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How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew Paperback – December 15, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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-ec skills."—O Magazine

"If you wish you could hem your pants without waiting for the tailor or unclog a drain without paying a plumber, you need to read How to Sew a Button...[it] might save you money, time, and lots of frustration.—Redbook

"Combating domestic illiteracy one button at a time, How to Sew a Button is a refreshing take on DIY and self-care, valuable for women at any stage of life."—Bookpage

"The perfect book for these hard economic times when money is tight, but ingenuity is plentiful…As comforting as a hand-sewn quilt, and filled with beguilingly retro illustrations, the tips are a snap, empowering, and fun…Bolstered with nostalgic charm, every page is filled with age-old wisdom for brand new do-it-yourself empowerment."—Boston Globe

"How to Sew a Button is a handy guide to running your household and, in many ways, your life."—Washington Post

"For the domestically challenged among us, there is hope. Her name is Erin Bried."—Detroit Free Press

"Charming and timely. Unlike dry household manuals or tomes of thrifty tips, this is filled with brief, clear, step-by-step advice coupled with good-natured humor and the loving spirits of grandmothers, teaching us to take good care of ourselves, our relationships, and our treasures. Even readers who learned practical household skills from their elders will relish its reminders on the soft skills involved in being a good friend or fine neighbor, volunteering, and speaking up at city hall."—Library Journal

"Each [tip] is written in a practical yet humor filled tone — as if your best friend suddenly morphed into a Donna Reed-Tina Fey hybrid."—ErinCooks.com

 

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Original edition (December 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345518756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345518750
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

Customer Reviews

It would be a great gift for a college bound senior.
Mary E. Hilleary
Plus, Erin's humor seasoned throughout the book makes it a fun read.
Eric Nixon
Lots of useful information gathered in one handy book.
Elizabeth Gordon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mrs.CH3 on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
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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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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 84 people found the following review helpful By Erin E. Nichols on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sharon J. Taylor on March 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book made me feel a little nostalgic. It reminded me of things that I have learned from older relatives through the years. It's great for people who didn't have a chance to know someone from the depression era that they could learn from. It's very informative and entertaining. I suggest giving it to someone young for a gift. They would learn from it and enjoy the read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Jackson on June 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after checking it out from the library.
You can't begin to imagine how much is covered in this handy little book. Unless you checked the Amazon preview; then you have a very good idea what's in this book. That alone is reason enough to buy it.
I can't accurately describe the writing, but I can give an example:
How to Make a Budget: "Calculate your grand total [(3 months' expenses x4) + once-a-year expenses]. Yell ai-ooooga! And then put your eyeballs back in your head."
Humor aside, the book is filled with solid information. If Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking By Julia Child is my go-to guide in the kitchen, How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew is my go-to guide for (nearly) everything else.
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How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew + How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew + Home Economics: Vintage Advice and Practical Science for the 21st-Century Household
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