Review: Little One-Yard Wonders: Irresistible Clothes, Toys, and Accessories You Can Make for Babies and Kids

Little One-Yard Wonders: Irresistible Clothes, Toys, and Accessories You Can Make for Babies and Kids
Little One-Yard Wonders: Irresistible Clothes, Toys, and Accessories You Can Make for Babies and Kids by Patricia Hoskins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok… I got this book for review and my first thought was: Aaawww, I don’t have little ones….
Then I opened the book.
Oh my gosh! I LOVE everything about this book! I love (nearly) all the patterns in it. I ADORE the fabric choices! I love how easy to understand the instructions are.

PLEASE, WRITE MORE BOOKS LIKE THIS ONE!

If you know me, I do not often give five stars….but this one deserves it.

The fabrics chosen for the samples in the book were absolutely delightful! They made you want to run out and get sewing. I kid you not! One of the few times, I actually read the source in the back of the book, to see where I can get these scrumptious fabrics.

The patterns in the book are relatively easy and straight forward. They are cute and practical and a few whimsical ones.

As I was sitting and squeeee-ing over the book, my daughter came to check it out with me and even she (18 year old teenager) thought the patters were absolutely adorable and she found a few things she would like to make to use for herself. (no, no babies on the way, or even in our circle of friends, just really great ideas on the pillow and bag- front)

All in all: If you even have a remote chance of having a little one around the house and are a seamstress: GET THIS BOOK! Even if you DON’T have little ones, this book will inspire you to get sewing! It certainly has for me!

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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!