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Review: At Home With Modern June
Please Note: I am NOT doing a giveaway. Please visit other blogs on this tour (links below) for that.
At Home with Modern June: 27 Sewing Projects for Your Handmade Lifestyle has an interesting story behind it. On a stormy night in 2011, Kelly McCants was watching TV with her family when an old oak tree in her back yard blew down, causing a lot of damage to her home.
In the long process of repairs and renovation, Kelly found herself sewing all kinds of new things for the house. And by the end, she realized she had a whole book's worth of home-decorating projects!
Some of you may be familiar with Kelly from her oilcloth and laminated cottons business. Her style is instantly recognizable – so colorful and vintage-inspired. She talks a bit about her visual sensibility in the book, and I love her ideas: don't worry about matching or coordinating anything. Only buy and make things you truly love, and they'll all work together harmoniously.
There are plenty of oilcloth and laminated cotton projects here (like these cool reversable floor mats), but there are also plenty of projects for regular quilting cottons. There's also a nice range of complexity, from simple (even no-sew) things like this to more complex projects like I'll share coming up.
The book starts with a Basics chapter that's written in Kelly's friendly, conversational style, and it covers lots of detail, including a glossary of terms, tools and materials, sewing tips and tricks, and very thorough coverage of using bias tape (it's in a lot of the projects). I see this as a very beginner-friendly book for anyone who can thread their machine and sew a straight seam.
The projects are organized by room, which is an idea I really love. In the Kitchen and Dining Room chapter, you'll find place mats, pot holders, bar stool covers, and this adorable apron, which employs a gingham embroidery technique Kelly's grandmother used.
This shot encompasses projects from the Living Room chapter: panel drapes, pillows, and those nesting upholstered benches. And it brings up another thing I like about this book: it involves skills other than sewing. Basic upholstery skills can lead you to all kinds of wonderful home projects.
I'm in love with this oilcloth potting bench cover. (And, I have potting bench envy.) There's also a pretty outdoor tablecloth and the cute bunting you saw in the "Design Credo" photo above – perfect for your summertime "outdoor living room."
In the Bed and Bath chapter, there's this beautiful laminated cotton shower curtain, plus guest towels and an ingenoius oilcloth makeup tray, along with bed covers and pillows and even a Roman shade.
It's so nice to see such variety presented in such a cohesive way. To be honest, I do tend to see a lot of the same projects crop up in home-sewing books, so I was happy to find so many things in At Home with Modern June that I haven't seen elsewhere.
(Love this cheery little quilt!)
I really applaud the styling here, too. It's beautiful and lifestyle-y, but without prioritizing that over instructional quality. Kelly's done a wonderful job documenting each of these projects…
…And there are plenty of clear process diagrams alongside the text.
Okay – three last things from my favorite chapter, Creative Space. This sewing caddy also represents one of the more complex projects in the book. That's an awesome array of pockets! And at right is a Mood Board bedecked in ribbon. (Also, I have mood board envy.)
…And this pressing table, which I need immediately. Needless to say, I have a world-class case of sewing room envy.
I think this book is a fabulous housewarming gift for a creative friend, or a great jumping-off point for anyone looking to spruce up their home. Every project is truly useful, and Kelly does a splendid job of encouraging you along the way. You can do a lot of space-transforming with this book!
If you'd like to check in on the rest of the At Home With Modern June blog tour, here are the participants:
Monday, April 7th: Stash Books
Wednesday, April 9th: Craft Gossip
Thursday, April 10th: Apronist and Pretty Prudent
Friday, April 11th: Whipstitch
Sunday, April 13th: Sew Mama Sew
Monday, April 14th: Grow. Make. Eat.
Tuesday, April 15th: The Painted Home
Wednesday, April 16th: Finding Home
Thursday, April 17th: Modern June, the Oilcloth Addict
(The usual disclosures: C&T Publishing sent me a PDF review copy; the title links above are affiliate links.)