Friday, February 27, 2015

Sewing Fiction: Six of Hearts

I get so excited when I discover a good book that features sewing, knitting or crafting.

Fun fact about me: I am a voracious reader. Completely insatiable. There are weeks when I easily read seven books.

Lately I've been on a romance novel kick, but I also love science fiction, fantasy, mysteries and young adult literature. I also read the occasional piece of literary fiction.

In the sewing blog community, there are a lot of different bloggers who review sewing books, but I confess that I am usually much less interested in these. I like a pretty book as much as the next girl, but I don't really buy/read many of these books.

What I do love is fiction. And I imagine some of you all feel the same. Or at least I hope so!

So I've decided to run an occasional blog series to highlight sewing (and knitting!) in fiction. All the books will be cataloged here -- and if you have a book you'd like to recommend, let me know!

The header for each of these posts will be "Sewing Fiction: Title." So if you aren't interested in book reviews, you can skip these posts.

Now! On to the review!

"Six of Hearts" by L.H. Cosway is what I would describe as a suspenseful, smart romance. (I love stories about people falling in love.)

By day, Matilda works as a legal secretary at her dad's law office, which handles mostly small-time cases. (By night, she spends quality time with her sewing machine.) The very handsome illusionist Jay (insert eyebrow wiggle) comes into the office looking for representation in a libel case. A newspaper has published an article insinuating that someone died as a result of one of Jay's illusions. Matilda's father refuses to take the case -- but when Jay says that he's looking for a room to rent, Matilda's father offers Jay the spare room, which had been recently renovated for just such a purpose. Matilda isn't sure how she feels about Jay living in the room next door, but it seems she doesn't have a choice.

I really enjoyed this book. It's a "new adult" book, which I think is a fancy way of saying that it contains explicit sex scenes, so if those bother you, you'll want to skip this one.

The writing is easy to understand and the book is an easy read. Which is good, because I was unable to put it down. There are some typos, at least in the Kindle version, but nothing terribly egregious that had an effect on my desire to read the book. (Disclaimer: I am a professional copy editor, so I notice this stuff.)

I recommended it to one of my (non-sewing) girlfriends last week and she's already finished it and also loved it.

If you're looking for something light that has a plot, some twists and turns, and a hefty dose of romance, I highly recommend "Six of Hearts."

The Details


The protagonist in this book is a seamstress by night. She has an Etsy business where she sells her designs and she dreams of being a costume designer.

Plausibility of sewing

So-so. The book doesn't go into a lot of detail, but in the beginning of the novel, she wants a new sewing machine and is trying to save $800 for it. Her sewing machine proceeds to just... die. I mean... she's not going to try to have it repaired? I'm giving this one the side-eye.

Best sewing detail

She wears the dresses she makes and they flatter and are vintage inspired, which sounds like most of the sewing bloggers I follow! Also, he loves to sit with her while she sews. Which is just adorable.


Romance / New Adult

Other information

Check it out on Goodreads! [This is not an affiliate link. I just really like Goodreads.] 


Two thumbs way up.

I'd love to hear your feedback about this new feature -- positive and negative feedback are both welcome. Leave comments below or use the contact page to send me a more-private message. Thanks!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

New Look 6266 Button-Down in Mousey Grey Polka Dots

The recent button-down shirt/shirtdress trend in the sewing blog community?

Well I guess you can call me trendy, because I am all about this one.

I'm still very much interested in sewing more clothing for work and I've developed a bit of a uniform of skirt, button-down, cardigan and tights. Endlessly mix-and-matchable!

This is New Look 6266, which I've blogged about once before.

This time, instead of creating a hem that is split at the side seams as instructed, I sewed the seam shut all the way down.

I liked the split hem on my seersucker version for sitting, but the hem split tended to get folded up against my chair and get all wrinkly.

The one error I made on this version is that I didn't have/feel like making normal bias tape, I had quarter-inch bias tape masquerading as half-inch bias tape (ie it was double fold, but not folded in half, if that makes sense). So the underarm is bunching a bit more than usual because only about half of the seam allowance was folded under.

I didn't think it would make that much of a difference, but it totally did!

The fabric I used was a one-yard remnant of mouse grey fabric from Blackbird Fabrics. When Caroline posted on Instagram that she was selling off some remnants, I hopped on and saw this for $5.

I have had a lifelong obsession with polka dots and I adore anything grey.

I did all of my top-stitching with white thread and used opaque white buttons from JoAnn Fabrics -- they kind of look like giant polka dots, don't they?

On the inside, I finished all exposed seams by serging with white thread. I keep meaning to sit down with one of my sewing books and read about flat-felled seams, but I've been lazy.

I finished the hem with the same bias tape I used on the armholes. I do like the look of a bias tape hem and it preserves more of the length. 

I am definitely still in love with the top-stitching on my Pfaff. The stitches come out so clean and even. It makes me want to topstitch all the things!

I have another button-up blouse and a couple shirtdresses to share coming up here. Greg and I finally reordered the guest room so that we can take indoor winter pictures again (the guest room is the only room in our house with suitable natural light for blog pictures!) My apologies for the long absence! We photographed five outfits today, though, so get excited for some blog posts coming up. ;)

I'd love to know what you all think of the button-up trend -- and sewing blog trends in general. Are you all about them? Totally uninterested? Or somewhere in between?