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Joel Dewberry's Sewn Spaces - Book Review

Joel Dewberry's Sewn Spaces
Joel Dewberry is a fabric designer known for his bright and modern design styles which he, himself calls "Eclectic Modern" because he blends different stylistic elements together. I love how he puts colors together and his silhouetted bird designs.

In his book, Joel Dewberry's Sewn Spaces, he has created a number of projects that showcase his fabric designs. They are subdivided into categories of Play, Home and Work. The patterns themselves are not terribly innovative in that they are basically re-works of projects we have seen before such as a tote bag, chair cushion, basic pajama pants, pillowcases, memo board cover, apron (and more). They do have a modern, clean and crisp look that makes them distinctively Joel Dewberry, like his fabrics.

The introductory section is very nicely done as it has numerous illustrations of the embroidery stitches and sewing techniques used in the projects. The photos show just the right amount of detail, especially the embroidery section.
The "At Play" section of the book presents the following projects: two different fabric embellished cards, fabric roses, butterfly mobile, applique tee-shirt, pajama pants, farmer's market tote, yoga mat carrier, and a teddy bear. The teddy bear is especially cute and has a pocket on the front. I liked the variety of projects in this section and have added a few to my gift-giving idea list.

For "At Home," you can make a fabric letter, reversible table wrap and napkins, framed and glass etched fabric art, a bird sachet, two different appliqued pillows, a quilted throw, a duvet cover, pillowcases, and an upholstered chair. My favorite project in this section is the etched fabric art where the glass is etched with a design complementing the fabric underneath. I love the suble surprise of the etching. So, that one is definitely on my list.

I found the majority of my favorite projects in the last "At Work" section. The projects are: journal covers, hanger cozy, reversible fabric boxes, chair cushion, apron, and a pocket memo board. There are some great gift-giving prospects hidden in here. The hanger cozy has a pocket under the hanger that would be a great place to store your outfit accessories. And, while I have seen hundreds of apron designs on the web because they are a hot sewing item right now, this apron is really stylish with a button strap and scalloped edge.

At the end of the book, he has included templates for the appliques and stenciling. In the back of the book there is a pocket that holds full-size tissue patterns which is great because so many sewing books in this format, require you to photocopy and enlarge patterns before you can use them. The only fly in the ointment here is that a number of them overlap, requiring you to trace a pattern if you want to make both of the ones that overlap. I am used to tracing patterns from my use of the Burda Magazine patterns, but this can be an annoyance to people. One nice element is that the lines are printed in different colors making them easier to distinguish from each other.

I think this book is very inspirational from a visual viewpoint (the photographs are vibrant and exciting) but there are a few issues. The instructions for many of the projects are pretty brief and might be confusing for beginners. In contrast to the detail given to embroidery techniques in the beginning of the book, very little attention is given to the actual construction details of the projects themselves.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, viewing it as eye candy and inspiration for projects of my own. I already plan to tweak a few of the designs to make them more functional for myself.

If you like Joel Dewberry's designs, you might also like these books!

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