I received a copy of Sewing for all Seasons by Susan Beal about six weeks ago, and have enjoyed both reading through it and sewing from it! I think it would make a great holiday gift for someone who likes to sew, and/or there are a lot of great projects in there that could be used for handmade gift giving. It is suitable for beginners as well as someone who has sewn for 20 years.
Sewing For All Seasons Details
Author: Susan Beal, also author of Modern Log Cabin Quilting: 25 Simple Quilts and Patchwork Projects
Hardcover, 144 pages, published by Chronicle Books
List Price: $24.95
Why I Would Recommend a Friend Take a Look
Have you ever been somewhere and started gushing about something, and you know it’s a little awkward and you know you should stop, but you just can’t bring yourself to? That is what I fear this blog post will sound like. I promise I will do my best.
Sewing for all Seasons is Susan Beal’s fifth book (second that specifically involves sewing), and it is just beautiful. Flipping through the pages, you can tell that the entire design team bought into Susan’s vision for a clean, inspiring book filled with projects that are (mostly) quick and fun to sew. The photographers, the graphic designers, the illustrators, the entire team does a great job of letting her projects shine. There are lots of fun details throughout the book, like the polka dots on the inside covers, and the library card/project sheets.
The book begins with a 4 page Materials and Tools section, followed by 14 pages of Techniques. Normally, I’m not a fan of extensive technique sections in books, but this one works. For example, in the Sketchbook Cover pattern (which I made), it instructs you to make a piece of double fold bias tape. The pattern is marked intermediate, and I know how to do this, but I was surprised there were no instructions. When I went back and read through the book, I noticed there were, in fact, instructions for this and other sewing techniques in the Techniques section, not in the individual patterns. So, I suggest familiarizing yourself with the Techniques section first!
The next roughly 100 pages are patterns for various handmade items–among my favorites are a vintage scarf headband, sewing organizer, beach tote bag, picnic quilt, sketchbook cover, and holiday garland. Faith made a cute one here, and I have started one (thanks Megan for letting me borrow your circle cutter). There is also a free pattern on the Chronicle website, so check it out.
The last few pages include Resources and Pattern templates.
Clear Instructions and Illustrations
I made the Sketchbook Cover for myself, and then a friend’s ten year old daughter and I made two more as part of her monthly sewing lessons. The instructions were clear and concise, and I love the finished product, especially the bookmark.
I had to read through the instructions a few times, but I think that has to do more with the lateness of the hour than the instructions. I might use fusible fleece next time to give the cover a little more sturdiness because my sketchbook doesn’t have a hard cover.
I like pretty pictures. This book has a plethora of them.
As silly as this might sound, this book inspired me to just sit down and sew! So many of the projects are relatively quick ones that could be made in a day or even an afternoon. There are so many of those types of projects that I always want to make for myself but never actually do. After reading this, I made myself an entire set of cloth napkins, just because I could. I think a book that inspires you to sit down and sew is worthwhile.
I Wish the Book Included:
Free fabric? Just kidding. I wish the pattern templates were on pull out pages, which is a personal preference of mine.
See more at the Sewing for all Seasons Website
Chronicle Books is giving away one copy to a lucky reader. Please leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite go to handmade gift is. Thanks! I’ll draw a winner on Monday, December 9 and notify the winner by email and update this post with the information.