|Sew Serendipity / Kay Whitt|
Cincinnati: Krause, c2010
I picked up this book because I've made one dress from a Sew Serendipity pattern before (the Sally Shirtdress), and thought that the pattern was really well designed. So when I saw this book, I thought I might find something else of interest here.
I liked it. I did expect going in that I wasn't going to jive with her fabric choices -- she uses a lot of quilting cottons in very 'sweet' prints in her regular patterns, and the cover hints that this will be the same here. It is. But fabric choice is easily changed to something more along my lines; it's the styles and designs that I was interested in.
There are three main patterns here: a skirt, peasant top/dress, and jacket -- and then variations on each, for a total of 18 designs. The pattern pieces are all in the back of the book. Sizing ranges from XXS - XXL, or, Bust 32" to 44" and Hip 34" to 46".
If you like the basic pattern for the items, you will have lots of options. If you don't, well, a whole section is based on that basic. Surprisingly to me, I liked the skirt and jacket options more than the dress, although I'm almost always a dress fan. I guess I am not too fond of the gathered neck peasant-y influence of the dress. But, there are many ways to switch out her patterns, and she gives ideas for adding length, changing the silhouette slightly, adding pockets, buttons, trim, and lots of other embellishment ideas too.
The beginning of the book has technique and equipment tips, and one that I haven't seen elsewhere is how to use a ruffler foot -- she is really into ruffles and pleats ;) There is some good basic info here and lots of photo instruction. Beginners should do fine with this book. Her reliance on quilting cotton is also very beginner friendly, as it is so easy to manipulate in these kind of straight line designs, plus we all know that the prints are enticing!
Overall I enjoyed going through this book. The designs are a little basic for me, but I like that the skirt pattern is a six panel one that allows for so much pocket fun, and the jacket has a cute shape that I may use in future for a lightweight fall jacket that will go with skirts and dresses well. Although the photo models are all pretty thin there is some variety in height and colouring which is nice to see in a book from 2010.
I might try one of these skirts quite soon. Even if I do think that about every sewing book I see!