________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 3 . . . . October 1, 2004


Simply Sewing. (Kids Can Do It).

Judy Ann Sadler. Illustrated by Jane Kurisu.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2004.
48 pp, pbk. & cl., $6.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55337-660-9 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55337-659-5 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Sewing-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Lorraine Douglas.

*** /4


Decorate the sack after step 1. See pages 46 to 48 for patterns or draw your own shape onto the same fleece you used to make the drawstrings. Cut out your shape and pin it in place on the bag. Baste (page 12) the edges. Remove the pins as you sew. Zigzag- (page 12) or blanket-stitch (page 19) around the edges. Remove the basting thread.


Judy Ann Sadler has written over a dozen excellent crafts books for children, including The Kids Can Jumbo Book of Crafts (Kids Can, 1997) and Making Fleece Crafts (Kids Can, 2000). Here she takes on the complex topic of hand and machine sewing. First, she explains in clear language the basics of sewing - from supplies to fabrics and basic hand stitching and how a sewing machine works. Over 11 creative projects with variations are carefully and methodically explained in a step-by step progression of difficulty and challenge. Each of the projects, which include PJ pants; a T-shirt skirt; a make up bag; and a beach wrap, is accompanied by excellent colour drawings and an appealing colour photograph of the finished project. The best part is her clear organization and very easy to understand directions, especially in the section on installing zippers which would be helpful for anyone at any age! But she does not explain the "straight grain of the fabric" for young sewers which is a useful concept in creating clothes which hang nicely. Also, in the section on the sewing machine, it would have been helpful to reinforce advice on asking for adult assistance in using the machine. All of the projects can be made with a minimum of sewing supplies and expense, and her tips on purchasing fabrics and sharing them with your friends are very good advice.

     The book seems to be aimed at a girl audience with pictures of three girls wearing projects on the front cover although boys might like to make some of the items - like the slumber sack or the blanket. This book has a slightly different presentation than some of Sadler's "Kids Can Do It" series with a new illustrator drawing a "body" onto the featured clothing projects instead of photographs of kids wearing the items. Sharp photos and traceable applique patterns round out another enthusiastic and encouraging craft book from Judy Ann Sadler.


Lorraine Douglas is a Winnipeg, MB, writer and artist.

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