The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

The Saturday Miscellany: How to sew; bestsellers' typography; Space missions; Instant ethics; Shelfies with Joanne Harris

 

How to sew

by Oscar Quine

"You do not need to have spent your formative years at your mother's knee watching as she sewed," says Stuart Hillard, semi-finalist on the first series of 'The Great British Sewing Bee', in 2013.

"Preparation and accuracy are key. Make sure fabrics and paper patterns are wrinkle-free. Use sharp dressmakers' scissors, cut and sew accurate seams, mark them with a pencil if you need to; use pins, sew slowly, and unpick your stitches if things go wrong."

"Use good-quality fabrics and thread. Great sewing is like great cooking: use good-quality ingredients, treat them simply and let that quality shine. Expensive buttons make everything look better."

"Start simply and build your skills. Don't offer to make a friend's wedding dress as your first project. Start with something straightforward, do it well and bask in the praise of your non-sewing peers."

Rotating column: type positive

by Will Dean

Two of this year's biggest books – Eimear McBride's slow-burn bestseller A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing and Lena Dunham's fast-burn Not That Kind of Girl – share more than just a word in their title.

Both feature a similar curlicue font and a typography which dominates their covers and have echoes of Seventies-style paperback design – and in Dunham's case, at least, a hint of similar essay collections by the likes of Gloria Steinhem and Helen Gurley Brown.

Both follow Danielle Pender's Riposte magazine, an acclaimed biannual about women, created in response to the state of mainstream women's glossies which also employs text-only covers inspired by a 1950 copy of National Geographic. Here, the power of type – rather than pictures– fuels the ideas within. They also look pretty cool.

Dear Ellen: Instant ethics

Q I borrowed a friend's tatty and old – but designer – jumper and accidentally put it in the dryer and wrecked it. He wants £120 to replace it. Fair?

A You're getting off cheaply. I'd have charged you twice that for a jumper from Primark (that's £3.99 to replace it, plus £236.99 for emotional distress caused). Next time, buy your own jumper. @MsEllenEJones

Micro extract: You do the math

"The diverse spectrum of links between mathematics and all art is not unexpected. Mathematics is the catalogue of all possible patterns – this explains its utility and its ubiquity."

From '100 essential things you didn't know you didn't know about maths and the arts' by John D Barrow (£10, Bodley Head)

Four play: Space missions given Greek names

Apollo*

Gemini

Mercury

Tess

*Nasa launched Apollo 7, today in 1968

All good things

by Charlotte Philby

Soul survivor

Mahabis is a luxury unisex slipper brand "combining Scandinavian design principles and European craftsmanship". With a detachable sole available in various bright shades, they can be worn indoors and out. £49.99; mahabis.com

Perfect pins

Fully customisable leggings from Chicago-based label Bombsheller are made using 3D-printed technology to fit your exact shape, in your chosen (bold) design – and posted the same day. From $69; bombsheller.com

Flower power

A stunning new book, 'Floral Contemporary' by Olivier Dupon, celebrates the colourful – and often mind-blowing – world of modern flower design. £45, published by Thames & Hudson on Tuesday

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in