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Bend-the-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew Paperback – June 19, 2007


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Bend-the-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew + One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft (June 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307347214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307347213
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Amy Karol is a trained interior designer, artist, seamstress, and self-professed fabric junkie. Find her popular craft blog, Angry Chicken, on her website at www.amykarol.com.

More About the Author

Amy Karol is a trained interior designer, artist, seamstress, and self-professed fabric junkie. Find her popular craft blog, Angry Chicken, on her website at www.amykarol.com.

Customer Reviews

A great beginning sewing book.
Caroline Devoy
I'm very pleased with this purchase and look forward to making many great projects and have many ideas from the book.
tallmisto
A much better book to buy is Amy Butler's - "In stitches".
Donna Sews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

262 of 270 people found the following review helpful By Maggie on August 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has some great and really accessible projects in it for a beginner and intermediate sewer. I've done three of the projects so far- the bib, scalloped blanket and charming handbag. All great things. However, I really struggled following the directions, and the sewing process was much more frustrating than it had to be. Vital measurements and directions were inexplicable left out at steps in each project. For instance, indications about whether to sew right sides together were often left out. The handbag directions never provided the measurements for the length of the handbag handles. The scalloped blanket directions did not provide any guidance on how to apply the template to the fabric (my scallops ended up not matching in the corners the first (and second) time I tried). It was really very, very frustrating to have to stop a project mid-way through to figure these things out. Another peeve was that, unlike other similar books, Bend the Rules provides the size of fabric you need to do the project (i.e. 13" x 13"), but not the size of fabric you'd need to buy (i.e. half a yard). This can be figured out of course, but I'm terrible at it. This just added another layer of annoyance to the project.

I think a true beginner would have a lot of difficuly completing these projects successfully. I'd recommend starting with Amy Butler's In Stitches: More Than 25 Simple and Stylish Sewing Projects. The directions there are very detailed and very good. Once you've got a few projects under your belt, you'll be able to figure out what's missing in Bend the Rules. I think Bend the Rules is a worthwhile book because the projects are great, but I do wish it had been better edited.
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99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Jodi Renshaw on July 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
I absolutely love this woman's blog. Her sewing ideas are wonderful and leave so much room for personal creative expression.

Overall, this book is good for beginners, BUT I had a hard time with some of the patterns, as they were missing some vital measurements. Thus, I had to guess and I was often wrong. Perhaps I am way more novice than I thought, but I have been a quilter for over 10 years ... so I think it might have been the book, not necessarily me. I also thought that some of the step-by-step instructions needed to be written out more clearly. I had both my best friend and my husband re-read some of the pattern instructions with me, because I thought maybe I was missing something, but it turns out that they couldn't understand it either.

Yet, I am still in love with this book. The ideas alone were worth the cost of the book ... and the photos are amazing! Amy is also a fun writer - often talking to the reader as though they are old friends.

Thanks, Jodi
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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful By E. Nelson on June 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
This isn't a bad book, and I think its a great book for beginner sewers. However, I think the title isn't clear about it being a beginner book and nor do the reviews really stress that. As an experienced seamstress, I'm disappointed because I thought it might have more "unusual" bend the rules like short cuts or quick tips for more substantial projects. I do think there's some cute projects in here, and I do think they're great ideas for those quick gifts/projects you might need and might not come to mind.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By K. Tebeau on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
The pictures are beautiful, but the substance is lacking in some important (and frustrating) ways. I'm not a complete beginner, have used my machine quite a bit before, to hem and take in clothes, and successfully make a square-bottomed purse from a tutorial online, but I wanted to refresh my basics- and her "bend the rules" approach seemed attractive. However, she really doesn't bend any rules, except one- she's completely against fusible interfacing, and recommends using instead a layer of cotton flannel. So I made the "charming purse" project in the book (couldn't have been less aptly named), substituted cotton flannel for the interfacing, and as one would logically expect, I ended up with a very floppy, amorphous looking purse- very disappointing. Cotton flannel is like the softest fabric in the world, I'm not sure what she's thinking. And the handles have a very unfinished, unprofessional, and just not aesthetically pleasing look. In other words, I was just really not impressed with the pattern. And the instructions- even though I've made a purse before- were confusing (especially if one considers that this book is geared toward people even less experienced than me)- it says "sew the two notches together on all pieces"- but it doesn't tell you how to do this- handstitch?- just baste the two corners together?- machine sew?- with what seam allowance?? And then it tells you to "Iron flat"- which throws the reader off again-- how do you iron something flat that you just sewed a curve into?--isn't that SUPPOSED to be a curve?? As you can see, I was frustrated, and the results were not worth the effort. If I had to do this all over again, I would go for Lotta Jansdotter's sewing instruction book (can't remember the name), or just follow the tutorials on [...].
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Devoy on June 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very approachable for the beginning sewer. Her writing style is very casual and she covers topics from choosing a sewing machine to setting up your sewing workspace to applying bias binding. She talks about the threads tangling in your machine and what to do about it, which happens to every sewer and can really frustrate a beginner.

The projects are good beginning projects- not too complicated, but you can probably find something in the book that you want to make and will actually use. And if your project doesn't turn out perfect, you won't feel like you failed-- the author explains why mistakes are an okay thing.

If you are an experienced sewer, you probably won't see any projects that you haven't seen or tried before. However, reading the first part of the book reinforced some habits I need to follow (changing my sewing machine needle often, pressing often) and gave me some technique ideas that I didn't know. I love her attitude about mistakes-- when to redo, when to take a rest and when to proceed with abandon. (I call it the "burning" stage and she is correct- it usually passes in time.)

A great beginning sewing book. Not as valuable for the experienced sewer, but worth a read for those wanting to build more confidence in their sewing style.
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