BTRS Book Review

Over at Craftevolution they have a Book Club which reviews a craft book every 4-6weeks and they asked me to contribute, which I have just done. This month’s book review was Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. This book was first published in 2007 and is extremely popular. You only have to check out the Flickr group to realise that people are still using the book a lot.

As part of the review, you have to chose a project and discuss. I already have made a number of the Zip Pouches and I have made a Heidi Headband, both as gifts for little girls.

The Zip pouch 
I have made a few of these over the past few months, they are simple to make and make super gifts. Before making this I had never inserted a zip into anything. The zips I bought are longer than needed, but Amy tells you what to do if that is the case. It was suprisingly simple to insert a zip and i was really pleased with how it turned out.Riding Hood Pouch and headband
The Heidi Headband 
I made this with all fabric, although Amy’s project is with linen and ribbon. It was a super easy project. My only issue was I make them for 5 and 6 year old girls and the twill tape makes them more difficult to put in their hair themselves.  but for older girls who can tie a bow – it is a brilliant idea
Cath Kidston pouch exterior
In general I like the book, and if you are a beginner sewer then the basic sewing skills secton at the begining of the book would prove to be very helpful, and most of the projects are quick and easy. Although it seems so many of the sewing books at the moment have a “how to sew” section, it seemed a waste to give over nearly the first 50 pages to it.


My book is a first edition and naturally there are some errors so it is always worth checking with the publisher for errors. Amy Karol has put her errata here.

As for my dislikes, I am not so keen on the drawings in the book of how to make the projects up. If you are a beginner sewer, you often can not tell which is the right and wrong side of the fabric from the drawings, which could be confusing.

Cath Kidston pouch interior
My favourite bit is the fact that Amy encourages you to be creative in each of the projects which is a really nice touch – it allows a lot more freedom and creativity. So it often feels that the projects are merely a starting point and you can take them in any direction.

Overall I like this book and have infact recommended it to others.


2 thoughts on “BTRS Book Review

  1. When I first started to buy crafty books through Amazon whst I found more difficult was to follow written instructions. Although I manage quite well in English, I wasn’t used to the “crafty language” (ex: seam allowance, treble chain, etc), so drawings were very welcome.
    But this was five years ago… 🙂

  2. I much prefer real photos to drawings – so that is my criticism of the book too, but i do think it’s probably one of the best of these kinds of books going. I have made a lot of the easy lap quilt, and the bibs. And I will always go to it first if I need to have a bit of a think about what to make someone.

    I also prefer full size patterns – like in Lotta Jansdotter books. Having to remember to take things to the copiers is, quite frankly, a big pain in the bum 😉

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