My youngest daughter and I get to share a new book with you today, and it’s a great one for those of you who have girls learning to sew! Samantha and I met Erin Hentzel at Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh while we were setting up our booth, and we enjoyed chatting with her about sewing and the sewing industry and her newly released book!Sew in Style – Make Your Own Doll Clothes was written to teach girls to sew for their own 18″ dolls, and it does a beautiful job of doing just that. At 16, Samantha is probably a little older than the target audience, but she gladly pulled her well-loved American Girl Samantha Doll out of storage and started planning as soon as she saw the book. (Her Samantha Doll is not making an appearance here because when I say “well loved” I mean she looks like she slept with a little girl who loved her very much for many, many years! Instead, we opened up an AG Doll that we picked up on sale a few years ago and kept for some special little girl that we have yet to meet. Is that a little odd? I just know that we’ll meet someone someday who will just be overjoyed with this doll.) C&T Publishing sent us an eBook copy of the book for this review. This was my first time using one of their eBooks, and I really appreciated the layout. It’s super easy to find what you need, and all of the full-size patterns are included in easy-to-print-and-tape-together format. Samantha scrolled through the book on the computer, and then we printed just the pages she needed.My favorite thing about this book is that I just handed it all over to Samantha and let her go with it. The beginning of the book teaches basic sewing skills with plenty of tips and guidance. Really, the only thing I helped with was brainstorming how to turn the book’s Party Dress into a Tardis Party Dress!Things have been a little bit Doctor Who crazy around here lately. We started watching the Doctor a few months ago as a family, and I feel like I’m raising a houseful of Whovians at the moment. My two little guys run around the house now battling invisible Daleks and opening things with imaginary sonic screwdrivers, and my teenagers amuse themselves by turning pieces of furniture into police boxes:
Samantha’s idea for designing a dolly Tardis dress did not surprise me at all!To make this dress, Samantha chose the closest-to-Tardis blue Kona cotton that she could find and black ribbon. She used a white paint pen to inscribe the words “Police Public Call Box” on the ribbon, and she used Wonder Under to iron on the white window patches. I think it turned out really well! What do you think? (We even think that if this particular doll had red hair, she could pass as Amy Pond, and the irony of this whole thing is amusing since Doctor Who is a British series and this is an American Girl Doll.)Giveaway is closed! And the winner is lucky #13! Comment #13 was from Heidi K! Congratulations!
I was 10.
Linda Marquis Cate says
I probably started sewing with just a needle and thread around 6. I’m now working with my 9-year-old granddaughter on a REAL sewing machine – that’s a treat!
My daughters would love this book! Thanks for the chance to win! I started sewing when I was 22. 😉 I started sewing cloth diapers for my third child.
Melissa A. says
I first started sewing when I was about 13 years old 🙂
I was 5 and would sneak onto my mom’s sewing machine to sew my Barbie clothes 🙂 my girls would love this book!
I started sewing around 10, but my first real big projects were around 25 yo, when pregnant with my first baby.
Sue Gray says
I started sewing when I was 6 making doll clothes. I wasn’t satisfied with just that so my Mom started me sewing my own clothes. Soon I was old enough to be in 4-H & entered the Fairs with Sewing Items I made. Won many, many ribbons in all catagories, cups with my name engraved on them, Savings Bonds & a trip to Nationals in Washington DC for the big contest & took top honors there. Have my daughters & Grandaughters sewing also !! Have a Grandaughter who would love this book !!
[Yeah, I know my website above is not a sewing website, but it’s currently the only one I’m managing. I keep trying to get to work on the Grandmothering Project site I created, but have not found spare time yet. That one will be include a sewing section.]
I started sewing when I was in junior high school and took home economics. My mother would not teach me how to sew because she wanted me to “learn correctly,” so I had to wait. Once I gained the basics in home-ec (no longer an option in most USA schools) I started to fly. I made skirts to wear to concerts and eventually moved on when I had my own children to sew most of their clothing. In those days, the only “new” clothing they got was purchased by their grandparents since we were quite “poor,” but I could sew using remnants and make adorable outfits for my two first-born kids. I even taught myself how to sew a tailored blazer for my son (classic camel, wool) and made a lovely red jacket and skirt suit for my daughter one Christmas that included a brave and successful attempt at adding piping.
Mostly, I am self-taught since I moved on from the grade 7 class to take sewing classes in grade 8 and in high school and continued to pursue my passion on my own, even making a wedding dress in 1971!
Flash Forward: More recently, I re-launched my passion for sewing for my grandchildren and make clothing for them including skirts, pants, shorts, jammies, and for the girls, matching clothing for their dollies. Some of the Halloween costumes ended up being exceptionally complicated like the witch costume I made using a vintage costume pattern that provided bad instructions, and involved linings and multiple layers of fabric! (Still, sewing the dolly clothing is a favorite way for me to learn, and to share with my grandchildren about sewing. These smaller projects are instructive and help me re-learn what I might have forgotten or to even learn new techniques.)
I’ve also made three quilt tops, but ended up storing them for years until I found a person with a long-arm machine to assist by sandwiching and finishing the quilts.
I love Fishsticks and have many of the patterns and love the great instructions and results! These are FAR superior to any big-pattern company tissue designs in both the instructions (very step-by-step and full of clarity and photos) and in the end results.
Blessings on all the good work you do and thanks for all the “freebies” you share in your generous spirit as a sewist!
I didn’t start sewing until I was 29, after my daughter was born, and I’ve been sewing madly ever since!!!
This book looks great! I wonder how difficult it would be to alter the patterns to fit Build-A-Bear animals. Hmmm…
I was probably six when my mom started me out with a needle and thread. Then around eight she taught me how to make pillows using her sewing machine. I loved it so much, I filled the whole house with pillows until I learned how to make something else! Mom still has a few of the pillows in her linen closet.
Looks like a cute book!
I was 8 when I first started sewing and I still love to sew now. I would love to show my children how to sew and create clothes for her dolls. My 4 year old loves to sew but I would love to be able to help her more.
Heidi K says
Cute dress! Great job.
Judith Martinez says
I started sewing when I was 12. I haven’t done a great job at passing on my skills to my children but I’ve let them use my machine and the older girls have figured a lot out on their own.
I started sewing when I was 13. This would be a fantastic book for my 11 and 9 year old daughters!
I started sewing when I was 9 or 10
Leslee Parish says
My grandma taught me how to sew using single socks and turning them into dolls. I was 8. My niece is 9, I’d love to work through this book with her! She just got her American girl doll for a gift last Christmas. I’m sure she’d love this!
Mary H. says
I think I was around 9 when I started using my mom’s sewing machine. But I can remember sewing clothes for my Gerber baby by hand when I was in first or second grade. I am mainly a quilter now, but I still love making doll clothes.
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