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Little Girls, Big Style: Sew a Boutique Wardrobe from 4 Easy Patterns Paperback – November 16, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Reading Abreu's book is like sitting down with a patient, and exceedingly competent, friend for an afternoon of sewing. Abreu, who created the popular blog Confessions of a Craft Addict, is nothing if not helpful, providing tiny inset tips such as If you cut along the Tiered Pants line, you can make a quick pair of shorts instead of pants or capris, and creating the feeling that anything is possible. She provides a quick review for the unsteady reader in Techniques A to Z, with good, clear photos helping make her points. And she's always encouraging and forgiving. In Handmade vs. homemade she reminds a frustrated seamstress, There is no shame in 'unsewing' your work. For the non-natural fashionista among us, she suggests pattern pairings, like a Barely Basic Top with the Twirly Girly Skirt. Yes, the names the author gives her outfits crank the cute to 11 but, after all, this is a book for girls who are proud to fly their feminine flag, sometimes with the help of their mothers. And while the names often cross the line from cute into cloying, the photos put everything in perspective. This parade of adorables will have readers saying, Who cares about the dress, I want the kid!―Publishers Weekly (1/31/11)
Mary Abreu has created four basic wardrobe pieces for little girls - skirt, pants, pull-over dress and peasant-style top/dress - and designed a series of variations to result in 23 different items. As the mother of a young daughter herself, she believes that sewing clothing fills a need to be creative, making something useful and fell the satisfaction from being able to say I made that. Her patterns provide you with the opportunity to dress your daughter or grand-daughter in one-of-a-kind outfits that fit perfectly. The book begins with a good overview of various techniques before moving into detailed and well illustrated step-by-step instructions for each garment. Full-size patterns are provided on sheets inserted inside the back cover...
Another fun sewing book for children's garments is Little Girls Big Style by Mary Abreu. Mary Abreu hit it out of the ballpark with this book, as her patterns are all the rage in mainstream children's fashion. Lots of ruffles, lots of colors and mix-matching fabrics. Mary focuses on garments that have a "boutique" feel to them. Not the pricey, ritzy brands we usually think of, but the "one-of-a-kind" custom-made garments that every little girl will love. Mary gives a lot of thoughtful comments about how she goes about choosing fabrics, colors, styles and weights as well as always keeping in mind whom she is sewing for.
Mary gives a thorough introduction to tools and techniques, which include many clear and easy-to-understand photos.
The patterns are divided into four basic garments: Basic Bodice, Peasant Top/Dress, Pants, and Skirts. She offers nice variations and a ton of embellishments to truly make your garments one of a kind. Mary offers 23 patterns in sizes 2-6. ― Review Source: www.petitepurls.com
Top Customer Reviews
What sets this book apart from commercially-prepared patterns is that it actually explains what you're supposed to do, with great pictures to illustrate. There's an illustrated reference section in the front about various sewing techniques that's invaluable for a beginner. I suppose if you're an experienced sewer, that's not a big deal, but I found it to be EXTREMELY helpful, and I have consulted it often.
I can see how more advanced sewers might find this book a little "basic," but I found it to be totally approachable, non-intimidating, and easy to follow. The patterns are simple, but the resulting projects don't look that way. What a great way to build confidence and skills!
Since Christmas, I've made three of the skirt patterns, and am just starting on one of the "basic bodice" tops. Every project I've finished has looked just as cute as the pictures, and that makes me proud and fires me up to try the next pattern and make something else for my daughter.
The only downside: I think I'm addicted to sewing now, and I've spent far too much money on fabric to make cute things!
The first thing that caught my attention was the great photography. The outfits and styling are amazing! Then, I started reading the book...It is FULL of useful sewing information for the beginning and more advanced sewist. There are step by step photos detailing the how-to's of the more technical aspects of sewing the clothing items. The full size patterns, sizes 2-6, are a bonus! I recommend this book for the novice as well as the advanced seamstress. I can't wait to start sewing for all of the little girls in my life.
The projects and directions include the Basic Bodice (Barely Basic Top/Dress, Knotty Apron variation, Sunshine Halter, Side-Tiered smock, Perfect Party Dress, Pocket Pinafore, Ruffled Peek-a-Boo Jumper), Peasant Top/Dress (Classic, Ruffled Empire Dress/Top, Tiered Twirly dress, fluttered-Sleeved top, ruffled neck top), Pants (Pants/Capris, Ruffled pants, Racing stripe pants, Lace-Edged Gauchos, Tiered Pants) and Skirts (No-Hem, Treasure, on-the-border, apron skirt, double layer twirl skirt, twirly girly skirt).
I would definitely recommend this book to both the novice and the experience sewer. If you are starting to get into sewing boutique type clothing, I would recommend starting with this book instead of buying all the separate patterns that are out there. I wish that I was able to purchase this book before sewing girl clothes because it would have definately saved me money so that I could buy more fabric for my stash. :) You definitely get A LOT from this book and a bang for your buck!!! Happy Sewing!!! :)
My next attempt was the basic dress with the apron variation. I made her a size 5 (she is comfortably a 4), and it was too tight. The straps (I went with the button version, not the "knotty" version) were also ridiculously huge using the exact measurements and seam allowances specified. They would have hung over the sides of the front of the dress. So, I had to re-sew the entire top half of the dress. Bigger bodice size (the 6 just barely fits her), and 4" width pieces for the straps instead of 6".
It's just irritating to have to make so many adjustments to make an end product that's at all wearable. I may make more pieces, but I'm going to trust my gut about sizes, rather than trusting the instructions.
The pictures in the book are just so pretty. Lots of adorable kids in very pretty, well-made, boutique clothing. The fabric choices are just lovely and inspiring. It's cool to note that one of the models in the book is the author's daughter, who actually WEARS the clothing.
The patterns in the book are made with woven fabrics, which opens up a whole world of options for styles and colors with so many gorgeous quilt weight cotton available. The only downside to that for me is that now in Winter, I just can't dress my little girl in such light layers. So while I want to jump in and make some cute skirts, dresses, and gathered ruffly tops, it's just not practical at the moment and I can only guess at what sizes to make now to fit her next year.
Having said that, I traced the basic pants pattern and am making a pair using a knit fabric that my daughter can wear now. It's a very simple pattern and works just fine with the knit. There are instructions to add a little racing stripe to the basic pants that I might add to these for an extra design element.
I wish the book were bound differently. With other sewing books that are spiral bound they can lay on the table for reference and given this paperback style binding I can't do that with this book. But that particular gripe has nothing to do with the content. The content of the book is excellent!
This book is really good for beginners, with very clear instructions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really am pleased with this book. I have used many of the patterns and "mixed and matched" in ways suggested - as well as making my own designs utilizing various pattern... Read morePublished 2 months ago by 57Chevy
Prompt Delivery - package good. I enjoy this book cause it has a variety of dress patterns to make for different sizing of girls clothing to sew.: )Published 5 months ago by Donna
I have to say i am quite disappointed. Don't get me wrong, this book explains sewing techniques very well, different stitches etc however the clothes made out of the patterns are... Read morePublished 5 months ago by XXXReviews
My wife says it is one of the better books out there on this topic.Published 6 months ago by Dr. Curt McDaniel
I have a couple of favorite patterns in this book. It is SUPER frilly and the kids look overdone; like the ruffled tops WITH ruffled pants are just overdoing the ruffle theme big... Read morePublished 7 months ago by DirtNSunshine
Pros: Lots of pictures. Clear and easy to understand instructions. Lots of variations to make from basic patterns. Read morePublished 8 months ago by TwinMom
I would have liked to have known that the patterns were not included .. It noted used but not that it didn't have any patterns . Book is beautiful but can't use it..Published 9 months ago by Shanna Myers