For starters the book has some good things going: lay-flat spiral binding, a CD with printable full-scale patterns (no tissue paper!) and lots of photos. Plus, it's a hardback. I'm always a fan of that. Looking inside, some of the photography kind of threw me off. But, when I got past that I was definitely drawn to this quilt:
It's her Paving Stones quilt. On first glance I thought it was improv pieced. Doesn't it look so random? But, turns out, it's constructed of one 4-segment block, made again and again and rotated. How easy! Deborah used a great range of values and nice variety of color, so it really looks so nicely scrappy.
Well, I was pretty tempted, but figured I should take the opportunity to make something a little different for me. So, I kind of pretended that I had made the quilt (because you know I did in my head) and went to see which projects were suggested as "next steps" at the end of the Paving Stones project. You see, Deborah has drawn connections between each project and other projects in the book, so that if you find you like working with piping (say when making your footstool) you can easily find your way to the Sewing Machine Cover project, which uses piping too! She's clever like that.
Turns out the "Next Steps" projects after the Paving Stones quilt were a duvet cover (oops, already working on one) and a wholecloth quilt (yep, did that earlier this year). Well, I'm a hopeless quilter. Case closed. So?
I opted to make this Reversible Girl's Dress! I could use a half yard cut of Raindrop Poppies from Field Study by Anna Maria Horner and really show of the somewhat largescale print, without chopping it up for quilting.
The pattern calls for 1-1 3/4 yards for the dress outer. I wondered what size range the dress patterns included? The only way to find out was to pop in the CD. In a few clicks, I found the 10-page printable pattern pieces for the Reversible Dress with sizes XS - L clearly marked. A little tape and scissor work and I had prepared the size XS dress template.
Since my half yard wasn't enough, I pieced some Chicopee Bleeding Heart to the top half before cutting my dress pieces. Used the same Chicopee print for the reversible side too. Fun! The book has pictures for every step. Something as basic as how to arrange the fabric before cutting was so helpful to see, since I am not a garment sewer.
I did find a hiccup, however, between steps 2 & 3. The directions did not include the need to sew dress fronts and backs together along the side seams. I forged ahead to step 3 and was going to do things incorrectly but started to wonder when I'd sew the side seams. A quick read of all the remaining directions (yes, you should always do that first!) found no side seam sewing to be. So... that's when I looked more closely at the picture for step 3 and noticed the side seams were already sewn. Aha! This is probably the obvious correct order for those with more experience!
Well, regardless, the dress came together nicely!
I especially liked the idea of adding some ric rac at the hem. Lots of the projects have little "extras" at the end for an alternative look. That's always a nice feature.
Not sure which side I like better. That Raindrop Poppies print is beautiful, but this Chicopee print seems so very sweet for a little girl!
So, that wraps this book review up. To see lots more projects from the book and catch other reviews, check out the book tour going on now. Oh, and on Wednesday, Deborah is giving away 2 copies of Stitch Savvy at the Whipstitch blog!
FYI: This post includes affiliate links to Amazon, which I include most anytime I discuss a sewing book. Those links mean if you purchase from Amazon I get a small commission, which I tend to use to build my sewing library. So thanks!