Sewing For All Seasons // Sewing Book Review

Sewing for All Seasons

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

Title: Sewing for All Seasons: 24 Stylish Projects to Stitch Throughout the Year

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.

Design

Sewing for all Seasons

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.

Sewing for all Seasons 2

Layout 

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!

Sewing For All Seasons Lining

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

Sewing for all Seasons Sketchbook Cover

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.

Sewing for all Seasons Sketchbook Cover

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.

Great Photos

Sewing for all Seasons 3

I like pretty pictures. This book has a plethora of them.

Inspiration

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.

****the randomly drawn winner is Rachel from Sew Happily Ever After–her go to gift is a pillow! Thanks, Rachel!****

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91 Comments

  1. Bethany Martini
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Pillows are my favorite go to handmade gift!

  2. Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    the book looks great!!
    bags and quilts are my favorite handmade gift!

  3. Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    For kids, I usually make the lined drawstring bag (Jeni Baker’s tutorial) to hold a birthday gift, and for moms, a baby quilt!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      love that bag too. It’s brilliant!

  4. Becca
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    This book looks great! As a librarian I especially appreciate the use of library cards :)

    Fo my go-to handmade gifts, I always make baby and toddler bibs. If there’s time and it’s for family or close friends, I make baby/lap quilts too.

  5. Becca
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Sigh. Typo.

  6. Jude Jones
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    My go-to gift usually involves upscaling some old “cutter” quilts I have on hand into pillows, coasters, embellishing stationery etc. I would love to win this book. It sounds like it is right up my alley. Thank you for the giveaway!

  7. Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Placemats and table runners. Looks like a great book.

  8. DianeY
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I’ve made a lot of zippered pouches and drawstring bags the last couple of years. They are fast and always appreciated

  9. Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Pillows are a quick and easy gift.

  10. Karen
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    What’s more satisfying for the giver and the recipient than a handmade, beautiful gift!

  11. Ella
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been making lots of zipper pouches!

  12. Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Totes and zippered pouches are quick and easy and can be changed quite simply to reflect the recipient’s personality/needs.

  13. Amy C
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Lovely projects. I love covered journals and yours in lovely in some CF Botanics (I think it is CF fabric anyways!!).

  14. Jenn R
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m really into zip pouches right now. Great gift as is, or you can use the zip pouch as “wrapping paper” for something else. Thanks for the chance to win!

  15. Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Little zipper pouches, especially the ones with vinyl see through are great gifts.

  16. Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a great Book!

  17. Lisa Marie
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    My favorite gift to give is a lap quilt. If I just don’t have time for that, then a table runner is my next favorite.

  18. Beth T.
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    My go to is a cherry stone heating pad. Simple but always appreciated. The hardest part is sourcing nice cherry pits.

  19. Pat (Sparky's Mom)
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Quilts – I like to give quilts. That looks like a nice book.

  20. Posted December 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a go to gift, but I’m making to tote bag right now for my mom…..hope I can finish it by Saturday!

  21. Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    My favorite gift to make and give is handknit socks!

  22. Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    This looks a great book!
    Totes are my go to gift – easy to make and always useful!

  23. Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Definitely zipper pouches – they’re always useful!

  24. Joan
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Lately I’v been makeing mug rugs. This book has peaked my interest. :)

  25. Jenny L
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    My go-to handmade gift is a quilt, of course. But I can’t make them quick enough! So I need to find some new (smaller) projects to try. Maybe this book could give me some ideas. Thanks for the opportunity!

  26. Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I knit mittens. So easy, and useful!

  27. Anya
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I knit a Christmas stocking for any new baby that has arrived in the family over the past year.

  28. Vicki H
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really have a go to gift. I am hoping to learn how to make zipper pouches, I know several friends that would like them.

  29. Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Right now my favourite handmade gift are frame purses.

    Thanks for this giveaway

  30. Laura
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    My go-to (sewing) gift is bags – either zipper bags or drawstring pouches

  31. Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    My go-to seems to be pillows or wall hangings. Small and easy!

  32. Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the chance, my go to gift is pouches!

  33. Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I love making art smocks from the oliver and s little things to sew for my neices and nephews. I then team it with a craft pack, and voila! The perfect christmas present!

  34. L
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m trying to make some stuffed turtles this year for all the under-2s in our life.

  35. Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Depends on the year, this year is pot holders and coasters. Thanks for the chance.

  36. Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I like to make blankets out of flannel. I haven’t learned how to make bags yet that look good. Thanks for the chance to win!

  37. Jenny
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Can be zipper pouches, pincushions or cushion covers, depending on the recipient. jennylarking at gmail dot com

  38. Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    thanks so much for the chance, I tend to be drawn to table runners as gifts :) I love making them!

  39. Elli
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been making a bunch of key fobs/lanyards, they are so fun to make and are quick!

  40. Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I make a lot of peanut brittle. But my sewn go-to is flannel baby blankets. The easy ones with crochet around the edge.

  41. Becky Greene
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I love making key fobs and zippered pouches!

  42. Jessica
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I make a lot of reusable shopping totes if I’m in need of something fast and easy but if I have a little more time and the gift is for someone special then I really love making and giving quilts:-)
    *Jessica
    juceyj03@gmail.com

  43. Heather
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I think zippered pouches make great gifts!

  44. Elaine O'Connell
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a really good book! My go to is a quilt, either a baby quilt or lap quilt size usually.

  45. Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I have an excellent recipe for homemade English toffee. I end up making 6 or 7 batches every season and give most of it away. It is so good.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Yum! Sounds perfect.

  46. Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m a big fan of pillows!! :) They’re easy to customize for friends – and who can’t use more pillows!!

  47. Tammie
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    The gift I sewed the most this year was the divided basket by Noodlehead.

  48. Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a great book – I love the look and design of the book. Would love to look through the book and decide what to make :-)

  49. Tricia
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Pillows and doll quilts. Love this book!

  50. Allison C
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I always give quilts as gifts, but I’m thinking I need to come up with a smaller and easier go-to gift.

  51. sharon
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I like to make for christmas: potholders, placemats or fabric grocery bags

  52. Tamie
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a go to gift but really want to learn to make zipper pouches.

  53. Jenny
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    This book looks so good! I love to give quilts, but I don’t have a small gift that’s a go-to. Thanks!

  54. cindy oneal
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    my latest go to is wallets make from remnants of upholstry fabric samples.

  55. Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    My favorite gifts are bags. My family requests everything from purses to wristlets and market bags. Thanks for the chance to win!

  56. Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    my favorite go to gifts are tote bags and oven mitts + pot holders. Thanks for the chance to win.

  57. Melanie C
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Kitchen towels with matching potholder is my go to gift.

  58. Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I usually go with any type of zipper pouch, drawstring bag, etc filled with little goodies. I love to have a lot of zipper pouches in my purse to hold various things (sanitizer, chapstick, pens) and I like to put those things in the pouches I give, pretty and handy to have!

  59. Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Depends on the person, I really do like to make a gift personal!

  60. Christy
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    I like to make zippered pouches or tote bags with a little something inside.

  61. M
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Nicely wrapped pouch:)

  62. Sue
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    My favorite is Pillows of all shapes and sizes. This book looks great, so many gift ideas, thanks for the chance.

  63. Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I like to give a bottle of wine in a handmade wine bag.

  64. Diane
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Since I’m fairly new to sewing, I don’t have a “go-to” gift yet but would lean toward zipper pouches and fabric baskets . Thanks!

  65. Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard great things about this book. I don’t think I have a go-to gift. I always end up trying something new. This year, it’s camera strap covers, pillowcases, and a journal cover. Thanks for the opportunity!
    mmckee at wi dot rr dot com

  66. Amy
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I like to knit simple scarves! Thanks for the giveaway! Amy @ gasudimack(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

  67. Josée
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I like to knit socks with stripes!

  68. Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I’m making a bunch of zipper pouches this year. Everyone loves a new zipper pouch!

  69. Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for a comprehensive review of this exciting book! The format looks really interesting, and I love the beauty shots I saw in your blog pix! Would love to own a copy – thanks so much for the giveaway.

  70. Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    This is my first year giving handmade gifts. This year is scarves & hats. I’d love to make more. Thanks for the chance to win.

  71. Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I have to second this: First year of handmade gifts. So I am concidering a “small” pouch. Everybody needs to store or carry something :) A nice notebook cover for a person loving to write her diary and a loop-scarf.

  72. barbara woods
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    mine is quilts

  73. LaDonna vanDiver
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Simple zippered pouches.

  74. Susan Stanton
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I like to make small table runners. They are so versatile and easy to piece and finish.

  75. Debb
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    This book looks like a great kick start to new projects.

  76. Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    For my more intimate friends, I usually make an apron, since you can make them really simple, or go crazy. Otherwise, I bake about 12 different kinds of cookies each year and box them up as gifts for friends and acquaintances.

  77. Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I change it up from year to year. This year I’m focusing on pot holders and thread sketches of favorite things like trees and leaves.

  78. Allison D
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    I love making tote or drawstring bags for gifts

  79. Anne J
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I LOVE the holiday garland from the book! It’s still on my list to make for this year. My favorite go to gift is cookies or babka. This year, I am making a few sewn gifts for family. Would love to make a quilt for my parents next year…I should probably start now!

  80. Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Pillows are a great last minute gift .. if it’S really short notice it’s potholders ..

  81. Julie De Pauw
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I am interested in shopping bags right now.

  82. Noela
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Coat hanger covers are my favorite at the moment. Nice scalloped over skirt with a frill underneath. I’m a bit time poor for sewing at the moment, so inspiration would very likely have me sewing into the night, which isn’t a bad thing. This is the first time I have commented on any blog and I appreciated the chance to win this fantastic book.

  83. Posted December 7, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    At the moment I really like children’s aprons and bibs, depending on the age of the child!

  84. Holly u
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Tote bags. I don’t think I’ve met anyone yet who couldn’t stand to have one more to tote projects or books or groceries. Thanks!

  85. Liz
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    For big gifts, I go with quilts. But for something quick and easy, everyone loves a scrappy heating pad. Thanks for the giveaway!

  86. Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Well lately it has been mini quilts. I think they are a ton of fun to make, and people are just so thrilled by them. Previously it was knit hats… Still a go-to for me when I have some nice yarn on hand.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  87. CJ
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I line to make placemats and napkins for a quick gift. Placemats are just mini-quilts with a practical purpose!

  88. Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    For kids I love PJ pants, for adults sometimes a quilt or a tote.

  89. Alexis
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Baby quilts are my favorite. This book looks awesome.

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  • By Contests & Giveaways for Sewers & Quilters | wow i like that on December 7, 2013 at 7:41 am

    […] Bike Quilt is giving away a copy of Sewing for all Seasons.  Giveaway ends December 9, 2013.  Go here to […]

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