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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 10 January 2011
This is a beautiful Christmas craft book to look at. The photos are big and clear and festive with that scandanavian style. The instructions for craft projects/gifts are simple. There's quite a few sewing projects although some are very similar (the santa's and angels are much the same with different decoration/dressing) and also some painted crafts (like decorating wooden boxes and garlands) based on the style of Tone's sewn characters.

The patterns are straightforward although what I found very annoying is they are slightly wider than A4. You will need to copy the patterns rather than cut from the book because cleverly they overlap to save space (colour co-ordinated for each item). If you want to photocopy (as recommended in the book) or scan and print this is irritatingly tricky as the patterns are just a couple of cms wider than A4.

As a novice I did struggle with some of the pattern because the instructions are so simple. I couldn't find out if I needed to leave a seam allowance on every part of the patterns because of the way it was worded so had to make a guess. Also I found my stitching didn't leave as smooth a join and my seams were a little bulky in places which although my problem the book doesn't have any tips about these particular things. For instance I found stitching the collar onto the dress really quite tricky and wasn't sure what to do with all that extra seam allowance which never gets tidied away. You could dismiss this as my skill being the problem or the book not covering all the aspects depending on your point of view.

Also Tone recommends using stiff fabric or using interfacing to stiffen lighter fabrics but I found this very difficult to work with for the clothes (I was handsewing) and they don't seem to sit well on the doll. Maybe I misread or maybe the instructions were too is general and I misunderstood.

Also worth considering that the fabrics she uses in the book (which are gorgeous) are not cheap to buy for yourself. I shopped aroung for cheap but stiff fabrics on ebay and it ended up costing quite a lot once I got all the colours for people and reindeers and clothing. Better if you're not a total novice and have material already I suspect. But the quality of the material is going to greatly influence the look of your own softies.

Not sure how many of the items in the book I would want to give as gifts as they are mainly decorative things - but perfect for me to expand on my own Christmassy themed decorations around the home.

So a mixed review for me. I still love to flick through the book and she certainly gives you easy to read instructions about how to make everthing in the book. But I found as a beginner some of a bit frustrating once I was trying to make something. Could be user error of course. I think if you're already quite crafty and you like the Scandanavian style this would be a good book for you.

You can also find forums and groups on Flickr dedicated to the Tilda books and crafts who seem to be a lovely bunch. I recommend using the Look Inside feature on Amazon as this will give you a really good feel for the sewing projects it contains and you can decide for yourself if it's what you're after.
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