When asked by Lark Books if I would like to participate in the Sewn by Hand blog tour, I JUMPED at the chance. You all know that hand sewing is a new found love of mine. Believe me friends, this book does not disappoint!
Right off the bat, author Susan Wasinger talks about "soulful stitching" - hand sewing and why she loves it – I couldn’t agree more. She brings up aspects that I’ve mentioned here many times, such as the portability of it and how relaxing it can be. One point she brought up that I hadn’t thought of was the silence of it. Yes, silence. I don’t know about you, but with my chaotic household, silence is something I cherish. It is so nice to be able to be sitting with the family quietly working on a project. Have you ever tried to hold a conversation while sewing on your sewing machine?
If you haven’t tried hand sewing for the pure enjoyment of it, I highly recommend it. I think part of my own resistance to hand sewing was the fact that I don’t care much for hand sewing when it is utilitarian in nature – mainly mending, which was my only exposure to it. Now that I’ve been hand sewing projects from start to finish, I have a different attitude. You truly can make quality, well made projects all from hand.
Along with a primer on hand sewing and a description of stitches, this book contains a wide variety of projects for all levels. Even if you’ve never picked up a needle and thread before, you can make these projects. I chose to make a few projects from the book to show you.
First up, I made the Big Soft Sphere. The exposed seams intrigued me. I chose to use some sheet scraps that I had lying around. It was quite simple to put together. It rated high on the portability scale (I love that the author includes a portability rating for each project – brilliant!). Most of this was made while sitting out at ball practice (yes, we’re in baseball season around here). Once I had the ball stuffed, my kids thought it was for them. They immediately wanted to throw it around the room, then Lily asked if she could make one for herself. Yes, even my 9 yr old could make this!
The next project I chose to make were the Personalized Bibs, though I chose not to personalize them. I think this went together even easier than the ball. Again, it was the exposed raw edge that got me (not all the projects have raw edges, promise!). An interesting aspect to this project was that you are to use 4 layers of fabric for the bib. I wasn’t sure how I would like this, but I love it. All the layers make for a very sturdy bib. I don’t think there will be much seepage with this one.
I did find that the ribbon length recommendation was a little short, but that’s probably for safety reasons. I chose to lengthen the ribbon on my second one. I think the button accent is a nice choice.
Lastly, I made the Owie Puffs. Oh boy, these will be in high rotation at my house! As soon as I finished them they immediately went in the freezer to be on standby for the next time we have some sort of accident, which seems to be daily around my house. Aren’t they cute? It was fun going through my scrap basket to find some fun fabrics to make these out of.
I obviously chose to make some of the easier projects in the books, but that was mostly due to the time factor. Had I more time, I would have loved to tackle the apron made from a man’s shirt (the author does a wonderful job of incorporating repurposed materials for many of the projects), the linen bag (of course), and the slippers, which look pretty interesting. Lark currently has a free project from the book up on their site, if you’d like to take a look.
So, would you like one of these books? Lark is giving one away along with a small hand sewing kit, including some vintage goodies! Just leave a comment on this post now through Sunday April 17, then I’ll draw one name as the lucky winner. Good luck!
Be sure to check out the schedule for more chances to win!
Update: Winner is comment #38 Angie - congrats!