Review: Buffi’s Dress Design: Sew 30 Fun Styles

Buffi's Dress Design: Sew 30 Fun Styles
Buffi’s Dress Design: Sew 30 Fun Styles by Buffi Jashanmal
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oi.
First off, let me tell you: I don’t think I am the right target audience for this book. I am a middle aged woman and an intermediate beginning seamstress. I also have a VERY specific taste when it comes to my clothes.

I am not a big fan of wild prints and bold colours. (Maybe as a splash of colour, but I do not like to walk around dipped in hot pink, or bright yellow, if that makes sense. Most of the sample dresses in the book, have either big prints, or really bold colours. So I had to look past that to “see” the dress.
Most of the dresses are also too short for a woman like myself. I do not hold that against the designer, however. There are plenty of people, not minding their underwear showing, when they bend over.
I guess this is easy to fix, by simply making the dress longer. Not a big deal. Most of the designs appear simple at first glance, but are not really just cut and go. One has to be aware at every stage what is going on. I am not sure, if these designs are for absolute beginners.

Also: The sample pieces do not fit the models properly. That is disturbing to see. It makes me wonder, if the dresses will fit me. I do not want to put all that hard work and money in, only to find out it won’t fit. Nice fabric is not cheap. This is not just my opinion. I have let several other (accomplished) seamstresses look at the book. They all concurred. I let them check it out, since I didn’t trust myself judging this. The dresses sag, strain and bunch up in the wrong spots.

The Chapters one and two (Fabrics and tools, Slopers, Patterns and Muselins) are actually quite interesting. In my opinion there is not much in this book, that would appeal to a 40 year old woman. I have no idea about younger generations (although my 17 year old daughter agreed, she didn’t like any of the fabrics chosen, or the way the clothes fit on the models). Take that for what it’s worth.

I am not saying stay away. I really think there might be people out there, that love bright colours and garish prints and short, short dresses. Go, give it a once-over when you’re in the book shop.
I might try one of the patterns in the book and see. I will amend my review at that point to reflect the experience. Please don’t hold your breath though, it could take a while.
Again, this review is not meant to put the designer down, it is just my opinion about the patterns offered in the book.

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Review: Quilting with a Modern Slant: People, Patterns, and Techniques Inspiring the Modern Quilt Community

Quilting with a Modern Slant: People, Patterns, and Techniques Inspiring the Modern Quilt Community
Quilting with a Modern Slant: People, Patterns, and Techniques Inspiring the Modern Quilt Community by Rachel May
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just got a copy of this book for review this past week from the publisher.
Initially, I always leaf through new books, after taking them out of the envelope, then set them aside to read later on. This book gripped me and would not let go. It was rather late, so I *had* to put it down, but I finished it up the next chance I had.

It has a few patterns and “how to’s” in it, but this is not the reason I would call it an instructional book. I read the Bios of all the artists. This is more inspirational and instructional and uplifting than any patterns they could have given.

It is amazing to read how other artists handle inspiration, go about their work and what process they follow. What got them into their medium and how they love it with abundance.

Now, I am not sure, if it was intended, but here is what I got out of this book:
I would even recommend this book to non-quilters. The colours, the photos, the stories… it will get you excited. It will get you ready to start something in whatever medium you choose.
It will make you feel amazing about the idea of creating something. Something simply YOU. While reading this book, I felt a big burden come off my shoulders. The words of the other artists, telling me through these lines that it is ok to make something nobody but myself will like. To make something JUST FOR ME. I have always worked this way, since I kept myself in some isolation by not joining ravelry and other knitting sites. However, I have felt bad ever since I did join, though. Was it ok, to continue making things for me and simply sharing my taste and my preferences?
I know it si weird to credit a book with this epiphany, but it really hit me while reading. I am doing what I love, I should keep doing it. Keeping my own spin on things will keep me relevant TO MYSELF. It will show in my art, in my work and in my life.

A truly inspirational book.

 

Review: The Beading Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You’ll Ever Face: Answers to Every Question You’ll Ever Ask

The Beading Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You'll Ever Face: Answers to Every Question You'll Ever Ask
The Beading Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You’ll Ever Face: Answers to Every Question You’ll Ever Ask by Karen Morris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was sent to me for review by the publisher.

Got a question about beading?
This book SERIOUSLY has the answers to just about ANY question you could ever have about beading, or any problem you could POSSIBLY run into while beading!

I am still not quite done reading all the way through it. I have to say: My head is spinning with all this information.

I am not a big beader to begin with, I dabble in it now and again, so my expertness is marginal to say the least. With this book at my side, I feel like a pro!

The size is great as well. Tiny enough, to fit in your work bag, but chock full of answers.

I am blown away. I love this book.

Definitely something to have around the house to keep your sanity!

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Review: Lace One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects Celebrating the Possibilities of Lace

Lace One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects Celebrating the Possibilities of Lace
Lace One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects Celebrating the Possibilities of Lace by Judith Durant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book from the publisher for review.

What a great addition to the one skein wonders series. I am a lace knitter by heart. So, of course I had a little “squee” of joy, when this book tumbled out of the envelope.

The patterns in the book are a wonderful array from easy beginners to intermediate projects.
The designs are for the most timeless and elegant (Trellis Leaf Stole by Judith Durant, April Showers Cowl by Meg Strong), as is so often the case with good lace. A few are really fun (Little Legwarmers by Gwen Steege) and some are just a bit out of my comfort zone, when it comes to wearing things (Butterflies are free and Paper Lanterns).

The instructions are easy and straight forward, the carts are easy to read and a nice size. No squinting required.

I like that the book is divided into sections. From Head to toe, Knits for Kids, It’s a wrap, Lacey accessories and for the home. This makes it easy to find things you are in the mood for.

Thanks to the yardage of some lace skeins, these are not just one afternoon projects either. This book has projects that will give you something to sink your needles into for a while.

Yes, it does have little projects for those that need instant gratification, or a fast present, but if you are looking for something to use up that one skein of 900 yards of suri alpaca, you will find something as well, that will not leave you with a ton of leftover yarn.

All in all a good book with solid designs and something for everyone.

I would say: Go, give it a shot at your next visit to the book shop!

 

Review: Knit Christmas Stockings, 2nd Edition

Knit Christmas Stockings, 2nd Edition
Knit Christmas Stockings, 2nd Edition by Gwen Steege
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok. I think this is the fastest turn around in reviewing a book, I have ever done. I got it literally two hours ago! This book was sent to me for review by the publisher.

I unwrapped it and stuck my nose in it.

Ok. I will start off by saying: I like this book!
I have recently reviewed a sock knitting book that left more than a bit to desire (knit your socks on straight! BARF, so I was a bit shy at first when this tumbled out of the envelope.

After taking an overview of the book, I noticed right away, it had a spine and real binding! So many crafting books now go for the “spiral binding”. I am not a big fan of the spiral binding. I am always afraid, pages will rip out of it. The only thing worse is the spiral binding with a hard spine.
I was delighted to see a knitting book with a real spine! THANK YOU! I will not have nightmares about pages falling out and trailing after me down the road with this book!

it has a great size! Not as thin as a leaflet, but not war and peace size either. Just big enough to have a good amount of patterns in it and keep you interested. Yet still small enough to fit in your project bag, without breaking your back.

I like a compact book.

The second pleasant surprise was the thumbnails of the projects in the contents list! Brilliant idea! Now I don’t have to memorize all the names. I can find it by picture.

Once you get past the usual how to section of any crafting book, it gets interesting. The patterns are cute without being overly ambitious. You can start any of these socks and actually get them done without loosing your sanity along the way. Some are easy enough to be next to TV knitting and some will need a bit more concentration, but I really think one does not have to be intimidated by any of them. There is something for a wide variety of skill level.
I looked through all of the patterns and of course found a few that would fit in with my family right away. My daughter joined me and we both decided that we definitely need to make the mix and match stockings for each of us, as they fit the best for our family. The Star Brocade was a close second and will go on my gift giving list.

The patterns themselves are well written and easy to understand and the charts are a nice size, where you won’t loose your eye sight trying to read them.

A further nice touch are the ornament patterns. Very cute! I love them all and will definitely make a few to decorate the house!

I would definitely recommend this book to my fellow knitters and Holiday enthusiasts! Great little book to get you “in the mood” and at $12.95 it won’t break the bank to get it.

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