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1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects Spiral-bound – June 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ellen Luckett Baker is the founder of Thelongthread.com, which receives 75,000 unique visitors monthly. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Laura Malek is a photographer and artist living in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811876497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811876490
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By BeachBrights VINE VOICE on May 20, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound
Length: 4:04 Mins
15 Comments 265 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Spiral-bound
I do like this book for several reasons. First of all, I bought it because it contains projects for things I want to make! I just completed a bag that is called a Craft Caddy. I also want to make a storage cube or two, a boxed-end zipper pouch, a lunch sack, and a change-your-mind skirt.
I love the pictures, colors, and diagrams.
I love that the full-size patterns are included in a pouch and that the patterns are on NOT a giant sheet of paper, but on their own pieces of paper!
I found a little mistake (that wasn't major) in the instructions and posted a question on the author's blog and she got back to me very quickly. The patterns and instructions have been tested and the mistake that gave me pause was just one of those things that can happen in spite of tender loving care! But if you did find a glitch that stopped you, isn't it nice to know that the author is responsive?

Projects in this book include several bags, toys and clothing for children, and basic household items with creative touches.
The bag I made had me do something new--putting dividers in the lining of a bag.

Even though I have hundreds of craft books, I don't buy every book I flip through. I am happy I bought this one...and happy with my very useful, new Craft Caddy bag!
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Just so you know where I'm coming from, my girlfriend and I are absolute beginners to sewing. We bought a sewing machine and realized we had absolutely no idea what to do with it. After some research online we settled on three books to get us started. So far this has been the most used of the three. It has been a great resource and skill builder, but also the source of teeth clenching, mind shattering frustration.

Lets start with where I thought this book really shined.
After browsing through several beginner sewing books I really appreciated the progression of projects in this book. They begin very simple and build on each other, teaching new techniques while building on the skills previously learned. While some of the other books immediately jumped in to more advanced projects this book started by hemming simple tea towels. This won't be a bonus for everyone but as am absolute beginner I found it very useful to start at such a basic level: fold, press, and practice sewing in a straight line. For this reason alone I recommend this book; Fun projects of progressive difficulty to build your skill and confidence. Hands down of all the books I've browsed this one had the best projects for practical practice for a beginner. If you're sitting down with a sewing machine for the first time, this book should be by your side.

So what does this book do so poorly that after the recommendation above I rate it only "It's Ok"?
I personally found the How-To sections (step by step instructions meant to introduce new techniques) absolutely incomprehensible. I'm not the kind of guy who usually struggles with diagrams and cryptic instructions.
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Let me start by saying I am a novice machine sewer at the age of 28. I certainly have background in crafting/embroidery etc but the machine really intimidated me and I have no one (grandmother etc) to teach me. I really love this book and think it has made me a more confident sewer. It will NOT teach you how to use your machine. It won't teach you basic techniques like pressing, cutting/measuring fabric, using a rotary cutter etc. There are plenty of blogs and youtube that helped me with that. She does include an introduction with the kinds of tools you will need and/or are helpful as well as a basic introduction which is nice but you may need to do some research about your machine or consult a more comprehensive guide like Vogue for the details on the most basic techniques. What it does have are cute and useful projects I actually liked (as opposed to other "beginner books" filled with ugly and/or dated things I would never want to purchase let alone make) Each chapter is divided into 3 projects, with each project building on the skills learned in the previous. So, for example, the first chapter is themed around dining/kitchen. First you make simple dishcloth (learning to sew in a straight line, folded corners, making a basic hem, pressing fabric etc), then the next project is a set of cloth napkins (still sewing/cutting in a straight line, but now we add in "fancy" mitered corners, and finishing edge stiching), finally a table runner with pockets for flatware (add seamless pockets). By the end of the chapter you've really mastered the basics (straight line sewing/hemming, mitered corners) and are also comfortable with a more advanced skill (seamless pockets). Each chapter builds on the previous, though the author maintains you do not have to work the chapters in order.Read more ›
2 Comments 61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This book is filled with wonderful, easy projects that even beginning sewers can make. The pattern pieces are included in a pocket on the front cover and they are very simple. I made the Market Bag in about two hours, start to finish. I can't wait to start on my next project! Also this book has a chipboard cover and is spiral bound so it will lay flat. Wonderful book full of projects everyone can use or gift.
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