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Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects Spiral-bound – March 8, 2007
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About the Author
Scandinavian-born Lotta Jansdotter is a self-taught designer. She works from her studio in Brooklyn, New York, where she sells her products and designs online and to hundreds of stores worldwide.
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Edited to add - there are huge amounts of people out there who have had problems with this hat, as I found out after doing a search on the net. And I am REALLY unimpressed with the author - I wrote to her website early August and a very sweet assistant told me she couldn't help but perhaps I would find a flickr group that could - they couldn't - and that Lotta would issue corrections or contact me after she came back from her holidays - she hasn't!
The projects are labeled with difficulty numbers 1-3, but I did a level 3 project without any hassle and I am by no means a pro seamstress. I'd call myself an advanced beginner. There is a section at the beginning called FABRICS FACTS AND CARE where Lotta tells us of her preference for natural fabrics, something that is obvious when you look at the fabrics chosen and photographed for each project. Each fabric is her own design and just lovely to look at. She gives tips on using and caring for cotton, linen, and wool, but also shares information on acrylics, nylon, and rayon. She also encourages us to personalize our projects with embellishments beyond the motifs for applique and embroidery included in the pocket at the front of the book.
I loved reading the introduction to the book written by Lotta Jansdotter herself. That she is a self-taught seamstress, a proud fabric junkie, and a mom has drawn me to her for awhile now. Add to that her Swedish design sensibilities and simple sewing style and I appreciate her contribution to the crafting world all the more.
Overall I like this book. The projects are a bit different, simpler perhaps but more modern and functionally quirky than a lot of other books of this genera. The finished project pictures are inspiring and and drawn "how-to" pictures are easy to understand. The two projects I worked on didn't have patterns, (although several projects do and the patterns are included at the front of the book) just simple instructions that I had no problem following. I enjoyed this book and am planning on doing several other projects from it for Christmas gifts and the like before the end of the year.
I am not an experienced seamstress by any means. I took lessons in high school about 11 years ago, and just started sewing again. I don't know the verbiage, I HATE measuring, and I like quirky designs. This book is perfect for me.
Lotta includes a perfect combination of
1- pictures of the finished project
2- step by step instructions with illustrations
3- easy to use patterns cut out in the book jacket
This is a winning combination! For people who don't want to "waste time" measuring and getting everything perfect, it allows you to get started making art. I have made 3 of the oven mitts, the organizer (hang on the wall) and am excited to do more.
Lotta's designs are very modern, and the book is designed so that it's fun and easy to browse, which is important for people like me -- who are very visually-oriented.
If you're a fan of IKEA designs, and love quirky crafts, you will ADORE this book. I've looked around at tons of craft and sewing books, and Lotta is charming, clever and great at making sewing (and other crafts) accessible for the average Jane.
Also, if you are into printing, her other book is a lot of fun.