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Sew Serendipity: Fresh and Pretty Designs to Make and Wear Hardcover-spiral – July 12, 2010

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Sew Serendipity: Fresh and Pretty Designs to Make and Wear + Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics
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Product Details

  • Hardcover-spiral: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publ; 1 Spi edition (July 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440203571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440203572
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 9 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A licensed designer for McCall's and regular exhibitor at spring and fall Quilt Markets as Serendipity Studio, Kay Whitt has been designing and selling patterns for the past 10 years.

More About the Author

"Love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life"

In a nutshell, this quote describes exactly the way Kay feels about her work as a pattern designer for clothing and accessories with a classic yet fresh modern appeal. It was in fact what drove her to launch her company, Serendipity Gifts, in 2001 after spending the first nine years of her professional career as an elementary school teacher when she sewed in her spare time and sold her creations to colleagues.

Sewing has always been a passion of Kay's as far back as she can remember. From childhood when she first held needle and thread in her hands and put them to fabric with the patient supervision of her mother, she has been truly inspired. Soon after she was busy at the sewing machine making everything from pillows to doll clothes to creations for herself. This passion extended to all things creative which led her to crochet, paint and draw. Throughout her high school years, she took art classes to expand her knowledge of various art forms, laying the foundation for a future as a designer.

After resigning from her career as a teacher, her company sold appliqué patterns to local quilt shops and then eventually to distributors for the industry. In 2002, she attended her first International Quilt Market in Houston as an exhibitor. It was a phenomenal success and she has been blessed with a bustling business ever since. She has earned a reputation in the industry for her innovative designs with well written step by step instructions, making her patterns some of the most popular in the marketplace.

Since that first quilt market, Kay has worked diligently to be on the cutting edge of the design industry. Her patterns started out mainly as appliqué driven designs but have since evolved into highly tailored styles with a sophisticated vibe. In fall 2005, she launched Boutique Chic, a new line of tissue patterns for skirts. Because of their success, more of these patterns have followed and she has now added dresses, bags, and jackets to the collection. As of spring 2006, her company operates as Serendipity Studio. In addition to the designs she creates for her company, she is now a licensed designer for the McCall Pattern Company as Kay Whitt Designs.

In June 2010, her first book with Krause Publications, Sew Serendipity, was released. It has gone on to be a top seller in the industry and is known for great fitting patterns with clear instructions and stellar illustrations. Her newest book, Sew Serendipity Bags, was just released in September 2011. It bears the same great features as the first book, making it a perfect accessory companion to Sew Serendipity.

Kay resides in Texas with her husband Keith and their bird, ET. She is always busy working on something new and exciting and never tires of sharing her passion for design and sewing. From learning to sew as a girl to art classes in high school to teaching young children, her career has come full circle to become a love that never feels like work.

Customer Reviews

She utilizes color and pattern in creative ways to make garments that are chic and fun.
Tamara Bostwick
With Kay Whitts book you get skirts, tunics/dresses, and coat patterns as well as a great how to book.
Crafting For Fun
I wish, I WISH I had read this book and tried some patterns before ever attempting any thing else.
Leigh G

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

203 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Judie Bellingham on June 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover-spiral
Even though my mother was a seamstress, I didn't learn how to sew until after I was married. We had a mortgage you couldn't jump over and my husband bought me a sewing machine and thought it "prudent" that I learn how to sew and stop spending so much money on clothing.

I booked myself into a private six week class and I was not impressed. The tutor was a dragon, I couldn't do anything right, the clothes never fitted and I gave up after about four weeks. Eventually I taught myself to sew, but I found it a difficult, tedious task to accomplish. I wasn't ever really satisfied with much of the clothing that I made for myself, though I did become pretty good at making clothing for my toddlers. And of course, my passion for patchwork and quilting came from the wonderful scraps left from dressmaking.

Krause Publications recently sent me a complimentary copy of Sew serendipity (Fresh + Pretty Designs to Make and Wear) by Kay Whitt. After reading this publication I wish I had access to a book such as this when I was taking my first learn-to-sew steps.

My first delight occurred on opening this book and seeing the extensive chapter on Custom Fitting. I realise that this is a very important part of dress making - without custom fitting, the garments aren't going to fit as well as you'd like. This chapter is comprehensive and written in user friendly language and covers important topics such as Steps to a Custom Fit, Taking Measurements, Making the Muslin and Adjusting the Fit. I really could have used this advice 30 or more years ago.

Kay Whitt then goes on to address the important tools of the trade.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book and received it a few days ago --it's beautiful!

Oftentimes sewing books will feature only a few really nice projects but I love ALL the designs in this book and can't wait to get sewing.

Not just skirts, this book also features, tunics, dresses and jackets. The designs are chic, stylish, modest and totally wearable.

Full sized tissue patterns from XXS to XXL are included and the custom fitting and sewing techniques will be a welcome addition to the new or inexperienced sewer.

The directions are thorough with plenty of drawings along the way and the lay flat binding a big plus. The layout of the book is charming and fun.

I am very pleased with this purchase --it was an impulse buy that turned out to be a winner!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
This book is fun, practical and creative. Patterns are included! My SIL, who does not sew, picked it up from my stack of books because of the cover and was amazed to see models of varying sizes on the inside pages ... shows that the patterns are adaptable and will look good on different figures. I like the suggestions to make the garment your own. I hope to use some of the design elements to inspire my 9yo daughter, but I would be equally comfortable wearing any of these styles, too. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and wanted more!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Piasta Wnuczka on September 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I was impressed by the skirt a colleague made by following the directions in it.

But I was disappointed that what is supposed to also be a book about making tops, dresses and jackets fails -- miserably -- to measure up in those other areas.

Again, it's a great book about making skirts, and lot of attention is paid in the early chapters on precisely cutting and sewing skirts that fit an individual's waist and hips. That's fine as far as it goes -- and as any seamstress will tell you, making skirts is relatively easy (notice I said relatively). But the real fitting instructions stop there. I wish the author had devoted half as much to the top/dress and jacket patterns, where achieving a precise, custom fit is more problematic because of variances in women's shoulder slopes and bust size and position.

It's frustrating, and not at all what one is led to expect, because the book even says, on page 11, that "even if you wear a size medium and your best friend does too, your bodies are simply not the same." The author goes on, on same page, to deride "most pattern companies" for "picking a standardized length" for things such as "shoulder slope." But she is guilty of the same sin! The patterns in the book assume that every woman wearing them has the same shoulder slope, and needs the bust-darts at the same depth and in the same position. Nowhere in the book are there suggestions, instructions, or provisions for changing these things. Instead, the chapters on tops and dresses and jackets emphasize cutting and placing pockets and collars and pleats and gathers -- embellishments, basically (maybe to distract the eye from the imprecise fit).
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. P on September 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
When this book arrived, I glanced through it quickly since I was packing for a trip to visit my mother, and took it along with me. My mother taught me how to use her sewing machine when I was very young and I have been sewing ever since, except for a 15 year period after my first baby was born. She a very well organized quilting stash that she gave me free access to, and together we picked fabrics and designed a skirt and two dresses. We both had so much fun working on these garments.

I was a bit concerned that ruffly peasant style was not MY style, since I am old enough to have worn them the first time around I was worried that I was trying to wear stuff that was not "old" enough for me. But I receive complements whenever I wear my new stuff, and I used ruffles in moderation. Also, there are not just ruffly peasant style things in here, and peasant style might not be the correct term anyhow. The jacket is just fabulous, the skirts are easy and so variable. Every design in the book is so easy to vary and make your own, and I believe they are all flattering on any body. If you're in doubt, make a muslin first, which you should do anyhow.

This book is good for both those who have not done any garment construction sewing and those who have. Kay's instructions are easy to follow and nothing is difficult to do. There is something for everyone to learn, and even if you know it all already, it's fun to sew garments using fabrics you love and - like the title says - fresh designs!

There are some techniques like "intentional creases" that I had not done before, and I had never used a ruffler attachment. Was it ever fun!
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