I'd bet money that just about every crafter has made a project that involved flowers. Even if you don't consider yourself a floral person, they often sneak in on fabric or as an accent. When spring comes and we're trying to pull ourselves out of a long, dark winter they're especially welcome. That's why I jumped at the change to review this book, Paper Flowers by Jennifer Maker...Read more
Felt has always been one of my favorite craft mediums. You don't have to worry about unraveling edges, it can be inexpensive, and it comes in all the colors of the rainbow. You can also make projects in a variety of complexity and skill levels. For all of those reasons and more, I was thrilled to receive a copy of Felt for the Home by Kimberly Layton for review...Read more
I have a confession to make: I still get a little thrill when I receive honest-to-goodness mail. I'm not talking about bills (I've happily gone paperless on those) or credit card offers or political junk. I mean the sometimes unexpected, pretty, makes-your-day kind of mail. I got just that very thing this week. I knew this was going to be fun from the moment I pulled it out of the shipping box...Read more
I intentionally held off on posting my review of Patchwork Quilted Bags - Totes, Purses and Accessories by Reiko Washizawa because after looking through it I realized it would make a great holiday gift for someone who loves to sew or quilt. There isn't a bad project in this entire book, and it's one that would be appropriate for a beginner or a seasoned artist. This book paired with some cute fabric or a fabric shop gift card would make anyone who sews very happy. Take it from someone who sews...Read more
This Stylish Wraps Sewing Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori has been on my desk for a while now. I love this one, in fact, it's probably one of my favorite books I've received from Tuttle Publishing. But, I couldn't help but think of fall every time I looked through it, so waiting until September to review it just felt right...Read more
I've been wanting to try needle felting for more years than I'd like to admit. I even have everything I need for a small project waiting in my sewing room. It's been collecting dust for way too long, and some of the cute options in It's a Small World Felted Friends by Sachiko Susa makes me wish I'd got on that sooner...Read more
It's been a while since I've sat down with an actual craft book. I feel like I've been running since Christmas! Just to prove how much extra time I have on my hands, I wrote this entire review once already, but went ahead and deleted it, just for fun (for who, I don't know). But I'm too stubborn to walk away without showing you this cute book...Read more
I’m here today with a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing. They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own. This post also contains affiliate links. This latest book from Tuttle Publishing, Stylish Remakes by Violette Room, is quite a departure from the sewing books I’ve reviewed from them in the past. For one, the author is not a single person, but a Japanese clothing brand specializing in comfortable, everyday but stylish clothes for women. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a sewing book by a brand before, but I do like the idea, especially since the focus is on ways to repurpose and restyle items you may already have in your closet.
Some of the remakes are a little unconventional, like the two sweatshirts cut in half and sewn together to make one giant sweatshirt. I also thought the tops sewn to skirts were odd, as they looked the same as if you wore the two together, while still having the option of wearing them individually. However, there were a few things in the book that I thought were really cute.
This combination of a t-shirt and tank is a clever way to salvage one or two things that may have shrunk up too short. You can even keep the graphics on the T. The sweetheart styling on the front is also a nice touch.
I would wear this Jacket with Gathered Waist. It’s actually made from a men’s flannel shirt, but I love the girly twist the cinched waist adds. They also tweaked the sleeves to create a more feminine line. My husband should probably keep one eye on his closet.
I thought this little girl’s outfit made from bandanas was pretty adorable, although I wish they would have photographed it in a way you could see more of it. I’m kind of intrigued by the adult dress made entirely of bandanas as well.
The instructions are clear and illustrated well. The few patterns that are needed are printed directly in the book.
I’ll admit, most of this book is not for me. The tone is young and trendy. However, I think this would be a fantastic gift for a teen or pre-teen with an interest in clothing construction, design or repurposing. Most of the projects are very appropriate for beginners, and some are exceptionally simple. It’s the kind of book where a project can be adapted or altered easily, which encourages creativity. Always a good thing!
I’m here today to a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing. They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own. This post also contains affiliate links. I have a confession to make. I received She Wears the Pants: Easy Sew-it-Yourself Fashion with an Edgy Urban Style by Yuko Takada from Tuttle months ago. I kept putting off my review because, to be honest, I wasn’t excited at all about sewing pants. It’s hard enough for me to buy pants, let alone make them, with my mismatched hip-to-waist ratio and my legs that have never been skinny, even when the rest of me was. I kept putting it aside until, finally, I forgot I had it. I noticed it wedged between some other books on my desk last week and figured I better bite the bullet.
Well, I owe Tuttle and the author an apology. Not only for my procrastinating, but for assuming I knew what the book was about based on the title. In my defense, the model on the front IS wearing pants. However, when I opened it up, it’s not about pants at all. The title reference is to the fact that the garments inside were inspired by menswear. They are definitely urban, but there are a few things I could see myself wearing.
I think this Jumper Skirt is cute.
This Top with Epaulets, from the front cover, looks like something just about anyone could wear.
I love this Fleece Jacket. This would be a great fall-into-winter piece.
Here’s something I’ve never heard of. Are you familiar with Tippets? They seem to be an added collar, sometimes with suspenders, and look like they could be a great addition to the right outfit.
With Tuttle books, you can expect a thorough description of how the patterns work, sizing and which materials are appropriate. Each author handles them a bit differently, but it’s always clear what to do next.
This book does a good job of illustrating the steps to making a garment, which I always appreciate, especially those with a higher difficulty level.
The complete patterns are provided in an envelope at the back of the book. You’ll need to trace them to keep each piece intact, but that’s a good practice anyway so the original remains usable.
I was pleasantly surprised by She Wears the Pants. The garments could be dressed up or down, and there are things appropriate for a wide range of sizes, ages and style preferences. Now I wish I would have cracked that cover much sooner!
I’m here today to a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing. They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own. This post also contains affiliate links. I’ve never had the chance to do much girly sewing. I gave up on sewing for a while before I had my daughter and didn’t get back into it until she was a bit older. I think the day will eventually come when I have little girls in my life again though, and I’ll probably sew so many things for them they’ll have to ask me to stop. I’ll definitely be holding on to Sewing for Your Girls: Easy Instructions for Dresses, Smocks and Frocks (Includes pull-out Patterns)by Yoshiko Tsukiori until that happens, because I want to make everything in it.
The book starts off talking about sizing and sharing a handy chart to help you figure out which size you need. Just like when you’re sewing for adults, finding the correct size is important when you’re sewing for littles.
The next section hits on all of the important things you need to know to get started: equipment and fabrics needed, how to transfer and cut the pattern and the very important how-to explaining how to use a sewing machine. All of the info is there, so even the newest sewer can follow, as we’ve come to expect from Tuttle.
The patterns begin with a simple a-line dress. There are several different details you can opt to add. That’s followed by what the author calls an applied pattern, which shows you where to look in the book for even more options.
You’re starting with a basic dress pattern, but the variations of it you can make are almost limitless.
There are a total of eight basic patterns in the book, which include a little short-sleeved top, shorts and more dresses. I puffy heart this top with it’s cute, semi-smocked sleeves.
Following the patterns are all of the basic sewing techniques you’d need to know to make anything in the book. Everything is very well explained with lots of photos, which is always good for me. I need to see what I’m trying to do.
Each pattern refers to these pages, and which one depends on which technique your project requires. This book is definitely beginner-friendly, but also throws in a few slightly more complicated finishes, like smocking and embroidery.
All of the patterns are printed on two pages and can be found in an envelope at the back of the book. All of the sizes are there, ready for tracing.
I’m sure I sound like a broken record at this point, but read everything before you begin a project from this book. Everything you need is here, but you’re going to want to know where to find it. I can’t wait until I find an excuse to make some of the cute things here. It’s also fun to look at just for the adorable, happy little models!
I’m here today to a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing. They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own. This post also contains affiliate links. Have you ever had a chance to try any Indian dishes? I’ve only dipped in a toe with an occasional chai or curry, but after reading some of the ingredients in the recipes in The Café Spice Cookbook by Hari Nayak, I’m more than ready to go all in.
As soon as you open it, this book will hook you with its mouth-watering table of contents.
After a brief history of Café Spice itself, the author focuses on some basic techniques used throughout the book. He outlines some tools and tips, and then delves into one of my favorite parts of the book: An Introduction to Indian Ingredients. I thought it was really interesting to read about the commonly used spices and foods, learn how to prepare them, and what the differences in them are between the United States and India.
As with many ethnic foods, it appears what many of us think of as Indian food is actually an Americanized version. The first full chapter covers some of the basics in Indian cooking, complete with a curry recipe that might be a little different than we’re used to.
I would love to taste every single thing on this table.
There are many enticing photos throughout the book, but the one complaint I have is that every recipe didn’t have a photo. I like to be able to see what I’m aiming for, and that goes double when I’m trying something completely new to me. For instance, I want to see what this looks like, because it sounds divine:
I loved the step-by-step pics shown with the Whole Wheat Griddle Bread. More like this would be helpful.
I think this Coconut Fudge is my favorite recipe in the entire book. The thought of coconut and cardamom together shot this one to the top of my must-make list.
One thing that can be difficult when making Indian food is finding the right ingredients, so I love that they included a shopping guide with addresses and websites for retailers that carry what you’re looking for.
Aside from the extra photos I wish were included, I thought this book was beautiful to look at, and presented the recipes in a way I didn’t find intimidating at all. I can’t wait to give some of the delicious recipes from The Cafe Spice Cookbook a try!
This book was provided to me for review by Laurence King Publishing Ltd. All opinions are my own. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of Cut Out and Keep’s Crafty Superstars a couple of years ago. I was very familiar with their long-running craft community, and it was a huge honor for me. When I found out they had published Cut Out and Keep – Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!
The authors, Kat Morley and Tom Waddington, are the duo behind the website and authors of the book. They are from Scotland, and had never visited the United States before. They set aside 8 months and traveled all over the country, visiting all 50 states. I’m so completely jealous.
Besides the fun travel photos and experiences throughout the book, each state is represented by a craft tutorial. The flavor of each state is reflected in its project. One nice consideration by the authors is that many of the same crafting materials are used for multiple projects, so you can make lots of them without buying different supplies.
The book happens to start off in my neighborhood: the Pacific coast.
It’s funny to see a snapshot of your own state through the eyes of newcomers. I wasn’t surprised to see Voodoo Doughnuts and Powell’s Bookstore make the must-see list, but I liked the fact that the Oregon Caves were mentioned over the usual Multnomah Falls or Crater Lake.
And the Sasquatch Slipper Boots to represent us here in Oregon? Well, it’s hard to argue with that one.
I like the way the project instructions are laid out. There’s a small photo for each step, making it much easier to understand if you’re a visual person like me. On a side note, if you hope over to Cut Out and Keep, you’ll find the full instructions for this License Plate Notebook!
There are a broad range of difficulty levels represented, so there’s something for everyone here. There are even a few recipes thrown in.
I was glad to see the projects listed by region in the front of the book, then broken down into project category in the back. It makes searching very efficient.
My husband and I are hoping to eventually visit every state ourselves. We’re up to a little over a third of the way through the list, so we have a good chunk of them left to go. Reading this book just made me want to reach that goal that much more. In the meantime, thanks to Cat and Tom, I can craft my way across the country!
I hope you were all able to get your entries in for my anniversary giveaways. Entries are closed now, and I’ll be notifying the winners today!