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How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew [Kindle Edition]

Erin Bried
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $11.84
You Save: $3.16 (21%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Kindle Edition $11.84  
Paperback $13.18  
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Book Description

“Waste not, want not” with this guide to saving money, taking heart, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

Nowadays, many of us “outsource” basic tasks. Food is instant, ready-made, and processed with unhealthy additives. Dry cleaners press shirts, delivery guys bring pizza, gardeners tend flowers, and, yes, tailors sew on those pesky buttons. But life can be much simpler, sweeter, and richer–and a lot more fun, too! As your grandmother might say, now is not the time to be careless with your money, and it actually pays to learn how to do things yourself!

Practical and empowering, How to Sew a Button collects the treasured wisdom of nanas, bubbies, and grandmas from all across the country–as well as modern-day experts–and shares more than one hundred step-by-step essential tips for cooking, cleaning, gardening, and entertaining, including how to

• polish your image by shining your own shoes
• grow your own vegetables (and stash your bounty for the winter)
• sweeten your day by making your own jam
• use baking soda and vinegar to clean your house without toxic chemicals
• feel beautiful by perfecting your posture
• roll your own piecrust and find a slice of heaven
• fold a fitted sheet to crisp perfection
• waltz without stepping on any toes

Complete with helpful illustrations and brimming with nostalgic charm, How to Sew a Button provides calm and comfort in uncertain times. By doing things yourself, with care and attention, you and your loved ones will feel the pleasing rewards of a job well done.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


"How to Sew a Button is a must-have book for anyone who wants to reap the wisdom of our grandmothers.  I learned so much from my grandmother—ironing, how to bake the perfect cheesecake, as well as other cherished life-long tips—but what I learned most from her was how to enjoy these everyday tasks and the true essence of life.  The grandmothers in this book are inspiring to all of us."—Cat Cora, Iron Chef and author of Cooking from the Hip

"Erin Bried makes being happy and healthy so simple and fun. She's a girl after my own heart!"—Jillian Michaels, Biggest Loser trainer and author of Master Your Metabolism

"Thank goodness for grandmothers and thank goodness for Erin Bried, who compiled his compendium of useful, clever, need-to-know advice, wisdom and practical information. With this book, every woman will feel they are at their grandmother's knee, learning the most vital life skills any of us need to be smarter, happier and better people too. Happy reading!"—Lucy Danziger, Editor-in-Chief, SELF magazine

"How to Sew a Button is fun, funny, and empowering. With high good humor, Bried provides instructions on how to do really useful things. Take control of your life with this great handbook. It'll give you confidence. Learn and enjoy!"—Mildred A. Kalish, author of Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression

 "Erin Bried's How to Sew a Button is full of crystal clear, friendly, and funny instructions on how to do hundreds of little things that your mother forgot to teach you-not just sewing on buttons, filleting fish, and making gravy, but balancing your checkbook, tying a necktie, and (my personal favorite) how to waltz. A fun, valuable home book for just about anyone, male or female."—Cheryl Mendelson, author of Home Comforts

"A breezily useful guide to timeless home-...

About the Author

Erin Bried is a Senior Staff Writer at SELF magazine, where she’s penned nearly 200 stories, including 60 cover stories, in the past nine years. In addition to interviewing and profiling celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston and Sheryl Crow, she covers health, fitness, nutrition and psychology. Formerly, Bried was a Senior Editor at Glamour, a contributor at Golf For Women magazine and a Senior Editor/Writer at Condé Nast’s Women’s Sports & Fitness. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1535 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Original edition (December 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,698 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for the younger generations March 25, 2010
By Mrs.CH3
An easy read, How to Sew a Button is going to be a resource for future generations. Due to the technology overload of generations such as mine and younger, so many of us no longer know how to do practical things that our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents could do without skipping a beat. When starting to write this book the author, Erin, no longer had her grandparents to consult with for wisdom. Therefore, she rounded up ten grandmothers from different backgrounds, all across the country, to give her grandmotherly advice and knowledge.

The book covers topics such as:

- How to make a pie, which Erin tried to do for a group of friends and failed miserably at. I, myself, consider making a pie getting a slice of pumpkin cheesecake pie from Outback during the fall.

- How to properly fold a fitted sheet, the keyword there being properly. I know you all probably think you know how to fold a fitted sheet, but balling it up and tossing it in the linen closet doesn't count. I have been blessed with this lost art, so this advice wasn't needed on my end.

- How to iron a shirt. Now, you may be laughing, but while watching trasy TV the other day I saw a boy on MTV's made who told his coach he had never ironed anything. Seriously? He may need to read that section.

She also has some pretty cool how-to information, like:

- How to scent your home without candles

- How to love your body at any size

- How to brew your own beer

And information on the lost art of thank-you notes. She'll teach you how to write one. With your hands... and a pen... and paper.

And of course, you'll learn How to sew a button.

Erin has a great sense of humor which is reflected in her writing. You'll chuckle while learning a thing or two!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great premise...under performed February 2, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I expected to like this book much more than I did. I really agree on the overall premise. I think we could learn a lot and utilize our resources much better if we took a cue from the older generations. I know many women who can't sew a button.

One of the issues is with the writing style which is forcefully cheeky. Sometimes you find this forced humor funny and other times, annoying. Also, the book is peppered with illustrations of various retro women engaging in the tasks being explained, but what it really could have used are a few illustrations to clarify the more complicated instructions.

There is some very useful information in this book, but not any you wouldn't find through a google search in a much more clear and concise manner with pictures included.
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67 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Conveniently, as we've all begun to tighten our purse strings, this book has appeared on the scene to offer us more than 100 straightforward and step-by-step how-to's for everyday life. Each is written in a practical yet humor filled and very approachable tone -- as if your best friend suddenly morphed into a Donna Reed-Tina Fey hybrid.

There is so much amazing content between the covers of this guide including how to: hone a knife, iron a shirt (wow do I need to study up on this one), clean an oven, tie a necktie, make a hot toddy, barter, start a book club, wear red lipstick, and my personal favorite how to make a Manhattan. My boyfriend's grandparents always serve Manhattans when we visit and even though I've observed them being mixed a number of times I always seem to forget the steps (probably because one lovingly composed Manhattan goes straight to your head).

I'm confident that you'll find dozens of useful tips in this book. I even discovered additional insights while reading write-ups on tasks that I thought I had down to a science. How to Sew a Button is a fantastic addition to your bedside table. In addition, I believe this title would make an excellent holiday present. Freaking out over what to buy for that friend, relative, or co-worker who has everything? Why not give them the gift of practical knowledge?! It will certainly last longer and be more appreciated than a box of chocolates or a scarf. Besides, after reading this book they'll be able to knit their own.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useless. January 4, 2012
I ordered this along with a host of other "domesticity reclaimed" type books, and found it to be the most disappointing of them all.

The author definitely has a sense of humor. However, her humor doesn't flow very well, and instead just feels "tacked on", such as added steps to recipes or directions that are simply put in for a joke. I thought they were funny, but also pretty annoying.

Despite the fact that the book was supposed to be about what your Grandmother knew, and what you don't, I didn't feel like the voice of the "grandmothers" she interviewed to get this information was very well translated. There was too much of the author's words, and too few of the grandmothers'. At the start of each chapter, she includes some random quote from one of the grandmothers that is neither inspiring nor useful, and often only vaguely relevant. It felt tacked on as an afterthought.

I was hoping to use this book as something of a reference, but it's not good for that. It feels more like a slightly funny smorgasbord of good and thrifty ideas, with a couple of recipes thrown in. I am by no means very qualified in domestic matters (thus the reason I picked up a bunch of books... I'm an academic!), but even I knew half of the things in here already.

Worst of all... there are all these pictures of what I suppose are meant to be retro housewives (which I actually found far more annoying than cute... Me trying to learn domestic skills is not me trying to be a 60s housewife, thankyouverymuch), but NO diagrams or illustrations of how to do any of these things. Telling me the proper way to sew a button is very confusing to read. A simple drawing would have been vastly more useful. Scrap the stupid "retro housewives" illustrations and give me something relevant.

Because of all these things, this book will be thrown into a box of books to donate. I read the entire thing cover to cover and walked away more irritated than informed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite is about how to clean just about anything with ...
I've actually consulted this book numerous times. My favorite is about how to clean just about anything with vinegar and baking soda. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Liz E
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful gift that won't be handed down.
This cute book and it's male companion "How to Build a Fire" offer a wealth of practical information printed on thin newsprint type paper contained between the paperback... Read more
Published 1 month ago by The room is never done
1.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame this book was done as it was..
I love the idea of this book, but it is very light on actual practical instructions and has no pictures! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Maria
5.0 out of 5 stars she loved it.
Gave as a present to my adult granddaughter for Christmas; she loved it.
Published 3 months ago by Charen Fink
5.0 out of 5 stars You need to know what's in this book.
Every household should have a copy of this little book. A wealth of how-to information that has been forgotten and will possibly be needed somewhere down the road. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Momma Kathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming & Helpful
Not only sweet but helpful! I loved the throw back aspect of this book and the quotes from the grandmothers. They tips were also very common sense and easy to follow. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Carolyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Good gift for a new bride
A way to learn how to fix or make many item. Good gift for a new bride.
Published 6 months ago by mary angela stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
nice book and great service
Published 7 months ago by prcoppedge
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, fun, and useful book
Fun and practical ideas for everyday living. Useful for most folks. I am a longtime home make and even I found some new ideas.
Published 8 months ago by K. thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars A great chronicle for younger women in early adult and mid-life ...
Deeply meaningful to grandmothers, stirs up vivid memories of the past. A great chronicle for younger women in early adult and mid-life as a piece of their heritage is unfolded. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ephraim R. Fortunato
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More About the Author

Erin Bried is a Senior Staff Writer at SELF magazine and author of How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew, How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew and How to Rock Your Baby: And Other Timeless Tips for Modern Moms. She's appeared on The Today Show, Better TV and National Public Radio and in magazines and newspapers nationwide. She lives with her baby daughter and her better half in Brooklyn, New York, where she plays peek-a-boo, sings off-key lullabies, and reads bedtime stories every night.


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