Posted on 101 Comments

Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway


oilcloth lunch bag

I’ve been eager to review this book for some time, but I have been overwhelmed by choice.  Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts is a substantial volume, to the tune of 400 pages, and so much of it grabbed me right out of the gate.  The 250-page project section is organized alphabetically, and let’s just say that I already had too many ideas by the time I got to the “Bags” section.

The first ninety pages explain basic techniques (sewing, applique, embroidery, quilting & patchwork, dyeing, and printing), then comes the A to Z project section, and fifty pages of miscellany (tools & materials, tips & extra techniques, cd patterns & templates, sources, buyer’s guide, index, projects by technique, and photography credits) bringing up the rear.  There is also a CD included, with printable patterns and templates on it.

But let’s get back to that project section, because that’s where all of the fun is.

If you are a subscriber to Martha Stewart Living, then you’ve likely seen many of these projects before.   Or, if you’re like me, maybe you haven’t… I received a gift subscription to the magazine last year, and while I love the Martha aesthetic, I’ve rarely had time to read the magazines.  Twelve issues are currently languishing in my magazine rack, waiting for me to get around to giving them some attention.   I just don’t have time for magazines these days, but books?  That I can manage.  So a compilation such as this one is perfect for me.

oilcloth lunch bag

These “oilcloth lunchbags” were one of the first things to catch my eye.

As you know, I’ve just started a new part-time job, and since I’d prefer to carry my lunch to work whenever possible, I have been wanting to make a reusable bag.  I’ve been drawn to the look of oilcloth lunch bags, so when I saw this project, and later found a great cherry-pattern fabric, I had to try it.

cherries galore

The construction was relatively simple, although my machine had a bit of difficulty feeding the oilcloth through.  My bag is not perfect, but I still really like it, and I intend to use it regularly.  In fact, stay tuned, because I think I feel an “eco-friendly lunch ensemble roundup” post coming on later this week…

So.  What else looks like fun?

Martha's new sewing book

  • Aprons!  I know, last thing I need is more aprons, but I am so eager to get my hands on some ticking stripes and make the “baker’s apron” anyway.
  • The “fabric pocket tote bag” is genius, and requires very little sewing.  In fact, you could probably skip the outer pocket & embellishment, and the project would be no-sew.
  • If my kids had their own bathroom, I’d be all over the “rain slicker shower curtain.”
  • I’m considering some “drawstring pants” for our annual beach weekend coming up.

Four appealing ideas, and we’re still only up to the letter C (for Clothing)!

I’m intrigued by some of the projects that involve dye – you all know I’m a big fan of tub dying.  For instance, it has never really occurred to me to over-dye fabrics that already have a pattern on them, but this book does some great things with ticking stripes and bright colors.  There are also a few projects that involve bleaching a patterned fabric and then over-dying it.  It occurs to me, I might be able to save some of my stained Winter cloth kitchen napkins with that technique – enough of the original pattern would remain that they’d still look like they belonged with the set.

Martha's dyed pillow covers

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes a Martha project can be too “fussy” or have far too many steps, and there are certainly projects in here that do seem entirely too ambitious for me.  That said, the aesthetic is so pleasing, it’s easy to look through this book and be inspired to take aspects of the projects and use them in simpler ways.  For instance, I love the look they’ve achieved with their “drawstring bolster” project – a pile of bolster pillows, covered in ticking stripes that have been over-dyed in varying shades of green – but I would prefer to apply that fabric technique to simpler envelope pillow covers that I already know how to make.  A pile of them in shades of olive, brown and red would look great on my living room couch!

I expect to enjoy flipping through this book for inspiration for a long time to come. 

How about you?  Would you like a copy?  The nice people at Potter Craft gave me an extra book to share with a lucky blog reader.  Simply leave a comment here, and I will choose a winner at random sometime on Sunday, May 9th.  If you’d like an extra chance to win, you can use the reTweet button below to spread the word to your Twitter friends (no need to post another comment – I’ll be able to find you via the tweet itself).  Good luck! Comments are closed – we have a winner!

Until then, here are some links to keep you busy:

Posted on 101 Comments

101 thoughts on “Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway

  1. I’d love a chance to win this book! Thanks for the chance.

  2. thanks for the giveaway chance! looks like a goodie. and who can’t use some inspiration now and again?

  3. It does indeed look like a goodie! Count me in!

  4. Me me! My library keeps saying this is “on order” but I think I’m gonna want to own it.

  5. Oh my! I do love me some Martha. Count me in!
    .-= See Sarah :: greenclogsq’s latest blog post: time passes =-.

  6. ::I love Martha Stewart::

    Thank you for a great giveaway!

  7. Count me in! The oilcloth pattern you chose is perfect! Although, I have a feeling you may end up with a Fall lunch bag and a winter lunch bag…

  8. it’s been quite awhile since i perused her mag, but the pictures and especially the color schemes are so lovely (even if my own aesthetic is more of a mix… since i am so into handstitching right now and working up to getting over my fear of the machine, this would be great. thanks!

  9. I’d love a chance, thank you!

  10. I agree…Martha Stewart can be so inspiring! I am perusing a copy of this book I borrowed from the library, and I would simpy love to have my own copy! Thanks for the chance to enter your giveaway.

  11. I have been looking this one over for a few weeks, how great would it be to win it, instead of buying it? Thanks for the chance…

  12. I’d love a chance of winning this! 🙂

  13. I’ve really wanted to get ahold of this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. RT @lclarke522: New blog post: Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/co7AJB

  15. Great post, thanks 🙂 I know I am on the verge of being an avid sewer and your projects are always an inspiration! I love the Martha aesthetic too, this book looks like it has a bunch of stuff I could proabbly do!

  16. OMG- What adorable projects. I’d expect no less from Martha, craft goddess. Thanks for the review! Love the lunch bag you did! 🙂

  17. This book looks like the perfect inspiration to start sewing again. I kinda stopped after finishing my daughter’s baby quilt a month ago. She just turned thirteen. In my defense, her baby quilt was queen-sized with lots of tiny squares. But still, thirteen years…I think I need to try smaller projects.
    .-= See Kat’s latest blog post: Port Townsend suggestions? (by Kat) =-.

  18. This book may be just what I need to get sewing again. Oh and getting my favorite sewing machine back from the repair shop. 🙂

  19. This book must be very good. I wish I could win one.
    Thanks

  20. I would loooooooooooooooooooooove a Martha Stewart book. Overdyeing sounds fun. I can think of some wardrobe things that could be saved with that process. Hmmmm. Good luck to all. That turquoise and cherry oilcloth is deluxe and delightful!

    Elizabeth

  21. Oh I’d love that book. Oh oh oh I do hope you pick me 🙂
    .-= See deb’s latest blog post: Sneak peak and a winner…. =-.

  22. Just starting to get into sewing more and would LOVE a copy of this book to help me out with ideas!

  23. This looks like a great book. Please enter me for a chance. Thanks!

    Pam

  24. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  25. Oh, I secretly love Martha Stewart! I know she will usually have the answer to what I am trying to craft if I get stuck 🙂 My guilty pleasure is watching her show while my baby naps…
    .-= See MelissaS’s latest blog post: Hello Birdy =-.

  26. Love Martha…she makes it all look so easy. Would love a chance to win her book. A great reference to have in my library. Thanks for the chance to win…my fingers are crossed!

  27. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  28. I gave up on marth stuff a few years ago because it was too fussy, but I am intrigued by this book because a number of friends have told me the projects are phenominal. I would love to give it a try on my own and add her book to my library!

  29. Any Martha Stewart book is a friend of mine. I LOVE all of her ideas.
    .-= See Kashoan’s latest blog post: Giveaway Day 4: KraftyKash Blog-O-Versary From This is Me =-.

  30. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  31. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  32. Great blog post/pix too!!! RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

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  34. Polka Dot Cottage: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and … http://bit.ly/cp6LuP

  35. thanks for the giveaway 🙂 This book looks like fun!
    .-= See wendy’s latest blog post: chowder of awesome =-.

  36. Oh, for sure count me in. My full name is Martha and my friends call me “Stewie” because I follow Martha Stewart.
    .-= See Marty’s latest blog post: Booties =-.

  37. I love the first Martha book on crafts and would love this new one!

  38. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  39. Martha Stewart has the best crafts! I flipped through it at the book store and it looks awesome
    .-= See Thien-Kim’s latest blog post: Do You Hang Art in Your Bathroom? =-.

  40. I just love the oilcloth lunch bag. It looks awesome in the cherry print. Like the cherries in the banner too. Makes me excited for when the cherries come out on our tree. Hope it’s a good crop this year!
    .-= See Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor’s latest blog post: Dollhouse Miniatures… A Bit of a Break from Beads [Spotlight] =-.

  41. I’d love a chance to win this book!!
    .-= See Julie W’s latest blog post: Pattern Testing =-.

  42. Love the lunchbag! The book looks fun and inspirational!

  43. The lunch bag really looks great. I was intrigued when you said it came in a recent blog post and it was for a project for the book. I am glad I didn’t have to wait long, it really is cool. Martha does have some wonderful stuff. Her Halloween issues have always been a treat! Please count me in, would love to have a copy to have a new home in my craft room!
    .-= See PolyClayBoy’s latest blog post: Yesterday – Cincinatti =-.

  44. i am ready for inspiration and overwhelmedness 🙂
    .-= See becky’s latest blog post: I think I’m Prejudice against Men =-.

  45. I love those bags!
    .-= See kimberly/tippytoes’s latest blog post: Spring Fair Fun =-.

  46. Wow, what an amazing looking book! I would definitely love to win it, I have so much fun sewing things for my family and friends.
    .-= See Deb (Two Cheeky Monkeys)’s latest blog post: Orange and Berry Self-Saucing Pudding Recipe =-.

  47. I love your lunchbag! It would be great to win this book.

  48. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  49. Yes, yes, yes, I, too would LOVE to win!! Is that lunch bag cute or what? Thanks for the opportunity-it is a great giveaway.
    .-= See Marlene Brady’s latest blog post: Bake on a Candle Warmer =-.

  50. This book just looks so wonderful to add to my library. That pocket tote-bag looks so divine! This is definitely going on my wish list!!! =)
    .-= See Brandie’s latest blog post: Aprons … =-.

  51. I’d love to have a copy of this book. The lunch bag looks fabulous.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

  52. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  53. Polka Dot Cottage: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and … http://bit.ly/coW58E

  54. Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://shar.es/m6nSM

  55. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3 – This looks AWESOME!

  56. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  57. When I moved to England I recycled 5 years worth of MSL magazines when I couldn’t find a good home for them! I had time to read at leisure then but now I wish I had ripped out and kept some of my favourite project ideas. I like the lunch bag idea, too- not sure my elderly machine could cope with it, though 🙂

  58. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  59. Oh my, it’s been a while since I’ve visited you blog and what delightful creations do find??? And oilcloth lunch bag and a MSL book giveaway! Be still me heart. 🙂 I perused this book at my library but didn’t really give it the attention it deserved, and I would gladly love a copy for my own library.

  60. I so do love your lunch bag. The cherries are so cheery on the blue.
    love visiting your space.
    thanks for sharing
    .-= See Amanda’s latest blog post: sheep stuff part deux =-.

  61. Your lunch bag turned out great! Thanks for the opportunity to win such an inspirational book.

  62. Love me some Martha!

  63. Lisa…thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  64. Love the cherry bag!

  65. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the great giveaway.

  66. I realllllllly want this book!! Thanks for the chance to win one!!

  67. wow, sounds like this book is full of fun stuff. I am getting back into my sewing and would dearly love a chance to win this.

    Lisa, I love your lunch back. totally you 🙂

  68. Hi Lisa! I absolutely love reading your blog! Your creativity inspires me! Thanks for writing about Martha’s new book. I am now inspired to try sewing some oil cloth! But before that, my next project is definitely going to be some colorful home made napkins! Thanks so much for your inspiring life stories and beautiful pictures!

  69. I love your lunch bag! Thanks for always inspiring me in many ways to be creative every day!! Happy spring to you!

  70. Lisa,
    Great Blog. I would love a copy of the book.

  71. The book looks very interesting, I would love to have it. I am really enjoying your blog!

  72. Martha is the most fabulous of them all. That oilcloth is pretty fabulous too!

  73. I haven’t always been sure about the Martha hype but these projects all look fantastic – would love a chance to find out more! 😀
    .-= See Mousy Brown’s latest blog post: Would anyone like to swap with me? =-.

  74. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  75. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  76. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  77. I’m sending a kindergartner off to school in August & would love to make his lunchbag.

  78. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance.

  79. RT @lclarke522: New blog post: Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/co7AJB

  80. Please,
    pick me.

  81. RT @lclarke522: New blog post: Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/co7AJB

  82. Holy cow, what a fabulous giveaway!! I so would love to win this book. It would make a great Mother’s day present – to me. :o)
    .-= See Sandie Russo’s latest blog post: Happy Cinco de Mayo!! =-.

  83. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  84. Cute bag! Would love a copy of this book. Thanks!
    .-= See Julie’s latest blog post: Spring Cleaning =-.

  85. I would love to have a copy of this book!!!
    Please count me in, thanks!
    ap_lemos at yahoo dot com

  86. I LOVE Martha! Oh I really hope I win this book. It would be just in time for my birthday!
    melunder8@yahoo.com
    .-= See Melissa ‘s latest blog post: Flower Beanie Child Size Spring Purple =-.

  87. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  88. I would love to win this book! Your blog has been an inspiration to me – working on some summer skirts out of goodwill tablecloths right now. Please pick me!

  89. I’m hoping for a new sewing machine for Mother’s Day. This book looks like it’s full of inspiring projects.

  90. That cherry lunchbag is so cute! I’m dying to get that book, it looks great.

  91. I love Martha’s projects and only wish I had the skills/patience to try more of them!

  92. Oh I’d love this book! All the projects compiled into one book sounds lovely. And thank you for the round-up of facts about PUL and nylon- this question has been on my mind for awhile. I’ll stick with my glad containers too until someone tells me something I can sew with is safe!

  93. This looks like a great book! Thanks for the chance to win. =)
    .-= See Addie’s latest blog post: February Baby Sweater =-.

  94. RT @lclarke522: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts + Giveaway http://bit.ly/97bvr3

  95. …drool… (the oilcloth AND the book)

  96. I have your blog on my favorites. I would love to win the Martha book the queen of crafts. She is amazing with her staff and her creative mind. I wish I had her mind just for a day. WOW, As a new Mom I just don’t have the time to do a lot of crafts, but I do a little each day. My daughter smiles everything watching her mom make something new. I can’t wait to teach her all the crafts I know. This would be a great book to past down. Keep up your creative energy.
    Inez

  97. Oh, I’ve been wanting this book for awhile. The lunch box looks great!

  98. OMG – This would be the ultimate Mother’s Day Gift…<3

  99. Oooh, I hope I’m not too late! Totatlly missed this post, very unlike me – I just love your blog! So crafty and family oriented, just the way I’d like to blog, but never find time!

    I would lurve Martha’s book, it is soooo hugely expensive here in Australia :-).

    Cheers
    .-= See Deb Cameron’s latest blog post: Monday again! =-.

  100. Hi Lisa,
    I love your website! I am a begginer at sewing so I look up projects online and, for that reason,I am so thankful for sites like your.
    That book would be a great start for me!
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

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