Other stuff

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”

I did it! I completed one of my New Year’s Resolutions.

Not to be confused with Sewlutions. These are things I wanted to do outside of sewing.

(Though this one has yielded sewing related benefits.)


I signed up with Leeds Library!

I’m talking about the city’s main public library which is handily placed smack bang alongside the art gallery.

Leeds Central Library building was completed in 1884 and is Grade two listed.

The library’s interior is so beautiful and impressive; there are tiled floors and large white pillars lining the staircases made of 380 million year old Devonian coral reef.

Wrap your brain around that for a minute.

Victorian architecture and tilings – The Tiled Hall, stairwell and exterior

I love it in there. It’s so calming and inspirational whether you’re in the library, the tiled hall or the art gallery.

As well as having a pleasing amount of general interest books to loan, it also has a specialist art library, as well as a specialist music and performing arts section and an extensive collection of local and family history.

I made a beeline for was the cinema and tv section and then the FASHION SECTION woooooo.

Signing up? Less than 5 minutes.

I sat for 10 minutes gazing at Elizabeth Taylor: A Life In Pictures 


Then I picked up a delightfully bemusing book on recreating the vintage style of your favourite film and music stars, and a fab looking analysis on the stylistic reboot of James Bond since Daniel Craig took the role.

Feeling smug I went up to the art library. This contains art history, architecture, photography, fashion, sculpting, printmaking and much more. It was paradise.

I picked out:

  • Print In Fashion — A book on print and design in textile development which I’m hoping will inspire me to make some designs of my own.
  • Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting — in preparation for the pattern drafting classes I’ve booked myself onto.
  • Fashion A-Z: An Illustrated Dictionary — this is a lovely way to brush up on my terminology.
  • The Merchant and Mills Sewing Book — this beautiful book has excellent tips and a few projects.
  • Fashion: The 50 most Influential Fashion Designers in the World — excellent photographs and biographies of the key designers in fashion’s history.


Fast forward to me sitting at home in the yummy sunshine flicking through all my books.

Lovely stuff.

I’ll leave you with this lovely quote that I hope encourages everyone to use their library…

“[D]on’t ever apologise to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologise to an author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read.” ― Neil Gaiman

(11) Comments

  1. That’s some local library – what a beautiful place, and what a selection of books! I usually join my local library whenever we move house but I never got round to it with this move. You’ve given me a reminder to make sure I join when we move again next month.

    1. Ooh my, sounds like you move quite a bit! I hope you do sign up in your new place. Maybe it’ll be a treasure trove of great books!

  2. I love Leeds library, such an awesome place. And the Tiled Hall cafe is beyond scrummy as well!

    1. Hells yes. The food is amazing and its such a lovely sunny spot too!

  3. Béa says:

    Oh my stars! What a beautiful building- how inspiring and uplifting it must be!

    You’re reminding me I should visit my own library, and check out what sewing books I can find there. It’s a ghastly 70s block, nowhere near as beautiful as yours!

    1. Oh dear that doesn’t sound the prettiest but focus on all the awesome stuff inside perhaps 😉

  4. A brilliant post! I’m a librarian and a sewer and am so glad you discovered one of the best free resources we have, hopefully your post will encourage others!!

  5. Wow, what a beautiful place, I didn’t know this library existed! I used to love studying in the British Library…. so inspiring. I don’t think they have a fashion section though 🙁 Enjoy!

  6. Ooo… you have planted a fantastic seed. I’m going to check out my new local library this weekend. Something I’ve been meaning to do for far too long! x

  7. Congratulations! And, what a fantastic library. Wish my local library looked like this.

  8. I’m very jealous! What an awesome selection. Enjoy your pattern drafting courses.

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