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1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects [Spiral-bound]

Ellen L. Baker
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.94
Price: £14.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 2011
1-2-3 Sew takes a building block approach to sewing, making it a cinch for crafters to improve their skills. The projects are presented in groups of three, each one building on the skills and techniques used in the project before. With 36 projects in all (ranging from clothing and accessories to bedding and decor accents), how-to illustrations, 10 pattern pages in a pocket at front, and instructions for various finishing and embellishing techniques, this book is an essential toolbox of sewing basics.

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1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects + 1, 2, 3 Quilt: Shape Up Your Skills with 24 Stylish Projects
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Product details

  • Spiral-bound: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (1 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811876497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811876490
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 614,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Ellen Luckett Baker is the blogger behind The Long Thread: thelongthread.com. Started over two years ago, she's grown a loyal fanbase that includes over 75,000 unique visitors monthly, as well as frequent cross-linking and features on popular craft blogs such as Sew, Mama, Sew!; Etsy's The Storque; Whip Up; Craft; and The Crafty Crow.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, love it, love it! 16 Jun 2011
By Ally
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book that had a variety of beautiful, useful and achievable projects for a very new starter to sewing. This is just the thing! With enclosed patterns, clear directions and projects that enable me to develop a selection of skills, I can't wait to get started. I am a person who will quickly become disheartened if do not achieve the result I want, but I am certain that some of the simpler but very effective projects will spur me on to greater things. My mum is excellent with the sewing machine but I am certain she would also like some of these very pretty projects including a mouse pin cushion, so I think there is something in it for everyone. Buy it - I'm sure you will not be disappointed x
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great skill builder 16 Dec 2013
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
"1, 2, 3 Sew" is a great resource for beginner sewists and I highly recommend it.

Getting started
Choosing fabric
15 essential tools
Ch.1 Dining and dishes
Ch.2 Pillows
Ch.3 Organizers
Ch.4 Quilted kitchen
Ch.5 Totes
Ch.6 Pouches
Ch.7 Handbags
Ch.8 Accessories
Ch.9 Reversible for kids
Ch.10 For baby
Ch.11 Blockhead animals
Basic embroidery stitches
Sewing glossary

- Each chapter contains three projects growing in level of difficulty, but building upon skills just learned, hence 1->2->3. Ellen has managed to find just the right balance whilst introducing new things throughout the book; not too difficult too soon but challenging enough.
- Only four stars because the book is meant for beginners and it lacks greatly in the visual department. Since I know there's lots of useful stuff to learn in each project, I do read through the directions - but with a deep sigh. I need to be in a particular state of mind when tackling the projects and I don't think that's how it should be when learning a new craft; my daily activities include reading scientific and medical texts, so it would be pretty fantastic to find flow in a hobby, just sit down and enjoy.
- Some projects don't look at all like my preferred aesthetics, but it is up to me to pick my own fabrics to make the end result my own. And I'm drowning in tea towels, but do have small relatives who would love to print on fabric, so again, it's up to me to mix and match the methods and materials as I please. It's easy to learn also from reading a pattern only - and learning opportunities there are plenty of. It's a gem for its price.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed 16 Sep 2012
By Maya
Having read the above review, I purchased this book. Boy, was I disappointed. The projects are bland and boring and there is absolutely nothing in it I wish to make. Very unimpressed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
242 of 256 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video Review 20 May 2011
By BeachBrights - Published on Amazon.com
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring for Practiced Sewists too! 7 Nov 2011
By S. MacDonald - Published on Amazon.com
I do like this book for several reasons. First of all, I bought it because it contains projects for things I want to make! I just completed a bag that is called a Craft Caddy. I also want to make a storage cube or two, a boxed-end zipper pouch, a lunch sack, and a change-your-mind skirt.
I love the pictures, colors, and diagrams.
I love that the full-size patterns are included in a pouch and that the patterns are on NOT a giant sheet of paper, but on their own pieces of paper!
I found a little mistake (that wasn't major) in the instructions and posted a question on the author's blog and she got back to me very quickly. The patterns and instructions have been tested and the mistake that gave me pause was just one of those things that can happen in spite of tender loving care! But if you did find a glitch that stopped you, isn't it nice to know that the author is responsive?

Projects in this book include several bags, toys and clothing for children, and basic household items with creative touches.
The bag I made had me do something new--putting dividers in the lining of a bag.

Even though I have hundreds of craft books, I don't buy every book I flip through. I am happy I bought this one...and happy with my very useful, new Craft Caddy bag!
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for true beginners 15 Feb 2012
By J. M. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying I am a novice machine sewer at the age of 28. I certainly have background in crafting/embroidery etc but the machine really intimidated me and I have no one (grandmother etc) to teach me. I really love this book and think it has made me a more confident sewer. It will NOT teach you how to use your machine. It won't teach you basic techniques like pressing, cutting/measuring fabric, using a rotary cutter etc. There are plenty of blogs and youtube that helped me with that. She does include an introduction with the kinds of tools you will need and/or are helpful as well as a basic introduction which is nice but you may need to do some research about your machine or consult a more comprehensive guide like Vogue for the details on the most basic techniques. What it does have are cute and useful projects I actually liked (as opposed to other "beginner books" filled with ugly and/or dated things I would never want to purchase let alone make) Each chapter is divided into 3 projects, with each project building on the skills learned in the previous. So, for example, the first chapter is themed around dining/kitchen. First you make simple dishcloth (learning to sew in a straight line, folded corners, making a basic hem, pressing fabric etc), then the next project is a set of cloth napkins (still sewing/cutting in a straight line, but now we add in "fancy" mitered corners, and finishing edge stiching), finally a table runner with pockets for flatware (add seamless pockets). By the end of the chapter you've really mastered the basics (straight line sewing/hemming, mitered corners) and are also comfortable with a more advanced skill (seamless pockets). Each chapter builds on the previous, though the author maintains you do not have to work the chapters in order. I am about halfway through and just chose to go in order because I want to build my skills.

Each project includes a high quality color photographic image of the final product. The actual directions include text and black and white drawings. At times I had to go back and reread a step several times because the picture isn't as detailed as I might like, but overall everything is simple to follow even for a beginner.

I have a friend who borrowed the book and is a very advanced sewer. She ended up getting her own copy because she likes it too. The projects are simple but also interesting enough for an accomplished seamstress. I think one thing that helps with this is for each project she suggests ways to alter the directions to make the project your own. For someone starting out the plain cloth napkins might be challenge enough but for a more accomplished sewer she suggests adding decorative trim or embroidery, or to use a higher quality fabric to make heirloom quality table linens.

I would have given this book 5 stars but I took one away because I think there should have been more pictures/detailed diagrams for the more complicated projects and basic instruction for things like cutting or tracing a pattern onto fabric. For a true beginner this would have been helpful. Overall I highly recommend it!
55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Beginner Pace - Maddeningly Frustrating Details 24 Dec 2012
By Brandon Lindsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
Just so you know where I'm coming from, my girlfriend and I are absolute beginners to sewing. We bought a sewing machine and realized we had absolutely no idea what to do with it. After some research online we settled on three books to get us started. So far this has been the most used of the three. It has been a great resource and skill builder, but also the source of teeth clenching, mind shattering frustration.

Lets start with where I thought this book really shined.
After browsing through several beginner sewing books I really appreciated the progression of projects in this book. They begin very simple and build on each other, teaching new techniques while building on the skills previously learned. While some of the other books immediately jumped in to more advanced projects this book started by hemming simple tea towels. This won't be a bonus for everyone but as am absolute beginner I found it very useful to start at such a basic level: fold, press, and practice sewing in a straight line. For this reason alone I recommend this book; Fun projects of progressive difficulty to build your skill and confidence. Hands down of all the books I've browsed this one had the best projects for practical practice for a beginner. If you're sitting down with a sewing machine for the first time, this book should be by your side.

So what does this book do so poorly that after the recommendation above I rate it only "It's Ok"?
I personally found the How-To sections (step by step instructions meant to introduce new techniques) absolutely incomprehensible. I'm not the kind of guy who usually struggles with diagrams and cryptic instructions. I like to think I'm pretty handy at figuring things out, but sometimes the directions in this book seem to be written with the intent to frustrate. Are the techniques described actually that difficult? Absolutely not. With this book I've repeatedly had ecstatic, aha moments when I finally discover how simple a technique can be after having spent hours agonizing over what the author was trying to say. I literally spent two days trying to understand the authors instructions for single-fold machine binding before giving up and searching the internet for clarification. It was pretty simple, but not with these directions.

All things considered; if you're brand new to sewing, get this book, but not just this book. Look to this book for the projects and other books for the techniques required to sew them.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy projects 7 Aug 2011
By Susan Rogers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
This book is filled with wonderful, easy projects that even beginning sewers can make. The pattern pieces are included in a pocket on the front cover and they are very simple. I made the Market Bag in about two hours, start to finish. I can't wait to start on my next project! Also this book has a chipboard cover and is spiral bound so it will lay flat. Wonderful book full of projects everyone can use or gift.
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