Book review: The Sweatshop Book
The Sweatshop Book, published by Ivy Press, is all about 'Crafts and Cake from the Paris Sewing Cafe', a unique little sewing shop in Paris's 10th arrondissement and the creative community that has grown up around it. The shop sounds like paradise, you can rent a sewing machine, stuff your face with very chocolately cake and, as the book says 'create something with your own sweat' (not literally I take it).
What's it about? The idea is 'to stop shopping and start making'. Though you obviously can't stop buying everything in favour of fashioning it with your own two hands, the book is a good place to start if you're up for attempting it with some of your everyday items.
The projects: The book is split into five 'maker' sections: couture, knitting (yay!), customise, decoration and tricks of the trade; and then a selection of recipes. Projects include sewing your own shopping bag, t-shirt and a very cool fabric painted jacket; making Christmas baubles that look like your family (I love these); a quick-knit fishnet jumper; colour-work album covers for sewing onto garments; a moustache balaclava; customising your old shoes (a lovely bit of upcycling); and creating a vintage-style wall in your home.
Recipes include an yummy-looking chocolate cake, homemade syrup and cardamom bread.
What else is there? The book include the history of how the cafe came to be, some hip photography with a definite French and fashiony feel, a tour around the local area, an exciting list of Paris crafty picks and a list of songs to sew by. You'll also meet the trendy regulars and find out a little bit about their crafty lives.
Craft type? This craft book definitely has that Paris chicness to it, which makes it perfect for the fashionistas, retronauts and hipsters of the craft world. It's also great for lovers of the city and those who want a sneak peek into the craft life of another city.