Monday, January 30, 2012

Sew What You Love, by Tanya Whelan Review and Giveaway

I was given the chance last week to read and review a copy of Tanya Whelan's new sewing book, Sew What You LoveFirst of all, let me say, I am a fan of Tanya.  I've used a lot of her shabby chic prints and fabrics in my daughter's room, including the recent hoop wall. So when I heard fromTanya, I was a little star struck.
One of my sewing goals this year is to break out of my quilting-comfort-zone and sew more bags, and get more comfortable sewing clothing.  I have multiple reasons for this - partly to just expand my sewing skills and partly because I think I'll be able to quickly burn through some of that fabric stash as well. :)

Feeling somewhat timid about where to start, Sew What You Love arrived like a burst of inspiration and motivation. Definitely one of the main things I look for in a pattern book, is multiple good patterns so that I really get my money's worth out of the investment.  There are around 30 patterns in this book and I can honestly say I want to make almost every one of them.  I love these cute tops (above) - the Lila Shirred Blouse and the Go-To Top or Dress. Both are on my list for spring wardrobe updates for me and my girls.
Also included are 5 really simple but good-looking bag patterns. Two cute clutches and three large tote bags. All with very clear and simple instructions. 
Saturday night I whipped out this City Tote so quickly. And I LOVE it. It's now my new winter go-to bag for hauling all my 'stuff'.  The handles are integrated - meaning the handle is part of the bag, instead of cut and sewn on separately - making the project a really quick one.
All of the projects and patterns in this book are for very simple, but darling projects. The instructions are well written with clear diagrams. Even with my fear of "3-dimensional" sewing (clothes, balls, etc.) Tanya's designs and instructions make me feel confident that I can make any of these projects. And do them in a reasonable amount of time. I'm so excited to try many more - and I'll share the results.
Finally, I love that the patterns come drawn to full scale in a handy pouch at the back of the book. I have to say, anytime I see a pattern that requires me to make a trip to the copy place for enlargements, I know right then and there the chances of me actually making that extra effort are very slim. Because multiple patterns are printed on the same page (to conserve space and paper) you will need to trace the pattern you plan to use.  I just used my giant roll of freezer paper to trace my bag patterns and was able to get right to work. Also, the fact that this book has a spiral binding makes it so easy to leave open on my work table.
Tanya is offering a free download of the Travel Checkers pattern to all of you. 

Tanya is also giving away a free bag pattern to anyone who wants to Tweet or mention Sew What You Love on Facebook. All you need to do is provide a link to the Sew What You Love page on Amazon. Go here to find out the details on Tanya's Share Program.
Lastly, Tanya has kindly offered to giveaway a copy of Sew What You Love to one of you readers! Just leave one comment on this post. If you want, you can share something you'd like to try to break out of your sewing comfort zone. Giveaway closes Friday, Feb 3 at midnight, MST.  GIVEAWAY CLOSED

WINNER:  Amber said...  I would love this book!
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Thank you so much for all the love on the HST Spectrum quilt - esp for reassuring me about the 'bleeding' triangles and the binding.  Sometimes after working so long on a project you need a fresh perspective from someone else.  I'm resolved to leave the quilt as it stands. :)

Also, the ADORNit giveaway winner has been announced. It's Paula. I have emailed you Paula!

257 comments:

  1. I love the book, it looks like fun.Thank you very much for the giveaway.

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  2. i have seen and wanted this book too. I like the shirt and dress in the top pick and can always use a bag. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  3. I would love this book! The bag is so nice. I used to sew clothing for the kids when they were small and would love to get back into sewing clothing and/or bags. Thanks for this great opportunity to win the book.

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  4. Love the patterns, and would like to try the bag. Perfect for hauling toddler stuff in style!

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  5. I think this book would be the perfect gift to present to my grand daughter! She is getting married late April and willbe moving a good distance away. By the way love your blog!

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  6. Great giveaway! I would love to win it :)

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  7. Great giveaway! I would love to win it :)

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  8. I'd love to make some more crafty things. This looks like a really neat book.

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  9. What a great book. Thanks for the chance!

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  10. I have wanted to sew a purse for a long time, and it would be great to have pattern to work from instead of just an online tutorial that I'm winging my way through! Beautiful, contemporary designs!

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  11. I'm getting ready to make costumes for a high school production of "Midsummer Night's Dream". That's always fun and always challenging.

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  12. This would definitely take me out of the box to make some smaller projects than the bed quilts I'm working upon. Lovely. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Tanya Whelan's book.

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  13. I would love to try sewing a garmet! This looks like a lovely book!

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  14. Super cute! Love that tote! I'm all about sewing spring clothes lately!

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  15. tanya whelan is awesome! her projects are beautiful and easy to follow. i would like to make the city tote because it's big and i can put all my "stuff" too. thanks.

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  16. I would love to make a city tote of my own!

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  17. I would love to make a city tote of my own!

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  18. This book looks great! I'd love to break out of my quilting bubble too!

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  19. I would love to break out of my quilting comfort zone also and sew some bags. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  20. I don't know if the competition includes overseas addresses, but I'd love to win... based on your pictures, there are three things I'd like to sew straight away... how often does that happen with a book?

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  21. Nice one.. Just to add some tips. Learn the sewing tools, equipment and materials that will be used. It is very difficult to make a garment if you don’t know what are the needed tools to create one it in the first place. Make sure you know what are the right tools and materials to use in making your clothes.

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  22. always looking for new projects to sew

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  23. This year I want to do a project with all the men's neckties I've collected

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  24. This year I want to do a project with all the men's neckties I've collected

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  25. This book looks great! I would love to stretch my sewing skills, honestly I have never sewn on a zipper and I need to try it soon.

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  26. I need to make some dresses. This would be so fun!

    Lucy~

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  27. One of my sewing resolutions for this year is to make something with a zipper. I never have!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  28. such a great book! I'll put it on my wishlist...

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  29. This book has some great patterns I would love to try!

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  30. Well done on the bag- it's gorgeous. I too, need to break into clothes... for me! I'm less afraid to make my kids clothes cuz... well... they don't really need to fit!

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  31. You have such a nice blog! I visited here first time :)

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  32. I have just ordered this book online ... so nice to know I made the right choice! Thanks for the review!

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  33. I would love to win this book! I was just logging on to amazon to buy it but maybe I'll wait first and see if I win. :)

    I would love to sew some clothing for myself. I have been sewing quilts, kitchen decor and now pillows and would love to break into clothing.

    I will for sure be making the city tote you pictured. It looks great!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  34. So cool. I would love to try making clothing.

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  35. i have always been scared to try a bag, but i love yours!

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  36. I love the red dress and would like to try that for spring! Also the baby blocks as I am having a baby in the spring too!

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  37. I love to make soft baby blocks for my nephew! I made some that were jungle animals and had cute eyes and ears. He just loves how soft they are. I always add jingle bells to the blocks. I also added wax paper in the ears of the blocks on the animals so they crinkle! Such a great gift for a baby shower too!

    http://www.buzzellis.com/2011/07/weekend-through-pa-countryside.html

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  38. Break out! That's me. I sew things in my day dreams. I need to put needle to thread and do more bags. That would be fun!

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  39. Great projects - I would love to try that bag! Thanks so much!

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  40. Exciting! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  41. i may just have to buy this one even if i don't win.;D

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  42. I'd like to try making a more complex purse/bag. I've made totes, but would love to have one with multiple pockets and zippers and more shape. This book looks great! Thanks for a chance to win! :)

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  43. I would love to win this book. I am a beginner so everything is out of my comfort zone right about now.

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  44. Love the bag you made!! I'm a bit of a bagaholic so that caught my eye first thing. I would love to try some of the patterns in this book. I haven't done much clothing sewing but I'd attempt the top and dress pictured. Soooo cute!!

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  45. Oh thanks for the chance to win the book...it looks like a lot of projects. Like you I'd like to make more bags, toys and fun things for kids.

    Happy Sewing

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  46. Thank you for the giveaway! I would love to own a copy of this book. Just found your blog. LOVE! :)

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  47. I've always wanted to try purses...definitely something I would love to sew and also outside my comfort zone! The book looks lovely :)

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  48. I love the bag that I think you made, makes me want to go sew now!

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  49. What a cool book! I love the red woman's dress! Please pick me!

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  50. This seems just perfect for me - a beginner sewer. I have made a few small quilts and 1 or 2 bags but really want to have a go at making clothes. Except I'm a bit scared of patterns as I just can't get my head round them! This book looks ideal to get me doing more advanced stuff...
    (sabinamoolla@hotmail.com)

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  51. Definitely one of the main things I look for in a pattern book, is multiple good patterns so that I really get my money's worth out of the investment. beauty therapy l massage therapist salary

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  52. Tanya's book looks wonderful and you've done a great post on featuring it too.
    Thanks for the chance! beauty therapy l massage therapist salary

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  53. Love your blog. . . love the idea of the book too! I'm trying to break out of my comfort zone of only having sewn clothing. I want to make some quilts and bags and other things for my house!
    what is career transition

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