oh Amazon, I'm mighty impressed

Wednesday, 13 August 2008
When the Aussie dollar got to 96c US recently I decided now was the time to pounce and grab some bargain books from Amazon. I hadn't bothered in the past due to the poor exchange rate and postage fees, but this time it all worked out so well. And why am I so impressed? Well despite me picking the cheapest shipping rate which meant the books I ordered should have taken at least a month, they arrived less than two weeks after placing the order!

So what did I buy? First up I bought the David Coffin book Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing which I know has been given high recommendations from other sewing bloggers. After following this tutorial made by Sigrid over on Pattern Review for the collar stand which came from the David Coffin book, I was convinced. And it was only $13.57 on Amazon, as opposed to $55 for a paperback here in Australia.

I also bought Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket. I have borrowed this from my local library and it has some great techniques for modern day tailoring, ie not all by hand but some shortcuts by the sewing machine or with fusible interfacing. That may be sacrilegious to some traditionalists, but I like to achieve results whilst at the same time getting things done quickly, so it appealed to me. This is $34.95 in Australia, but was only $12.89 on Amazon.

But most exciting (to me at least) was the purchase of Amy Butler's little stitches for little ones. I have to say I haven't been the biggest fan of Amy Butler's books, because they are quite simple and are for things I don't really make like tote bags and big floppy hats. But since I have a baby coming, and to be truthful I haven't been that clucky about it so far (should I be worried that small children still annoy me when I'm soon to bring forth one of my own?) I thought this would get me in the right mood. And I think it will, looky at these cute things I plan to make:

A cute dirty laundry bag, a handy change table cover and some smart wrap around booties are things I'll definately make. Possibly even a nappy bag or two. This book being a new release isn't even available in Australia yet and who knows what price it will be, but given that her other books are wildly overpriced here I'm sure it will be at least $35 - $40, double the Amazon it was only $16.47.

So all up the books cost me $62.93 US including $20 postage, whereas if I had of bought them in Australia it would have cost $108 US plus I would have had to wait. So all round I'm very happy, I just need to get sewing to get my money's worth now!

And in response to elizabethe's question to my last post regarding my technique for sewing double layers, I made that particular top using two methods. For the upper part of the body, I sewed one back piece to the two front cross over bits to create the outside shell, then I sewed one back piece to the two front cross over bits to create the lining shell, then sewed these right sides together around the neckline - this way when I turned it out the edges were contained inside nice and neatly and I didn't have to bother with folding over and stitching or attaching facings. For the lower part of the bodice though I just basted the two layers together at the edges and then treated it as one piece when sewing it to the top part. This meant the side seams and the joining seam of the bodice and lower front were left raw and in the open, and I really should have encased them by doing the same sewing right sides together and turning, but by the time I had the fit right there was no way I was going back to tidy that situation! Anyway, I hope this helps with your sewing, I'm no technical expert but I can recommend sewing thin layers double, it does make a noticeable difference.


  1. Love your blog! And hey I have been eyeing off Shirtmaking and Tailoring on Fishpond just this week but I was umming and ahhing over getting them. So you recommend both? I think I can only afford one for now hmmm

  2. I absolutely love the combination of the orange wall with the green stripey fabric in the first picture from the Amy Butler book. Orange is such a great pick for a gender neutral baby room rather than dull yellow. And I usually hate orange!

  3. Good buy for books. I agree about Amy Butler, they're cute things, but not what I want to make. And having 4 kids, don't worry if other kids bother you some. I know when we are around other people's kids, the crying, etc. will get to us, but ours are not as bad. I did not say we like ours to whine/cry, but it's easier to deal when it comes from yours.

  4. You know, I wouldn't worry that your not into "other babies". That's not a big deal, it happens all the time. But, when I would worry is when after you have your's your not into it! Then it's time to get a bit of council! LOL... you know once they hand that little sweet bundle to you and you know it came from you and your sweetie... there's just no turning back! It's usually love at first sight!
    My daughter (has an almost 3 year old) was telling me the other day... you know, there is something just gross about having to wipe another childs nose... that isn't yours that isn't very fun! (she helps in the primary area of our church on Sundays and teaches the kids age 4 years old) I told her yeah, it's no big deal when it's your own little one. But well, sometimes, when it's someone else's... ick!
    Hang in there. Way to go on the books!

  5. My mother always said that other people's children always annoyed her but she loved her own children. I completely understand some other people's children are hard for me to handle but I love children overall.

    Love your blog and have been lurking for a long time.

  6. Lucky you bought when you did - the rate today is 86 cents! It has dropped 10% in the last couple of weeks.

    The first two books I have and do recommend.

    And I didn't like other peoples kids until I had mine - it really gives you a new perspective having your own. Suddenly you can appreciate them for being real human beings rather than just noisy creatures.

  7. Your blog is wonderful to read and an inspiration although I don't have your skills or sew at your level. It's fun to read about what others are doing.

    I echo other moms comments about being annoyed by crying/whining kids. When the crying child is yours, you will likely find that the noise is not annoying but the babies way of communicating and will be music to your ears....well until you are so stressed from sleep deprivation, days without a shower, and no time alone let alone to sew....Then the cries could become annoying or more. But that's what DH's and grandmas, siblings, friends, and neighbors are for. When they ask what they can do for you, don't be afraid to ask for some time. Taking a break from the sweet one now and then will allow you to appreciate the new little one all the more.


  8. That's funny, I recently bought the same (first) two books...and a few more because I just felt I couldn't NOT buy them. Oh well, they'll be put to good use.

    Good luck with the baby, I'm sure yours will be the most beautiful in the world (aren't they all?).

  9. Thanks so much for answering my question. It's a big help. I have a thin grey knit that I love the color of but it's a little sheer. I think doubling will do the trick to make it okay for business meetings.

    I ditto other people about your kid and other's being totally different. MY little almost two year old munchkin is sitting right here next to me saying "uh oh" because he is throwing his dinner on the floor (because I'm ignoring him to type this comment) and I think it's adorable. I never was a kid person before, but I like my kid and I like my mom-buddy's kids.

  10. thanks for the book recommendations...off to my amazon wishlist! cindy

  11. Here's my theory on other people's kids........it's a bit like other people's dogs/pets, your's are soooo much nicer!!
    You'll find that very true when you get to meet your own beautiful bubba.