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Book Review - Oliver + S Little Things to Sew

Guest Author - Tamara Bostwick

I have always been a fan of Oliver + S patterns. Their children's patterns have a vintage, yet modern look and they are well constructed and easy to understand. When I found out they were going to be releasing a collection of patterns in a book, I was excited to see what would be included. The book title is Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children and it is written by Liesl Gibson, the creator of the Oliver + S pattern line.

As the subtitle notes, there are 20 patterns included for: mittens, tutu, no-tie scarf, messenger bag, reversible bucket hat, bias trimmed apron, bento box carrier, play town, penguin backpack, art smock, cozy winter hood, messy kid bib, juggling balls and drawstring bag, tea party doll dress, travel quilt, red riding hood, explorer hood, bear carrier, bear puppet bath mitt, and a puppet theater. You can see that there is quite a range of items from toys to utilitarian items.

All of the patterns are printed in full-size on sheets of lightweight paper. The one major shortfall of this book is how the patterns are packaged. The pattern sheets are folded up and attached to the inside of the front and back covers with glue dots. Others have had trouble with their patterns and books ripping when trying to remove the patterns, but I didn't have any trouble. The trick is simply to pull back on the paper slowly and the glue will release without damaging either the book or the patterns.
Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children by Liesl Gibson

Each pattern is given a difficulty rating so that you can select projects according to your skill level. I consider myself an advanced sewist, but sometimes it is nice to have an easy project to work on when you don't have the time or patience for one that is more advanced, so I like this feature. Also, at the beginning of each project, there is sidebar that not only notes necesary materials, but also specifies the skills needed for that particular project which is a great way to learn ahead of time what types of sewing tasks you will be doing.

The assembly process is illustrated with drawings and clearly explained. I also like that every project includes multiple color photographs of the finished item which gives you a good focal point for understanding what it should look like.

I found all of the projects to be interesting and stylish for the most part, but my favorite one is the Bento Box Carrier which is designed to unfold and serve as an eating mat. Bento box lunches for kids are all the rage right now and this carrier is ingeniously designed. I wish I had found this when my son was little and still taking his lunch to school.

If you have a child that likes to play pretend, there are some great patterns in here for that. There is a lovely Red Riding Hood cape that is fully lined and so cute. There is also a fun puppet theater for your budding thespian.

At the back of the book, there is an appendix that goes over some basic sewing techniques and shows pattern layouts for some of the more complex designs such as the messenger bag. There is also a little surprise for the paper doll lover at the very end!

Overall, this is a fantastic value for the money, considering how many patterns are included.

Do you like sewing for kids? Here are some great resources!

Disclosure statement: This review copy was provided to me by Krause Publications. I received no other compensation from the publisher or book author and this review contains my honest opinions about the book.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.


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