Thursday, 6 July 2017

Book Review: Stitched Sewing Organizers by Aneela Hoey

I leapt at the chance to review Aneela Hoey's new book, Stitched: Sewing Organizers I saw some previews on Aneela's Instagram feed  and I already could see it was going to be a treat. She writes a good pattern and this book is full of handmade storage projects- what's not to like!

Straightaway, you can see on the pictorial side of the contents page how many beautiful and tempting things there are to make!  

The first section, 'Stitched Organizer Basics' is concise and takes you through through materials and supplies with lots of handy pointers, e.g. about specific named interfacing so well worth reading, and useful tools.  She also covers the essential techniques including zipper insertion and attaching binding  as well as adding magnetic snaps, closing seam gaps and using fusible tape.  Aneela writes clearly,  her words flow and it feels like she is a friendly teacher guiding you through all you need to know.  She has taken her time writing this book, it feels well planned and thorough. The main part of the book is devoted to the projects and divided into four sections: 

To be honest, on my first flick through the book, I was itching to make something straightaway and needed a quick gift for someone so I made the larger version of the Handy Fold-Up pouch.   It was also a good way to read the book in more detail and see how the text and diagrams worked together.  I made one pouch and straightaway I made another- it sews up very fast.  Even on an apparently = simple pattern like this I could see how meticulous the writing was.  She's thought of everything, like the size allowances made for thickness of fabric+interfacing for example, so the finished article truly resembles the photo in the book and the making process is rewarding rather than frustrating.  I made one pouch for my new sewing travel machine for foot storage and another for a yoga friend to keep bottles of essential oil, and like many of the book projects it could be made with many different end uses in mind.

I also made the See-It-All pouch, again another gift was needed for a friend going into hospital for a big operation plus a little one to test out the making.  It's a great project for busting out your fat quarters, especially linen/cotton blend with bold prints- I have a few of those that don't really lend themselves to quilting and have prints that I want to see whole and not cut!  

The pouch on the right is the size from the book and the left was made with the remains of the FQ, it was easy to resize and i am imagining making a really big one to keep larger quilt blocks in.   This is a slightly harder project than the fold-up pouch, but still very achievable.  Aneela gives detailed guidance on the zip installation and bindings; read her instructions, follow the diagrams, take your time and a lovely pouch will be the end result!

I recognised some of the projects from Aneela's independent pattern shop - the fabric boxes, project book pouch, folder mini pouch, the sliding box and a few others, so buying the book is also a bargain.   
I have projects lined up to make from now until Christmas: the Two-In-One Case is very appealing as is the Triple Pouch, and if you are taking part in a swap or making a retreat goodie it's a valuable resource.

I loved it, lots of things I want to make for myself and lots of things for others.  My Christmas making is sorted.   If I was Aneela, I would be feeling very pleased at writing such a useful book. I think it will be an incredibly popular title- don't we all like making organizer projects?!  
Thank you to Search Press who kindly sent me a review copy.


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