Sunday, June 14, 2020

Weekend Review: Print Pattern Sew

Print Pattern Sew / Jen Hewett 
Boulder, CO: Roost, c2018
176 p.
When I refashioned an old dress into a cute cap sleeve top last month, from a pattern in the book Print Pattern Sew by Jen Hewett, I realized I'd never reviewed the book, only mentioned once that I was reading it. Since I enjoyed it, it's time to remedy that!

It's a nicely balanced book -- the first half is about printing. Hewett talks about how to  make a design, carve it, and print it onto fabric. And she also discusses issues that arise when you are printing in order to sew it into something else -- different ways to lay out a print, scale, colours and so on. If you've never printed anything before (my experience of this book) you will feel that it really isn't so hard after all! Everything is so well explained, step by step, with lots of photos and recommendations for products.

Hewett's expertise and love of printing comes through clearly, and the instruction is really inspiring. There is even a little gallery of prints to inspire you.

photo via publisher
The second half of the book goes over projects that you can use your printed yardage for. You could start by deciding on a project and just printing the fabric required for the pattern, or use previously printed yardage and sew it up. Or just use the patterns alone, as I did for my recent upcycled blouse.

There are 7 simple patterns for accessories -- scarves, apron, espadrille toppers, and bags -- then a set of clothing patterns. They comprise a skirt and two patterns that can be made into tops or dresses depending on length choices. There's a cap sleeve pattern (grown on sleeve) or a short sleeve pattern. They are similar but different enough to give a different look to each project. I thought that they were simple and easy patterns, and the step by step instructions were very clear to me, but if you have never sewn any clothing at all before you may find it a little more challenging.

The Cap Sleeve Top pattern I used is on the left
photo via publisher
In any case, this book feels full of energy, and like two books in one -- there is so much printing info you could work with it for ages -- and then the pattern bits can be used on their own with your stash even before you get to your own printing. Great value, and a sense of lightness and encouragement throughout mean that it is a satisfying read all around.

To get a look at the table of contents and some interior pages yourself, including photos and how to get ready to print, check out the publisher's "look inside" link. 


  1. I must say I'm a bit intimidated by the idea of fabric printing - not because of ability or complexity, but because I think I would have to buy a lot of new supplies. I should probabably take a look at this book to see if there's a minimal way to start.

    1. I agree -- it's the idea of buying new supplies and then finding space to work in that is holding me back. The projects and instructions seem reasonable otherwise!


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