Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner

Spending most of my days sewing, I tend to have a lot of fabric scraps.  I have a box of them that will eventually be cut into 2” squares and made into some sort of amazing quilt.  If they’d just take care of that square thing on their own it would go a lot faster, but they seem to be waiting for me.  This batch of scraps didn’t make it into the box though, and instead became this springy table runner.

Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner by Crafty Staci

You have until March 8th to enter to win this, along with the Mug Hot Pads I showed you last week, my Craft Warehouse Design Team apron, some great cookbooks from Tuttle Publishing and a grocery list/menu pad I’ll be sharing here soon.  If you haven’t entered, get over there!  You can also still enter to win the gift certificate from Uncommon Goods.

In the meantime, I’m going to show you how to make this easy table runner.  It’s a great way to use up small pieces of fabric, and they don’t even need to be uniform in size.  In face, I think it’s better if they aren’t. 

To make this, you’ll need to cut a piece of cotton fabric for your backing in the approximate size you’d like your runner.  You may find it shrinks a bit as you sew it together.  You’ll also need a piece of thin batting in the same size.  I went with 12 by 30”.  Cut strips for the front that are slightly longer than the back (14”) and in varying widths.  You’ll need to account for seam allowances, so you’ll probably need more strips than you think. 

Pieces to cut for Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner - Crafty Staci

Lay the backing face down.  Add the batting on top, then pin the two layers together with safety pins.  And pin some more.

Pinning first two layers - Crafty Staci

You don’t want those two layers shifting while you complete the remaining steps.  Another option would be to use fusible fleece, and just iron it onto your backing.

Lay one fabric strip, right side up, in the center of the runner.  Add a second strip on top, right side down, lining up the raw edges on the right.  Pin in place and stitch down the right side with a 1/4” seam.

Sewing down first strips - Crafty Staci

Fold out strip on right and press the seam.

Press first seam - Crafty Staci

Add another strip, face down, even with the edge of the first strip.  Do the same with the second strip.

Adding third and fourth strips - Crafty Staci

Stitch both sides with a 1/4” seam.  Flip them out and press, just like the first two strips.  Continue, adding one strip to each side and removing the safety pins as needed.

Several strips added - Crafty Staci

Stop when the batting is completely covered.  Trim the edges so they are even with the backing and batting.

Trim front to match back - Crafty Staci

To finish the edge, I cut binding strips from one of the fabrics.  Because of the direction I had to cut them, based on the fabric I had available, if I stitched them into one long strip the diagonal lines were going to go in two different directions.  Instead, I bound one edge at a time, starting with the long edges and folding the ends of the binding in 1/4”.

Binding the long edges - Crafty Staci

After those sides were finished I added binding on the short edges so the lines would all run in the same direction.

Binding the short edges - Crafty Staci

That’s it.  No additional quilting is necessary, because all the layers are bound together between each strip, as you can see on the also-usable back.

Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner back - Crafty Staci

I have to admit, I really loved how this little runner brightened up the table, and it’s going to be tough to give it up.  That’s how much I appreciate you guys!

Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner from Crafty Staci

Book Review: Wrapping with Fabric

I’m here today to a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.  They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own.

I’ve used fabric as gift wrap in the past, but it didn’t match the beauty of the options shown in Wrapping with Fabric:  Your Complete Guide to Furoshiki, the Japanese Art of Wrapping by Etsuko Yamada.  Not only is using fabric to wrap friendly to the environment, but there are more options and wrapping styles than I could have imagined.  Making a furoshiki goes beyond just taking a piece of fabric and wrapping it around an item, but is easy enough that anyone can do it.

Wrapping with Fabric Book Review by Crafty Staci

Following the table of contents is a page showing a small photo of each project in the book.  It’s fun to see everything together like that.

Wrapping with Fabric options - Crafty Staci

You’re greeted with a taste of what types of things can be wrapped with a furoshiki, the shapes that can be used, the fabric options and even decorative ways the top can be finished.

Wrapping with Fabric . Crafty Staci

The most important part of the wrap is the knot or knots.  If not tied correctly it will come undone and ruin the entire furoshiki.  Fortunately, it’s easy to learn and the book illustrates the technique well.

Book Review Wrapping with Fabric - Crafty Staci

Each method of wrapping is covered thoroughly with step-by-step instructions and photos.  The dual sided wrap used makes a lovely knot on top of the Errand Wrapping.

Reviewing Wrapping with Fabric - Crafty Staci

Oddly shaped items are addressed as well, like this Roll Wrapping.

Book Review - Wrapping with Fabric - Crafty Staci

The Bottle Wrapping would be great for gifting a bottle of wine.  The recipient could either send the furoshiki on to the next person, or use it as a small tablecloth.

Review of Wrapping with Fabric by Crafty Staci

I love the idea of the furoshiki bags.  They’re pretty, stylish and functional but can be untied and used in other ways.  I would happily take this Shoulder Bag shopping.

Wrapping with Fabric Book Review - Crafty Staci

I can’t even tell you how many fun wrapping options there are in this book.  A picnic basket that folds out to a little picnic blanket, book covers, bouquet holders and plant wraps.  You can even update your pillows with this Cushion Cover.

Wrapping with Fabric Review by Crafty Staci

There are ten common sizes for furoshiki wraps.  Each is covered here, in addition to the size and fabric type noted at the bottom of each project.

Wrapping with Fabric furoshiki sizes - Crafty Staci

There’s an extensive history of furoshiki, along with a description of how they are used in modern culture.  The lined shopping basket shown here is something just about anyone could use.

Wrapping with Fabric - Reviewed by Crafty Staci

Wrapping with Fabric introduced me to a craft I didn’t even know existed and I’m excited to try it myself.  Tuttle Publishing also wants one of you to experience it, so look for an exciting announcement on February 11th!

Friday Favorites–Stuff for New Sewing Machine Owners

A few months ago, I replaced one of my sewing machines with a new one.  My husband and I talked about giving the older machine to our daughter for Christmas, but before we made a decision she threw out some hints that she would LOVE to have it.  Done.  Then shortly before Christmas a friend called to get my help picking out a machine for his wife for Christmas.  Since that makes two people close to me who are new sewing machine owners, and I know there are more of you out there, I’m here to share a few ideas to help you break that baby in.

Stuff for New Sewing Machine Owners - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

She’s all new and shiny.  As much as you love your new machine, you can’t use it all the time, and you don’t want it getting all dusty.  Make this easy Reversible Sewing Machine Cover from Stay-At-Home Artist one of your first projects.

Reversible Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial from Stay at Home Artist

There are a few things you need to have easily accessible while you’re sewing, like scissors, a seam gauge or the dreaded seam ripper.  Keep it all at hand with this Mini Keeper from Susie’s Sunroom.

Mini Keeper from Susie's Sunroom

This pincushion cube from Riley Blake Designs is an adorable addition to your sewing table.

The Cube Pincushion from Riley Blake Designs

Speaking of sewing tables, you can make your own with these plans from Ana White.  This one is great for smaller spaces because it folds down.

Sewing Table From Ana White

Another cute way to keep your tools organized is this little trailer from Moda Bake Shop.

Sewing Trailer from Moda Bake Shop

Loose threads end up everywhere when I sew.  This Thread Roller from Sewlicious Home Décor would be a good tool to keep nearby. 

DIY Thread Roller from Sewlicious Home Decor

If you’re new to sewing, this Tailor’s Ham from Serger Pepper might look like a foreign object.  These are actually very helpful, especially if you’re trying to iron something with curves that can’t lay flat on your ironing board.

Tailors Ham from Serger Pepper

Knowing the basic stitches is an important part of the sewing journey, and Feather’s Flight has this handy graphic to help you remember what’s what.

Basic Sewing Machine Stitches from Feather's Flights

Even if you’re not new to sewing, you probably want to start out with a simple project so you can get to know your new machine.  This Envelope Pillow from Craftaholics Anonymous is just the ticket.

Envelope Pillow from Craftaholics Anonymous

If you’re ready to show the world how much you heart your new sewing machine, grab yourself one of these Sewing Machine Keychains from Grommt on Etsy.

Sewing Machine Keychain from Grommt on Etsy

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks

I love giving a little something handmade with something store bought.  It makes it just a little more personal and special.  I don’t know how many coffee cup sleeves I’ve given along with a coffee shop gift card or travel cup.  So many, in fact, I think just about everyone I know has one and it’s time for something new.  These bookmarks can be made from fabric scraps, take no time at all and would be great paired with a book or bookstore gift card.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 1

I made about two dozen of these, just using pieces of fabric from my scrap box.  You need two 4” by 4” pieces of iron-on interfacing and three 4” by 4” squares of fabric.  Cut one of the interfacing squares in half diagonally and save one half for your next bookmark.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 2

Iron the triangle of interfacing onto the fabric you want for the corner.  Iron the square of interfacing onto the piece you want to face the front behind the corner.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 3

Fold the fabric with the triangle in half diagonally, where the interfacing edge is, and press.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 4

Lay the square with interfacing on it face up.  Add the triangle on top in the upper right corner.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 5

Lay the other square on top, face down.  Pin.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 6

Stitch around the outer edge with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving 1 – 1 1/2” open at the bottom.  Clip the corners.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 7

Turn right side out and press, turning in the opening.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 8

Stitch all the way around, close to the outer edge.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 9

Slide a gift card inside or slip it onto a book.  This would also make a great little gift all by itself!

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 10

Easy Round Cushion Covers

I intended to share this with you on Monday, but I got knocked flat by a nasty bug that my husband tried REALLY hard not to share with me.  I’m finally vertical again, but the sooner this cough goes away the better.  Enough of my sickly whining, I want to show you a quick way to cover round chair cushions.

With the holidays upon us, doesn’t it seem like you’re always looking for an extra chair for company?  You can easily recover round patio chair cushions to fit in better with your indoor Thanksgiving or Christmas décor!

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 1

To create your pattern, measure the diameter of your cushion, add the height, then add 1”.  Cut a piece of string 3 or 4 inches longer than the number you just came up with.  Tie one end of the string around a pencil.  I found it helpful to use a pencil with a cushion on it so the string wouldn’t slide around.  Tie a knot in the other end at the distance from the pencil that matches your number.  Fold a large piece of paper in quarters.  Stick a pin through the knot on the string into the tip of the folds.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 2

Draw a curved line with the pencil by stretching the string as far as it will go.  Cut along that line.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 3

Unfold your pattern and pin it to the fabric.  I was making two, so I doubled my fabric to cut them both at once.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 4

Sew a buttonhole starting 1 1/8” from the edge.  Fold the fabric in 1” and stitch near the edge.  I didn’t fold the edge under because it will be on the inside, but if you’re worried about it fraying you can fold the edge under 1/4” before stitching.  Tie a knot in a piece of cord and attach a safety pin.  Feed it through the buttonhole, around the circle through the casing and back out the buttonhole.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 5

I cut a smaller circle and laid it in the center so none of the bare cushion would show.  You don’t necessarily need to do this, especially if your cover is temporary.  Lay the cushion in the center of the cover.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 6

Pull the cord to gather, then tie a bow.  You can either tuck the extra cord inside or cut it off.  I’d recommend tucking it so it can be reused.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 7

Wouldn’t it be cute to make these with holiday fabrics?

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 8

This set lives on my daughter’s apartment deck now – maybe she needs Christmas chairs! Smile

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 9

Sewing Room Postcard Collage

Almost three years ago (which I only know because I looked it up) I bought some really cute postcards from an artist named Kathy Jeffords with an Etsy shop called The Dreamy Giraffe.  I fell in love with her style and chose the postcards so I’d have several of the prints.  After they arrived, I didn’t know what to do with them and I put them somewhere for safekeeping.  I’d come across them once in a while, marvel at how adorable they are, and put them back.  I finally decided enough is enough – these need to be displayed.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 1

I started this project with an ordinary 12 x 12” frame.  I wanted to use a button print fabric as the background but didn’t want it to be too thin or floppy, so I ironed a piece of heavy craft interfacing onto the back. 

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 2

By cutting the interfacing to fit the frame, it also gave me a good outline for cutting the fabric.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 3

To hold the postcards in place I used some stick-on glue dots on the back.  I only used one dot on each card – just enough they wouldn’t slip around.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 4

I thought something with a little dimension would be fun in the middle, so I cut wool circles to match the fabric and added a little craft floss stitching to the center to make them look like buttons. 

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 5

I attached those with glue dots as well.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 6

After that it was just a matter of putting it into the frame.  I love how it turned out, and I’m happy I can actually look at these prints every day.  Every day I decide a different girl is my favorite!

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 1

I don’t think The Dreamy Giraffe has the postcard sets in stock any more, but the crafty girls are still available as prints.  I could find a place in my house for just about everything in her shop!

Puffy Fabric Flowers

It probably goes without saying, but you know I’m going to say it anyway.  Weddings generally involve a lot of flowers.  Especially outdoor summer weddings.  We had flowers EVERYWHERE.  Real, fabric, burlap, whatever we could turn into a flower-ish shape, we did.  One of my favorites was the cute puffy fabric version we used on the sign I showed you last week.  Fortunately, with a few basic materials, they’re also a breeze to make.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 1

All you need is this pattern, some fabric, a little polyester stuffing and a big button.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 2

Cut out ten petals for each flower you intend to make.  Pin two petals with right sides of the fabric together.  Stitch around the curved edge, 1/4” from the raw edge, leaving the straight edge open.  Repeat for the other four petals.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 3

Turn the petals right side out and press.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 4

Add a small amount of stuffing to the inside of each petal.  You don’t want them stuffed tightly, just enough to give them a little fluff.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 5

Pinch a petal so the seams are touching each other at the bottom.  Using a needle and knotted thread, stitch through both seams. 

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 6

Without knotting or cutting the thread, do the same with the next petal.  Repeat until all five petals are on the thread. 

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 7

Stitch back through the first petal again, creating a loop.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 8

Pull the thread tightly to gather all the petals together.  Knot the thread, but don’t cut it.  Flatten all the raw edges together in the center and stitch through the center a few times to hold them in place.  You really just want to make sure they’ll be under your button.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 9

I really like the look of the split petal version.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 10

Stitch the button to the center.  You could also glue it, but I found stitching it through all the layers added to the dimension of the flower.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 11

Now you can sew or glue these to whatever needs a little puffy flower perk-up!

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 12

Hot and Cold Pillowcase

I love Oregon, but I find this time of year a little frustrating.  Don’t get me wrong, there are things I love about fall, like apples, pumpkins and boots.  Oh, the boots.  But the inconsistency in the temperature drives me a little nuts.  One minute I’m freezing, the next I’m roasting.  When you live here, you learn to dress in layers.  But nighttime is a little harder to solve.  This project was made to help a friend in the hospital who wanted something soft by his face, but I think I’ve found an easy solution to my freezer/oven problem.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 1

This is a basic pillowcase, but the secret is using woven cotton fabric on one side and super-soft Minky, or other soft fleece, on the other.  If you’re too warm, flip it to the cotton side for instant cooling.  If you’re trying to warm up, the fleece is the side you want.

To make this, you’ll need 14” of woven cotton fabric, 14” of fleece, 12” of woven cotton for the cuff and 3” of woven cotton for the accent.  The fleece will probably be wider than the cotton (54” vs 42”), so you’ll need to cut it to the same size so each piece is 14 by 42”.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 2

Sew two of the 42” sides together with wrong sides together and a slightly less than 1/4” seam.  Turn the pieces so the right sides are together and press the seam on the cotton fabric side.  Stitch again with a slightly larger than 1/4” seam.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 3

What you should have at that point is a piece that measures 27” long and 42” wide with a French seam running down the middle.  Set that piece aside for a moment. 

Fold your 3” accent piece in half with wrong sides together and press.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 4

Take your cuff piece and lay it face up on your workspace.  Mine is a little deceiving here because I happened to find a piece that was printed with two different colors.  You could certainly piece two prints together if you’d like a different color on each side of your pillow, but what’s shown here is just one piece.

Lay the accent piece on top, lining up the raw edges.  As you can see on the right, they may not match up on the end.  That’s okay – we’ll deal with it shortly.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 5

Lay the cotton/fleece piece on top of that with the right side down and raw edge matching the others.  If you did piece the cuff, make sure to match up the seams of both pieces. 

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 6

Starting from the bottom edge, carefully roll up the cotton/fleece until it’s past the center of the cuff but not all the way to the top edge.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 7

Fold the bottom edge of the cuff up and over the roll and match the raw edge to the raw edges at the top.  Pin in place.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 8

Stitch 1/4” from the raw edge all the way across.  Pull the roll from the inside out one end to turn everything right side out.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 9

I’d recommend checking your seam to make sure you caught all the layers in it before turning.  The fleece is a little slippery and you don’t want to end up with this hot mess.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 10

Cut off the accent, cuff and body to match the shortest of the three.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 11

Line up the edges with wrong sides together and stitch a scant 1/4” seam down the side and across the bottom.  I always go way under 1/4”, just make sure you’re catching both layers.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 12

Turn the pillowcase wrong side out.  Press the seam on the cotton side.  Stitch a bit over 1/4” from each edge.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 13

Turn the pillowcase right side out and press the seams one last time on the cotton side.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 14

I’m ready now, Autumn.  Bring it on.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 15

Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

It’s been a very long time since I attended a sewing show.  In fact, it’s probably been more than 10 years.  When I saw that Quilt! Knit! Stitch! was making it’s Portland debut, I decided maybe it was time to give it another go.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

I got my daughter on board with the Knit! part, but I was a little skeptical that the $10 per person entry fee, plus parking, was going to be worth it.  That seemed a little steep considering I knew it was going to be full of vendors also wanting a peek into my wallet.  I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.  We ended up spending over three hours there!

There were two sides to the show:  display pieces and vendors.  We started on the display side, which was set up like a museum.  The first thing we came to was a Community Garden.  It was a fabric tree covered in flowers made by attendees.  They offered to let us make some to add, but we were anxious to see what was ahead.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 3

There were some truly amazing works of art.  They started with those made of yarn, like this crochet piece from local Jo Hamilton, representing the city of Portland.

Quilt Knit Stitch - Crafty Staci 2

This quilt, called Gathering Hearty Roses, was made by a group of four quilters from Japan who have been creating together for 20 years.  Aiko Miyata, Norimi Tashiro, Nobuko Kotani and Reiko Terui each made one of the hearts, then put them together.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 4

I couldn’t get a photo that would do justice to Scarlett’s Crimson by Philippa Naylor from the U.K.  She drafted the pattern, then used piecing, quilting and applique to create this beauty.  She was inspired by 1950’s couture ball gowns.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 5

I love the color and style of Indian Summer Sunset by Shirley Gisi from Colorado.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 6

Jane Sassaman was inspired to make Illinois Album by the rural areas of her own state.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 7

Cindy Hickok, from Texas, had several 3D pieces made with machine embroidery, but my favorite was See the U.S.A.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 8

Alice’s Kitchen by Miki Murakami of Japan was a real eye-catcher.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 9

We moved on to the vendor side, which seemed to go on forever.  One the first booths we stepped into remained one of our favorites.  We even went back to it at the end to buy a book and chat with the author, Kay MacKenzie.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 10

You can visit Kay at her book website and applique blog.  She had so many cute things, but the Studio sign, which is in the above book, is the first thing I want to make.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 11

There were a few trends we spotted while we shopped.  Wool felt projects were everywhere.  Bertie’s Year, from Bonnie Sullivan, was a particularly fun set of patterns.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 12

Another prevalent theme was super-tiny quilts.  It really made me want to give one a try.  Imagine how happy we were when we walked by the Moda Bakeshop booth and they handed us each of us a sweet pack of 2 1/2” squares!

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 13

You know how much I love to rip out a seam, but after holding this seam ripper from Lumenaris in my hand, I had to have one.  This thing is the perfect size and weight.  I’ve already used it, and I’m very happy to add it to my tool box.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 14

Overall, Quilt! Knit! Stitch! was a fun afternoon.  My daughter was hoping for more knitting and crochet patterns, but she enjoyed admiring the yarn.  I’m hoping the show returns next year!

Book Review: Basic Black

I’m here today to share another book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.  They have provided me with the book, but the opinions are all my own.

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids, Happy Homemade Sew Chic and Stylish Skirts so far, and I loved things about all of them, but I’ve unintentionally saved the best for last.   I have lots of black clothes in my closet, so I was bound to find a few things here I liked, but I was pleasantly surprised at how many that turned out to be. 

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 1

This book was written by the talented Sato Watanabe.  It started as all the Tuttle books have so far – with photos of each finished garment.  Not that it has anything to do with the sewing aspect, but one thing I really liked about this book was the cheerfulness of the model.  With all of the garments being black, the happy expressions versus a typical starving model pose set a good tone.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 2

I had a hard time narrowing down which favorites I wanted to share with you, but the first one that stood out to me was the Dress with Stitched Skirt.  I love the look of white embroidery on black.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 3

While a good part of the book features cold weather items, like this Zip-Up Vest with High Neck…

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 4

…there are also plenty of things for the warm season too, like this Whimsical Vest in Chiffon Lace.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 5

This High Neck Shirt with Three Quarter Length Sleeves would be great for that transition from summer to fall.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 6

I love the neckline on this Flannel Short Coat. 

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 7

I haven’t made anything from this book yet, but it seems like there’s a pretty broad range of skill levels required for the different projects.  There is a page detailing the different tools needed, as you might find in a book for beginners.  There are many projects with only a small number of pieces to cut out and one page of instructions, like this Asymmetrical Blouse with Tape Trim.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 8

But there are also a few more complex projects for those who’d like to stretch their wings, like this Seersucker Shirt with Collar, which requires several pieces and has three pages of instructions.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 9

The patterns come in XS, S, M and L and need to be traced onto drafting paper or pattern tissue to use, as they’re overlapped on the pattern page included.  If you wonder why they do this, here is what 26 ordinary sewing patterns look like.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 10

Compare that to this book, with it’s skinny envelope in the back.  Makes sense, right?

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 11

My thanks to Tuttle Publishing for asking me to review their books.  It was a real pleasure!

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 12