Bloomer & I got an amazing opportunity to review the book “A Kid’s Guide to Sewing: Learn to Sew with Sophie & Her Friends” from C&T Publishing. What I didn’t realize when first looking at the book was that Sophie Kerr (who I recognized from some spots on Quilting Arts with Pokey Bolton) was the daughter of Bill Kerr & Weeks Ringle, some of the pioneers of the modern quilting movement.
I’ve been mulling for a while how best to teach Bloomer to sew. On the one hand, I don’t want to force her into projects because she’ll come to hate it (and the time I spend helping her with projects takes away time from me doing my projects!), and on the other hand, I think it’s a great tradition to continue on. Let’s make it four generations of sewists in my family! And possibly more, since I’m sure Grama Eddie’s mother and grandmother had to sew out of necessity.
What I think is great about this book is that it really lays out the basics of sewing terminology, getting to know your sewing machine, and elements of various stitches including embroidery stitches. I skipped that part of the book because I’ve got over 25 years of sewing under my belt, but I suspect if I left the book laying around Bloomer would pick it up and read it (even though she’s only seven). I do think that part of the book is an excellent reason to get it for a child/tween without a sewing heritage, like if you were an “auntie” for a friend’s kid if your friend didn’t sew.
I had Bloomer peruse the book and pick out a couple projects, so we started with a headband for her to wear at gymnastics. She claims that the ponytail pulls her hair too much, but her hair has to stay out of her face. The directions were clear (and elucidated a part of headband sewing I had never mastered as a teen, so that was helpful), and illustrated well.
We worked on this together, with me doing the rotary cutting and ironing (although she measured some things), and us splitting the sewing machine sewing.
She also picked out a felt ornament to make in the shape of an ice cream cone. She picked the felt colors and I had her trace the pattern, then I cut it out, and then she traced the pattern on the felt pieces. She did ALL the hand embellishment with my old bead collection from when I was in high school, which I realized were leftover from craft time with Grama Eddie.
This was her first time doing any hand sewing, and she poked herself a couple times but no bleeding. I did help do the blanket stitch around the edge, and then she hung it up on about 50 different doorknobs before settling on one.
So in general, I definitely recommend this book for a new sew-er, especially if their parents don’t sew. The projects are listed in order of increasing difficulty, and there’s enough variety that you don’t think you only making totebags.
C&T is generously letting me give away a copy of the book! You can use the Rafflecopter thingy below to enter, and the giveaway will stay open for a week. If a US winner is chosen, they’ll receive a hard copy of the book, and an international winner will receive an e-copy.