I’ve bought a couple of new books lately and borrowed some from the library so I thought I would do a review of them. Some of them are so great, absolute must buys and only 1 is a stinker. The two I bought are:
– Sew Soft Toys by Karin Neuschutz. The Spring 09 Issue of Living Crafts magazine had a bunny pattern from this book and I liked it so much I bought the book. It’s a great book, the patterns are full size so you can just print them straight off, although they suggest reducing them to 60% if you want to make families of animals. I’ve also made the pig and piglet and an elephant (photo to come), all of which have been easy to make and look very cute. For a toymaker or a mother who likes to make her kids toys I’d recommend this. I will be making many of the toys for years to come.
– Feltcraft by Petra Berger. This book was first published about 15+ years ago and is still going strong. Very Waldorfy, lots of variety of small childrens toys to make. It helps if you have access to those small wooden doll shapes and wood and wire doll frames but there is still plenty to make if not. A few of the stuffed animals have weird designs or I found to be difficult (the seagull is just bizarre) but I still like the book enough that I am glad I bought it.
The books I borrowed:
– Sewing Green by Betz White. A must buy. I love this and really there is not a project in here that I would not make. I knew I might want to buy it as soon as I saw the leaf scarf on the cover though so I was warned before I borrowed it! A wide variety of projects from totes, slippers (made out of felted sweaters), aprons, pillowcase dresses etc. A fun sewing book. It has a section of websites and techniques and lots of eco friendly tips throughout. This book is very usable and would be a great addition to your craft library. If you only buy one craft book this year it should be this. You can buy Sewing Green and her other book Warm Fuzzies on Amazon or at Betz’s etsy store. I love the blogger as author thing, it feels so much more ‘real’. Her blog with tutorials galore is here.
– Eco-craft by Susan Wasinger. This book was a dud for me. I think it would be great to find ideas for occupying a kid during the school holidays but for an adult I felt that a lot of the projects were either amateur (paper mache bowls? I haven’t done that since I was 10! There’s plenty of nice bowls at the thrift store for very little money.) or might be good if they came out just right like the baby food jar chandelier but most likely would look cheap and nasty if they didn’t. The two ideas I did like and found ‘doable’ – LED touch light ion a bowl covered with glass pebbles and seed balls – I didn’t think particularly crafty, especially the touch light bowls. Borrow, don’t buy. Just my opinion! (I would be interested in hearing if anyone has this book and liked it)
– Sweater Surgery by Stefanie Girard. I wish I could find some decently priced wool sweaters to chop up. This book is great for inspiration. It has a lot of variety – heaps of bag styles, sweater redo’s, a cool magazine file cozy, a beer sweater, a turtle floor cushion made of hexagons that I think would be perfect for a cat bed and some cute toys. It’s light on instructions but there are patterns at the back for the toys etc and anyone with some brains and a bit of sewing ability would be fine. And it has a hard cover with spiral bound pages so it lies flat which is always nice. I really enjoyed this book and would buy it if I had spare money that wasn’t going to be missed but most likely I’ll just borrow it occasionally for inspiration. Stefanie has a great blog here with heaps of craft links.
**please remember these are just my opinions and if you don’t agree with my reviews be nice to me!! I’m shamelessly fickle and these are all just first opinions.