book: home sewn

by kath_red on 11/02/2009

in Books

French General: Home Sewn: 30 Projects for Every Room in the House by Kaari Meng from French General and published by Chronicle Books; Spi edition (September 3, 2008).

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Elegant project, nicely designed book, well organised and easy to follow layout, fabulous photography. This book is eye candy! And makes for a lovely coffee table style book for those who just like to gush over gorgeous vintage fabrics.

All the projects are made from vintage treasured fabrics, old linen and hemp sheeting, grain sacks, mangle cloths, ticking. If you can’t get hold of these unusual, sparse and no doubt expensive finds there are alternatives mentioned, but it may be difficult to achieve that look of ‘rustic elegance’ the projects pictured have.

If you are willing to forget that you don’t have any vintage hemp sheets lying around then you can make these lovely projects from linen or hemp from your local store. All the projects use natural fabrics and the qualities of the fabrics and appropriateness for each project are discussed. There are some lovely projects – for the home – such as roman blinds, bath mat, sling / tote bag, ottoman cover, throw pillows, etc.

home sewn

There were some original ideas in here – such as rustic head board and shaped banner – both used to help insulate the walls and add a decorative touch to your room. I was impressed by the simple but clear diagrams – unfortunately these have been over designed by placing on a layered background.

home sewn

Over all though I think is a lovely book and for those you wish to sew for the home there are some simple but effective ideas here to get you homemaking with style.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 colleen February 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm

i just received this book last week and i, too, love it. i was so sad to realize how costly it will be to buy vintage linen, hemp, and nettle. nettle! how i’d love some nettle! but, i can be satisfied with some old linen from clothing at good will. the patterns are lovely and the book is more than that — it’s a dreambook. i have the french general’s jewelry book, too. i love the sensibility, wish i could get french ticking, didn’t really know what i was missing until now. :(


2 lorchick February 11, 2009 at 4:13 pm

I have this book as well, I won it from Indie Fixx. I love it to pieces! Even though I don’t dare actually use what vintage fabric I have until my DD is old enough to stop trying to destroy everything in her path (so maybe like 30… LOL) I can definitely see myself using some modern prints with just your average fabrics with these patterns too… like the Roman Shade, or the scalloped ottoman cover. I found the book as a whole very charming. I haven’t even opened the pattern packet yet, to be honest, so i don’t know what that looks like, but the book itself gets me daydreaming about beautifuying my space.


3 marissa February 11, 2009 at 8:09 pm

I buy so many sewing books every year and this is , hands down, my favorite one in years! Kaari’s sensibility is so simple and clean – yet with a bohemian twist. I love how she uses hemp for the natural quality – it’s good for our skin! Wow – there’s a new concept – sewing with material that is actually good for us. I have already made 6 projects in the book, the button top duvet cover being my favorite. I hear French General is designing for Moda – I can’t wait to see the beautiful red stripes and flowers!


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