When the SLJ Adult Books for High School Students print column came to an end, there was an outcry from librarians lamenting (among other things) the loss of a review source for craft and cookbooks for teens.
Today we continue the tradition with Sew! by Cath Kidston, widely recognized for her floral prints. Sew! is the follow-up to Make! (St. Martin’s/Griffin, 2010).
Adult/High School–Kidston, a successful British designer with a vintage flair, has put together 43 projects using her signature bright-colored floral fabrics. The first pages cover the basics: essential equipment, hems and edges, appliqué, and quilting. Some projects might take an hour, while others are more long-term, such as a patchwork crib quilt. Potential gift ideas include a wide variety of bags, an iPod case, and floor cushions. Most projects span two pages and include an eye-catching, close-up photograph, the skill level, necessary supplies, and clear step–by-step instructions. The layout is friendly to beginners, and a “top tip” will help those who are new to sewing. Four concluding pages provide addresses for finding all kinds of fabrics and notions, sewing classes, and Cath Kidston products. Potential management issues are the full-size pattern sheet tucked in the back of the book and the templates that users will need to trace. With the current DIY trend, this visually appealing book is sure to hit the mark with teens who are interested in learning to sew or those who already have experience.–Jane Ritter, Mill Valley School District, CA