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86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally here and well worth the money
I've been waiting for this book to come out since Nancy first mentioned it on her blog. As a devotee of Farbenmix and Studio Tantrum patterns, I knew that this book was going to be something that I wanted. I prefer these patterns for several reasons: they have great fit with growing room; the designs are easily adapted to be simply made or given the full-on embellishment...
Published on February 22, 2010 by Jennifer Robinson

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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great clothes, scattered directions
I think the patterns are great and simple to sew - if you have a bit of experience. I have been sewing for 20 years and have taken many classes. I found the directions to be hard to follow. I don't know how a novice sewer could follow the directions with success. My concerns - you have to do a lot of reading in several places to really understand the directions. In some...
Published on May 16, 2010 by C. Labuda


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86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally here and well worth the money, February 22, 2010
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This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
I've been waiting for this book to come out since Nancy first mentioned it on her blog. As a devotee of Farbenmix and Studio Tantrum patterns, I knew that this book was going to be something that I wanted. I prefer these patterns for several reasons: they have great fit with growing room; the designs are easily adapted to be simply made or given the full-on embellishment treatment; the designers seem to think "outside the box" when creating their patterns, resulting in garments that are dynamic in motion and fit beautifully with an original twist.

I really like this book, it does have its drawbacks (as any book does), so I'll list the Pros and Cons as I see them in order to give a balanced review.

PROS:
-10 multi-sized patterns, 3 or 4 of which are not available as separate patterns and some which are being discontinued for the cost of 1 or 2 if purchased individually. You can't beat that deal.
-colorful, inspiring photos with both close-up and full-length views of garments
-spiral binding allows the book to stay open so it can be used for reference while sewing
-clear instructions for putting together each garment, with tips for how to make construction and fit better and easier
-instructions for adapting patterns to fit 'plus-sized' children
-instructions for making a child-sized mannequin to facilitate fitting
-patterns are rated for difficulty
-in-depth instructions for measuring and fitting your child, including a size chart and a chart to fill in your child's measurements so that you can choose the correct size, either in cm or inches
-amazing embroideries and other embellishments
-written in a natural, easy to understand style - much like the way Nancy blogs, so it feels like a friend is talking to you and encouraging you

I'm sure that there are more that I have overlooked.

CONS:
-the patterns are printed on brown tissue paper, not the standard white paper that Farbenmix and Studio Tantrum patterns are printed on. I find this a HUGE drawback because tissue can rip so easily and doesn't go back together very well, and because tissue is more difficult to trace from. I realize that using the heavier white paper would have increased the cost of the book but it would have been well worth the price increase.

-not as much of a selection for boys. While it is true that Farbenmix patterns have been heavier on girl's clothing, there are some boy patterns that they could have included. While I don't think it's a big deal for me personally, it may be a bigger drawback for others.

-a lack of details concerning how specific looks were achieved when it comes to the embellishments. While Nancy addresses this by saying that she wants merely to inspire people to find their own way, there are some for whom more specific details are important, especially if they want to recreate one of the looks shown in the book.

-While the photographs throughout the book are beautiful and eye-catching, there are no captions, making it sometimes difficult to match a close-up to its pattern. Again, for some this may not be important but for others it may be crucial to figuring out an embellishment.

-most of the garments are made of a mix of fabric and/or heavily embellished. This may make it difficult for some people to imagine the patterns made up in solid colors or without the embellishments, as noted in previous reviews.

-the book lacks a source guide, something which seems very important in a book which includes the use of so many ribbons, embroideries, etc. It is obvious that the readers of this book would want to know where they could get the materials to create these looks and for the publisher to leave this list out is a misstep on their part. Nancy mentioned in her blog that she'd made one and intended for it to be included, so this is an omission on the part of the publisher, not the author.

On the whole, this is a fantastic book. I give it 4 stars because of the cons, even though (for me) they do not outweigh the pros. However, there are some things that some people might decide are crucial and have been left out. If you are a fan of the Euro style but haven't tried any of the patterns yet, you should get this book. If you're already a fan, you know how amazing Farbenmix and Studio Tantrum patterns can turn out and you probably already have this book or are planning on getting it. It won't disappoint you. If you are hesitant to venture into the wild world of Euro style, have no fear. These patterns are wonderful on their own, without embellishments and in very simple colors and fabrics. The whole point of the book is to take these patterns and make them fit your child's taste (or your own taste). It's about stepping outside the box and being willing to celebrate the color, movement and joy that clothes can bring to your child's life. After all, kids feel best in clothes they love and which make them happy.
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282 of 295 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Video Review, March 9, 2010
This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
Length:: 1:55 Mins

A couple of things to note about my video review:

1. I did a video review to give others a better look inside the book.
2. Please read some of the other reviews. There are much better seamstresses than me who left very detailed comments.
3. I did not realize that this book came with 10 patterns, until I received it. This is a tremendous value $$.

Really, a great book, just short on boys inspiration. Overall this makes a great reference book. ENJOY!
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value, beautiful pictures, February 5, 2010
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This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
The girls who make Farbenmix/Studio Tantrum patterns have written a book! and it comes with PATTERNS! I just got it today, so I haven't studied it in depth, but looks great so far. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I happen to love the busy prints and whimsical stylings that are the hallmark of Farbenmix patterns. There is lots of ruching, gathers, and trims for lots of texture and visual interest, but you can also make toned down versions of their patterns which are very stylish and wearable as well. The book has lots of really amazing full-color illustrations and from the looks of it, the directions (and accompanying drawings) are much more comprehensive than what you get with the regular Farbenmix patterns. I have never had problems with the patterns before, but I've seen people lamenting their lack of clarity, so this seems like it would be a big improvement for beginning sewists, especially.

The only thing I'm not liking (and it's relatively minor) is that the patterns are printed on normal pattern tissue paper instead of the heavier white paper that individual Farbenmix patterns come printed on. It will make repeated tracings more difficult, for sure.

I understand that the individual Feliz pattern and a few others--Imke, Insa & Dortje, maybe?--are being discontinued, but they are included in this book, so you can still buy them and really it's cheaper this way. The fit of Farbenmix/Studio Tantrum patterns, and the ease with which they come together is so far superior to any of the "Big 3" patterns, I don't even waste my money buying them any more. The patterns in this book each cover sizes 18mo-2T to 11/12. Additionally, the first third of the book covers proper fitting, pattern alterations, and even instructions for making a dress form.

Here is a list of the patterns in the book:
Imke Shirt
Riviera Leggings and Shorts
Brooklyn Tank Top
Brooklyn Shrug
Insa Skirt
Dortje Trousers
Avalon Jacket
Silver Lake Windbreaker
Feliz Party Dress
Manhattan Special Occassion Dress

Overall, I'm mainly totally geeked right now that I just got 10 Farbenmix patterns for around $20.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great clothes, scattered directions, May 16, 2010
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This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
I think the patterns are great and simple to sew - if you have a bit of experience. I have been sewing for 20 years and have taken many classes. I found the directions to be hard to follow. I don't know how a novice sewer could follow the directions with success. My concerns - you have to do a lot of reading in several places to really understand the directions. In some cases, directions are written for something not pictured - the feliz dress and buttons. what buttons? no drawing or picture exists to give one a hint of their use. the pattern pieces like burda, have no seam allowances, i wish the author had printed this on the pattern pieces themselves as a second reminder. as well, the author states to hem a garment, but provides no guidelines on hems for each garment. hem allowances are not provided on the pattern pieces

I would suggest a novice sewer or intrepid sewer first write out their own instructions before cutting into their fabric.

Great patterns, needs more close up pictures of the garments and their options. while the clothing is simple sewing, i suggest a sewer purchase an individual pattern from the author first.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Work, work, and more work, November 28, 2010
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This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
Actually, I love the styles in this book BUT in order to make them you first have to make your own pattern pieces off from flimsy poorly marked tissue paper and add your seam allowances. Then you get to try and figure out the directions which are very vague. If I use the patterns that come with this book, I will spend more time making patterns than sewing. Also one of the cutest skirts pictured in the book is not included as a project. I doubt I'll be making any of these projects---just to much work.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this book, February 7, 2010
This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
One of the favorite dresses I've sewn for my daughter (and the one that gets the most "wow's") is the Feliz Party Dress - which is in this book. I've always loved their patterns - and paid about $18 for the one. This book gives you so many wonderful patterns!!! The wonderful thing about the patterns too is that there are endless opportunities to embellish them and change them ... and they give you suggestions (add a ruffle here, and it feels like a whole new pattern). I actually prefer simpler fabrics, less frill - not mix and matching with as many "loud" fabrics/patterns - but even when you make them simpler, they are beautiful patterns! If you love to sew for your girls, get this book. I won't lie though, if you are sewing for boys, I am not sure this is the book for you. It does have 2 nice patterns for boys, but it's a tee/hoodie and a windbreaker. They are nice patterns - but the only 2 in the book I didn't think "I need to sew that!!". Splurge on an issue of Ottobre if you have boys, not this book. If you sew for girls - GET THIS.
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32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So far 0 for 2 on these patterns., March 10, 2010
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This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
Be aware of the exaggerated style lines of these patterns. I expected when I purchased this book that I wouldn't like the embellishment and fabrics used in the garments but others have said that looking past that, the underlying patterns are great. Well I've now tried two, the "Dortje" pants and the "Insa" skirt, and even in simple fabrics I'm finding the styles odd. I've been sewing for my daughter for several years now and I've had such nice results that I half believed it reflected my skill. But after these two flops, I realize I've just been using good patterns. For the pants, I took the width of each leg panel in by 1/2" to better suit a slim girl, but even with that they are very wide and the bottom flare very pronounced. The waist placement is good but the waistband is a mile wide. I also really hate the pentagonal shape of the back pockets. All these proportions might look nicer on a taller girl but in the middle range 110/116, not at all flattering or current. The instructions suggested cutting elastic the width of the waist plus 1" but I ended up needing to cut at least 2" off of that--what's the point of an elastic waist if it doesn't touch the body? (The instructions also told me to leave a 1/2" wide opening for inserting the 1" wide elastic, obviously a mistake but repeated in the diagram and translated to metric, so not a simple typo.) The pants were very quick and easy to assemble and I asked my daughter if I should try them again but she requested "normal" pants instead (I guess not love at first sight). On to the "Insa." I was excited about the pattern as the overskirt has a pretty petal shaped bottom contour and the elastic sheering looked clever. With the exception of the same directions for the long waist elastic, the instructions and fit are fine. But in the finished skirt the over skirt is so puffy and odd--definitely a little much for a day at school even in simple fabrics. This might be cute as a silly skirt on a toddler but on an older girl the flare distracts from the girl more than it flatters. I'm beginning to think the over embellishment is necessary to mask the clunky shapes of the patterns and in fairness I did end up liking some of the fabric combos shown.

As far as the text of the book, it really seems the author had little to say. There are random tips thrown in, but as much bad advice as good--use strips of fusible web to secure patch pockets before topstitching (why?? a couple pins have always worked for me). Resist the urge to use antique thread (sensible, but is this a common mishap?). I don't think there is nearly enough information to help someone new to sewing (although there are certainly other resources for that). I wish there was a more complete size chart included (only height/chest/waist/hips are given for the standard sizes). They explain how to measure a child in additional areas but don't tell you the corresponding dimensions the patterns were drafted for. Measuring pattern pieces will help but then you have to wrestle with design ease, if you suspect your child has narrow shoulders it would be helpful to know how she compares to the pattern maker's ideal. The philosophical bits are awkward, "Sew with the Flow" is as forced as a midnight term paper. And when it comes to technique, there is little analysis of the heavily styled garments photographed beyond "One trim is seldom enough... anywhere you add a ruffle there is room to put a line of rickrack..." Why not include at least some practical reasons for trim. I've found trim over a seam distracts the eye so that carefully matched prints aren't expected which is particularly helpful between bodice and skirts. Even if you have a pile it on approach to embellishment, there is room to discuss balance and design. I believe the examples photographed were carefully conceived but there is no insight given as to how. There is also no account of which patterns were used where and there are photos of patterns not included in the book. Sadly, there is nothing in here I'll try for my son and the discussion of boy sewing is uninspired which is too bad because it really is possible to home sew for boys, too.

When it comes to the projects section, at least the writing has purpose. The instructions seem pretty good if a little wordy--more is often less with sewing instructions. And along the way new techniques are introduced in natural succession. I can accept that cutting layouts are unnecessary if you are using multiple fabrics but a simple labeled diagram of the flat pattern pieces should really be provided. This makes finding and tracing the pieces simpler and makes the instructions readable without pulling out the tissue paper. Also the cutting lists should take every opportunity to remind the reader to cut right- and left-hand versions of asymmetric pieces like pant legs, not just say cut two. This may sound petty but it's an easy to make mistake especially especially when cutting from multiple fabrics and so frustrating. On the other hand I didn't find tracing from the tissue to be as bad as others have said even with the faint dashed lines and I've already pulled the tissues out multiple times and they are holding up fine.

I still have hope that one of the two dress patterns will be a winner but I'll definitely be setting this book aside for a while before I consider attempting one. For now I'm regretting my time spent with this book but I give it two starts because there are so few contemporary books devoted to childrenswear.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TEN STARS! A Must-Have for Sewing Childrens Clothing! Especially Girls!, February 8, 2010
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This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
About the book : I ABSOLUTELY L-O-V-E THIS BOOK!
Great for sewing newbies AND advanced seamstresses!
Gorgeous Patterns & Projects!
Very Informative & Helpful Content!
This book covers a bit of EVERYTHING = Basics Ideas & Theories on Sewing Clothing for Children, How to Measure Your Child & Sizing, Very Useful & Handy Measurement & Standards Charts, About Patterns & Tracing, About Seam Allowances, Adjusting Patterns for Style & Fit, Choosing Fabrics & Embellishments, Sewing Room & Equipment Needs, Making a "KinderQUIN" Dress Form Instructions (with Pictures), Fabric/Pattern Piece Layout & Cutting Suggestions, Gathering & French Seam Info, Essential Stitches, Working with Knits Info, etc ... & Much More!

About the Included Patterns/Projects:
The Patterns & Text are in English.
These patterns are sized in EUROPEON Sizes, the same as normal StudioTantrum & Farbenmix's patterns are.
This pattern euro-sizing is easily explained on page 33 of the book!
Page 33 includes a very handy CHART, with BOTH US & EURO Sizes AND Measurements, to help guide your way. :)
These patterns & projects cover a huge range of sizes : from Infant 18mo up to Children 11/12 :)!

+ It's quite important to note =
These Patterns/Projects are Designed to Allow for Growth!
Meaning there's Room-To-Grow Built into each Design, so your child can enjoy each of your creations for far more than just one season/year, up to several years!
For example: the Feliz dress can be worn alone & layered as a dress ~OR~ omit or fold under the shoulder straps to wear it as a lovely long skirt!)

+ I was super delighted to see the very-easy-to-follow "KinderQUIN" DRESS FORM Instructional Section, with How-To Pictures! I've been looking, "for forever & a day", for a child sized sewing maniquin/manikin, to no avail! But THIS solves that need, entirely!
(*To Nancy & Sabine : THANKS so much, for including this!! You've just saved me TONS of Time and MONEY! + This tape is now available in all sorts of colors & metallic tones, so the fun is nearly endless!!*)

Other things to Comment on :
* The included patterns are made of the standard beige tissue paper, like many US / "Big3" pattern companies use. They are not made of the large white, 20#or30# paper, normally used for StudioTantrum & Farbenmix's patterns (that are sold separately).
However, I ALWAYS cover my treasured patterns with "clear contact paper", whether they are made of tissue or regular paper.
So, this "tissue-issue" does NOT bother me in the slightest. :)

* Only TEN included patterns ...
Yes, but they are completely gorgeous, wonderfully creative, very comfortable, easy-to-sew & very versatile patterns, that can be used to make so many varying pieces & outfits.
Comparatively, IF you bought these 10 patterns separately, as StudioTantrum & Farbenmix's patterns are normally sold (until now), you would have spent upwards to $180-$200 total + shipping costs.
However, by buying this one book, you're saving well over $150-160, or more! :)

* Finished Garment Pictures Exampled, in this book, do have many "very colorful & lively" prints, multi-print combos, simple single embellishments, and mutli-embellishment mixes.
But, there are several pictures that are show garments made with single or double simple stripes, simple prints, just plain solid fabrics, and without embellishments, as well.

If you find yourself "distracted" by the lively, colorful prints & multi-fabric combos: Please make sure to look at each project's/pattern's black & white EXAMPLE LINE DRAWINGS! :)
Even in this very simple, un-decorated view, each pattern is obviously wonderful in it's basic form!
It's quite easy to see that each pattern can be used with plain or mixed fabrics, and without or with embellishments added ...
Each patterns' decoration & construction possibilities are nearly endless, and limited only by your imagination. :)

Note : The use of lots of embellishments, ribbons, embroideries, PLUS using very lively/colorful prints & mixing many prints together in one garment/outfit, are very popular in the EURO-STYLE fashions. Both Farbenmix & StudioTantrum are very into that style.
HOWEVER, these patterns can Very Easily be used with less (or no) trimmings and with solid or single fabrics.
It's completely up to you, how you wish to use these patterns! :)!

* Be forewarned!
This book & it's patterns are very inspirational!
You'll be sewing delightful, comfortable childrens clothing, in no time at all!

Ok, so the PROS to this book can't all be listed here.
I tried to cover some important points. :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
The only slight-con :
Could have had a couple more pieces for the boys or unisex-style.
HOWEVER! :)
I very much LOVE the THREE included patterns, that can be used for BOYS!
They can be worn separately or together, as an ENTIRE BOYS OUTFIT! :)!

For the Boys, this book features Patterns & Info for : the very versatile Dortje Trousers (without the gathered knees), the Imke Shirt (or Hoody, as desired), and the fun SilverLake WindBreaker.
All three pieces are Comfortable and Very Versatile.
+ There's even optional Media/Gear Pocket Instructions included. :)!

A Huge Thanks to the Authors! I'll be happily sewing & creating for many months to come, just from this one delightful book!
Please, don't let this be your only one published! :)!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, But not for people NEW to sewing., April 5, 2010
This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
I love this book, but ther is one draw-back: This is by now way an instructional book. Don't buy this expecting to learn to sew. The author does not go into great detail on HOW to put the items together. knowing your sewing machine and having a good grasp of construction will greatly help you with this book (if you don't have that and would really like to try your hand at these clothes make sure you have your sewing machine manual and a good "how to" type sewing book before you start to save yourself some pain!)

I tackled two patterns right off and found them fairly easy. I was suprised that the Avalon skirt (the one on the cover) landed as a more challenging pattern, I found this to be really easy and I see myself making this a staple in my daughters closet. I really found the Imke to be much more challenging.

I highly recommend that you trace the patterns and don't cut out your size. I see myself using these patterns over as my daughter (6yo) gets older.

I also agree don't get too overwelmed by the bright colors or over-trimmed clothing. I made the avalon skirt with a pink and black plaid over skirt with a simple black corded detail and a pink flower print underskirt and then toped off with a black yoke. I couldn't have been more pleased with it. Start simple and after you get the hang of the patterns then by all means try some of the other ideas.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overwhelmingly odd., November 13, 2010
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This review is from: Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits (Spiral-bound)
After reading the overall good reviews of this book I decided to check it out at a local Borders. Good thing I did because it would've been a waste for me to purchase sight unseen. While I love the concept of whimsical fabrics, frilly accents, and wild bohemian themes, these patterns just confused my aesthetic mind. A couple of the outfits seem so outlandish that I can't imagine a girl wanting to wear unless she has no real opinion and just wears what her Mom tells her to. I was hoping that the book would provide a substantial sewing foundation with strong patterns but I was really disappointed by the combination of writing and outfits. The photos were really nice, and in the beginning of the book it showed a few boys but there were literally two or three patterns for boys. I'm probably just too conservative for this book, but the mixture of the number of colors and structure of each piece was not what I expected.
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