I always get a chuckle out of those advertisements I see in some of the quilting magazines that show a piece of the curtains cut out, or their husband’s favorite shirt with a big hole in it. It often features two ladies, with one looking incredulous and the other shrugging her shoulders with a certain sense of justification. The implication is that the perfect fabric choice was right there in front of them and they just had to use it. The truth is, when you are a fabric lover and a creative innovator at heart, you see the potential design use in every fabric you see.
And the military uniform is no different. Author Jen Eskridge is not only inspired by the patterns she sees in her husband’s old military uniforms, but sees using them to create something new as a way of honoring and supporting him, as well as sharing in that strong sense of duty to this country. This book is all about celebrating the service-member in your family through one of the best ways we know how: fabric.
Jen begins with a cutting diagram to show you how to salvage the maximum amount of usable fabric from the uniform. She provides advice on how to use pockets, nametapes, patches and embellishments, and offers tips on dealing with the varying weights of the fabrics.
After that, you move on to 23 projects that vary in skill level from beginner to advanced.
Not only is each a unique project in their own right, but they showcase the upcycled uniforms’ features perfectly.
I also love that there is a sense of every-day utility to these projects. Each has a usefulness that is easy to integrate into any military family: from the stroller blanket to the sturdy monster tote.
Jen is also an experienced teacher as well as a military wife. And this really shows in her book. The inspiration for this book saw it’s beginnings due to the popularity of the classes she teaches on military bases. Many of her students are new to sewing. Jen brings this expert teaching style geared to the new sewist into this book. She offers necessary advice for any newbie, from needle size recommendations to easy zipper techniques to inserting a welted pocket.
Most everyone knows of, or even has in their family, a military service member that helps keep our country safe and protects our freedom. On this Independence Day, when we celebrate what we love about America and take a moment to reflect on how lucky we are to be a part of this powerful nation, I can think of no better day than this to introduce this book to you. It, too, is all about honoring and remembering the sons and daughters, wives and husbands, family and friends, who spend each of their days protecting our every-day.
Happy 4th of July!