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Book Review: Sew Retro

Reported by Amy Anderson

I absolutely love sewing – that is actually how my crafty career got started when I was just 10 years old.  What kid doesn’t love sewing camp?  Actually I hated it, but now I thank my mom for forcing me to go.  Sewing is so relaxing and fulfilling.  Unfortunately I’ve gotten so caught up in Mod Podge over the past few years that my sewing has gone the way of the dodo bird.  I was pleased to have the opportunity to review “Sew Retro” by Judi Kettler and get the fabric juices flowing again.  I even made something!  But let’s chat about the book first.

Sew Retro’s subtitle is “A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution,” and that is truly why I love this book.  A lot of sewing books you’ll read will give you projects that are all similar in style, but Sew Retro covers multiple decades – and therefore covers a wide variety of trends.  Chapters are divided into eras, covering the 1800s through today.  We’re talking 25 projects total with patterns provided.

I was pleased with the projects in Sew Retro not only because of how different they are, but
because they are all useful and I would actually make them.  While I love unusual sewing books, I find that my interests lie in utilitarian items.  I don’t want to sew something that I’m not going to use.  I can tell that Judi thought out the projects well when she wrote this book.  The instructions are written very clearly.  Seamstresses of any level can easily work through this book.

After reading this book for review, I challenged myself to make one of the unique patterns.  If I have to pick an era I’m a 70s kind of gal, so I went with the “Groovy Patchwork Throw.”  Let me tell you the best idea you could have when you haven’t sewn in years.  Pick a patchwork quilt with 72,000 triangles to piece together.  I’m kidding really – this project came together so quickly that I was surprised.  I LOVED sewing this quilt.  So after making copies of the pattern piece . . .

I placed them all out on my fabrics.

I cut everything out with a rotary cutter.  Thank you so much to the person who invented rotary cutters! 

I pinned all the pieces.

I sewed into the wee hours.

And then proceeded to dump pins everywhere.

And in the end, I love my quilt!!  When you have the chance, you need to snag Sew Retro and read it cover to cover.  You’re going to enjoy it.

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6 Responses to Book Review: Sew Retro

  1. Tona February 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    It looks like a great book!
    Your throw looks great too 🙂

  2. Dee in Oklahoma February 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Oh my goodness…lovin’ the book already…those hotpads are great. Thanks for the review..and keep warm with the new throw..you going to hand quilt it?

  3. Aznewmom February 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    What a fun looking book! I think I MUST have this one. Thanks for the review!!

  4. jengd February 27, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Beautiful job on the throw!

  5. Mod Podge Amy February 28, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Hi ladies! Thanks for the comments! Dee, I’m not sure about the hand quilting . . . we’ll have to see. ;p

  6. Kandy March 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Ahhhhhh!!! I’m so inspired!!!!
    Thanks for this post!! I’m going to buy this book TODAY!
    I’m brand new to sewing and I’m teaching myself on top of that! I’m really enjoying it though… I’m also finding that the more mistakes I make the more I learn! lol IRONIC!
    Thanks again for the post! I LOVE this BLOG!!!