Thursday, March 3, 2011

stitch by stitch review: reversible tote

Look what I made yesterday!


My husband always asks for a few ideas when shopping for birthday presents, so one of the things I asked him for was Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time by Deborah Moebes. 

Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time

I had heard good things about it, and I am still a novice sewer, so I figured it might be a good book to have.  I have not been disappointed.  The book has lots of great basic info about tools, fabric, sewing machines, etc.  And tips on how to properly square up fabric and making bias tape and things like that.  I found this section really helpful.  Some of the tips she shares I had never come across before.

I was also pleased to find the book comes with a CD of patterns, which I am super excited to try out.

The book is designed to build upon itself...do the projects in order, build upon each skill as you go.  Since I am a rebel, I skipped straight to the project I was most interested in at the moment. :)  {Don't worry - I read through all the steps first to make sure I could handle it.}


I made the reversible tote with a flat bottom.  Overall, I thought the author's instructions and photos were very clear and easy to follow.  She has a great voice--explains things thoroughly without sounding condescending or assuming you should know things that haven't been outlined within the book.  She also included several options for some of the steps (different ways to do the handles, how to create a more structured bottom, etc.) which I thought was great.  It's nice to see an author acknowledge that there is more than one way to do something, as is so often the case with sewing.

The only complaint I have is that I have found a few typos and there even an incorrect measurement in the bag pattern.  For the reversible handles, the instructions say to cut 1.5" strips...then later says to sew them together with a .5" seam allowance.  If you do the math, that would leave you with very skinny handles for a rather good size tote!  In the photos, however, it looks like she cut 2.5" strips.  So I re-cut those pieces (good thing I bought extra fabric...), sewed them with a .25" seam allowance, and handles turned out just like the project photos in the book.

Despite this little setback, I am still really pleased with the book and how my project turned out.  Through the encouragement of the author, I was even brave enough to add a big pocket to the lining even though the pattern didn't call for it!



If that doesn't say something about the quality of the book, I don't know what does.
I'm excited to carry around my new church bag this Sunday.  (And to sew through some of the other projects!)

13 comments:

  1. Great job, it looks so good and professional. Now I want that book! :)

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  2. Cute! I literally just minutes ago finished making a similar bag! The fabric is very close too...I picked my material up at Hobby Lobby; they have some super cute fabric. Enjoy your new bag.

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  3. This is fantastic! I love the colors.
    http://itsybitsypaper.blogspot.com

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  4. I just bought that book on Amazon! It came about two weeks ago and I am dying to dig into it! Just found your blog through craftgawker.com. Your bags turned out beautifully! Thanks for the inspiration to start on my projects!

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  5. Love your fabric selection! Super cute bag!

    visitig from allaboutmommies.blogspot.com

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  6. I'm jealous of your sewing skills! lol. I have wanted to make a tote bag for awhile now but I keep getting discouraged when I read the patterns!! Maybe I'll have to pick up that book too ;). I really love the fabrics you picked out. How long did it take to make it?

    Ps. I'm following you from the Monday blog hop at The Girl Creative =)

    Monica
    http://ellabellabutterfly.blogspot.com

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  7. What a gorgeous bag, I'm in love with those fabrics! I've got this book, but hadn't spotted the tote pattern... I think I need to have a go! Are you working through the book as it suggests or just dipping in?

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  8. Love the bag you made. The fabric is awesome :)

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  9. Hello! Your new bag is wonderful and I love also the fabrics!

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  10. Love the tote alot! (I didn't see your credit or button to the Quiltstory link up, and I missing it?)

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  11. Very Cute! I'm dying to try a tote bag myself.

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  12. I like the colors you did. Very neat.

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