Author: Katie Lewis

Publisher: Plain Sight Publishing, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-4621-1288-3

The novice seamstress can become frustrated easily when trying to find patterns for fun projects that are geared to the most basic level of know-how. Katie Lewis seems to have recognized the lack of simplicity in sewing instructions and has created a book to fill that gap with Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners.

The skills that Lewis introduces are those that are useful throughout a lifetime of sewing, not just related to the projects in this book. She explains the tools of the trade and how to use them, and then describes key techniques, all with very clear, step-by-step photos. The text is for the most part limited to the cutting and assembly directions, but these are quite thorough and also accompanied by detailed photos that guide the user through the process.

There’s something for everyone here, too. Moms with small children will find toys and school-related items that can be tackled with the help of small hands. Those without children can create travel and housekeeping aids, such as the fabric basket that Lewis suggests using for organizing drawers or desk. There are also seasonal items like the nativity puppets and Christmas stocking. And while the book is aimed at the inexperienced stitcher, I discovered a new way to sew on buttons--this after 50 years of sewing.

 The projects that are illustrated in the book are varied and useful with a couple of exceptions. Billing the book as 30 sewing projects is a little misleading when some items are the same basic format but used for different purposes. There was also some confusion in my mind over a bag labeled the Scripture Bag, as I expected it to be embellished with inspirational verse. Instead, it is a bag for carrying scriptures, which is evidently something practiced in the author’s faith but unknown in my own. Otherwise, the items to be sewn all seem to have a utilitarian application, making the book one that will truly be put to use by someone just beginning to sew. There was only one hand-sewing project, the pom-pom garland. It might have been nice to offer some more detailed hand sewing instructions, as other projects could be accomplished very simply with needle and thread rather than a sewing machine. Those who know how to sew by hand could certainly improvise on the directions and have as successful an outcome.

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