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Sew Serendipity: Fresh and Pretty Designs to Make and Wear Hardcover-spiral – July 12, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I booked myself into a private six week class and I was not impressed. The tutor was a dragon, I couldn't do anything right, the clothes never fitted and I gave up after about four weeks. Eventually I taught myself to sew, but I found it a difficult, tedious task to accomplish. I wasn't ever really satisfied with much of the clothing that I made for myself, though I did become pretty good at making clothing for my toddlers. And of course, my passion for patchwork and quilting came from the wonderful scraps left from dressmaking.
Krause Publications recently sent me a complimentary copy of Sew serendipity (Fresh + Pretty Designs to Make and Wear) by Kay Whitt. After reading this publication I wish I had access to a book such as this when I was taking my first learn-to-sew steps.
My first delight occurred on opening this book and seeing the extensive chapter on Custom Fitting. I realise that this is a very important part of dress making - without custom fitting, the garments aren't going to fit as well as you'd like. This chapter is comprehensive and written in user friendly language and covers important topics such as Steps to a Custom Fit, Taking Measurements, Making the Muslin and Adjusting the Fit. I really could have used this advice 30 or more years ago.
Kay Whitt then goes on to address the important tools of the trade.Read more ›
Oftentimes sewing books will feature only a few really nice projects but I love ALL the designs in this book and can't wait to get sewing.
Not just skirts, this book also features, tunics, dresses and jackets. The designs are chic, stylish, modest and totally wearable.
Full sized tissue patterns from XXS to XXL are included and the custom fitting and sewing techniques will be a welcome addition to the new or inexperienced sewer.
The directions are thorough with plenty of drawings along the way and the lay flat binding a big plus. The layout of the book is charming and fun.
I am very pleased with this purchase --it was an impulse buy that turned out to be a winner!
But I was disappointed that what is supposed to also be a book about making tops, dresses and jackets fails -- miserably -- to measure up in those other areas.
Again, it's a great book about making skirts, and lot of attention is paid in the early chapters on precisely cutting and sewing skirts that fit an individual's waist and hips. That's fine as far as it goes -- and as any seamstress will tell you, making skirts is relatively easy (notice I said relatively). But the real fitting instructions stop there. I wish the author had devoted half as much to the top/dress and jacket patterns, where achieving a precise, custom fit is more problematic because of variances in women's shoulder slopes and bust size and position.
It's frustrating, and not at all what one is led to expect, because the book even says, on page 11, that "even if you wear a size medium and your best friend does too, your bodies are simply not the same." The author goes on, on same page, to deride "most pattern companies" for "picking a standardized length" for things such as "shoulder slope." But she is guilty of the same sin! The patterns in the book assume that every woman wearing them has the same shoulder slope, and needs the bust-darts at the same depth and in the same position. Nowhere in the book are there suggestions, instructions, or provisions for changing these things. Instead, the chapters on tops and dresses and jackets emphasize cutting and placing pockets and collars and pleats and gathers -- embellishments, basically (maybe to distract the eye from the imprecise fit).Read more ›
I was a bit concerned that ruffly peasant style was not MY style, since I am old enough to have worn them the first time around I was worried that I was trying to wear stuff that was not "old" enough for me. But I receive complements whenever I wear my new stuff, and I used ruffles in moderation. Also, there are not just ruffly peasant style things in here, and peasant style might not be the correct term anyhow. The jacket is just fabulous, the skirts are easy and so variable. Every design in the book is so easy to vary and make your own, and I believe they are all flattering on any body. If you're in doubt, make a muslin first, which you should do anyhow.
This book is good for both those who have not done any garment construction sewing and those who have. Kay's instructions are easy to follow and nothing is difficult to do. There is something for everyone to learn, and even if you know it all already, it's fun to sew garments using fabrics you love and - like the title says - fresh designs!
There are some techniques like "intentional creases" that I had not done before, and I had never used a ruffler attachment. Was it ever fun!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you have one wardrobe, its in this book. My daughter came to visit and she said the same thing, everything you need for a complete closet is here. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Longmontlady
Bought as a gift for my 2 granddaughters. I am hoping that these cute and easy patterns will inspire home made creations!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love this book and it will get a lot of use for myself, my daughters and beyond for years as they are classic, comfortable designs that will stand the test of time with just a... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Moira Hanthalasa
The skirt pattern is, for me, a five star item. Very flattering, easy to make (though kind of time consuming) and able to be made in nearly infinite varieties (I've made a... Read morePublished 12 months ago by S. Olson
The clothing is very cute. And I appreciate that she has larger sizes (though I withheld one star because her larger sizes are still smaller than retail. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Stephanie A Bullard
Fun and inventive, so creative. The only problem is, not much for plus size gals!Published 17 months ago by PrairieGirl
I'm not overly impressed with this book. Maybe it is because adding trim to a skirt or a blouse is something most sewists learn early on. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Susan E. Williams-Russell
Absolutely adorable! I love everything about this book and all of the patterns included!💗Published 18 months ago by fleurdedeleigh