Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sewing How to Books: Quick Review of "One Yard Wonders"

I've bought 10+ sewing how-to books in the past three months. I know, I have a problem.  I've also checked some out of the library, but they get recalled too fast usually for me to make anything.  It takes me awhile to mentally commit to a project.  Usually longer then the project actually takes to complete!

I want to make everything on this cover.

I plan to review all of them, but I'll have to do it in batches or something. First up is One Yard Wonders from which I've already made a few things. The best part of this book is the great array of projects.  There are dozens and dozens!  And not just aprons and tea towels.  For value, number of projects vs. cost, this book is a winner.  Some are pretty uncomplicated (like how to line the back of a bookcase with fabric, which I'm not sure even counts as sewing) while others are fairly complicated, at least for beginners.  There's a good balance of easy, challenging and impossible projects for my (admittedly low) skill level.  Because of the number of projects there aren't as many photos as I'd like, for instance when I made the "All Ages Jumper", there was no photo of the elasticized back which was the tricky part for me. 

The book is spiral bound to lay flat which I appreciate and has a front pocket for the included patterns (I haven't made anything with them yet so I can't comment on their quality).  All the projects include directions on how to lay out the patterns for cutting as to use only 1 yard of fabric.  They point out where the selvage should be which I appreciate since the whole "grain" issue I haven't been able to grasp.  It has made me think before I do other projects about how I want to layout the pieces. 

I wish the projects were coded for difficulty like many of the other books. I also think there could have been a little more quality control in the instructions.  I stumbled online upon a list of corrections for nearly 20 projects in the book, including the "Twist & Shout" toddler skirt I already made my daughter.  Might explain my backwards piping!  The designs are all by various people, not just the authors. I assume there had been some sort of call for projects which might explain why some directions seem super detailed and others a bit more vague.

Next up from this book will be a dog bed (just like on the cover) for the office.  Our very own pug often follows us down to the winery and he isn't fond of the tile floor.  I know he'd just curl up and sleep instead of tripping up employees and chasing forklifts if he had a bed next to my desk. 

That might be wishful thinking.

My Cost: $13.53 (no tax or shipping), now even cheaper on Amazon.
Verdict:  Totally worth it. Great for brave beginners.

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