Customer Reviews: Storybook Toys: Sew 16 Projects from Once Upon a Time • Dolls, Puppets, Softies & More
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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on November 8, 2012
I followed Jill's blog and was a huge fan of her style and craftsmanship in her doll and toy making. I pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard about it. I have to say this is one amazing book! She generously shares her techniques on how to embroider adorable faces, make different style hairdos, suggestions on fabric the list goes on and on - everything you need to know to make a quality doll or toy. There are 17 patterns that are all adorable! In most books of this type you typically receive just a handful of patterns. The selection she shares is very impressive. She gives templates as well as complete and detailed instructions for beginners and advanced sewers too! If you enjoy making dolls and toys or are thinking of starting I highly recommend this book to you!
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on November 13, 2012
Jill Hamor has created a truly fantastic book with Storybook Toys. This concept of this book is to revisit the style of handmade toys and illustrations from the 1930s-1950s through 16 projects (8 dolls and 8 toys). Each of the projects is special, beautiful, and unique and each one conveys a nostalgic feeling and is cleverly designed. I made the Roly Poly Duck today and the directions are impeccable! Other patterns include a topsy turvy doll, marionette, hand puppets, a purse, a puppy with a pocket for treasures, a range of lovely cloth dolls, and more.

The front portion of the book give excellent information on doll and toy making. I make dolls and toys for a living and I learned several new techniques from this book - information I've haven't read elsewhere. There is a detailed section on all the different ways to create yarn hair and make various elaborate hairstyles as well as a detailed part about embroidering the eyes on dolls (Jill does excellent embroidery). Jill's craftsmanship and attention to detail is very evident in the images of the finished projects. The steps are illustrated with line drawings and the instructions are clear and succinct. The pattern pieces are all full-sized, including a pull-out section of paper patterns that you can trace.

If you like making dolls and stuffed animals, this book is a worthy investment. It's a great book!
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on December 25, 2012
HEY BEGINNERS: If you want to try this book for cloth dollmaking, google VintageClothDollmaking. The members on this website will help you out all that you need with any questions on how to construct these dolls.

What a darling, fun book that I just could not resist. I happen to like embroidered faces and Jill's faces are especially interesting, full of character and color but simple enough for anybody to achieve great results. Love her 17 pages on hair which I have found difficult for years. It's been a lot of fun and improvement to try out the methods Jill describes. I'm following her instructions for applying hair and it is so easy to do but best of all, you don't cut your yarn until you've finished applying the hair. Can't believe how easy her "hair" is. Clever Jill is! This long-time dollmaker has learned a lot from her.

Like an earlier reviewer, Mia said, however, constructing the body could possibly be a little confusing to a beginner, but if you do have some skill with sewing already, you could probably get over any humps yourself. But do google VintageClothDollmaking for help if you have trouble.

So grateful that the patterns are already full-size and I don't have to enlarge.

I love the sweet vintage(y) feel of the doll and animal projects. You will too.
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on November 13, 2012
Finally a book where I want to sew everything in it! All the projects are equally as interesting! Too many books have one advanced project and too many beginner projects. This book is for people who can sew and know patterns. I would not recommend it for your very first sewing project but the directions are very easy to follow and complete. It's the best collection in a book that I have ever seen, I am just so tired of books using simple pin cushions and tote bags. I actually want to make the elephant pin cushion in this book! And the girl purse, tote is adorable! It's very orginal, different and has a vintage feel... Well worth the buy. Not your average sewing book!
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on November 9, 2012
This book has a great collection of projects, both doll variations & stuffed toy variations. The projects are beautiful and the project photography is done well. There is a fantastic section in the beginning regarding general tips for materials and for sewing toys, embroidered faces, and hair variations (17 pages on hair!).

However, I would hesitate to recommend the projects to a beginner, as the sewing complexity and lack of diagrams/ process photos would be frustrating. There are not any basic process photos and some of the instructions are very vague for a beginner, such as the basics of *how* to assemble the body and how to attach the arms & legs to the body securely (ex. instructions note to 'sew the limb securely to the body').

This book includes several complex projects including a 3 dimensional doll (where the body is more than a 'front & back' side), marionettes, a topsy turvy doll, etc. As many of these projects are not in the realm of 'attach side A to side B,' I was surprised by the lack of diagrams and photos that show the difficult steps of construction. While I know this would probably have added a considerable number of pages to the book, I think it would have been a valuable addition to assist beginner and intermediate readers to tackle the more difficult projects in the book.

Overall, it is a fantastic resource for anyone who is interested in sewing dolls & toys- even the beginners can gain a lot of knowledge and expertise using the first third of the book which has a thorough review of materials, tips and general guides which can be applied to any project.
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on December 16, 2012
I just received and read this book, and believe it's the best doll-making book in my library so far. I've recently bought several on the subject, as I sew and want to learn the best of this craft. The dolls (and toys) here are the most beautiful and inspiring, in my opinion--especially the embroidered eyes and amazing hair!! It's *not* for the beginner, though, as some techniques assume a level of skill that I don't (yet!) have. Hairstyling, for example: "To make buns, wrap yarn around a piece of cardboard. The number of wraps and the size of the cardboard depend on the weight of the yarn and the desired size of the buns." (Yikes!) But I'm sure trial-and-error will be well worth the effort--her results are just amazing. I'm so glad I bought this book! It's exactly what I was looking for: how to make beautiful, heirloom-quality dolls that inspire me to stretch my skills. It is *well worth* the purchase price!
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on December 17, 2012
This is a very well written and designed book. The patterns are very nostalgic and there are many details in the designs which I really love, such as the the embroidered eyes using different colors of embroider floss to highlight and color the eyes and like wise for the yarn hair. It has been a very long time since I have liked a dollmaking book so well. Very very nice and already one of my favorite doll books.
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on December 14, 2012
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on May 18, 2015
I don't usually write reviews unless I'm doing for a publisher who's just sent me a book gratis. But this book is worth taking a moment. I absolutely love this book! I'm new to doll making, but completely obsessed. Up until this book I was just using fabric store patterns and Pinterest tutorials. This book has so much that I wasn't finding in those avenues. All of her creations are absolutely delightful! I love that the patterns included are full size. And that the facial features are easily traceable onto pattern paper. She offers many helpful tips such as what tools to use, techniques and little tricks she uses to get her dolls looking just so. I've gleaned quite a bit and haven't even finished reading it. I feel like this is a great book for the experienced and inexperienced alike. I have yet to try out all of the patterns, but I get excited every time I see this book on my sewing table, just thinking about what to make next.
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on February 12, 2016
An adorable book with many great tips and techniques as well as patterns. I primarily bought this book for the section on doing the doll hair as well as the embroidery so I haven't yet tested the patterns. I refer back to this book often, and when I'm stumped on what to do for a hair design or for clothing I will often flip through this book for inspiration.
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