Firstly, something practical - a pressing mitt and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with this. I’ve already tried it out and can report that it really does work! I’ve put my hand in it and wooshed loads of steam over it and didn’t burn my hand at all. I’m very keen to use it on a real garment. I think, however, the nicest thing about this present is that I didn’t ask for it. Mr Fabulous ventured into a sewing supplies store all on his own and, with some consultation with the store owner, worked out something that I didn’t have that would be good to have! Isn’t that amazing? I have no idea what David Beckham bought for Victoria or Tom Cruise bought for Katie but I bet it wasn’t half as nice or as thoughtful as my pressing mitt!
I also got four wonderful books to add to my growing library. The first one (pictured next to my pressing mitt), called Patternmaking for Fashion Design, by Helen Joseph-Armstrong, is a real technical bible, of over 800 pages. It offers “detailed yet easy-to-understand explanations of the essence of patternmaking”. For those who want to make their own patterns from scratch this is an amazing book but it is also full of useful information for people, like me, who want to understand how commercial patterns are drafted and learn how to alter and adapt them.
The next two books are real inspirational ones. Forties Fashion - From Siren Suits to the New Look, by Jonathan Walford is full of wonderful photographs and fascinating information about how “fashion was considered not a frivolity but an aesthetic expression of circumstances in the 1940’s”. I’m really going to enjoy reading this one.
Mrs O The Face of Fashion Democracy, by Mary Tomer is a truly fabulous source for those of us who admire Michelle Obama’s sense of style. This is where I have to say thank you to Carolyn, of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, because it was reading Carolyn's blog post about this book that motivated me to put it on my wish list. Now that it is in my hands, I can assure you that I am not disappointed. I have been poring over every page and am already thinking about how the patterns in my stash can be adapted so that I can ‘steal’ some of Mrs O’s style.
Lastly is The American Fashion Cookbook – Over 100 Recipes of Favorite Designers, by the Council of Fashion Designers in America. Now, if you love fashion and like to cook, this is one for you! The illustrations are great fun and a lot of the recipes really look to me like they’re going to be worth cooking up – I’m planning on making Michael Kors’ ‘Grandma Bea’s Pot Roast’ and Diane von Furstenberg’s ‘Saturday Night Chicken’ pretty soon. To be followed by Cynthia Steffe’s ‘Apple Crisp’. However, I had better be a bit careful dipping into this book because, after all my Christmas feasting, my waistband is already feeling a little tight. Much more food and my carefully altered and fitted TNT patterns are going to have to be redone several sizes larger!
So, lucky me! Do you like what I got? I'd love to know what you got …………..