I am going to do mini reviews this week on three books recently read. First up, Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders 101 Sewing Projects Using Cottons, Knits, Voiles, Corduroy, Fleece, Flannel, Home Dec, Oilcloth, Wool, and Beyond by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.
I read this book on my Adobe Digital Reader, and I will have to say, up front, that reading craft books via an e-reader of any kind is an exercise in frustration for me. In this instance, it actually means I cannot give a full honest appraisal of the book’s usefulness, or the patterns (which are provided in an attached envelope in the real hard cover book) because reading a book this way is not conducive to a hands-on approach. Other books I have read and reviewed in this format were actually similarly difficult, (Simply Great Breads and the Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion) because you cannot print books you get via this medium, for review. In the latter instances, I just kept my computer handy and referred to it as I crocheted or baked. Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders unfortunately does not lend itself to that kind of use. Nonetheless, I can tell you about the book’s strong points, and writing style!
Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins have written another best-selling fabric book, One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric! I have not read that one, but get the sense that this one is more detailed insofar as it deals with different types of fabric, how they handle, the tools needed to cut and sew on different fabrics. Chapter 1 starts with Fabric Fundamentals, which was quite useful, whether you are an experienced seamstress/tailor, or a beginner. It gives you guidance on how to get the best from your sewing machine, what kind of needles to use for different fabrics, and details on presser feet, tension and thread weights. Good basic stuff, handy to have in one place. This chapter also has an excellent list of 31 Equipment Must-Haves.
The remaining chapters “take on” each kind of fabric, providing a pattern and tips on working with cotton, wool, knits etc. The patterns are illustrated with sketches, as well as photographs of the completed project. There is an excellent Glossary at the end of sewing and fabric terms, which, whatever your skill level, is really handy to have at your fingertips.
If I had had the actual book and patterns, there are several I would have tried, including the adorable Hedgehog Bookends or the adorable Knight in Shining Armor. (NOTE: Please remember that these are copyrighted pictures/photos, the property of the authors, photographers and/or publisher, and as such are displayed for review purposes only. Please do NOT copy or distribute!) From Hats to Belts to Scarves, this has some unusual ideas for fabric and sewing. If you have kids, and/or teens, there are projects in here that would be right up their alley! (LOVE those Clichés!Cliches!)
The Bottom Line? I liked it, I really liked it! I would not give it full marks because I was unable to test the patterns myself, but the layout, ideas and writing are great. This book will not be published until mid December, 2011, so that I don’t think it will do for making Christmas gifts for this year, but plan ahead for next year, or better yet, give the book as a gift!