Not Martha

simple sewing

I love Lotta Jansdotter’s book Simple Sewing, Patterns and How-to for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects. I have admired Lotta Jansdotter’s fabrics and goods for a long time now, and this book shows you how to to make things in the same style – whimsical but not goofy, useful but so nice to look at.

The book is spiral bound and lays flat open to any page, which is such a need in a book you’ll be referring to while your hands are full. Inside the front cover is a pocket holding the pattern pieces. This is the same as Amy Butler’s book In Stitches, in fact both are published by the smart people at Chronicle Books.

The front of the book goes over some basic sewing equipment and talks about different fibers. The back holds a glossary and shows some techniques. And there is a great resources page with descriptions and URLs for a bunch of online suppliers as well as sites about fabrics and textiles.

The projects are divided into chapters by function – Cook, Go, Nest, Organize. Each project has a description, list of materials needed, color photo and instructions including illustrated diagrams. You can peek at some pages at Amazon.

Each of these projects is functional and beautiful at the same time, and most of them are fairly simple things you could happily finish in a weekend at the slowest pace. This means you can spend most of your time searching for the perfect fabrics, of course. The projects range from potholders and napkins to sun hats, wall organizers, and even a whole duvet cover. Each object is straightforward, allowing the fabric used to create the interest. The patterns are mostly for things for your home, but there are a couple of apron patterns, a hat pattern and five bags (which would work really well for knitters or crafters).

I especially love the objects that could be ugly or clumsy which are made charming, like this door stop:

Simple, beautiful and function items for my home, how could I resist. Is it possible to have a crush on a book? Because I suspect that’s what I have.

· comments [17] · 04-2-2007 · categories:books · craft ·

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 anh-minh // Apr 2, 2007 at 10:04 am

    I actually attempted a few of Lotta’s projects this weekend, and they are indeed quite simple … and the end results were exactly what I expected. No disappointments here! I just wish my fabric stash was as cool as those she uses in the book!

  • 2 Miss Sassy // Apr 2, 2007 at 11:10 am

    I just looked a copy of this at my local bookstore and added it to my wish list. Thanks for sharing!

  • 3 Deanna (domestic chicky) // Apr 2, 2007 at 11:44 am

    I just got the book this weekend! I can’t wait to make something from it.

  • 4 Lindsay // Apr 2, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    I just got this book, too, and am thrilled – I want to make everything! I love the simple elegance of the projects.

    But where is one to find nice fabrics like the ones she uses, without breaking the bank? I love the Scandinavian influences, but have been unable to find such things in, well, The Real World.


  • 5 Michelle // Apr 2, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    My book just came in the mail today! LOL

  • 6 Darci // Apr 2, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    That is it I need to dust of the sewing machine and start up another obsession. I want that door organizer and the door stop for each room as well as that great bag you pictured….

  • 7 Tin-Tin // Apr 2, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Oooooh. what a nice book! i have been looking for a reason to buy a sewing machine and these projects look like they might just do the trick.

  • 8 daria // Apr 2, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    my book should be here tomorrow — saw it this weekend & fell in LOVE with the doorstop. I’ve been saving my elephant-print canvas from superbuzzy for just such a purpose.

  • 9 Erica // Apr 3, 2007 at 7:29 am

    Okay, it’s official. I HAVE to get this book immediately! Thanks for sharing.

  • 10 Lisa P. // Apr 3, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Im a newbie to anything crafty but this post makes me want to learn how to sow.

  • 11 Abby // Apr 3, 2007 at 7:14 pm has some really cute fabric that might work with these projects. Definately putting this book on my wishlist!

  • 12 marielle // Apr 4, 2007 at 5:27 am

    Yes, it’s *definitely* possible to have a crush on a book – I’m suffering the same affliction right now! I want to just wish myself into the pages of Lotta’s book and live there forever :)

  • 13 Oh, Lotta. « Chez Shoes // Apr 4, 2007 at 5:34 am

    […] Apr 4th, 2007 by chezshoes Like Megan, I’m completely smitten with Lotta Jansdotter’s recently-published book Simple Sewing. Megan asks, “Is it possible to have a crush on a book?” […]

  • 14 crysal // Apr 8, 2007 at 6:18 am

    i got this book last week – perhaps the best $16 of crafting money i’ve ever spent. i’m *very* much so a beginner when it comes to sewing and turned out a decent apron in about 2 hours :)

  • 15 Maritza // Apr 8, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    I adore this book as well. I want to make just about everything in it.

  • 16 Julie // Apr 26, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Try Esther’s Fabrics in Winslow on Bainbridge Island, WA or Bolt in Portland, OR. I currently live in England and go to at least one or the other each time I come ‘home’ to Seattle. Bolt is better than Esther’s but it depends on where you live, doesn’t it?

  • 17 Kary // Sep 24, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I just got on and noticed she sells her signature fabrics in a small scrapbag for $28. I think you get 4 or 5 pieces. Thought it might be helpful for those looking for the great fabrics she uses!

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