This book was part of a gift package that I recently received. I was happy to finally check out and review a copy of One-Yard Wonders. In keeping with the continued and growing popularity that the craft of home-sewing is once again experiencing (and for people of all ages and skill levels) it's easy to understand why this has been such a popular book.
As a long-time crafter (with sewing being close to the top of my list of crafts that I love) craft instructor, author and columnist, I have some positive and not so positive things to say about my impressions of this book.
On the plus side: I love the concept of 1 yard or less fabric required for each of the 101 projects in this book. That's not a lot of fabric to work with but the editors/authors of this book (and the many designers who also contributed to the book) have done a good job of providing a wide variety of fun, practical and for the most part, very easy to make projects.
Some of the projects included (to name but a few) that I found attractive
and worth considering were:
- Collapsible Shopping Tote
- Simply Beautiful Sundress
- Obi-Inspired Hot and Cold Pack
- Granny's Clothespin Apron
- Bird Mobile
- Checkers to Go
- Not-Ugly Car Trash Bag
- Smocked Pillow in the Round
Other good points about this book:
Detailed instructions for each project, with diagrams and some projects also include paper pattern templates to use as well. A very attractive presentation, large color photographs of each project.A good range of project categories including those for the home, clothing for everyone in the family (including several items for the pets too), lots of interesting bags and totes, and some tech related items including CD and lap-top sleeve....there really is something for everyone. There is also a good, basic instruction section at the beginning of the book, outlining the skills and general notion supplies required for using the book. The handy ring-binder (on the inside of sturdy cover where it should be) is also a nice touch, the book lays flat and stays that way!
Now to the not so positive points. As many Amazon readers of this book mentioned, for the most part, these are very easy projects not really for an experienced seamstress or crafter if they are looking for a challenge. Personally, although I've been sewing for over 20 years, sometimes a simple, quick project is exactly what I am looking for so in that regard, simple can be a plus or a minus, depending on what you are looking for and the time you have to make something. Most of these would definitely be doable in an afternoon/day. There were also quite a few comments about the projects that were simply covering objects with fabric, with minimal sewing such as book covers and wall boards. Again, I agree these are rather easy but if it's what someone needs to be inspired and the item is something that would fit their immediate requirements, especially for beginners that can be ok too. A lot of these are also not terribly original and yes, many of these patterns/projects (or very similar items) could be found elsewhere or simply designed as you go.
I do appreciate seeing yet another step in the right direction in terms of recycling and re-thinking fabrics and other types of craft materials and seeing them for what they can be, treasures just waiting for someone's creative touch and a bit of hobby time. And that's always a good thing. The relaxation factor of crafting is worth considering too! This book might be a good reminder to many (it was for me) to once again find the time to include sewing and all it's rewards, as part of their leisure/hobby pursuits.
The projects in this book can take the remnants that you may have been stashing for a LONG time and finally transform them into something you can be happy that you took the time to make. And when it comes to gifts, creating a hand-sewn item can bump it up a notch in a big hurry, usually for a very small investment of money and time. Who knows, you might end up making a treasure that will be passed down for years to come and enjoyed again and again.
The book would also be a great gift for the crafters you know or wannabees just starting out. A nice add-on gift with a new sewing machine perhaps? Very reasonably priced at Amazon right now.
Overall rating for this book: Good. 3 out of 5.