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Sew & Stow: 31 Fun Sewing Projects to Carry, Hold, and Organize Your Stuff, Your Home, and Yourself! Paperback – May 7, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Looking for inspiration for your next sewing project?  Whether you’re a beginner or a master stitcher, there’s something for you in the new book.” –Star Banner

 

From the Back Cover

Sew bags, packs, totes, and handy items for your home and garden—make them your own with fun, contemporary fabrics. These 31 exciting projects are suitable for every skill level, from beginner to master stitcher.

Help the Planet: Say no to plastic bags and yes to colorful, reusable, hand-sewn alternatives! It’s easy to make your own bags, carry-alls, and sacks to hold everything from farmers’ market finds to bag lunches.

Brighten Your Home: Stitch up an apron or laundry bag to bring style and flair to household tasks. Add panache to your outdoor activities with a hand-sewn bottle sling or a comfy hammock. You can even make a dog bed cover for your loyal pal or a log tote for your favorite lumberjack.

Functional, fabulous, and ecofriendly—these handmade projects are quick and simple with the step-by-step instructions and illustrations in Sew & Stow.
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New Arrivals

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (May 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603420274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603420273
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Smith on June 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I go by the rule of not buying a book unless I'll do at least 3 of the projects in it. This book barely made the cut. I didn't find anything terribly innovative, and the format of the book was not nearly as good as some other craft books I've gotten. All of the pictures are in the front, and the instructions for the projects follow. This results in a lot of flipping back and forth, which is never very handy when it comes to craftiness.
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Format: Paperback
For the most part the projects seem fairly easy and although actual patterns aren't included, many of them simply require measuring and cutting rectangular or square pieces of fabric. However, the author also encourages the reader to do their own thing and come up with their own designs which isn't a bad idea in itself for things like customizing the size of pockets for some of the organizers, as an example, but nothing in the title or book description indicates that this is the tone of the book and because of that readers will assume they are getting a book of projects with exact instructions and patterns.

For example, the two projects I really wanted to make - the customized hobby tote and the fabric file box - came with little or no instruction at all because the author herself admitted she hadn't figured out the best way to make them yet. There were nice finished prototypes of these projects included in the photos so I felt the least the author could do was give the instructions for those even if they weren't perfect. Instead she encourages the readers to ask themselves a series of questions about what they want out of these two projects, how they think they should be put together, etc., and then basically wishes them luck in figuring it all out.

There were projects that seem useful such as a tote bag, a gardening apron, a cleaning caddy with pockets that fits around a 5 gallon plastic bucket, a clever sling for a water bottle, and a knitting needle tote. Some are easy enough for a beginner to figure out, and others require more know-how and the ability to adapt along the way. The section outlining the basics of sewing, equipment, and differences in fabrics was good.
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Format: Paperback
I am terribly frustrated with this book. The only project I really wanted to make was the handy catch all for scissors and such. It is pictured on the back cover. There are no actual directions for it. It is included in the design section. Why not include the directions for this project and then address the design aspects?
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Format: Paperback
The main reason I bought this book was for the fabric file box pattern. However, much to my chagrin, THERE IS NO PATTERN INCLUDED! There's just a little snippet how the different questions the author has about the construction of the project and a few vague lines about the different options one could employ to maybe make it. Then it's suggested you play around folding paper to "create your own pattern." Hello, if I could create my own patterns that easily I wouldn't have bought your book to begin with.

All in all, I'm sorely disappointed and will be returning the book promptly. Grrr.
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Format: Paperback
This book has some decent ideas. I am all about organization, so I had hoped to LOVE this book. Several of the projects I had already come across free online tutorials for. I've also got other craft books that have a few of these projects in there. It is organized a bit awkwardly, with all the photos of completed projects in the front and all the instructions in the back. I've had this book for almost a year and have done no more than flip through it. I've yet to make the first thing from it. Nothing particularly stands out. I do plan on making a couple hammocks as Christmas gifts this year from this book, but honestly, did I really NEED detailed instructions on a large rectangle? Probably not. But the idea is good, so thank Sew and Stow for that. It is a good looking book and looks snazzy just sitting on my table.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like the patterns in this book. They solve problems in a practical way. I had been wanting to make grocery totes and had an idea of what I wanted to do - Betty did it for me!
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The title of this book is very misleading. Of the 31 projects, there are only instructions for 27...and of those, only 17 are actually bags or organizers. Probably half of those projects can be found for free with a little time on google. There are no actual patterns; suggested measurements are given, and the instructions are written more like guidelines. The one project I really wanted to make, the hobby tote, does not have any kind of instructions.
I definitely do not like the layout of this book; I prefer photos of projects with the project, not lumped in the beginning. I understand cost is sometimes an issue, but I will still dislike the practice. Also, if you don't like/have problems reading pink, skip this book. Directions are printed in black, but the "illustrations" (really amateur sketches) may be difficult to see. If you wear glasses with any kind of tint you won't be able to read it at all.

If you are looking for ideas, and are adept at creating your own patterns, this book is fine. If you are looking for step-by-step directions, skip it. I'm still looking for a project book I can actually use. (I haven't found it yet, or I'd list my recommendation here.)
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