Sewing Blog

Story Threads: Celebrate International Literacy Day

Did you know UNESCO declared September 8 as International Literacy Day back in 1965? The purpose of the day is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. Did you know that one in five adults around the world is illiterate? Sadly, the majority of them are women. Learn more about International Literacy Day and how you can get involved on the UNESCO Web site.

One way you can recognize the day is by curling up with a good book, and if your a sewist, there are several great books featuring sewing as a central feature. Bonus points for supporting your local library by borrowing a copy (if they don't own the title you're looking for, ask if they can get it through interlibrary loan).

Here are stories about sewing that are guaranteed to keep you turning the pages!

Open Book in Basket with Blanket

Southern Sewing Circle series by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

A cozy mystery series (meaning the violence is downplayed or treated humorously), the Southern Sewing Circle series stars librarian Toni Sinclair. Soon after moving to tiny Sweet Briar, South Carolina, and joining the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle, the hometown sweetheart is found dead at Toni's back door in the first installment of the series, Sew Deadly. Naturally, it’s up to Toni to clear her name, with a little help from her fellow sewists. But the mysteries don’t end there; there are seven more books in the series.

Bella Fortuna by Rosanna Chiofalo

In Astoria, New York, Valentina DeLuca, her mother and sisters sew couture knockoff gowns for beautiful brides in their boutique, Sposa Rosa. Valentina is set to take a trip down the aisle herself, marrying the dashing Michael Carello in Venice, Italy. But things don’t work out the way they should, and Valentina is forced to reexamine her life and discover what truly makes her happy. Enjoy a trip to Venice (and a little romance) through Valentina’s eyes in Bella Fortuna.

Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing by Kathy Cano-Murillo

Aspiring designer Scarlet Santana finally has the chance to move to New York City and pursue her dream while interning for one of the hottest designers. She just needs to raise some money to fund her move to the big city. Scarlet opens up an after-hours sewing school in a local record shop and takes on a couple of students: a classic type-A working mother and a seamstress with a mysterious past. Naturally, as the women become friends, they learn valuable life lessons about sewing without a pattern in Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing.

Laura’s Handmade Life by Amanda Addison

Laura Lovegrove and her architect husband, Adi, have just relocated from bustling London to a sleepy small town. Laura slowly adjusts to the shabby cottage, nosy neighbors, and even the reappearance of her college boyfriend, Chris. When a fire all but destroys her fabulous collection of vintage clothing, she does the only thing she can -- makes do and mends. Unintentionally, she creates a business selling her eclectic purses, bags and dog leashes. But her husband is acting more and more distant. Can Laura mend their relationship, too? Find the book here.

Threadville Mystery series by Janet Bolin

In Threadville, Pennsylvania, everyone’s stories are connected by a common thread -- and when a local townsperson winds up dead, that’s not really a good thing. It’s up to embroidery shop owner Willow Vanderling to get to the bottom of the mystery and find out whodunnit. This series includes three titles, with a fourth due out in 2014. Find the books here.

Looking for some non-fiction sewing inspiration? Check out my recommendations for garment sewing books and couture sewing books.

Do you have a favorite book about sewing? Share your recommendations in the comments!

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