Monday, May 7, 2012

Book review-edited and giveaway winner.

I was going to make you all read till the end of the post before I announced the winner of the book. I changed my mind. The winner is........Madalynne!!!

Madalynne if you could email me at ellecsews at gmail dot com with your mailing address I will get this off to you.

Before we go to the book review, The Husband caught up with the blog, and didn't blow a gasket or anything, if anything he thought it was funny. I think he might be thinking I do these things in order to have something to write about. Which is so not the case. I am not going to tell him that, now that I have an excuse to buy more fabric. No, I am not serious. The shopping diet is back on. New rules. No garage sales, no thrift stores, no shopping malls, no fabric stores unless I have a chaperone   ( I need elastic). Grocery stores and drug stores (chemists or pharmacies for you Brits) only. My thanks to everyone for supporting and enabling me.

Anyway on to the book review of Chic and Simple Sewing. I had written a scathing post about this book. Almost all the garments are awful, I mean really bad. I just can't publish the post as I had written it, I am Canadian, and we are known for being nice, and even though I am not always nice (ask Tanit-Isis), I cannot bring myself to be mean, or at least as mean as I was in the original post. So I will let the photographs speak for themselves.
The cover looks pretty good, doesn't it? Wait.

This is the LBD (little black dress). Lovely isn't it?
Perfect for hiding all those pesky curves.
Note, I did not cut off the top of the models head, it
was that way in the book.

I like the fun of having your hem hang unevenly,
the mark of a free spirit, right?

This is the sundress. Don't you just love
the little house on the prairie ruffle and the flappy sleeves?
I don't know why they don't like the top of this models head.

This is the tie front strapless dress. You get all the
fun of an uneven hem and shapelessness in one garment.
The blurry photograph is my fault, I couldn't be bothered to
take another one.

This is "The Trench" it is a coat, I tell you that because it could be hard to tell with no closures.
Notice the edges self bound with fabric that seems to be too heavy for that purpose. 

This is the cape, notice how there appears to be nothing worn under it? That is because the neck is too wide.
This appears to be the same pattern as the wrap around skirt. At least this time they left the model's head intact.
The photograph really was this blurry.
There are a couple of garments in this book that aren't as bad as these, but they really aren't that great that they are worth the price of the book (except of course if you paid $1 for it like I did).

To summarize. DON'T BUY THIS BOOK. Sorry, I will stop yelling now. There are far far better books out there that have patterns included, Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp,  or Sew U by Wendy Mullin, Eviana Hartman and Beci Orpin. 

For those of you who think this was a mean critique, it isn't even close to the one that I am not publishing.


  1. Congrats, Maddie---and LOL at the "restrained" review. ;)

  2. Wow... Those are.. um, stellar. Just stellar. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

    1. there were so many more that I could have mocked as well.

  3. Hahaha... those are some, ummm, interesting garments. My "favorite" has to be the Little House on the Praire dress. Oh man it looks like all the bad maternity clothes I have seen in stores since forever (not that I am looking, it just is next to the section I do... did?... shop in).

    And I actually though the review was rather kind towards this book... I would have been a little more, um, harsh. I kinda want to see the un-restrained review.

    1. I deleted it. It was really harsh, and unnecessary. The pictures do say enough, don't they? Most of the dresses are the same pattern as the three I posted photos of, they just threw elastic or straps or ruffles at them to mix it up. Even the dresses that aren't hideous have a homemade look about them. I really can't figure out how the book got published.

  4. Uh wow. Those are awful. I think that poor blonde model must not have a body at all under those clothes. That LBD is really really bad.

    Heh, I enjoyed your review, and the implication of the other review. :D

  5. Oh, I got that book from the library and SO agree with you -- not worth the paper it's printed on! I was so glad I did not pay for it.

    Congrats to Maddie! I have the original Power Sewing and find it really helpful. My favorite tip is when she recommends making muslin, she says most patterns are not worth the paper they're printed on. That really changed my approach to sewing -- if it didn't work, it was the fault of the pattern not my lack of ability!

  6. Wow- you know, those pics are how I feel in most of my clothes- billowy and amateurish!

  7. Chic and Simple Sewing? Where's the chic? I see plenty of simple - in fact,way too much simple. I'm sure your harsh critique was well deserved!

    1. IMNSHO it was deserved. Once again, I really wonder how the book got published.

  8. Wow. Muu muus on parade! In all seriousness, among sewists, you could have just posted a few of the pictures with strategic arrows pointing to the hems and other "features" and it would have served as a warning.

    1. but I had so much fun! Besides I haven't figured out arrows yet. 8-D

  9. Thanks for the review. Saw some +/- reviews on Amazon and wasn't sure whether it was awesome or sh*te. Now I know. Not a mean review at all by the way; I'd love to see the original version..

  10. Yay for me! I'm excited to get my hands on the book. Thanks for the review on the book. It's always great to read an honest opinion!