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Sew... who exactly is this for?
on 16 July 2010
This is a nicely produced book, with good photographs and very clear instructions: so far, so good (no pun intended). There is a good range of projects and some nice-looking ideas. And Sally Southern seems to have a skilled eye for colour, making fabrics work together and designing embellishments...
BUT (and it's a big BUT), I feel that some of the techniques she uses verge beyond quick to almost slapdash. Using glue to stick down ribbon, and gluing applique with bondaweb, without further reinforcing the edges with stitching, for example. The ribbon used to hold the handles onto one bag doesn't look as though it would last five minutes.
As a result, many of the projects look superficially pretty but on closer inspection they are scruffy and poorly finished. (I would be embarrassed by the puckered bias binding and the (apparently unintentional) frayed edges, but then I may be too much of a perfectionist.) I wonder how many would stand up to repeated use in real life? And some projects rely on being able to find rather obscure things like striped resin handles.
All of which makes me wonder who this book is for? Beginners might find the projects simple to make, but could well be put off by the shoddy results they achieve. More experienced sewers would baulk at the short-cuts and, as an experienced sewer myself, I would get rather frustrated at having to effectively 're-engineer' many of the projects. Nice eye candy though!