Book-Worm Wednesday – Downtown DIY Sewing

*If you are new to the book reviews go here for the back-story and previous books.*

Today’s book is one I just happened upon on the library shelf…

Downtown DIY Sewing
14 easy designs for city girls with style
by Alice Chadwick
At first glance (judging a book by it’s cover) I wasn’t sure that there would be much in this book to interest me, but it included patterns, and I might be able to fiddle with those at least. After getting it home and taking a more in depth look, I realized that this book is a mini gold mine! I can see myself making (and actually wearing/using) every project in this book. How often does that happen?

[Image from book]

 The projects are…

1. A simple tote                         8. Summer shirt (a cute short sleeve button down)
2. Mp3 player cozy                    9. T-shirt mini dress
3. Off the shoulder top             10. Circle skirt
4. Pencil skirt                           11. Headband
5. PJ pants                               12. Circular bag
6. Knotted necklace                 13. Bows
7. Tunic dress                           14. Stuffed dog
[Image from book]

Most of these are fairly simple garments that should be in every woman’s wardrobe (and seamstress’ repertoire) anyway. Here all the patterns are in one place and basic enough to easily customize.

The project I chose to make was the off the shoulder top shown in the picture above. I’m not sure why, but that one called out to me. (Does it know I am a child of the 80’s?) The directions for this top call for you to draft your own pattern rather than tracing one already in the book, but it was ridiculously easy to follow the diagram shown. I had a much harder time just cutting the pieces out! (darn stripe knits)

I did however use my serger to assemble the garment. If you are working with a regular sewing machine this can get frustrating very easily. I suggest lots and lots, and then maybe some more practice sewing on scraps before sewing any project with knit fabric until you are very comfortable with it. (I tried to sew it with my regular machine at first, but broke my needle on the first seam and gave up. Knits and I very rarely get along. lol)

It’s comfortable enough to chase toddlers in, but I later realized that I never pre-washed the fabric.
doh! Let’s hope it doesn’t shrink!

The only qualm I have about this book is the instructions. They are at times extremely simplistic, and may be confusing for sewing beginners who are not yet familiar with garment construction. With that being said, you guys are smart, and will no doubt be able to figure it out after re-reading the confusing bits and looking at the pictures.

I need this purse! Might never have a use for it, but still Need
[Image from book]
This book is getting ☆☆☆ (out of 3) stars, because I can’t wait to make more of the pieces to supplement my summer wardrobe. And because, I think the projects it contains are basics that will be useful to most any seamstress. (Just a note – long time sewers may already have most of these patterns on file. Somehow while I was focusing on kids clothes mine were all lost. stupid moving!)

Oh, and what do you think of the hair do? I saw it on I am Momma‘s Hair Week Series yesterday. She made it look so easy, but it took me a bit to get it right since my hair is so long. I think it’s time to expand my hair adventures. The pony, bun & braid are all getting pretty old. lol

Thanks for Visiting!
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