Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle New Album - U2 Learn more Shop Women's Shop Men's



on 29 August 2009
This book focuses on sewing and craft projects, which Jane Austen's characters were busy working on within the storylines of her novels. The Regency period crafts and needlework that are described in this book include: A fabric letter case, a linen pillowcase, a Cravet (a man's necktie-scarf), an embroidered workbag, paper flowers, a small coin purse, a knitted miser's purse, a huswife (fabric case for thread, scissors, and needles), a carpet-work pillow, a muff and tippet (neck wrap), a pin cushion, a thread case, a transparency (small painted glass decoration), a bonnet, a reticule (a drawstring purse), a knitted rug, and a muslin cap.

Instructions for each project include a photo of the finished item, drawn illustrations, and a supply list. Each project also suggests whether it is for beginners, intermediate crafters, or for the advanced.

The book is like a picture book; almost every page has some sort of illustration or decoration. Illustrations include period paintings and drawings that help illuminate how women lived and dressed during Jane Austen's day, and photographs of Regency period fabrics and furnishings. Even if you do not plan to recreate one of these period projects, it is a colorful book that gives a visual presentation of the home decor, crafts, and clothing styles during the period in which Jane Austen's novels take place.
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 November 2009
Jennifer Frost has authored a beautiful book presenting regency art and crafts,through Jane Austen's eyes as depicted in her novels.This book is a work of art as well as a valuable historical resource of the arts and crafts produced by women in their everyday lives in Regency England. Letters,quotations,articles from Jane Austen's work have been used as well as illustrations ,paintings and costume plates sourced from the era.
The 18 craft projects are beautifully presented and instructions are clearly and realistically set out.Do-able and luxurious gift ideas !My favourite items are the letter case,pillow case and the reticule!
I have presented this book to friends who enjoy sewing as well as individuals who love Regency England and are Jane austen fanatics -they simply loved it!.
What a stunning production,so typical of Murdoch publications!
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 March 2011
I loved this book both as a fan of Jane Austen and Regency history in general, and as an enthusiastic craftswoman. It is a beautiful idea for a book, and its potential is fully realised.

The book's main strength is in its thoroughness. Each sewing project has a chapter of historical information with it, informing the reader about the nature and use of the object in question. These passages are enlivened with quotes from Jane Austen's books mentioning the use or creation of some similar type of object. The projects are well illustrated with drawings and glossy photos, and the instructions are detailed, quite easy to follow, & specific.

Furthermore there is an introductory chapter detailing the history of sewing and women's work around the Regency period, together with a few pages devoted to the materials one would need to make these projects were one a Regency home seamstress.

My favourite projects are the ladies' accessories 'muff' and 'tippet' (do we remember Miss Bates' concern about Jane putting on her tippet to walk in to supper at the ball?), and also the gentleman's cravat - complete with a collection of illustrations showing how to fold it, and fourteen different ways to tie it!

Fine quality paper and lovely photos make this well worth a browse even if you don't sew. However, some of the projects are so easy they could be attempted without much - or possibly any - prior sewing experience.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 June 2012
With high quality presentation; beautiful antique-style papers and vintage prints, Jane Austen's Sewing Box has the look and feel of a particularly glamorous coffee-table book. Yet it's accessible; enjoyable content is satisfyingly informative, making it a feast for the mind and eyes alike. Using excerpts from the books, the writer sets Austen's women in their historic and social context; considering the insight they give us into `women's work' and the variety of crafts common to the period. One of the pleasures of returning to Jane Austen's novels is in discovering some detail missed in a previous read. I love how Jennifer Forest lifts so many hitherto unnoticed references to crafts from the words of the characters; developing and illustrating these by means of the projects.

I think the smaller sewing projects are the most accessible and with my love of embroidery I found the letter-case; workbag; huswife; pincushion and thread case projects particularly inspiring. I can see myself adapting these patterns to create embroidered items and gifts using my favourite needlework techniques. For me, some of the projects are of informative rather than practical value since either I find some techniques less appealing, or others (such as the netted purse) require previous knowledge of the technique and specialist tools. Then too, even in my more wildly optimistic moments, I don't really imagine myself making either a man's cravat; a ladies bonnet or a muslin cap!

I think your view of this book will depend on your expectations. If you are hoping to reproduce the practical projects, then you may find the choice of projects rather variable in their appeal to a modern crafter, and the instructions and diagrams as about adequate for the purpose. If though, like me, you have shelves full of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer books or a particular interest in this period and textile history, it is fascinating to understand how these items were constructed and used by women and their families. Jane Austen's Sewing Box has been a delightful read: I will return to the novels and enjoy them all the more.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 14 July 2011
I bought this on the strength of the other reviews. I expected it to be a real feast of a book; indulgent in its writing with inspiring little projects I'd want to start making straight away.

Sadly for me, it didn't quite meet my expectations. It's a classy-looking book, beautifully presented: what lets it down is the the dry style of writing. It reads much like a history book recalling facts and relies on quotes from Austen's works to make it more colourful.

Jane Austen's Sewing Box is first and foremost a book for reading: the sewing element is secondary. If you buy the book purely for the projects, you will probably be disappointed: there are 18 projects in total and although there are instructions, not all the projects include diagrams to aide your understanding and make the process easier to grasp. This will be fine for experienced sewers but those relatively inexperienced (like me) may struggle.

This book will be best for existing Austen fans who will probably appreciate this regardless. I think it might also appeal to those interested in regency-period style, fashion and interior design. Overall it's not a bad book but for me, it falls short of being something really special.
11 Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 July 2013
This is a beautiful book with crafts inspired by Jane Austen's world and novels. There are mainly fabric crafts and the techniques used include sewing, embroidery, knitting, netting, needlework, and painting. The projects include household items like pillowcases, pillows, and knitted rugs, and accessories like purses, muffs, and bonnets, to mention just a few. Each project is accompanied by a useful introduction, explaining its usage and its significance in Austen's time. Also there is a technique and difficulty level specification for every craft. The instructions are well written and clear and include a useful list of all the tools and materials required. In most cases there are also templates, but they could have been a lot better and more convenient to copy.

I love crafting and everything related to Jane Austen and her world, so I absolutely loved this book. There are a lot of books about Jane Austen and her society; informative regency etiquette books, regency fashion books or even some great cookbooks, but so far I hadn't been able to find a craft book, which was a strange omission, considering how important crafting was for regency women. Now, with this lovely book, anyone can create the same items our favorite authoress was probably making when she wasn't writing her great novels. I am actually so excited with the easy crafts of this book, that I am planning a relaxing regency weekend, to indulge in everything Austen, including crafting.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 March 2014
I was disappointed in this book because I thought that it would either cover the social world of women in Jane Austen's time and the place that needlework of many kinds played in that, or that it would provide patterns for the things that women made. It is a once over lightly on both of these aspects. The pattern instructions are sketchy and in some places inaccurate. The social lives of women of the time and the importance of sewing is similarly lightly covered.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 August 2009
This is one of the most delightful books that I think I have ever seen and one that I will treasure. The colourful presentations, enjoyable projects and general tactile feel of the book make it special. Jane Austen fans will enjoy it as much as those ready to have a go at the sewing and crafts described.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 July 2013
This is very disappointing, a lot of thought has gone into the links with Jane Austen's novels but the projects are very well separated by many pages of illustrations and quotes and these are displayed using a great deal of surrounding space. The projects themselves have been artfully photographed but in such a way that they are not depicted to aid the prospective maker. The instructions are rather thin too. I could put up with the many pages of pictures and quotes if the craft content was more informative and inspired. There are far more informative and inspired craft books around, this is just a few poorly communicated ideas trading on a link to Jane Austen.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 December 2012
As other reviews have stated the book is beautifully presented. The illustrations are excellent and the book design is grand. However as a sewing book it is very scant on content. The projects are there but little to extend even a novice to sewing. The book quotes from Austen seem predictable and the history of crafts is un exceptional. I have returned the book.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Need customer service? Click here