Sweden has a big international music industry for such a small country, so it is probably well known how creative swedes are out there “in the world”. But did you know we also produce a ton of awesome books, most prominently there has been a lot of crime fiction translated (especially in Germany) in the past few years? Lately I’ve spotted a few awesome books that has been translated to English that I wanted to “promote” so you so you don’t miss them.
They’re for you if you need that extra creative boost when the season changes (or maybe ideas for your Christmas wish list).
I hope you’ll find at least one new favorite in this list of five inspirational craft books from Sweden, with love.
Sew your own clothes
Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Style is a beautiful book about sewing. I simply love the layout and style of this book, every page is full of color, patterns and inspiration. You don’t even need to have a sewing inclination to want to look inside this book, but if you do want to sew your own clothes, you must get yourself a copy of this book. I feel confident you’ll like it a lot. It is photographed over the course of a year in Lotta’s life in New York, Tennessee, India, and Sweden, and organized by season.
Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style is a pattern book/inspiration guide anchored by five versatile sewing patterns for making a skirt, dress, blouse, pants/shorts, and jacket/coat. It also shows some quick DIY projects for making your own accessories, including hats, bags, scarves, and jewelry.
I love beautiful books, don’t you?
Beautiful coloring book from Sweden
Hanna Karlzon is a Sweden-based illustrator and creator of the best-selling coloring book Dagdrömmar, which is the only adult coloring book I own (so far). I got it as a gift, and have colored a bit here and there for fun, though to me it’s beautiful “as is” – inspirational and pretty. It has now been “translated” e.g. published in the US by publisher Gibbs Smith just recently.
In English it’s called Daydreams. I love the beautiful turquoise cover and the gold foil lettering of this coloring book by Hanna Karlzon. The illustrations are imaginative and really delicate, so it’s definitely a book more for grown ups than kids. Karlzon creates elaborately detailed images using India ink to detail pictures from her own imagination and loves to draw flowers, forests, houses, and animals. Also check out her: Summer Nights, yum yum yum!
Hanna Karlzon draws her inspiration from the natural world that surrounds her studio in northern Sweden and adds in some art nouveau, punk rock, and often a hint of ‘70s design to the mix.
Designing Patterns by Lotta Kühlhorn. This is a beautiful coffee table book that is also useful, at least if you like me are interested in making patterns. But even if you don’t need a practical handbook of how patterns are made, this books contain page after page of eye candy.
Scandinavian design expert Lotta Kühlhorn explains the ins and outs of how to design patterns – for everything from wallpaper to tea services. The included CD features templates for experimentation by beginners and professionals alike. I reviewed this book last year, if you want a look inside, and maybe watch the video where the author talk about the book.
This is one of my favorite inspirational books from Sweden.
Yoga Girl is from Sweden
You might consider it a bit of a stretch to include a yoga book in a crafty book list, but hey, it’s my list and I think it’s cool that this super woman is originally from Sweden. Plus I know for a fact that we can’t sit for hours and make pretty things if we don’t move our bodies in between our creative sessions.
Anyway, Yoga Girl is written by Swedish native Rachel Brathen, a world-renowned yoga instructor who teaches yoga all over the world. She is well known for her instagram account @Yoga_Girl. She also leads yoga retreats, and gives lectures around the globe. Her book Yoga Girl is really yummy. It shows yoga girl in all kinds of amazing poses that I wish I could pull of, but nah… I’m still perfecting Downward Facing Dog… It’s my life mission.
In this book, Brathen takes readers beyond her Instagram feed and shares her journey like never before — from her self-destructive teenage years in her hometown in Sweden to her adventures in the jungles of Costa Rica, and finally to the beautiful and bohemian life she’s built through yoga and meditation in Aruba today.
And finally some Embroidery with Karin
Scandinavian Stitch Craft by Karin Holmberg, is an older book (well, from 2013) but well worth checking out if Scandinavian style is something that inspires you. I’ve read all Karin’s three previous books in Swedish, and enjoy her diverse style and new thinking when it comes to embroidery.
This book is full of unique projects and patterns for inspired embroidery (plus the English version comes with Tracing Paper, so that you can transfers Karin’s patterns to your own choice of fabric), but of course I recommend you try drawing your own designs inspired by this book. Making your own free-form embroidery is one of my favorite things in the whole world to do. If you haven’t tried embroidery, winter is a great time to simply cozy up indoors and doodle with needle and thread…
And if these five aren’t enough, I recommend you to check out the bonus books below too.
Bonus inspiration from Sweden
Bonus book nr 3 is for those of us who loves knitting: Modern Knits from Sweden: A Warm Mix of Shawls, Scarves, Cowls, Mittens, Hats and More, written by Erika Åberg.
Let me know in the comments below what craft books is inspiring you right now?
These pretty books are all available in English translations, and worth checking out.
PS: this post is not sponsored by any publisher or author - I just wanted to promote inspirational Swedish books to the world! But please note that there are affiliate links to each book on amazon within this post.
with love, from Sweden