Sew Fun: book review + giveaway!

Sew Fun - jacket artSew Fun by Deborah Fisher
Interweave/F+W Media; $26.99

When I was little I was always doing various craft projects. One year my family spent a summer in Beijing living in a hotel and boredom led to my creating an entire wardrobe out of tissues for my various Barbie dolls. Spoiler alert: there were a lot of capes and togas. Then there was my teddy bear that I hand-stitched from curtain scraps and embroidery thread when I was six. At some point I will find and photograph my first crochet project, which is an amorphous, mostly orange with blue and turquoise accents vaguely-oval shaped ripply blob. Seven year old me had high hopes of it turning into a skirt somehow. And then at fourteen I started my LotR-inspired collection of elf couture. When I think back to my childhood it feels like I’ve always been working on something.

Sew Fun

When Interweave Publishing contacted me recently about reviewing a new book on crafting with kids I pretty much died of cuteness overload as soon as I saw the cover. Yes please! (Note: Interweave provided me with a copy of Sew Fun; all opinions and rambling anecdotes are my own.)

Sew Fun is Deborah Fisher’s creation as a way to engage kids in crafting. The book is divided into sections based on type of crafts: dress-up projects, stuffed animals, playtime accessories, and home and party decorations. Each project is designed with tiny humans in mind and includes a section of suggested tasks for kids.

My first impression after flipping through the book is that it looks like Anthropologie for kids. Like check out this amazing storybook play blanket. It’s two-sided, for daytime and nighttime. Is it ok that I want to make this to put on my wall??

Sew FunSew Fun

Also this bunny is happening. I don’t even care that I’m 27. I need an army of these little guys.

Sew Fun

This quilt would be a great way to show-case those cute prints that we dress-making addicts sometimes buy because it’s a cute print and then don’t know what to do with it because it’s not really wearable. We all have a bunch of those in our stashes, don’t lie.

Sew Fun

There’s also a plastic insert in the back with pattern pieces printed on lovely paper (not as thick as Megan Nielsen patterns but not the gross super-thin tissue stuff).

Sew Fun

Deborah talks about safety tips, craft ideas, and sewing techniques, and and gives lots of suggestions about how to make crafting fun and engaging for both kids and adults. She says specifically that this isn’t a book for kids, but a book meant to bring out the inner child in grown-ups and to involve kids in the process.

The best part is that Interweave is generously offering a copy of Sew Fun to one of my readers! Just leave a comment below telling me your favorite memory of crafting as a child.

A winner will be randomly selected Sunday, March 23rd and announced shortly after.


25 thoughts on “Sew Fun: book review + giveaway!”

  1. Love this! My favorite crafting memory was taking ceramics classes with my mom. There are some snowmen that we painted that she still puts up in her office every winter.

  2. This book looks like so much fun! I’ve got so many happy crafting memories from childhood it’s hard to pick one but I remember when I learned to make friendship bracelets – I’d get to go through my mums embroidery threads to choose colours & then we’d sit and make bracelets together. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I was big into most crafts as a kid, the biggest of which was Swedish Weave as a teen. I made a blanket to fit my bed and numerous smaller blankets. I love having them around and functional even now 🙂

  4. I always liked all the pottery I got to make a kid. Which I always gave to my mom. Who still has it. Even though it’s really ugly. I’m better these days though!

  5. Every time I visited my Nana we always got out her sewing machine or knitting needles to make something for my Barbie dolls…they are some of my most treasured memories from my childhood

  6. I honestly did not do much sewing or knitting as a kid, but one of my fondest memories of crafting was going out to my dad’s garage and trying to make miniature boats that would float in the canal out of old scraps of wood, styrafoam, and screws.

  7. Love the book! I bought a bead loom when I was about 12 and rediscovered my American Indian-inspired attempt at a belt a few months ago in some storage boxes. It was actually a pretty good effort I thought! So I might actually make it into a belt after all these years.

  8. I loved crafts! Does anyone else remember Fimo? I made tons of miniature food for my doll house. Thanks for the contest! Would be awesome to win this book for my 2 year old daughter!

  9. Love this book! I have 3 pre-teen children who craft constantly! When I was 10, I received a country store doll house with all kinds of miniature things to make and put together for the store. It also came with a male and female doll as well as a baby. Oh how I have looked for this since but have never seen it again. It was a fantastic creative toy that combined dolls with crafts.

  10. My mom used to teach crafting classes for kids and she took as with her at least once or twice a week. At home she was testing ideas for the classes, sewing, knitting… small wonder I caught the crafting bug when I was very young… nowadays she even askes me for new ideas to craft with kids. I really love all that memories…

  11. I used to sew clouds in beautiful cotton lace to my favorite doll “dockan grön” my mom made her to me from one oft my grate grandmothers worn out bathrobes, she was all green with pink eyes and mouth and a few hairs, a very simple and unrealistic doll but she was my favorite and I got to make her dresses, it what ever fabric I could find in mom’s big stash.

    I love the lion, and I think that my husbands dolphins might need a little company.

  12. Uhh, I love that book!
    Actually I have a lot of of good memories with crafts from my childhood. But the first that came into to mind (and definitely the best one) is about my little old daddy-bear. She was a Christmas gift of my first year and as long as I remember she was little bit too much loved. That means her paws and ears were chewed off. So, when I was older and skillful enough my granny helped me to crochet her some new ears and paws, so that she would look like a bear:)

  13. When I was very small I had a grandmotherly next-door neighbor who kept a “project drawer” in her kitchen just for me. She stocked it with paper, scissors, glue, crayons, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, Popsicle sticks, etc. I’d walk right in, sometimes visiting her in the tub, and sit down to craft! As a grown up I look back with envy at that little girl who worried so little about the end product, just enjoying the process. And I miss “May,” who made me feel so safe and loved! Thanks for the opportunity, this book looks wonderfully inspiring!!

  14. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been somewhat attracted to crafting. I used to spend all the school breaks at my granny’s, And she is super into crafting. She is always knitting, crocheting or working on an embroidery project. Or even sewing even though sewing wasn’t her main thing. She was always working on something while she was watching tv. So during the winter she made 3-4 pairs of mittens in a week if she wanted to. And she gave me the bug.

    When I was 8 or 9 I decided to go to a crafting class. I was a “weird” kid because I was going to a crafts class with old women and I liked to cross-stitch things. I remember when I was 12 or 13 and our family was going through some financial difficulties, I decided to make my mom a pillow in needlepoint embroidery for christmas and I couldn’t get her anything else. It had 4 bears on it(just like my family: mom, dad, a boy and a girl) and I couldn’t finish it in time. It was way past midnight(and my bedtime) and I was crying and stiching-crying a and stitching. My mom woke up and caught me on the act. She made me go to bed and told me that it’s okay not to finish it. The thought is what matters. I gave it to her two days later.And she still says that it’s the best christmas present she has ever received.

    And that’s how I feel now as well. Things(no matter how little or simple they are) that are made with love and care, are the best things someone could give to their loved ones. They mean a lot more.

  15. I was always crafting something. All my nieces’ and nephews’ clothes were covered in embroidery; sewing on machines by 8, crocheting,,you name it. I think my fave memory is putting on a Winnie the Pooh puppet show with my then best friend (about 10 years old I think), and making all the puppets out of papier mache, and dressing them from her seamstress mother’s stash!

    1. Hey there! My favorite crafting memory as a child was painting my bedroom walls with my dad. At age 8, whilst deep in my sailor moon phase, I was convinced there was nothing cooler than stars and clouds. Therefore, half my room was painting daytime with light blue sky and puffy white clouds and the other half was night, with deep blue skies, purple clouds, stars and a crescent moon. Loved getting to feed my creative beast with my dad by my side.

  16. Thank you, Ping! Anthropologie for kids! Best complement ever! It is wonderful to read everyone’s stories about their childhood memories. I hope Sew Fun will help create new memories!

  17. I started with embroidering a pillowcase as a young girl, then hankies and shirts. Then sewing, everything from clothing to gifts, crocheting, knitting, and quilting. The first doll I made was for my baby sister (a long time ago) but I’ve started making dolls and animals again and thoroughly enjoying it. When it comes to creating it fills two needs,,,keeps my hands and creative nature busy and my inner little girl happy!! This book looks wonderful , thank you for the chance .

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