- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book (November 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781617691744
- ISBN-13: 978-1617691744
- ASIN: 1617691747
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style: Key Pieces to Sew + Accessories, Styling, and Inspiration Hardcover – November 3, 2015
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1. There is a cohesive theme to the whole book--in other words, the projects contribute to a unified style. If you like that style, you will like all the projects. In many sewing books the projects are grouped into chapters for clothes and accessories, for bags, for the home, for babies, and for children. Often a third of the book is of no interest to me because I don't have kids and only occasionally make something as a gift for a new mom or a child. It seems to me that many books are padded with silly useless projects just to balance the size of each chapter.
2. Lotta writes about how the various pieces will work in different fabrics and with different styling details. She features her friends and colleagues wearing the clothes so you get to see how they have interpreted the designs. It makes the book fun to read and inspiring, and she includes interesting details about her friends--I felt like I could relate to them and share their creative outlook.
3. The projects are simple but unique--like the patchwork scarf, which I've already made, and the fabric bracelets. Those are particularly nice because every sewist has bits and pieces of lovely fabric they don't know what to do with. Sure, you could probably figure out how to make those yourself, but you might not think of them and Lotta provides useful details and directions.
I can see myself making most of the projects in this book. I made the pants this afternoon and I love them. The patterns are printed on both sides and on top of one another, so you have to trace them out, which is a bit challenging. But most books with patterns do it this way now.
In sum I'd say that if you like Lotta's effortless euro-global chic, you will love this book.
Then there's the patterns themselves. The drafting is rather poor. Some specifics:
The pants have just about the same height rise in the back as in the front--which will only work for the relatively rare humans whose butt is the same size as their stomach. They are also cut for a rather short person--maybe 5'2". The rise is ridiculously low if you follow the instructions for the foldover elastic waist casing. The book never shows you what the pants look like from the crotch up, and for a good reason--they are uuugly.
The skirt has no shaping of any sort, which would work if it had a drawstring or elastic waist but not with a zipper and a Petersham ribbon waist. The maxi length is too long for me (5'9")--so they are not drafting for the same person, between the pants and the skirt.
The maxi length of the Esme dress is also too long for me, and the armscye/shoulder area is problematic so the front neckline rides up. If you cut it with the notched collar, be aware that for some reason, they give you only one size opening for all the sizes, so whether you are a petite size 4 or a size 14, you're looking at the same (overly deep) notched collar pattern.
The armscyes of the Kiomi dress are far too high and tight, and the top length is too short on me; so the maxi and the top lengths are determined by drawing random numbers from a hat, apparently? The bias neckline trim in the Kiomi dress is a total mess; it doesn't even look good in the pictures.
The introduction to the book says that Lotta Jansdotter teamed up with another designer to make the patterns--a person named Alexia Abegg. Her website is currently defunct, but just like Lotta J, she seems to be more of a fabric designer. Certainly not a skilled pattern drafter. I think they should both stick to fabrics.
In conclusion, if you want a colorful, vapid book for inspiration and already know how to whip up any of the pictured garments without a pattern, this is a good book for you. But there is no shortage of inspirational material for basic, straight-seam cotton tunics out there. If, on the other hand, you are a beginner looking for sewing instruction, look elsewhere. And if you are a relatively experienced sewer looking for quality minimalist patterns, buy the Merchant and Mills Workbook. It won't be as colorful, but you'll be able to make sense of the instructions, and the patterns will fit and look better than the pictures in the actual book.