Crafts & DIY | November 15, 2012

”Library Cory, Steve & Diane Slavik. Affordable Bathroom Upgrades: Transform Your Bathroom on a Small Budget. Creative Homeowner. 2012. c.240p. illus. index. ISBN 9781580115575. pap. $19.95. DIY

Renovations dealing with plumbing can be a bit scary. Cory and Slavik ( Affordable Kitchen Upgrades ) dive right into bathroom upgrades with some great instructions on plumbing and fixtures. The book includes a gallery of fashionable bathrooms. The projects start with faucet replacements and toilets, then move on to storage, tubs, showers, and flooring. Step-by-step instructions are paired with clear illustrations. All projects assume knowledge of tools and techniques, making most projects advanced. Unique projects include tub refinishing and radiant floor heating. VERDICT Sterling instructions are the star of this book. Pair this with Make It Your Own Baths by Jeanne Huber (Sunset, 2012) to balance the more technical projects with some very simple bathroom upgrades. Highly recommended for all public libraries.

”Library Hirsch, Gretchen. Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques. STC Craft: Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 2012. c.207p. illus. photogs. index. ISBN 9781584799917. $35. FIBER CRAFTS

Vintage and vintage-inspired fashions are popular, but the real deal can be difficult to find. Hirsch, whose popular blog, Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing (, chronicled her Julie and Julia-style quest to sew her way through the 1952 edition of Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing , brings her vintage tailoring know-how to the masses in her first book. The main focus of the book isn’t the patterns but the techniques, many of which are lost to most contemporary sewers. Though the focus is on couture-style details, like boning and hand-finished seams, the garments are surprisingly accessible. VERDICT Like her blog, Hirsch’s book is like a chat with a friend who happens to be an expert seamstress. Even if the vintage-inspired garments aren’t your style, there’s plenty to learn from this book.

”Library Bradbury, Dominic (text) & Richard Powers (photogs). The Iconic Interior: Private Spaces of Leading Artists, Architects, and Designers. Abrams. 2012. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781617690051. $65. INTERIOR DESIGN

Bradbury visits homes whose interiors “sum up a design movement or define a particular style” of 20th-century interior design. Descriptions of the homes, located primarily in the United States and Europe, include text, color photographs (altogether more than 500), and a brief biography of the resident or designer. The inhabitants, including Alvar Aalto, Billy Baldwin, Donna Karan, Todd Oldham, and Russel Wright, represent the epitome of 20th-century design and style. VERDICT With such a detailed description of the best of the best in 20th-century interior design and the range of styles represented, this book is an outstanding reference and fulfills Bradbury’s intention of encouraging both amateurs and professionals to take a bold approach to design.

The following titles are reviewed in the November 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Cross, Maggie. The Art of Chinese Brush Painting. Crowood Pr., dist. by Trafalgar Square. 2012. 208p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781847972897. pap. $32.95. ART INSTRUCTION


Ross, Heather. Heather Ross Prints: 50+ Designs and 20 Projects To Get You Started. STC Craft: Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 2012. c.112p. illus. photogs. bibliog. ISBN 9781584799955. pap. $24.95. CRAFTS

Wiseman, Jill. Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches. Lark Crafts: Lark Books. (Beadweaving Master Class). 2012. c.120p. illus. photogs. index. ISBN 9781454703563. $27.95. CRAFTS

do it yourself

Petersik, Sherry & John Petersik. Young House Love: 243 Ways To Paint, Craft, Update, and Show Your Home Some Love. Artisan: Workman. 2012. c.336p. illus. ISBN 9781579654788. $25.95. DIY

fiber crafts

Anderson, Sarah. The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns. Storey. Nov. 2012. 256p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781603427388. $27.50. FIBER CRAFTS

Barnfield, Jo & Andrew Richards. The Pattern Making Primer: All You Need To Know About Designing, Adapting, and Customizing Sewing Patterns. Barron’s. 2012. c.191p. illus. photogs. index. ISBN 9781438000831. pap. $23.99. FIBER CRAFTS

Crochet Noro: 30 Dazzling Designs. Sixth & Spring. Nov. 2012. c.144p. illus. photogs. index. ISBN 9781936096480. $24.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Walters. Angela. In the Studio with Angela Walters: Machine-Quilting Design Concepts Add Movement, Contrast, Depth & More. Stash: C&T. Dec. 2012. 128p. illus. photogs. ISBN 9781607056553. pap. $22.95. FIBER CRAFTS

interior design