I first discovered the writer Adriana Trigiani while on holiday last Summer. I’d picked up her ‘Big Stone Gap‘ for the bargain price of 99 pence, along with a stack of others in a local charity shop. It came highly recommended, with review sound bites from both Sarah Jessica Parker and Whoopie Goldberg no less. Set in Virginia, it’s a romantic, feel-good tale of its narrator’s voyage of self discovery.
So when I spotted another title, ‘Lucia, Lucia’, by the same author in another charity shop recently I couldn’t resist! And I’m sew glad I didn’t. It’s the first time my two favourite hobbies of sewing and reading have collided so happily, and to such great effect 🙂 I’ve read a couple of novels involving knitting before: they were ‘ok‘ in a kind of lightweight, but if I’m honest, slightly naff way… This, however was well-written and totally convincing. It revolves around a young, Italian girl who becomes an apprentice for a clothing designer at a Fifth Avenue department store, and amongst other themes, charts the golden age of couture design in the most intricate detail. It really was a joy to read!
Around the same time I managed to get hold of the Autumn/ Winter, Burda Vintage Style Special. While I’ve no intention of making any of the beautiful designs featured any time soon (although I have spied a very tempting version of the Rosa Balloon Jacket over at handmadebychris.wordpress.com), what I loved about this publication was the in-depth history behind each style featured, complete with the most lovely images, sigh!
Sometimes it’s just as good to read about sewing as it is to actually do some sewing.. Has anyone else come across any other ‘sewing’ novels that you’d recommend?
26 thoughts on “A Sewing Good Read”
I’ve never come across a book involving sewing before however the one you speak of sounds quite interesting! I do however love that burda magazine! I bought it and spent a good few evenings flicking through the pages on repeat! Such great inspiration!
Isn’t it lovely? I couldn’t stop myself from re flicking through it for a good half hour or so last night as I was writing this post 🙂 The book is a great, easy but satisfying read too.
Ooooo I loved that book too! It made you want to dig out vintage patterns immediately! Another really good sewing related read is The Seamstress by Maria Duenas- it was hugely popular in Spain and they even made a tv series of it! Sewing meets war/spy drama..
Great! Thanks for the tip, will definitely look out for it. I love historical reads, so sounds right up my street 🙂
I just went and googled the hell out of both of these books and looks like Iv’e got some holiday reading lined up!Massive thanks for sharing both of these books 🙂
My pleasure! Enjoy… 🙂
I tend not to read novels – if I’ve got time on my hands I like to be making stuff rather than read! Like the look of the Burda though.
Best of both worlds I’d say…
I bought this Burda too, it eventually arrived after many repeated trips to WHSmiths. I love the style and look of it too, and there is a particular dress I would like to make, with a sort of gathered neckline. The multi-pattern layout is a little off putting though!
I really like quite a few of the designs, but know they just wouldn’t get worn, so I’m trying to be practical and yep, those crazy, chaotic pattern lines won’t be tempting me any time soon 😉
I enjoyed Lucia Lucia. You might like ‘the pink suit’ which is a fictionary account about ‘that’ Chanel style jacket suit for Jackie Kennedy. I read the dressmaker by Rosalie Hamm this summer. It’s quite different from Lucia Lucia but I loved it. Set in Australia and coming out as a film later this year (Kate winslet and Hugo weaving). I have just put the seamstress by Maria duenas on hold at the library ;o)
Now that will keep me busy! Thank you 🙂
It’s not about sewing but I like A Vintage Affair (can’t remember the author now) about a lady who runs a shop selling vintage dresses and such… I read it years ago so can’t remember it very well but it was a fun read! I just might have to get my hands on Lucia Lucia 🙂
I’ll look out for it Beth, thanks.
I loved The Thread, Victoria Hislop. And loved that! Will look out for this one!!
Do you know I think I’ve read that one. She also wrote The Island didn’t she? Must check my book shelves…
Yes! Also the Kashmiri shawl is good. Fabric related!
I’ve had a look for mine but must have passed it on or would have sent it. X
🙂 Thank you! You did brilliantly on this week’s episode btw: getting into your stride now.
Thanks! I loved the edit this week! Great fun!!
Hi, hope you’re having a good half term. I’m attaching a link to my blog post which gives the lyrics of a WW1 song (not a novel – sorry) about a seamstress who is about as skilful as I am. Thanks to everyone for sharing ideas about reading matter – I now have my Easter reading sewn up!
Me too! Will take a look at the lyrics 🙂
Ooooh, sounds terrific! I’m going to the library next week to see if they have it.
Hope you find a copy 🙂
Interesting! I’ve never seen such good suggestions. I will have to check them out! Thanks.
Hope you find a few you like 🙂