Here we are at week number 2 of our month long book giveaway bonanza! Up for review and grabs today is Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew and Embellish by Jenny Ryan. Right off the bat you might be thinking, boy that name Jenny Ryan sure sounds familiar – well it should. Jenny is a regular contributer/blogger for Craft Magazine and Apartment Therapy, the women behind Felt Club Los Angeles as well as the moderator of the Hot Babes With Gigantic Pinecones Flickr group of which I am a proud member. Now add author to Jenny’s resume as if the other stuff was not cool enough. Not just any author, a good author with a good book. In a time when people are tightening their belt straps and being a little more choosy about what craft books they really can’t live without an adorable book like Sew Darn Cute should be on the tippy top of your wish list.
Sew Darn Cute has everything I look for in a craft book. First of all there are all the pretty pictures and colors. I want a craft book that makes me excited and ancy to craft when I flip through the pages and if a book with a ton of sewing can do that for a jewelry designer, that is saying something. Jenny hits the nail right on the head with her choice of textiles in her projects. Tiny print feed sack, polka dotted ribbons, bold 60’s flowers, chartreuse rick rack – everything I love about fabric. The way Jenny puts everything together in Sew Darn Cute is like an overload of adorableness that makes me want to dust off my Husqvarna and put the sewing pedal to the metal.
The 30 projects in Sew Darn Cute are broken down into 5 chapters each with a distinct theme. The Pretties chapter is right up my alley with the Snappy Fabric Bracelet, but I must confess that the Necklace Tank project is the one that is really catching my eye and might very well be the first project from the book I give a whirl. The next chapter is Toteables with handy items like sunglass cases, ice cream appliquéd totes and purses from pillowcases. The Nest chapter has my second favorite project from the book an Apple Tree Fabric Collage. I’m a sucker for scrap work, appliqué and mix matched fabric. Did I mention the templates for these adorable appliqués are all in the back of the book for you to use! Kid Stuff seems especially applicable to me these days so the fun projects like Square Bears and Vinyl Bibs in this chapter caught my eye. Last but not least there is the Crafties chapter with everything from aprons to sewing machine covers. Something for everyone would be a bit of an understatement when talking about Sew Darn Cute.
As a novice seamstress I appreciate all the instructions and hand holding in Sew Darn Cute. You need a basic knowledge of sewing to delve into the book, but trickier moves like inserting zippered pockets are covered. Plus several of these projects could easily be hand sewn. I’m particularly partial to the Resources guide in the book for completely selfish reasons. Under the charms and trims header Jenny directs you to Naughty Secretary Club for all your Crafty Curio needs. After all every crafty girl needs a good stash of vintage charms, buttons and doll parts to have on hand.
Now for your big chance to win a free copy of Sew Darn Cute! Leave me a comment and let me know the number one thing that draws you to a craft book. Is it the colors, pictures, author, publisher? Do you have to buy every jewelry book that Margot Potter puts out no ifs ands or buts? Do you love the pretty pictures in books put out by Chronicle? If the book is about crochet can you just about bet it will soon end up on your shelf? I’m curious what the motivation behind your craft book purchases are – since mine seem to be all over the dang place.