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Sew Creative
13 Projects to Make Your Own
BY Jennifer Pol Colin

C&T Publishing (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
18 June 2018 / ISBN 9781617456855
Tweenage - Teen /How-To Books/Sewing

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


This book teaches 8-16 year-olds how to sew, and more importantly find sewing fun and relevant in an age of mass produced goods. If you make it yourself you can customize it how you like, make sure it fits and have it in the color of your choice. It is written in an accessible way and encourages young people to have a go and not be afraid to ask for help if they need it.

There are thirteen projects in here to “make your own” and, as it also says on the cover, “tons of techniques”. The more techniques you know the more you can do and every page is packed with useful information. In fact, I wish I had had a book like this when I was the right age and learning to sew! You can learn in the first chapter all about different types of fabric, what tools you need and why you need them plus a list of other more fun things you might want. This is an American book and some of the items might not be quite as inexpensive or easily available, but it is good to see what is new out there and what can be done with it. Techniques covered include working with patterns, measuring for garments, using an embroidery hoop, making a tassel, etc., and more things are covered in the actual projects. All the projects in here are contemporary and sure to appeal to the target age group. They include a mermaid tail, animal neck pillow for travelling, animal face purses, a skirt with novelty shaped pockets, a pillow and T-shirt you can decorate how you choose, and my own favorite, a donut shaped pillow. The projects are grouped in themes (on the go, fashion, in my room and accessories) and have three difficulty ratings. Four are beginner, eight require some experience and only one is rated for requiring some help (a pillow). Each project is written in a way that is easy to understand and features a list of what you need split into materials, tools, patterns and sometimes optional. Often an item will have a page number so you can look it up to find out more about it, and the method is divided into preparing the pieces, and step by step. Photographs are given of many of the stages, and although there are a few that could have been a bit larger, it is usually easy to see what is going on. Measurements are all imperial but as most sewing patterns are American, even if the person using the book is only used to metric, learning the other system is a good idea. All the patterns used are provided at the back, the garments in different sizes for “typical” 8-16 year-olds. Overall this is a very up-to-date and user-friendly book for any young person who wants to learn to sew.

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

You can buy Kamsnaps in the UK at
Iron-on Vinyl available in the UK at

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
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