Book Review – Sewing Bits and Pieces

Have you seen Sandi Henderson‘s new sewing book, Sewing Bits & Pieces yet? It’s fabulous!

As I mentioned in my most recent Best Practice post about Resources, a couple things I like to look for in a book or magazine: high quality pictures and illustrations (eye candy!), useful tips, intermediate to advanced techniques, and a variety of fresh, modern projects. My aunt Marcy has a general rule – if a book has at least 2-3 projects she wants to make, she buys it. Knowing the high quality and charm of Sandi Henderson‘s fabrics and patterns, I knew this one would be a winner when I pre-ordered it. Whew.

The description on the back cover says “Turn your favorite fabric scraps into fresh and fun handcrafted treasures.” It offers 32  projects using fabric scraps. We are all looking for new ways to use up our scraps, and this book offers plenty of ideas and inspiration.

I think the skill level for the clothing, home goods and craft projects is probably intermediate. There are some applique projects and gathering steps that would have been challenging when I was first learning to sew. One thing I really like about this book is the different approach Sandi took by offering a quick section on sewing terms and a quick section on commonly used tools, instead of providing a comprehensive section on teaching readers how to sew. The patterns in the back section DO NOT need to be enlarged – I love that!

Here are a couple of my favorite projects Sandi offers in her selected categories:

Kitchen – appliqued tablecloth and towels, adorable fruit-shaped magnets, and snack bags.

Bed & bath – a patchwork pillow, organizer, sachet, appliqued pillows, appliqued shower curtain.

Children – includes the coolest looking growth chart in the form of a 3D-looking tree, adorable Mary Jane Slippers, and the cutest library tote using a strategically placed piece of Heather Ross’ princess and the pea fabric.

Party – I can’t wait to make these party lanterns for my patio, but the party bags and invitations will be a must for me too.

Crafts – a pretty butterfly pin that could embellish a jean jacket or a shopping tote, gift tags, and these innovative fabric silhouettes!

Adults – my favorite in this category is the patchwork scarf, which will be the very first project I plan to make.

I’ve had this stack of Ginger Blossom fabrics for awhile, just waiting for the right project to hit me.

I think these fabrics are going to make an adorable patchwork scarf! So much cuter than the old-school cowboy bandanas to hold my hair back while working in the garden or bike riding down the trail. The pattern actually makes two adult scarves so I might have an extra one for a giveaway. (wink wink!)

I love all the original and modern ideas Sandi presented in this book. I also appreciate the stylish photos and illustrations provided for reference. This book is full of cheerful projects that I can quickly whip up in an afternoon and use over and over again.

I preordered Melissa‘s new book Small Stash Sewing, which I can’t wait to find on my doorstep around the end of May. I will definitely offer a book review of that treasure when it arrives.