Book Review: Sewing Books

18 Jan

So, for Christmas I got some sewing books off my wish list. Some of them I loved, and some not so much. I’m starting with the bad news today, so I bring you a review of three sewing books that I ended up returning. The reason I’m doing this is that sometimes when you order a book online you have to go by reviews of it only, since you can’t see all the projects in them first. I’m sure these books work out great for some people, since the Amazon reviews for all of them were fairly positive. But for me they were duds, and here’s why. 🙂

1. Book Review: 5-10-15+ Fat Quarters by Jeanne Stauffer

photo from

I bought this book because I have no sewing stash, like at ALL. I also don’t have a ton of money to invest in sewing fabric, so I thought it would be fun to have patterns that would use up small amounts of fabric, like fat quarters. Plus, I figured this way I could just buy fat quarters and use them all up instead of having to buy fabric yardage and then find space to store the leftovers. I was hoping to find quilt patterns but also patterns for bags, kids’ items, and gifty type things.
What I found were a lot of very traditional-looking quilted items, like table runners, wall quilts and throws. I love quilts, but I prefer the more modern styles as opposed to the traditional ones. My house does not have decor to match a classic “country” quilt; but I love the modern take on quilting that seems to dominate the Internet lately, so I was hoping to find patterns like those. No such luck. In this book there are 41 projects; of those I might make one bag, one tree skirt and one or two quilts. Most of the quilt patterns are a little more complicated than I want to attempt right now, and most of the patterns – even the smaller projects like bags or table toppers – take several fat quarters to complete, which means lots of money spent on fabric. I decided the book wasn’t worth it for the few projects I liked, so I returned it.

2. Book Review: Sewing Bits and Pieces: 35 Projects Using Fabric Scraps by Sandi Henderson

Image from Sandi Henderson's blog

This book uses up scraps, which I thought would be good. What I didn’t realize is that I would need to accumulate a very extensive stash of fabric scraps in order to do much with it. Henderson gives her measurements for fabric in terms of inches, not yards, so it’s hard to deal with unless you have a lot of fabric lying around and you have the right measurements. For me, I would have to go and buy fabric to make up the “scraps,” and I’d have to figure out the yardage on my own for each project. There are 35 projects in this book, and of those I would probably make appliqued towels, a skirt for Jillian, slippers for Jillian, maybe a stuffed animal, maybe a kid quilt, a fabric-covered journal, and maybe some hair accessories. So I’m not sure if it’s worth owning the book for that. The other projects are just things I don’t really want/need or things I’m not likely to bother making because I’d have to buy too many “scraps” to make it work. I returned it because the patterns I liked were cute but I don’t have that much fabric and I would rather spend the money on actually buying fabric than on buying a book I can’t use yet.

3. Book Review: Small Stash Sewing by Melissa Averinos

Photo from

This book has some cute stuff in it, but mostly the projects just aren’t my cup of tea. I like the stuffed owls and the ladybug from the front cover, but I don’t want to have to buy that many fat quarters to make one stuffed animal, and besides that quite honestly – again – there are tons of patterns online for these types of things. Of the 24 projects in the book I like those two stuffed animals plus one bag, a lap quilt and a bath mat. The rest of the projects are fine, just not for me, so I returned this book as well. I think this book was the best of all of them in terms of being my style, but it just wasn’t good enough for me to want to keep it. From now on I’m only going to buy fabric/sewing books if I can see them in person first to be sure I really like them well enough to own them.

Stay tuned, I also got some really awesome books for Christmas and I’ll be giving those reviews later in the week!

One Response to “Book Review: Sewing Books”


  1. Fiber Arts Friday: Crafty Books I Love « Storied Yarns - January 21, 2011

    […] in my crafty pursuits, but nothing that exciting to report about. Since I recently posted some reviews of books I didn’t love here on the blog, I thought I’d take the time today to review two books I do love, to balance […]

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