on 6 January 2012
Lovely photos and cute ideas, but the directions and templates lack sufficient detail to help you get a good result. The book says the items were tested on the author's own family, but I get the feeling the pattern directions are totally untested.
I am an experienced sewer and competent embroiderer. I enlarged the pattern pieces as stated (would be nice if they were provided full size in the book!). The first problem I spotted (making a small mermaid doll) was that the back pieces as printed had not been reversed (and are not symmetrical) -so if you had gone to the trouble of tracing them, and embroidering the details indicated, you'd be left with pieces you could not sew together! Frustrating. Luckily I avoided this, but worse was to come.
Once I had all the embroidery done, I sewed back and front body together, applying ric-rac in the seam as described, only to find that the points of the tail fins were then too bulky to turn through. Perhaps it wasn't intended that the ric-rac go all around the fins, but this isn't clear from either the directions or photos. Even without ric-rac, I think the fins will be too bulky to turn, so I'm stuck!
The project I chose to do IS very small, and I expected it to be fiddly, but I can't see how it can be done as described. A disappointing outcome, especially when I have spent many hours already on the embroidery.