Nursebean Sews a bit and Reads a lot: March 2018

I have done a bit of sewing since the new year began. I finished some long-standing works-in-process in time to mail them to my daughter for her birthday. See Exhibit A below. I love making Ruby Blouses with a patterned yoke and white double gauze for the rest. I finished two and mailed them off. The Ruby yoke can be made with a single fat quarter of quilting cotton so it is a great stash-buster.I also have spent a lot of time planning sewing projects and some time shopping for fabric with the lovely Christmas gift from my husband who is also quite the artist as can be seen in Exhibit’s B and C below. I am not sure what I will use it all for but I love both the In the Folds Peplum top and Rae’s Gemma Tank peplum-ized with this tutorial. I think I will try them both.img_9176I also bought this knit (couldn’t resist) for another Isla dressimg_9149 and some double gauze because when I imagine my ideal fabric stash, it is basically all double gauze. I don’t know what I am going to use it for but I do like the Hadley Blouse in double gauze (check out Teri’s version here) and I like the juxtaposition of a more tailored look with fun fabric, hence the teal below which I bought with the Hadley in mind.img_9115-1I also spent some time and money on finding some new PDF patterns with which to sew up some of the many yards of fabric that I already own. I was inspired by the #makeyourstash instagram challenge and am looking forward to learning new techniques from pattern designers who are new to me: Closet Case Patterns, True Bias Patterns and Tessuti Patterns in Australia (word to the wise, the exchange rate with Australia is very favorable if you live in the US. The two bottom rows are Tessuti patterns.)img_9088-1But with all that being said, I have done very little sewing and have just been reading, reading, reading all the month long. So many good books, most of them recommendations from this podcast and this bookstore.

I loved Heating and Cooling which is prose written by a poet. Beautiful, funny, spare. So good.

Educated is going to be the book everyone is reading, mark my words. It reminded me of The Glass Castle. I couldn’t put it down. Just read it.

I read Frances and Bernard, a beautifully written story told in letters that I learned about when it was recommended as a comp title to Fire Sermon, my January shelf subscription book. I loved Fire Sermon and really enjoyed listening to the Love it or Loathe It discussion  on the From the Front Porch podcast after I read it.

I read Prairie Fires, an extensively researched history of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. It was well written and compelling. The Little House books were the first chapter books I read to myself as a child and this brought all the details back to me and filled in many parts of her story.

Text Me When You Get Home was my February Shelf Subscription book.  I loved this exploration of female friendship. It is a book I might not have found on my own and I am so glad I read it.

I had never read anything by Kazuo Ishiguro and I found The Remains of the Day to be a beautifully written, understated, hauntingly sad book.

I found Forty Rooms again from the From the Front Porch podcast, (notice a theme?) where I find many of my books these days. It was the story of a woman’s life told as a series of stories and memories that take place in each of the rooms in which she has experienced significant events. It was an interesting premise and a good read. Another novel written by a poet, beautifully told.

I read this collection of short stories because I really enjoyed the writing in Fire Sermon and I liked these even better. The writing is beautiful and compelling and sometimes a little weird. I expect to read these again. I love Jamie Quatro’s writing. She also made me miss running which was a big part of my life up until a few years ago.

Stay with Me was beautifully written, gripping, drew me in, made me cry. Read it!

Priestdaddy. I didn’t know what to expect but I loved it. A poet writing a memoir. Hysterically funny, beautifully written, such a command of words. I will read this again. Not for everyone. A bit crass. But so good. Another great book recommended by From the Front Porch and another great Love it or Loathe it discussion.

Far from the Tree: a young adult novel that drew me in and kept me reading. I read it in a sitting. Loved it and highly recommend.img_9074

I had fun going to the new Brooklyn location of this independent bookstore this past  weekend where I picked up two new-to-me titles by Ali Smith, whose recent book Winter was really excellent. I also picked up 4321 which I had heard about and haven’t yet read, figuring that it is so long, I would never be able to read a library copy, and The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch, whose memoir The Chronology of Water was incredibly compelling and beautifully written and I am also (slowly) working my way through Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci.

I read this cozy mystery which takes place in Maine.  I have enjoyed Sarah Graves’ mysteries for many years since Maine is basically my favorite place. It is a light read and I enjoyed the characters and the sense of place. img_9178

I am working my way through this collection of short stories which is my March short story collection (I am reading one each month in 2018.)img_9180

I read this novella which has sat on my book shelf for years. I am trying to work my way through the inventory of books I own but have not yet read. I enjoyed it and plan to read more of Michael Chabon’s books, one of which I already happen to own.img_9179

And I am listening to this mystery on audio book. The narrator for this series is spot on. So much fun, though a bit gory for anyone with a weak stomach. img_9181

Yesterday, I got my March Shelf Subscription book in the mail. I had hoped this would be the one because I loved Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty. So one of these days I will switch back to a bit more sewing and a bit less reading but I am loving reading all the books these days.

I will be linking up to Anne Bogel‘s Quick Lit, a wonderful monthly summary of new reads. Her podcast What Should I Read Next is a must-listen for me every Tuesday. So many fun guests and book suggestions. Highly recommended.

What are you reading and sewing these days? Only one more week until spring. I can’t wait!


10 thoughts on “Nursebean Sews a bit and Reads a lot: March 2018

  1. Alexandra Trusty says:

    Hi Julie,
    I found myself at the airport in Cincinnati OH a month ago, with nothing to read. Passed a Hudson News shop and thought “Nursebean just recommended a bunch of books!” So I located your email and searched systematically for one of your top picks— alas, no exact matches, so I grabbed a New Yorker instead. But I wanted to let you know that I consider you a resource, and appreciate the time you spend sharing your sewing and reading life! Also, your husband’s FabriCard is so sweet. Also, I am counting down the months/weeks until our summer vacation on Deer Isle. (I ❤️ Maine!)
    All best, Alex
    (IG zone5painter)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just came over from Modern Mrs. Darcy. I”m so excited that you love to sew and read! We must be kindred spirits! i can’t wait to explore your blog.
    I just finished sewing my 4 year old a peasant dress this week. What pattern did you use for the shirt? It looks like the perfect summer shirt.

    The best book I read last month was probably Make it Happen by Lara Casey or The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just found your blog (I’m a new sewist) and am excited to read through it. As it turns out, I also work in support for WordPress.com, and I was going to make a suggestion about how to make your menu a bit shorter so your site could be more navigable. (Instead of linking to every post, maybe linking to categories instead, as well as a few select pages?) Anyway, feel free to ignore, I’ll still find what I want to read in here! 🙂


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