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Showing 1-10 of 36 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 80 reviews
on May 11, 2007
I like many of the items in this book. Lotta has a wonderful eye for design in fabrics and the projects chosen. The problem I have with it is that there are few instructional diagrams. It seems a mistake for a book designed for a beginner to rely on the reader to figure out where everything is going. If you're the type of person that can visualize 3D from written instructions, you'll do fine. However, if you're the type who needs someone to show you how to do something, I'd skip this book.
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on August 29, 2007
I would have given it three or even four as it's very cute, but the instructions are a bit too BRIEF..... I can't see how it's marketed as simple, when I was baffled - and I am in no means a beginning sewer. I've been sewing for 30 years, made my own wedding dress, coats, jackets etc.-.... I love these project books though - when they're good! I bought this book mainly for the inspiration and partly for the hat pattern - I love hats. The brim doesn't fit the crown, and the crown doesn't fit the top. It is impossible to fit them together. Whether the crown is turned with the slightly wider circumference towards the brim or the other way. Furthermore, the whole thing is enormous. Something is very wrong with this pattern, and it ruins the whole book for me. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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!
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on February 17, 2009
I first spotted this book in the gift shop of the Mercer House in Savannah, Georgia and couldn't put it down. I also couldn't afford it at the time.

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.
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on September 14, 2007
I'm a relative beginner sewer and started with Simple Sewing with a French Twist: An Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes and Home Accessories with Style - made the shoe bags and found the instructions concise. I bought the Lotta book because of the doorstop pattern but found the end product was HUGE and required alot more than 5# of beans! Naturally, I thought I'd made a mistake but this project had paper patterns so I did not mis-calculate the size.

Another project was a, at first glance, very simple bag - it did work out in the end but after realizing that many details were missing in the directions.

Overall, not enough great projects to warrant the struggle involved in figuring out how to put them together!
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on May 9, 2016
This isn't what I expected, but gave it to my grand-daughter as a good start for learning to sew. She is anxious to try some of the ideas.
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VINE VOICEon March 12, 2007
This book is fantastic, it includes the patterns and is spiral-bound which is really important for workbooks.

The patterns are for all aspects of life; home, office, clothing, etc.

The majority of the patterns are relatively simple but modern and chic. This is GREAT for beginning sewers!

The patterns are also FUNCTIONAL; tote bags with multiple pockets, wall organizers. These are sewing projects you will use.
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on September 17, 2007
Just starting to sew? I bet the first projects you come across in any book or magazine involve pillows and/or tea towels. It gets so old; that sort of thing is a good starting project but it's in every book as though people imagine that new sewers HAVEN'T come across an actual pillow pattern before.

You'll find lots of pattern staples for new sewers here- apron, tote bag, pillowcase, etc but the catch is that you actually get patterns and, in addition to the usual suspects, there are lots of patterns you wouldn't expect. The placemat with a chopstick holder? A placemat isn't necessarily unique, but the chopstick holder is interesting and it gives you a chance to try something more than just a simple rectangle shape. The picnic placemat is really fun too and again, it's something that seems like it's easy to think up but not quite. I also get a kick out of the doorstop pattern; just recently I saw a picture of one almost exactly like that and thought I'd try it and when the book came in, I realized I wouldn't have to search for a pattern.

I'm an intermediate sewer at best but I think I can tackle every project in here, though some might take a little more effort than others. The fabric guide at the beginning was pretty helpful, too. I often pick fabrics based on patterns, not based on the makeup of the fabric itself, and that's lead to problems. Knowing the right fabric to pick for a project is helpful and care instructions are even better. Again, like much of the book, it's something that seems like a no-brainer but is actually really important for people who are just getting into sewing.
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on April 16, 2007
This is a great book. The projects are all fairly simple and easy, so it is good for a beginner. However, the finished products look very nice. I even think that an advanced sewer would like this book. Also, I like the fact that the patterns are on a cardstock type of paper, instead of tissue paper. This makes working with them a lot simpler. Another thing I like about the book is that there are a ton of photographs. This gives you a good idea about how the finished product should look.
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on September 17, 2015
I wish I had read some of the reviews of this book before I started making some of the projects because there are definitely some issues with the patterns and the lack of clear illustrations, but I love the simple designs, the projects, the photography, and the fabrics that are used in this book. For those who like simple and more modern things and have even basic sewing skills, I think this book would be enjoyable and would actually teach some new skills. Having said that, while I gave this book 4 stars, I can echo some of the sentiments from other people who have actually made (or tried to make) projects from this book. I'd made 4 or 5 of them and didn't run into any major problems until attempting to make the garden tote. Going back to what others have mentioned, the doorstop needs way more than 5 pounds of beans, the hat definitely doesn't fit and was awkward to put together, and the garden tote is a mess. Having read through the instructions multiple times, it seems pretty clear to me that the pattern was written in such a way that the pockets on the outside were completely forgotten. Nowhere does it mention the sewing that must be done to make the pockets, and that has really pretty much ruined the pattern instructions. I think I can salvage the bag, but it is really rather annoying that a book that I have paid money for can be so wrong. I did not see an errata page for this book on Lotta Jansdotter's main site.
I also have made several projects in this book where I did not run into issues, so I should mention those as well. The doorstop, apron, all-day tote, and the very simple bag all turned out pretty well for me, and I am a relatively new sewer; however, I can definitely see how the lack of images and the unclear instructions about how to place multiple pieces of fabric together would definitely cause confusion and lots of wasted time trying to figure out something that should be very simple. The title of this book is, after all, simple sewing! I probably will be buying more of Lotta Jansdotter's books, and I really hope they are more tested and illustrated than this one.
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on June 2, 2007
This book is well written and offers fun, interesting projects for the beginner and even the advanced sewer who just wants easy, fun projects. It offers ways to make even things like placemats more interesting and brings detail that adds so much. I am very pleased with this book.
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