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Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques; 101 Fast, Fun, and Fearless Projects: Dresses, Tunics, Scarves, Skirts, Accessories, Pillows, Curtains, and More Paperback


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Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques; 101 Fast, Fun, and Fearless Projects: Dresses, Tunics, Scarves, Skirts, Accessories, Pillows, Curtains, and More + Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe + Alabama Studio Style: More Projects, Recipes & Stories Celebrating Sustainable Fashion & Living
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603427406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603427401
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 3.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Publisher's Weekly:  "This large volume, packed with full-color photographs, is a must-add for sewers who want to work outside the parameters of paper patterns and precise measurements. This soothing, empowering style of teaching sewing is a nice contrast to the more rigid directions promoted in other recent sewing books."

Library Journal: The authors' "five basic designs" are broken down so clearly and concisely that any stitcher, regardless of experience, could create a well-fitting, attractive garment. These designs alone are worth the cost of the book; the 96 other patterns, which include household goods and accessories, make it an even better value.

From the Inside Flap

Free your creative sewing instincts with 101 projects that invite you to try everything you can imagine doing with fabric and thread --- from doodled stitches to stacked applique. There are no patterns here and hardly any rules. Simply choose your fabric (forgiving, stretchy knits work great), take a good set of measurements, and begin sewing.

Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut provide five basic clothing designs that become templates for dozens of stylish dresses, tunics, skirts, and tops, all waiting to be embellished as you like. From a ruffled sundress adorned with ribbons to a flattering t-shirt doodle-stitched with a pebble pattern, this is soft, casual clothing you'll love to wear yourself or personalize for friends and family.

In addition to dozens of wearable projects, you'll find stylish decorative items for every room in your home. From pillowcases and duvet covers to tea towels and placemats, many of these projects can be completed in an hour, and you'll be using them and enjoying their good looks for years to come.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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This is a great book for someone like me without too much experience sewing.
Ana r Garcia
It's the most original and useful sewing book I've seen in a long time, and quite possibly ever.
happykins
The book is filled with clever projects that are simple and sweet but really unique.
LauraW

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Shala Kerrigan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
Improv Sewing by Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut is a collection of projects and patterns that you can make on the fly and sew using a standard sewing machine.

It's my favorite kind of sewing book. It doesn't depend on couture techniques or fussy cut detailed patterns. The patterns are made of simple lines and easy to create in the size you need. They leave some things unhemmed because knits don't come unraveled. Lots of embellishment techniques to create a look for yourself, your child or your home that's unique and artistic.

It starts with an introduction to fabric types and tips for sewing using a sewing machine with those fabrics, how to clip seams , use foldover elastic and ideas for thrift store shopping.

The instructions are very complete. If you're a novice sewer, you'll want to read through the chapters in order to understand how to put together the basic patterns before you get into the embellishments.

The clothes I wear the most are comfortable jersey knit skirts and dresses, and I like things that are easy to make and can be made with thrifted finds. Chapter 2 is Finding Your Fit- starting with how to take measurements, then using a well-fitting teeshirt your willing to cut up to use to make basic patterns. You will learn how to make a pattern for an a-line skirt that will fit perfectly with an elasticized waistband and how to make dress patterns with different necklines using the teeshirt pieces. The patterns use jersey knits for easy sewing.

Chapter 3 is Five Basic Designs. While there are several projects for children in this book, these patterns are for adults. They explain different sleeve types, and the patterns are easy wear casual pieces with lots of style.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By debra on August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
i had my doubts when i first got this book, as i've seen so many sewing books that are, well, blah...but was i impressed! it totally takes the fear out of sewing your own way. i kinda like doing something original and not having a whole lot of structured (read difficult) instructions and rules when i'm creating, and this book is just the ticket. i've never really made a clothing pattern of my own before, and within a couple of days, i had read through, drew up a pattern, and created the 4-panel dress, and it fits great, looks great, and it was really easy and fun-no kidding! i've converted a top into a cardigan, and i'm just getting ready to make a couple of skirts, and i've only had the book for about a week and a half! it is truly inspirational! if you love to sew, or you want to learn to make really cute, on trend clothing and other items, in a relaxed, creative, and non-stress-inducing kind of way, this is the book for you! you will not be disappointed by this book, trust me!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jan Whitaker on May 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought the book a few days ago and have paged through it several times already. A friend who was visiting saw it and bought it the next day. It's beautifully put together and shows a lot of thought and talent behind it. I can't imagine anyone who reads it not being inspired to take on a project or two. Personally, I'm a make-it type person and I've always wanted to figure out how I could refashion old t-shirts. Now I've got several ideas in mind and can't wait to get started.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amylynn McDevitt on September 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is simply fun and inspirational!

I have some knowledge about knits and have been sewing several years, and wanted to get into garment making. This book really breaks it down and makes it easy. Being a creative right brain person ,sometimes books are not the thing for me, this book really breaks down and makes it easy. I have never made a pattern before but after this book I have made a dress, and two knit shirts! I am now cutting up my old shirts that were loved and worn and creating new shirts and dresses that will last!
Are you tired of buying knits that are too see through and don't last from the department stores. I have been getting tired of investing my money and throwing my clothes out after a few wears, ridiculous! Now I can create my own shirts, and dresses and know the knits are quality, and quality made.

Also check out there beautiful step by step videos on Creativebug.com
Worth the investment and can help and inspire a beautiful and simple wardrobe!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Frederick on November 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
PROS:
- Nice photography of lots of tasteful, artistic, modern sensibility sewing projects, from clothing to home accessories - beyond pillows!
- There is a consistent, low-key, organic, loose-construction, European vibe and concept to many of the designs and embellishments presented. Some ideas are quite unique. Much of what is presented in this book hangs together as a 'collection'.
- The projects are not intimidating and can be made for very little cash outlay. The message here is to get loose and start cutting things up and throwing things together. 'Forget patterns,' the authors urge. 'Be non-fussy!' The overall message winds up being very encouraging and fun! This is the 'gesture drawing' of sewing!
- The pacing of the book is well thought out. Each project introduces a new skill that you can build upon to create your own combinations of ideas.
- If you're like me and have a few boxes of clothes waiting for some creative 'upcycling' you'll find plenty of ideas, and most importantly ENCOURAGEMENT, in here for making new creations that are fun and creative without being tacky.
- Even though many of these project ideas or similar ones are available online, this is a lovely, well-designed book with great illustrations and instructions for each project along with solid basic concepts presented in the earlier sections, that I'd much rather have in a physical format than have to dig up in front of a screen. A book can be curated to a certain aesthetic, which I prefer to the broad cast of the internet.

CONS:
- Non-fussy occasionally goes too far for me: A few of the clothing projects fell flat for me or seemed poorly implemented, such as the Ribbon Ruffled Sundress or the Ruched Tunic that follows it.
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