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Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby Hardcover-spiral – May 1, 2010

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Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby + Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones + Making Baby's Clothes: 25 Fun and Practical Projects for 0 - 3 Year Olds
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

24 sewing projects that celebrate the joy of a new baby

Come stitch alongside celebrated fabric designer Anna Maria Horner as she prepares for her own new baby. This stunning collection of nursery decor, keepsakes, maternity wear, baby's clothing, and more is all breathtakingly photographed as Anna Maria progresses through her pregnancy.

Mothers-to-be, grandparents, family, and friends will treasure this collection of sewing projects to welcome home a new baby. Stylish prints and colors combine in unique designs to give you 24 projects ranging from booties and a quilt to an embroidered family tree and a thank you note organizer, and everything in between.

  • Includes seven bonus loose-leaf paper patterns neatly tucked inside
  • Includes a brief primer on sewing for babies, including fabric selection and safety considerations
  • Other titles by Horner: Seams to Me

Saturated with gorgeous full-color photography, Handmade Beginnings gives new and veteran sewers colorful, contemporary, yet classic, patterns to mark one of life's biggest milestones.

Free Pattern from Handmade Beginnings


Nesting Cubes

Nesting Cubes
Handmade toys are the best kind that you can give your own children, and they make loving gifts for expectant friends and family members. Because these are sweet and soft, they are particularly good newborn toys. Choosing colors and patterns high in contrast will help occupy even the newest baby as his eyes develop. Building, stacking, and hiding objects are all favorite skills for babies as they grow into becoming clever little toddlers. This set of Nesting Cubes helps baby begin to master those skills, and fun ribbon loops make grasping and playing easier. The sewing itself is quite simple, and you’ll have some lovely handcrafted décor for your baby’s nest. The more cubes you make, the higher the tower will grow, and the more giggle-y the tumbling down will be.

From the Back Cover

24 sewing projects for mama, baby, family, and nest

Come stitch alongside celebrated fabric designer Anna Maria Horner as she awaits and then welcomes her newest child. This stunning collection of nursery décor, keepsakes, maternity wear, baby clothing, and more is all breathtakingly photographed as Anna Maria progresses through her pregnancy. Moms-to-be, grandparents, family, and friends will find inspired, truly stylish sewing projects from the irresistibly cute to the pretty as a picture:

Here We Go Bag

  • Sixth Time's the Charm Quilt

  • Cute as a Button Booties

  • Mariposa Dress & Tunic

  • Family Portrait Tree

Saturated with gorgeous full-color photography, Handmade Beginnings gives new and veteran sewers colorful, contemporary, yet classic, patterns to mark one of life's biggest milestones.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover-spiral: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470497815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470497814
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By busy_mom on May 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
I just got the book and am making the maternity/nursing top. The design is so cute and really functional. My only problem is that I think I may have come across a few problems in the pattern, some of which were not fixable. The pieces in this pattern are all rectangles and I think for one part, the orientation (cross-wise or with the grain) is not given correctly. Once it's cut however, there is no re-doing it without a trip to the fabric store! I was able to finagle it because the print I was using was pretty forgiving but it's a serious flaw depending on the print.
I also thought the lengths didn't end up all the same - I had to cut some pieces to create a straight hem in the end. Not much of a problem however the top is already fairly short. My attempt at lengthening it (using the 'long' direction from the larger and the 'wide' direction from the smaller pattern) was foiled by the aforementioned flaw where the orientation was wrong. Not a big deal - once the shirt doesn't cover my belly anymore, I will just wait to use it as a nursing top.
If you're tall, I definitely recommend figuring out how to make the top an inch longer.

I still love the book and will make the mariposa dress next - I wish I could have found a fabric as cute as the one in the picture, but I had to resort to something less special. I might updated my review based on the next project...

Update: I finished the mariposa dress today. Again, I had a problem with the pattern - this time the width of the skirt back panel and the bodice back panel didn't work out to match after cutting the hip shape as instructed. I don't think I messed up. I could still work around it though.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C. Jacobs on April 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for this book to come out, so I was thrilled when it arrived in my mailbox. I love Anna Maria Horner's style. I think the baby projects are great - reversible pants, cute booties, quilts and other necessities, but stylish, modern and sweet. The instructions seem clear, though there could be more photos or diagrams of some patterns.
My biggest disappointment is in the Sewing for Mama chapter. The pattern sizes for clothing are only in small, medium and large. I'm not an accomplished enough seamstress to properly enlarge a pattern for myself, so the Mariposa dress I was really hoping to make is out. But, that part aside, I am really enjoying the book and have already picked out some projects to work on for my little one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Laroo on July 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
There are so many "sewing for baby" books out there. And they all seem to have certain obligatory projects that are just too simple to actually be in a book (plain bib, changing pad, baby blanket/quilt). But Handmade Beginnings stands out because the projects are different, inspiring, and not something an advanced beginner couldn't just whip up on their own without a pattern or instruction. This is a book that would actually be used for patterns and instructions, not just eye-candy ideas.

I have only made the quick-change trousers so far, and I did alter the pattern a bit to fit more loosely over a cloth-diapered bum. But they worked up fine and I didn't run into the errors that other reviewers claimed were out there. Double check Anna maria's website for Errata (known typos and omissions) and you should be good to go!

I've looked at a lot of sewing for baby books (preview from the library before I commit to buy) and compared to Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing for Baby or even Amy Butler's Little Stitches, this book is a stand out.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa K. on May 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover-spiral
I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this book and Anna Maria does not disappoint. The projects are really cute and versatile. While of course there are a group of projects specifically for babies (it is a baby-book after all), many of the projects can be made for other purposes as well. I just made the Lingering Layers skirt, and I can say that the directions were clear and the pattern pieces fit together as they should. I highly recommend this book for any sewing/crafter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brandi M. on September 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
I'm an advanced seamstress and sew designer outfits for the public so that may affect my perspective on this book. When I was looking through reviews and blogs on this book, I was really excited. Then it came in the mail.

The sizing for nursing tops and outfits only goes up to size M/L with a bust measurement of 38/39", 31/32" natural waist, and 40/41" in the hips. So unless you are skinny or know how to adapt sewing patterns, this book is not great on mommy outfits.

There are 2 basic bags, baby shoes, pants, and a few other simple projects that you can find free patterns online for by just doing a simple Google search.

If you don't sew much, the directions are not very helpful bc they are drawings and are better on some projects than others. Directions on the quilts are good, while directions on the four corner blouse were not as clear. More detailed photographs would help on some of these projects, including the interior of tge thank you notebook (for beginners).

I did like the authors adaptation of the "picture dress" and the "center of attention" quilt. I also enjoyed the print selections and the introduction. However, I don't need patterns for either of the projects I would choose out of this book as they are standard patterns used in many projects.

All in all, try Google first. I feel like I wasted my money on this one and will return. Etsy and pinterest are much more valuable resources for baby projects. Mommies in sizes L/XL and up should look elsewhere for nursing/maternity tops unless you are comfortable sizing up patterns. Craftsy has classes to help with pattern sizing. :)
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