Embark on a new creative adventure!

January has brought everyone a much-needed respite from the previous year. It’s a great time to open our creative selves to infinite possibilities of happy accidents. This month’s new titles offer aspiring makers and experienced crafters handmade projects that don’t involve mobile phones. How exciting!

Are you ready to embark on a new crafting adventure? For rad creations that make every wardrobe eco-friendly, try fashion upcycling – sewing and mending projects that won’t break the bank. Perhaps imagine yourself holding a vibrant skein of yarn, eager to begin a beautiful crocheted or knitted project.  Each title features step-by-step instructions with beautiful accompanying photos, making it easy for beginners to achieve success. So, let your creativity soar and follow your innate curiosity to celebrate this new year!

Mending with kids : patching, painting, sewing & other kid-friendly techniques / Levy, Nami
“Mending With Kids shows you how to take torn, stained and outgrown kids’ clothes and make them better than before using various simple techniques that you can do with your kids. This book is filled with helpful tips and techniques. Best of all, most of these techniques are easy enough for kids to join in and put their personal stamp on. And with your supervision, they’ll pick up practical skills along the way. This book has templates for patches and stencils that kids can use to trace fun shapes, and it provides zipper repair, stitching, and darning techniques. You can preserve your kids’ wardrobe and save money, while your kids can participate in saving the environment and exercising their creativity. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!”–Publisher’s description.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Handmade books at home : a beginner’s guide to binding journals, sketchbooks, photo albums and more / Ly, Chanel
“You don’t need to be an experienced bookbinder to create one-of-a-kind books. Chanel Ly, the founder of Bitter Melon Bindery, guides you through 12 practical projects you can personalize to show off your creative side. All you need are a few basic tools and materials to get started.  Adapted from the back cover.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)


Alexandra’s garden vegetables : 30 crochet vegetable patterns / Lord, Kerry
“Here are 30 friendly vegetables waiting to be brought to life by hook and yarn. The array includes orange Pumpkin, yellow Corn on the Cob and red Cherry Tomatoes. In this new book, Kerry Lord heads for the allotment or veg patch to produce delightfully colourful crocheted produce.” (Catalogue)



Fashion upcycling : the DIY guide to sewing, mending, and sustainably reinventing your wardrobe / Hilado, Ysabel
“Save your wallet and the planet by repurposing older clothes and secondhand finds into fashionable new looks! In Fashion Upcycling, popular TikTok designer and Project Runway Junior contestant Ysabel Hilado shares her secrets for reinventing old clothing into dazzling new outfits. With several do-it-yourself, beginner-friendly projects and genius tips and tricks, you’ll learn to express yourself and reinvent your closet in all-new ways.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Sharp notions : essays from the stitching life
“Essays by diverse voices exploring their relationship with fibre arts. In difficult times, the reliability of a knit stitch, a quilting needle’s steady rocking, and a loom’s solid structure can bring comfort. In this nonfiction anthology, writers and artists from different backgrounds explore their complex relationships to fibre arts and the intersection of creative practice and identity, technology, climate change, trauma, politics, chronic illness, and disability.  Sharp Notions showcases Black, Indigenous, South Asian, Chinese, and queer artists and makers and the cultural traditions of craft in diasporic communities. Accompanied by full-colour photographs throughout, these powerful essays challenge the traditional view of crafting and examine the role, purpose, joy, and necessity of craft amid the alienation of contemporary life.”– Provided by publisher.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Made to measure : an easy guide to drafting and sewing a custom wardrobe / Jewell, Elisalex
“Made to Measure guides you to create clothes that fit your body and your individual style while learning pattern drafting, garment sewing, and customizing skills you can use for a lifetime.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

A festive roundup of new crafty reads

Holiday festivities are in full swing, and maybe you’d like to make a wreath to deck the halls! Or perhaps you have a passion for everything sustainable and would like to make a calendula soap to gift to a friend. This month’s offering of new hobbies and crafts books have plenty of nifty ideas for creatives of all levels. The below list includes charming book trees made from old, inexpensive book pages, turning leftover wine into a natural dye, and cute pompom card pegs you can make with your tamariki. Furthermore, for those keen to start a creative lifestyle as we welcome 2024, there’s some beginner-friendly skills and projects to help you get started. So, no matter your experience or attention span level, there is something in our collection that will spark that Christmas joy.

Quick and easy Christmas crafts : 100 gifts & decorations to make for the festive season / Haxell, Kate
“Christmas is a wonderful time of year for crafting! From imaginative handmade gifts to stunning, reusable decorations, this book contains 100 fabulous quick and easy makes for the festive season. All the projects have been carefully selected from Search Press’s best-selling 20 to Make series and are simple enough for beginners as well as seasoned crafters.There’s something for everyone in this book, including knitting, crochet, papercraft, sewing, sugarcraft, cross stitch, polymer clay and needlepoint. Each craft has a handy techniques section to get you started, followed by a range of quick projects that include embroidered snowflake bunting, papercut Christmas cards, knitted Santa and Rudolph finger puppets, crocheted stars and a sugar snowman. All the projects are made using tools and materials that are easy to source and provide all the inspiration you need to make Christmas extra special”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Stars & snowflakes : simple, sustainable papercrafts for the festive season / Lantz, Jennie
“When the nights draw in and you need to add a little magic and sparkle to the long evenings, what better way than to make your own decorations. All you need is paper, scissors and glue, and with the templates and step-by-step instructions in this book, you can create a winter wonderland in your own home. Start with snowflakes in different sizes and scatter them around the room, or hang them from your windows.  All sorts of paper can be used — from leftover wrapping paper, to baking paper and coffee filter paper. There are also wreaths, garlands, leaves, flowers and lots more to discover, and once you start creating these stunningly simple projects, you’ll want to make more and give them as gifts, too!” — Provided by publisher.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Soapmaking for beginners : 100% pure soaps to make at home / Umehara, Ayako
“The all-in-one guide to making 100% natural beauty and bath soaps at home! This book makes it easy to create your own soaps using ingredients that you know and trust. Author Ayako Umehara, a certified herbal therapist, aromatherapy and Ayurveda instructor, shows you how to make your own soaps using pure and simple natural ingredients like olive oil, shea butter, rose hips, as well as many novel aromatic ingredients like Yuzu Matcha Mint, Lemon, Eucalyptus and Salt, Seaweed and Clay. A special section introduces basic techniques for bar soaps and how to vary the type and quantity of plant oils used. An extensive reference section covers everything you need about natural and botanical additives, such as plant and essential oils, herbs, dried flowers, etc. For all your cleansing needs, Soapmaking for Beginners has got you covered–in suds!”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Knitted Christmas stockings : 25 festive designs to make for family and friends / Reynolds, Emilee
“There’s nothing more exciting than waking up on Christmas morning to find a stocking, with your name on it, stuffed with presents. This year, you can create that magical moment for friends and family with these truly special handmade stockings. With the choice of modern designs, jolly elves, classic nativity scenes and traditional festive themes, you can find a style to suit everyone. Why stop at one stocking, when you could make them for the whole family?” — Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Botanical dyes : plant-to-print dyes, techniques and projects / Behan, Babs
“Babs Behan guides readers through everything you need to know to make your own natural dyes. She features recipes and top tips on everything you need to know to make your own natural dyes, focusing on how to turn plants into dyes. — adapted from back cover” (Catalogue)


Retro crochet style : 15 beginner-friendly patterns to create your vintage-inspired closet / Price, Savannah
“Learn to create your own fabulous and one-of-a-kind wardrobe with Savannah Price’s Retro Crochet Style. This book will show you, step by step, how to make the perfect sweater, skirt, pants or dress, all of which can be customized to fit every body shape and size. Be your gorgeous self in clothing that was designed specifically for you or put a smile on your best friend’s face by gifting them a stylish new sweater handmade with love.” (Catalogue)

Slow Fashion Projects Galore: New Crafts & Hobbies Books

With springtime coming soon, everyone looks forward to sunshine and warm weather.  This month’s crafts and hobbies titles are filled with pages that will surely spark joy at every turn. From bagmaking to embroidery, get inspired with handmade extravaganzas that uplift the creative soul and celebrate the planet.

Feeling stitchy? Have fun doing simple projects while saving textile waste going to the landfill with Jen Rich’s book, Stitch, Sewing Projects for the Modern Maker. Also, Zero Waste Patterns: 20 Projects to Sew Your Own Wardrobe by Birgitta Helmersson will help every eco-friendly seamstress create their first tank top using a unique “paperless” pattern method. While The re:fashion wardrobe: sew your own stylish, sustainable clothes by Portia Lawrie offers our budding eco-makers a guide on sourcing and ” harvesting” existing clothes and applying “refashioning” techniques to transform an old piece of clothing into something edgy.

Similarly, if you love lingering at the op shops and hunting for copious amounts of preloved clothes, don’t miss the book by Melody Fortier, New to You: How to Buy, Fix, and Keep Second-hand Clothing. Let the author, a vintage fashion expert, help you build a stylish but more sustainable wardrobe collection.  Another creative goody to keep you busy is Sara Naumann’s Modern Resin Jewellery: over 50 inspiring easy-to-make projects.  Develop a new skill set by creating your own earrings using a few tools and materials.  The author provides over 50 visually inviting projects for budding resin crafters!

So, get inspired this upcoming season with less textile waste and the pleasure of everything handmade that will surely make Mother Nature smile.

Zero waste patterns : 20 projects to sew your own wardrobe / Helmersson, Birgitta
“Zero waste pattern cutting is a bit like a puzzle. You use a pre-determined length of fabric end to end by strategically planning your pattern pieces so that everything is used and then draw them onto the fabric. By using this unique “paperless” method you can eliminate both textile and paper waste from your sewing projects and take the fear out of learning to self draft and sew your own clothing. This book includes 5 simple zero-waste pattern blocks and can then be used to make a further 15 projects by making simple changes or mixing and matching your blocks into new designs.”–Publisher’s description.” (Adopted from Catalogue)

Stitch : sewing projects for the modern maker / Rich, Jen
“Stitch will offer contemporary designs and creative projects for the modern maker with a discernible eye for aesthetics, with a focus on customisable makes, stunning fabric inspiration, easy-to-follow instructions and beautifully graphic photography. The book will cover the basic techniques of sewing with all projects achievable either by using a sewing machine or by hand (and a little more time!), and with no overly complicated techniques. Each project will be photographed and some will be accompanied by step-by-step images to help guide you through more intricate instructions. “–Publisher’s description.” (Adopted from Catalogue)

New to you : how to buy, fix, and keep secondhand clothing / Fortier, Melody
“A guide to finding, buying, and caring for vintage clothing”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Continue reading “Slow Fashion Projects Galore: New Crafts & Hobbies Books”

Winter Projects to Warm-up Your Creative Soul: New Crafts and Hobbies Books

This month, we round up the fresh crafts and hobbies titles to treat your creative self to projects that celebrate WINTER. So, grab those hand tools, and let’s get busy!


From simple hand-sewn mending projects to learning to create your first retro-designed apron, easy projects await the seamstress-in-the-making. Simple hand sewing: 35 slow stitching and mindful mending projects by Laura Strutt and Fabulous fat quarter aprons: fun and functional retro designs for today’s kitchen by Mary Beth Temple can guide you on your first make with only the most basic sewing skills.

As the temperatures continue to drop, winter allows for much-needed healing and recharging.  Flip and tune in to the pages of inspirational stories that will tug your heartstrings, On Mending: Stories of damage and repair by Celia Pym is a must on your list.

Crochet lovers will be delighted with two new reads, Crocheted Houseplants: beautiful flora to make by Emma Varnam and Tom Daley’s Made with Love: get hooked with 30 knitting and crochet patterns. So, crochet your way with these gorgeous projects that will add colour and warmth on a dreary winter morning.  Similarly, Close Knit: 15 Patterns and 45 Techniques from Beginner to Advanced from Europe’s Coolest Knitter by Lærke Bagger is an inspiration for knitters yearning to test their skills with something edgy and funky. With the gnarly rain hitting the capital during these winter months, spending an indoor weekend afternoon upcycling an existing garment or creating something new for yourself can be just the creative boost you need.

Simple hand sewing : 35 slow stitching and mindful mending projects / Strutt, Laura
“Hand sewing is a great way to practice mindfulness through craft. Laura Strutt has designed these 35 projects specially to develop your hand-sewing skills, but also to help you slow down, enjoy the moment, and appreciate the rewards of your work. Using a number of different techniques including visible mending, sashiko, embroidery, thread doodling, boro, and abstract embroidery, Laura shows you how to incorporate these methods into making something useful, creative, and sustainable. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Sewing love : handmade clothes for any body / Ishida, Sanae
“Learning to create and customize your own patterns empowers you to make exactly the kind of clothes you want, and solves the fit issues of ready-to-wear clothing or commercial patterns designed for an “ideal” body type. Ishida takes you thorugh the simple art of pattern-making and garment sewing. You’ll leran to make fashionable yet timeless items completely customized to your own body measurements. — adapted from front flap” (Catalogue)

On mending : stories of damage and repair / Pym, Celia
“A fascinating insight into the work of a pre-eminent craftsperson, On Mending was inspired by Anni Albers’ seminal work, On Weaving, (1965). Not a ‘how-to’ book, this is rather an in-depth look into the damage that we do, as manifested by our outer layers, our clothes.” (Catalogue)



Fabulous fat quarter aprons : fun and functional retro designs for today’s kitchen / Temple, Mary Beth
“Fashionable Fun for Your Kitchen. Those who sew know that a fat quarter stash can accumulate fast. In Fabulous Fat Quarter Aprons, Mary Beth Temple offers a dozen novel project ideas that are functional, fun, and will use your stash with a wink to the past. Ideal for the busy kitchen, your next holiday party, or that special gift for a friend, each design can be made with anywhere from two to six fat quarters and comes with a matching potholder, oven mitt, or hot pad. Best of all, this handy guide offers an excellent starting point for anyone looking to join the sewing community. So grab your stash and let your materials and imagination run wild to create the apron of your dreams.” (Catalogue)

Made with love : get hooked with 30 knitting and crochet patterns / Daley, Tom
“Tom Daley is on a mission to inspire the next generation of crafters. Stitch by stitch, in Made With Love he wants readers everywhere to discover the joys of knitting and crochet. Alongside 30 exclusive projects ranging from covetable gifts to chic homeware, cosy accessories and stylish wardrobe essentials, Tom offers helpful tips and tricks.” (Catalogue)


Design and create contemporary tableware : making pottery you can use / Bloomfield, Linda
“The tableware we use is very important in our everyday lives, whether plates, bowls, mugs, cups or teapots. This stylishly illustrated guide helps budding and established ceramicists alike to create practical and attractive ranges, starting with design principles, working through appropriate construction techniques, and leading on to decoration and finishes. Leading designers Sue Pryke and Linda Bloomfield explain the importance of inspiration and consistency in design, providing step-by-step guides to the main making methods, which include hand building, pinching, coiling, throwing and slip casting. They also offer advice on using various clay materials, and the combination of clay with other materials including wood, metal, textiles and synthetics.” — Back cover.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Crocheted houseplants : beautiful flora to make for your home / Varnam, Emma
“Plants can make any space feel more tranquil, and by making the unique projects in this book, you can enjoy a lush green indoor oasis without ever having to remember about watering, repotting or feeding. Ideal for armchair growers who aren’t keen on getting their hands dirty, these crocheted beauties will give year-round horticultural satisfaction, without any of the hassle. You’ll find retro crowd-pleasers, like yucca, spire, and Swiss cheese plants, along with dramatic purple foliage of coleus, the delicate blooms of the moth orchid and the menacing Venus fly trap.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Create What You Love: New crafts & hobbies books

The autumn vibe is upon us, and what better way to celebrate this new season’s changing foliage to bright reds, oranges, and yellows than starting with nifty creative projects to keep your hands busy and your creative heart happy?

Say goodbye to fast fashion, and hello to ultimate dressmaking projects!  Inside these month’s sewing books are pattern sheets that suit every skill level, from amateur sewers needing a gentle introduction to experienced ones ready for challenging dresses with pleats and details. For avid yarn crafters, author Emma Wright shows how fun it is to CIY (Crochet-It-Yourself) with style while including your creative touch. Or why not go retro? Retro Girl Embroidery by Erin Essiambre will bring all those nostalgic 70s feels while spicing up any living space. Other April titles include Catherine Legrand’s ode to patchwork. With over 300 stunning photographs, every page of Patchwork: A world tour is an inspiration to every fabric fan and artist around. So, whatever your crafting tools are, from knitting needles to a handy little wooden flower press, take a deep breath and treat yourself to these inspiring makes!

How to sew clothes : learn with intuitive, super-hackable patterns / Greenhall, Amelia
“How to Sew Clothes will help you start from scratch or reignite your excitement for sewing-so you can make clothes that are personal, well-fitted, and versatile.” (Catalogue)



A year of sewing with Nani Iro : 18 patterns to make & wear throughout the seasons / Ito, Naomi
“Learn to sew garments that you’ll love and want to wear all throughout the year! Craft a timeless and versatile wardrobe for everyday with Nani Iro, the Japanese fabric brand by artist and textile designer Naomi Ito. In this follow-up to The Nani Iro Sewing Studio, Naomi and her talented atelier present a collection of 18 artful garments that can be enjoyed all year round–simply change the fabric selection or design elements like sleeve length to customize pieces for specific seasons.”–Publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The modern flower press : preserving the beauty of nature / Richardson, Melissa
“A Best Floristry Book of 2022, Gardens Illustrated A contemporary, beautifully illustrated book on flowers, flower pressing and arranging. ‘A delight, packed with stories about the flowers JamJar Flowers work with, as well as practical information’ House & Garden” (Catalogue)


CIY [crochet-it-yourself] : 15 modern crochet designs to stitch and wear / Wright, Emma
“With 15 beautiful designs, CIY: Crochet-It-Yourself takes you through all the steps and techniques that you need to master and refine your crochet skills. In this fresh and modern guide to crochet, Emma Wright shows you how to create your own stylish crochet collection. Once you have mastered the basics, Emma will show you how to confidently play with colour and pattern to make clothes that suit you style and add your own creative flair to.”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Retro girl embroidery : 20 vintage patterns inspired by the 1970s / Essiambre, Erin
“Far-Out Fiber Art to Celebrate the ’70s. From fringe and bell-bottoms to funky patterns and florals, fill your embroidery hoop with the iconic style of the 1970s! Erin Essiambre, renowned fiber artist and creator of Salt Water Stitches, combines her love of the disco decade with her passion for stitching in these 20 unique embroidery projects inspired by the folksy vogue of the ’70s era. Complete with warm desert shades, celestial scenes and peaceful affirmations, these magical designs will instantly add a pop of vintage flair to your walls. Show off the boho outfits of the famous Retro Girls! ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Patchwork : a world tour / Legrand, Catherine
“What do Korean bojagi wrapping cloths, Cameroonian Bamileke boubous, Peruvian montera hats and Hungarian cifraszür shepherd cloaks have in common? Each is made using the ancient technique of patchwork the art of juxtaposing fabrics and motifs to create blankets, clothes, accessories and more. Catherine Legrand, who has spent many years travelling and researching textiles, has a deep knowledge of the techniques and traditions that characterize patchwork. Pieced together much like the gorgeous textiles it portrays, her beautifully illustrated book features over 300 dazzling photographs of patchwork worldwide. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The quilted home handbook : transform your space with the art of quilting / Chow, Wendy
“Perfect for beginners and experienced quilters alike, this quilting book features simple illustrations and easy-to-follow steps that teach you how to make 15+ beautiful quilt projects for around your home, including everything from placemats to a throw pillow to a matching bed quilt and pillow shams”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Bag of tricks: New crafts and hobbies books

This month’s new titles offer an abundance of creative possibilities and spark a sense of wonder. Sew yourself a jasmine duster, a kimono-like dressy jacket. Be enthralled with the complexity of different weaving elements of some well-known tapestry masterpieces in history. There is something for everyone to try. Whether you are a newbie paper clay artist or an experienced knitter thirsty for new techniques, every crafter is guided by each book’s easy-to-follow instructions, ready patterns, and stunning visuals. With plenty of eye-catching projects to choose from, unleash your inner crafter vibe and get started!

You will be able to sew your own clothes by the end of this book / Uzor, Juliet
“Create your own tailored wardrobe, avoid fast fashion, and learn a new sustainable skill with this comprehensive guide for complete beginners. There has never been a better time to learn to sew your own clothes. If you want to avoid harmful fast fashion, create sustainable pieces for yourself and one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones, and curate your own perfect wardrobe, this is the book you need. Get started with the core skills such as how to make accurate measurements, how to use a sewing machine, and how to follow a pattern.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Everyday patterns : easy-sew pieces to mix and match / Jansdotter, Lotta
“An inspiring guide to creating a flexible, seven-piece wardrobe with modern Scandinavian elegance, from style icon Lotta Jansdotter. When Jansdotter wears one of her signature clothing looks, fans frequently ask, “Did you make that?” Lotta’s answer is, “Yes, and so can you!” With that in mind, she has created her second book of easy-to-sew pieces that can be layered to create a variety of looks. Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Patterns is all about flexible, customizable garments to wear in your nest and in your neighborhood, and easy, fun ways to alter each one as the season–or your mood–changes. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The art of tapestry / Wyld, Helen
“Woven with dazzling images from history, mythology and the natural world, and breath-taking in their craftsmanship, tapestries were among the most valuable and high-status works of art available in Europe from the medieval period to the end of the eighteenth century. Over 600 historic examples hang in National Trust properties in England and Wales – the largest collection in the UK. This beautifully illustrated study by tapestry expert Helen Wyld, in association with the National Trust, offers new insights into these works, from the complex themes embedded in their imagery, to long-forgotten practices of sacred significance and ritual use.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Patty Lyons’ knitting bag of tricks : over 70 sanity saving hacks for better knitting / Lyons, Patty
“Patty Lyons is an expert in all things knitting related – she will help you sort out your gauge, unpick problems like twisted stitches and generally spruce up your knitting know-how in this pocket-sized reference book packed full of her purls’ of wisdom. Patty is a well-known knitting ‘agony aunt’ and she will hold your hand as you tackle the problems that often beset knitters and get in the way of beautiful finished projects. This handy guide will always be by your side to help you unravel your yarn problems and get you back on track.”–Amazon.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Modern Japanese embroidery stitches : bold & exotic plants, sea life, charms, letters and more / Tsuchihashi, Noriko
“In Modern Japanese Embroidery Stitches, Japanese textile maven Noriko Tsuchihashi presents over 100 bold, textural motifs to stitch with thread, ribbon, beads and buttons using familiar stitches as well as a few lesser-known ones. Her detailed instructions and lovely suggestions on how to combine and display the finished pieces will inspire you!”–Amazon.com.” (Catalogue)

Complete guide to paper clay : mixing recipes : building, finishing, and firing : 10 practice projects / Tardio-Brise, Liliane
“Liliane Tardio-Brise experiments step-by-step with the reactions of paper clay to the usual techniques of ceramics-pinch building, coils, slabs, wheel throwing, etc.-to bring an understanding of the many ways of working with paper clay. With cellulose fibers added, the clay gains new properties. Rehydrating paper clay pieces brings back their suppleness and allows them to accept deformations, easily repair cracks, and be built on with new clay pieces. Paper clay lends itself to all finishes, can be air dried and/or fired, and, because the fibers burn off when fired, finished pieces are lighter and can be built taller and still maintain their stability”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Origami + kirigami for the home : paper art decorations, gift wrapping, and homemade cards / You, Wei
“Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding and kirigami is the traditional art of paper cutting. In this beautifully illustrated book, paper artist Wei You introduces you to over 30 unique projects for your home that can be made by anyone, regardless of experience. After learning the basic folds, discover different paper types–try out pretty handmade ones such as mulberry and decorative washi, or experiment with the full rainbow of classic origami paper–and find a wealth of ideas from table decorations and tiles, to gift wrap and seasonal decorations.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)