Book Review – Sew Darn Cute By Jenny Ryan

Sew Darn Cute is an inspirational craft handbook from Jenny Ryan. The book contains 30 projects to sew and embellish, each of which is beautifully photographed and has step-by-step instructions to follow. I love the philosophy behind the book, which Jenny states in her introduction:

“There is no right or wrong way to approach sewing. The hardest part is just getting started, and everything else is the rickrack on top. Yes, practice does make perfect, but who says ‘perfect’ is even what you should be going for?”

The book is aimed at all skill levels and has projects ranging from things for yourself, for gifts, for the home and for baby. The section I loved the most was Tools and Techniques. As mentioned a few times on this blog before, I have been co-ordinating the school craft group. This is funny really, because I am really not that crafty! But as you may have guessed, I can plan and organise, which is the skill I add to the group. So this section was like sewing 101 for me – it gave me a run down of the important tools you need (and what they do!) for sewing and instructions on the cool things like attaching bias tape or inserting a zipper pocket.

The timing of receiving this book from Penguin was perfect as we were in the midst of making craft items for the fair. Inspired by this Fabric Button Necklace from the book:

Fabric Covered Button Necklace

my daughter and I made a child’s version that we could sell at the school fair:

Fabric Button Necklace

At the fair potential buyers are looking for low cost, so we went with a modified version that the children would be able to afford. I purchased the chains, back converters and buttons from Jackobindi. (They are a very lovely sponsor of Planning With Kids, but these items were purchased to make up for sale at the school fair.)

Fabric Button Necklace Wrapped

They sold brilliantly! Now that the fair is over, I am looking forward to making myself one with yo-yos which is pictured above, as they look so pretty. I also want to have a go at embellishing the tea towels like Jenny does with rickrack and patterned fabric. They would make such a lovely Christmas gift. I think they will have a big chance of appearing in this year’s Christmas In July gift making series!

Sew Darn Cute Inspiration

You can see more of Jenny’s work at her blog Sew Darn Cute.