alliteration?). I am suddenly left questioning though why the dinosaur is allowed a name but the crocodile is merely ‘cuddly’…tut tut RD, I dislike your toy hierarchy…

The Workable…

Can you ever really go wrong with a good shirt slash shirt dress? With some fairly minor tweaks and good fabric choice I think this could be a winner!

…Aaaaaaaaand the downright ugly!

This ‘party dress’ would nowadays be considered child cruelty…with that in mind, I have now begun using this as a threat to keep little sis in check…safe to say, her room is spotless!

I am merely dipping my toe in the wonders this book has to offer, but it’s safe to say that should you too find this for a steal (by which I mean cheap…I do not condone or encourage thieving) I suggest you buy it because it’s the dog’s boll…ards…



4 thoughts on ““Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.”

  1. Having grown up as an ardent Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables as a little girl in the 80s and early 90s, I actually have a rather soft spot in my heart for that style of night gown (which I wore scads of at the time to try and emulate the sleepwear fashions I pictured the characters from those books sporting), but do fully admit that they’re not to everyone’s taste, especially after the age of oh, say, ten years old.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* That quote is one of my favourite from Ms. Woolf ever.

    • As a night gown it would bother me less, it’s the fact it’s referred to as a party dress I find weird…unless it’s a pyjama party I suppose, haha! I totally love that quote too…sometimes I have to spend a while hunting for an appropriate quote for the post but this was one I was searching for an excuse to use!

      P.S. Anne of Green a Gables is truly excellent, you clearly have excellent taste and as such I will not judge you for your penchant for the afore mentioned garment, haha!

    • It’s one I find myself consistently referring to…If I could only keep one sewing book this could well be it…although I’m glad it’s a decision I don’t actually have to make, can’t bear to get rid of books!

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