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Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits Spiral-bound – February 1, 2010
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I really like this book, it does have its drawbacks (as any book does), so I'll list the Pros and Cons as I see them in order to give a balanced review.
-10 multi-sized patterns, 3 or 4 of which are not available as separate patterns and some which are being discontinued for the cost of 1 or 2 if purchased individually. You can't beat that deal.
-colorful, inspiring photos with both close-up and full-length views of garments
-spiral binding allows the book to stay open so it can be used for reference while sewing
-clear instructions for putting together each garment, with tips for how to make construction and fit better and easier
-instructions for adapting patterns to fit 'plus-sized' children
-instructions for making a child-sized mannequin to facilitate fitting
-patterns are rated for difficulty
-in-depth instructions for measuring and fitting your child, including a size chart and a chart to fill in your child's measurements so that you can choose the correct size, either in cm or inches
-amazing embroideries and other embellishments
-written in a natural, easy to understand style - much like the way Nancy blogs, so it feels like a friend is talking to you and encouraging you
I'm sure that there are more that I have overlooked.
-the patterns are printed on brown tissue paper, not the standard white paper that Farbenmix and Studio Tantrum patterns are printed on. I find this a HUGE drawback because tissue can rip so easily and doesn't go back together very well, and because tissue is more difficult to trace from. I realize that using the heavier white paper would have increased the cost of the book but it would have been well worth the price increase.
-not as much of a selection for boys. While it is true that Farbenmix patterns have been heavier on girl's clothing, there are some boy patterns that they could have included. While I don't think it's a big deal for me personally, it may be a bigger drawback for others.
-a lack of details concerning how specific looks were achieved when it comes to the embellishments. While Nancy addresses this by saying that she wants merely to inspire people to find their own way, there are some for whom more specific details are important, especially if they want to recreate one of the looks shown in the book.
-While the photographs throughout the book are beautiful and eye-catching, there are no captions, making it sometimes difficult to match a close-up to its pattern. Again, for some this may not be important but for others it may be crucial to figuring out an embellishment.
-most of the garments are made of a mix of fabric and/or heavily embellished. This may make it difficult for some people to imagine the patterns made up in solid colors or without the embellishments, as noted in previous reviews.
-the book lacks a source guide, something which seems very important in a book which includes the use of so many ribbons, embroideries, etc. It is obvious that the readers of this book would want to know where they could get the materials to create these looks and for the publisher to leave this list out is a misstep on their part. Nancy mentioned in her blog that she'd made one and intended for it to be included, so this is an omission on the part of the publisher, not the author.
On the whole, this is a fantastic book. I give it 4 stars because of the cons, even though (for me) they do not outweigh the pros. However, there are some things that some people might decide are crucial and have been left out. If you are a fan of the Euro style but haven't tried any of the patterns yet, you should get this book. If you're already a fan, you know how amazing Farbenmix and Studio Tantrum patterns can turn out and you probably already have this book or are planning on getting it. It won't disappoint you. If you are hesitant to venture into the wild world of Euro style, have no fear. These patterns are wonderful on their own, without embellishments and in very simple colors and fabrics. The whole point of the book is to take these patterns and make them fit your child's taste (or your own taste). It's about stepping outside the box and being willing to celebrate the color, movement and joy that clothes can bring to your child's life. After all, kids feel best in clothes they love and which make them happy.
The only thing I'm not liking (and it's relatively minor) is that the patterns are printed on normal pattern tissue paper instead of the heavier white paper that individual Farbenmix patterns come printed on. It will make repeated tracings more difficult, for sure.
I understand that the individual Feliz pattern and a few others--Imke, Insa & Dortje, maybe?--are being discontinued, but they are included in this book, so you can still buy them and really it's cheaper this way. The fit of Farbenmix/Studio Tantrum patterns, and the ease with which they come together is so far superior to any of the "Big 3" patterns, I don't even waste my money buying them any more. The patterns in this book each cover sizes 18mo-2T to 11/12. Additionally, the first third of the book covers proper fitting, pattern alterations, and even instructions for making a dress form.
Here is a list of the patterns in the book:
Riviera Leggings and Shorts
Brooklyn Tank Top
Silver Lake Windbreaker
Feliz Party Dress
Manhattan Special Occassion Dress
Overall, I'm mainly totally geeked right now that I just got 10 Farbenmix patterns for around $20.