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Sew Illustrated
35 Charming Fabric & Thread Designs: 16 Zakka Projects
Minki Kim & Kristin Esser

Stash Books (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
29 July 2016/ ISBN 9781617451782
How-To Books/Sewing

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Adorn fabric projects with machine or hand embroidered drawings and add a personal touch to all kinds of items with this book. There are sixteen projects and thirty-five different zakka style sketches on transfer paper plus plenty of ideas for producing your own. This is a great way of using up scraps of fabric too as many are incorporated into designs and best of all you don’t need much to get started.

You don’t need to draw either when you have exhausted the transfers; rubber stamps, tracings, doodles and more can be utilised in this fun, modern style of embroidery. The book begins with the basic techniques, which are quite varied depending on how you want to approach your work. There are several methods of transferring designs, how to set up a sewing machine or what to use if you want to do it by hand and how to use fabric scraps. This book is the work of two friends and each has their own tips and methods which enhance the whole, showing that this is a style of embroidery that is very open to your own interpretation. The projects follow, each with a list of what you need, cutting guide, instructions with some photographs and a larger picture of the finished item. This is not a book for total sewing beginners but any improver level stitcher can join in the fun. Practice makes perfect when stitching small pictures with a sewing machine but there is not a lot of sewing knowledge required and there are also instructions on how to do it by hand if you prefer. Projects are grouped in themes and there are mats and coasters for the table, various bags, items for the sewing box, art to hang on the wall and “everyday” items such as a pencil case and a place to store brushes. Motifs include tea and coffee pots, sewing and crafting items, words, houses, hot air balloon and a family group traced from a photo. This is a fun book that encourages the reader to have a go and is an ideal way of making individual and personal gifts.

If you cannot find a good range of sewing and embroidery materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines.
Reviewed 2017