Book-Worm Wednesday – Sew Liberated

This is something that I have been really excited about for the past month, but have had a bit of trouble pulling together. To read about how it all started and what the “rules” are go to the Book Review Tab. It is a little long, and I just wanted to get down to business in this post.

So here we go. My first book to share is . . .

Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist 
by Meg McElwee 
(also author of a craft blog by the same name —> sewliberated)
Cover of book, Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist.

I had no idea when I first picked up this book at my library, but I have seen Meg’s work before. Some of her patterns have been parts of giveaways or prizes on a few of the blogs I follow, and I immediately recognized her Aurelia Cardigan. (You tend to remember things that have the same name as your child :D)

Picture from the book

The 20 projects inside are broken down into 3 Chapters:

Domestic Art – “Projects for making a house a home”
including: place-mats, an apron (above), floor pillow covers, a lap quilt (above), a wall clock (below), and a duvet cover

Pampered Artist – ” Projects for Spoiling Yourself”
including: a laptop bag, garden skirt (on cover), a camera bag (above), a sleeping mask, Mother/Daughter blouses, a market bag, and a day bag.

Small Stitches – “Projects for Babies and Children”
including: Baby’s first book (below), a baby carrier (wrap), a tote, curtains, an art smock, and a chef hat and apron play set.

Picture from the book

 There is a section on tools and supplies at the beginning which addresses different types of presser feet, needles, must haves, and also fun extras to have handy in your sewing room. (I freely admit to not knowing what most of the presser feet were before reading this section, and then wanting to try all of them!)

This was definitely one of my favorite projects!
Picture from the book

A few pages are dedicated to showing helpful pattern layouts, and there is an envelope in the back cover containing all the patterns you will need to complete the projects. She even threw in a few recipes which I think is totally cute and really says something about her personality.

My favorite part though  is the Applique Primer which gives you step by step instructions on how to create  no less than six different styles of applique. Since I have always been pretty minimal in how I embellish my sewing project, this was definitely helpful, and has given me the courage to add some applique projects to my to do list. (I am especially intrigued by the reverse appliques which everyone else already seems to know are cool!)

Picture from the book

Although I wish I had the need for a camera bag, unfortunately I do not, and instead went with the project that was my hands down favorite from the start. The Dapper Day Bag! The pattern and instructions were relatively easy to follow, but if you don’t have much experience with piping or linings, you may need to reread some steps a few times. Isn’t it cute!

 I did make a few alterations and it was super easy to customize to fit my purposes. I added 2 pockets to the inside for things I need handy (one for my phone and a second for my wallet). And since I seem to  have a problem with misplacing my keys (or so Ant says) I added a small strap with a d-ring where I can conveniently attach them.

For the outside of the bag, I chose to do some hand embroidery and beading since my floral print was too small to really make an impact. I made the embroidery by scanning a scrap of the fabric and blowing up the flower I liked. Next I traced the image onto a piece of freezer paper, ironed it onto the bag front and stitched right through the paper. Then I just peeled the paper off in sections very carefully using tweezers in the tiny spaces. Iron some fuse into the back and your ready to finish putting the bag together. It’s that easy.

I am so in love with this bag that I may have to make a few more as gifts. Then I can try a different type of embellishment on each one!

Now for the hard part…☆☆☆

Even though I think that the projects in this book are beautiful, I can only see myself actually making 2 or 3 of them in my current situation. For this reason I’m giving this book 2 stars. If I had a camera or laptop, or even another kid, I would buy it. The patterns for those 3 bags alone would make the purchase absolutely worth it. This would be a great addition to a “crafty friends” book swap, because everyone would find something inside that they could use. But until I meet those friends, I’m gonna stick with my library copy.

Lucky for me Meg has just come out with a new book, Growing Up Sew Liberated : Handmade Clothes and Projects for Your Creative Child, that is just up my alley. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one, because it is sure to be 3 stars. Who doesn’t love sewing for kids!

Have you used this book before? Did you love it, and what have you made?
I’d love to hear your opinions, and don’t forget to suggest a book your interested in seeing featured.
Thanks for Visiting!
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7 thoughts on “Book-Worm Wednesday – Sew Liberated

  1. So cute! Following you from MMM. Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link up party going on over on my blog right now. The most viewed link will win a set of fancy rectangle chalkboard labels. This week I’m co-hosting with Reasons to Skip the Housework…so links will show up on both blogs! How fun!


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