Saturday, December 19, 2009

OMG! I Have It In My Hot Little Hands

What could I possibly be so excited about? This may bore most of you, in fact, probably all of you but I'm crazy excited. A few years ago, I checked out a book in our local library on bridal couture. It's a great book. I put this on my "to buy" list for the future. Well with Whitney's engagement, the time had come to purchase this book. The book is from Susan Khalje and it is called Bridal Couture: Fine Sewing Techniques for Wedding Gowns and Evening Wear. I went to my go to site, Amazon. I thought that I was misreading the price, $140.00! I went to Ebay and indeed the starting price for the book was at least $75.00. I was dumbfounded. I really, really wanted that book. Plan B would be to check the book out of the library about 20 times while the Whit's bridal gown is being constructed. Not my first choice.

For over a week, I would check Ebay and Amazon. There is also a sewing want-ads group on Yahoo that I was checking. The cheapest price was still double. That was another option to pay maybe $60 for a used copy. Mind you, this is a paperback book with a retail price of $29.95. The German in me was having a hard time with the mark-up but realizing that the book is now out of print and I didn't have a lot of options. I kept searching with the author's name to see if some little obscure fabric shop had it in their store. After one week of searching, no such luck. Finally, one night I just kept advancing the search button. I can't tell you how many pages into my search I finally found not 1 but 2 places that had the book. Man, I ran as fast as I could to get my credit card. My husband saw the order sheet up on the computer and he quickly said "NOW WHAT ARE YOU BUYING?" I'm using the caps because he did indeed raise his voice. He said that I had a record this month for fabric, patterns, books, etc using PayPal and my credit card. Well it only made sense to explain what a tremendous deal I had found and I just saved him about $110 on the book. This was one of the few times that he didn't roll his eyes and say "yeah, right".

The intellectual side of me said to not get too excited. I looked for the websites copyright date. Hmmm, 2009. Still in business, so far so good. I plugged in my information and waited for a confirmation. I held my breath for about 24 hours until I received notice that my new prized possession was finally shipped out. Last night, the UPS man finally delivered my book. The shop took such care in shipping it. It was neatly wrapped in tissue paper, kind of like a fragile bridal gift. I left out the important parts. I found the book at Who would have thought that an online quilt store would have a resource book like that. I'm eternally grateful though. Of course I had to quickly scan the fabric section of the site but decided that I better not press my luck with my husband working in the same room. The other retailer that I found my book at was Baltazar's in New Orleans. Baltazar's used to have a brick and morter store in New Orleans. They now are only an online retailer. With the times that I have travelled to New Orleans, I always put a trip to Baltazar's on my "next time" list. I blew it there. At least, the specialty items are available online.

This book is a must for anyone who is interested in improving their couture techniques. I am an average home sewer. I don't have any grandiose ideas that Whit's bridal gown will be worthy of couture status but I think I can improve my skills and create a gown that does not look like it came out of mom's sewing room. The book breaks down the construction of the gown, making a muslin, the bodice, the skirt, putting the components together, working with lace, etc.

The other really cool resource book that I added to my library is Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina. This book has always been highly recommended. Sandra is an idol of countless seamstresses and home sewers. The reason why this book is a must-have is that it devotes 2 pages to maybe 80 different fabrics. It recommends finishing techniques, presser feet, needles, thread, etc. for that particular fabric. I was in Beaver Dam taking a smocking class and when that was over, I decided to stop by the Wal-Mart store that is near by. As I pulled up to Wal-Mart, I spied a Goodwill store in the back of Wal-Mart. The past couple stops at thrift stores proved fruitless in my hunt for vintage patterns. I walked around the store looking for patterns. I asked the lady at the counter. She said they either throw them away or used them as wrapping paper. Does that ever make my heart sad. I went to the book section and quickly scanned the area. Scored the Fabric Savvy for $2.99. All-in-all, a good day.

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