Improv. The definition means to create or do something with whatever you have on hand. In the case of comedy it means to be spontaneous and without preparation. In the sewing world, it means to create something that inspires you, either from trial and error or creating something without strict patterns or set of fabrics - use whatever stash you have. Improv Sewing: 101 Fast, Fun, and Fearless Projects (Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut) captures all that and more in a sewing book written for any sewing level.
The key to being able to sew 'improvisationally' is to know how to take measurements correctly and understand how different fabrics perform together and with different sewing methods. The authors take care of one part of this in the first chapter with details on stretch knits, woven fabrics, a visual stitching guide, and about working with sewing machines. The second chapter is all about measurements and cutting out your own patterns. With these two essential guides down, the rest of book goes into different patterns and ways to embellish them.
Blum and Immergut's 'Five Basic Designs' are pretty much all you'll need in improv sewing at home: a two-panel garment (think simple tunics and dresses); a four-panel garment (for a slimmer fit); a two-panel skirt (the classic A-line); a three-panel wrap skirt; and a stretch-panel skirt. The rest of the book goes into all the details which can be added to ready-to-wear as well: Ruffles, Pleats, and Trims; Lines; Doodling, Sketching, and Writing; Applique; Stenciling; Beyond Fabric; Upcycling; and Instant Gifts, Instant Gratification. All the templates for the projects are included in the back, and the basic clothing patterns are traced out in the illustrations.
For anyone interested in improv sewing, Improv Sewing would be the first book to look at.
- Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques; 101 Fast, Fun, and Fearless Projects: Dresses, Tunics, Scarves, Skirts, Accessories, Pillows, Curtains, and More; by Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut
- Storey Publishing; 2012
- ISBN13: 9781603427401
- Paperback, 320 pages