Posted in Middle Grade, Non-Fiction, Non-fiction, Tween Reads

Craft time? Any time!

During this last year, lots of us have started some new things: yes, I made my own sourdough starter in the beginning of the shutdown. I finally picked up my knitting needles again, and even managed to finish projects, rather than leave them in various tote bags stuffed into my closet. But one thing I haven’t been able to get back to is sewing. The wonderful folx at Schiffer sent me these two adorable sewing books, though, and I’m thinking that this may be where I pick up some felt, some thread, and a needle, because these are just too cute.

Sewing Simple Softies with 17 Amazing Designers, by Trixi Symonds & Deborah Fisher, (March 2021, Schiffer Publishing), $16.99, ISBN: 9780764361272

Ages 8-12

This book is ADORABLE. They have a softie sandwich! And a tiger with a tooth pouch for the Tooth Fairy! Seventeen projects, loaded with color photos, and with bright, easy-to-follow instructions make this a book I need in my home collection and my 745 section. The book is big on being accessible: no expensive threads, fancy machines, or pricey fabrics needed. This is all about learning to love creating with fabric and thread. Inspired by Trixi Symonds’s Sew a Softie initiative to teach kids how to sew, the book offers all you need to get you up and running on a sewing habit, from choosing tools and materials to deciphering the different kinds of stitches. A section for parents on teaching kids to sew is a reminder that this is supposed to be a fun learning experience where the kids get to have a say. Just offer a guiding hand, try not to take over the project. Designs are offered by popular creative bloggers around the world and include such fun projects as a koala softie, circus pincushion, and mermaid snuggle friend. The book includes templates for each softie, making this a fun book to pick up a new hobby. I love it!

 

The Zenki Way: A Guide to Designing & Enjoying Your Own Creative Softies, by Trixi Symonds, (March 2021, Schiffer Publishing), $22.99, ISBN: 9780764361494

Ages 8-12

What’s a Zenki, you ask? The simplest way to use your imagination and create a softie that speaks to you! Trixi Symonds of Sew a Softie also came up with this great idea to get kids sewing: two squares of felt, four straight lines to sew, and wide seam allowances to let all sorts of limbs, hair, and features be added in with no pinning. Just stick ’em in and sew! These little folx are loaded with character and will inspire kids to make their own Zenkis. All you need is materials and imagination (and a grownup to help out)! Fourteen Zenki patterns include the basics: square, circle, triangle, and mixed-up Zenkis; other patterns let readers add features and character to their Zenkis once they feel ready. Templates are in the back, and the book is filled with color photos and tips and ideas to help you along. A section on the Zenki pattern testers from ages 7-17 with their creations. SO kid friendly, with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions make this a definite must-buy.

Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction, Tween Reads

Let’s Sew: DK helps you get started

letssew_1Let’s Sew, by DK (March 2016, DK Children), $15.99, ISBN: 9781465445087

Recommended for ages 6-10

Ready to get crafty but need a little bit of help? DK to the rescue with a step-by-step guide to beginning stitches, the tools you’ll need to begin sewing, easy, fun projects, and templates, too!

DK books are great because they’re beautifully photographed, incredibly detailed, and full of simple, explanatory text. Let’s Sew has bright, fun crafts projects, many made by using household items like that one missing sock that always seems to emerge from the dryer, or with affordable materials you can find at your local craft store.

Let’s Sew is a kid’s book, but it’s a great resource for any age. When I started knitting, I’d borrow children’s project books because of the simpler language and projects: books are for everyone, after all! Just starting up a sewing club or looking for a quick maker space project? This is your book. There are helpful templates for projects like a whale and a bird in the back of the book: just photocopy, trace onto your material, and begin!

The book includes a warning that kids will be working with sharp needles and scissors, and strongly suggests that an adult oversee or handle the tools as necessary. This is a fun, affordable addition to crafting collections; a good purchase.

 

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