OH HAI! Here's my crazy ass trying to pull off one of those ever-so-quaint "Blogger By The Christmas Tree" shots! A bit of a fail. I only broke one ornament in the process, when I tried to go Full Blogger and hold a vintage bauble in my hand just so. As if the plaid corduroy and merry red free standing lace embellishments weren't holiday enough.
(The shoes are another story. One day I'll get around to painting the other heel gold.)
Ah, but this post is not so much about the ensemble as it is about the book that brought it to be! I was a tester for Kristiann's new book, Boundless Style, and I don't know how I kept this choose-your-own-adventure delight under wraps.
At the time, I only had private eyes on the super cool app: Lookbook. You know the drill by now; you choose a configuration, like a Frankenstein's monster of fabric-- only, the good doctor Kristiann has done all the work of fitting the connections together for you. Pattern hacking without the work of hacking! Using Lookbook, I chose to test the Georgia Bodice + Farrah Sleeve, done up in some truly awful cotton voile. My stash & workload didn't allow for a trial skirt, but it was a very successful (hideous fabric notwithstanding) test. Beautiful bishop sleeves, and lovely little bodice details...I believe my notes said something like YOU KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK GIRL.
Here's the Georgia Bodice + Bardot Sleeves + Sophia Skirt. As a thank you for testing, Kristiann handed me a copy of this beautiful tome at her launch party at Workroom Social. Fun fact: Kristiann has a voice like dusty church bells. Tell me I'm lying.
I went with the Jackie Bodice + Sophia Skirt for my second round of Boundless Style, and my latest round at The Sewing Party. The holiday corduroy was a lovely surprise from my girl Alicia at Pandora Sews! THANK YOU BEAUTIFUL! You can read and see more about it over at The Sewing Party...
But back to the book! I read this cover to cover, and although I'm not a newbie, I still thoroughly enjoyed the comprehensive chapters on skills and techniques. Kristiann packs a lot of solid information into this book, and doesn't skip things for the sake of "dumbing it down" for newbies. She talks about all the good habits that are great to employ from day one-- like grading to reduce bulk, the importance of pressing, setting in a sleeve cap. The patterns are approached in the same way-- for example, there's a specific lining for the vented Sophia Skirt, rather than the usual "cut 2 fabric + lining." The Jackie Bodice uses twill tape to stabilize the wrap neckline. Although many of us might use those techniques based on our own knowledge, I find that a lot of new books aren't thoughtful enough to include them. And you get finished garment measurements as well, we all know how much we want that!
There's a map for the finishing touches on your beautiful monster...
And a disc of all your patterns in the back! HOW PRETTY IS THAT SKIRT. GIVE IT TO ME. (Don't fret if you don't have a disc drive, there's a digital link available for the patterns.) You print exactly what you want, which is ever so brilliant. I'm a PDF lover, but printing out all pattern pieces, when maybe you only need the top half out of a giant map, well, it saps your printer ink AND your mojo. That juice is 'spensive. Here, you print out exactly what you need as you go, which gives me great big digital hearts for eyes. I now have a TNT bodice, skirt, and lining, all printed out and ready to go.
There are a gazillion places to grab a copy...if your Santa happens to have eyes on an Amazon wishlist, you can find Boundless Style here, or you can get it through Kristiann's shop. Only the Amazon links are affiliated (ETA: if you're new around here, I use my Amazon affiliation to further my sewing and blogging habit, and I will always tell you if I use an affiliate link), and Kristiann did not ask me to review--I'm doing it because I really love the book and the outcome! She truly did a bang up job, and out-of-the-box thinking to boot. I think you'll love it too!