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1, 2, 3 Sew




We get a lot of questions about the sorts of books and patterns one should buy for a new sewist. We are so happy to be able to add Ellen Luckett Baker's 1,2,3 Sew: Build Your Skills With 33 Simple Projects to the growing list of primers for those of us finding our feet at the sewing machine, and those of us needing a little bit of fresh inspiration.

Ellen has divided her projects into chapters that each contain 3 skill building projects. The diagrams and instructions are clear and thorough and the photography has been beautifully shot and styled. It is straight forward enough for a beginner sewer at any age and is really the PERFECT book for giving along with a beginner sewing kit or sewing machine. For those of you who have your kids in one of Shelly's summer camps down at MD and want to keep your kid busy for the rest of the summer at home, get this book and a couple of yards of fabric, and you are all set.

Tiered Bag

I wanted to give the book a test run, so I chose the Tiered Bag pattern and a mid weight silk blend from the shop. The pattern calls for twill or canvas, and this would have been a far better choice for someone just gaining experience sewing bags. The silk is shifty and I managed to unravel the edges just by looking at it sideways. I had a feeling that I was in for a small challenge though, and was so pleased with both the pattern and the results. It only looks crooked in the picture. I promise. (The scribbles on the wall, however, are real.)

Tiered Bag

The pattern is well designed and contained a ton of great skill-building techniques that everyone needs to design and make their own bags: inserting lining, squaring off corners and sewing interior pockets. And with all of her patterns, Ellen offers suggestions and leaves room for modifications to make it uniquely yours. As with Jennifer Paganelli's Girl's World, I am impressed with the way that Chronicle is choosing to print up the pattern pieces. The individual projects are printed up separately on smaller sheets of quality pattern paper, so no tracing (unless you want to!) and everything fits back into its pocket.


Would you like a copy? Chronicle has generously offered one up for one commenter (US addresses only please). Are you learning to sew? Do you need a little push in the skill-building department? Do you know someone who does? Are you a big fan of Ellen and all her work at The Long Thread? Let us know and we'll pull a name next week. Thanks Chronicle!

Reader Comments (83)

I have recently returned to sewing and would find this volume a nice addition to my skill building. The binding and overall production look fantastic. It's nice to see a lay flat binding and clear photographs.
Jul 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha
I'm pretty new to sewing and am dying to learn more!
Jul 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarissa
Just had my trusty machine reconditioned and it sews like a dream. Nothing fancy but an old friend. The book looks great and I need some new projects to update my skills. Love this site - if I only lived in Portland...
Jul 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJude Mahoney
I'd love to win a copy!
Jul 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMBMeadows
I love to do projects that I turn into gifts. Looks like a fabulous book.
Jul 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
This book looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!
Jul 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
I'm a newbie sewer and could always use some good advice. Great book.
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Just what I need - another sewing book! And another excuse to go to the fabric store. Thanks!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
This looks great. I'm organizing some craft socials (kinda like book club for working on our crafty projects). I can't tell you how many of the ladies want to learn basic sewing skills. This would be great to pull projects from!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay
I am returning to sewing after a long hiatus. This book would be a great addition to my craft library.
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDell
This book looks wonderful! I love how there is an organizing section! :)
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
I am a quilter really looking to stretch my sewing skills...purses, clothing, toys etc! this book looks like a winner!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
my daughter is starting to sew and this would be great!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I love Ellen's blog and projects, and can't wait to get my hands on this book. I have been sewing for about 4 years and am still learning all the time.

Thank you so much for this giveaway, I've got my fingers crossed. :)
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
I am a skilled sewist, but would love to give this book to a friend who is just starting out. Thanks for the chance.
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
As soon as I started reading, I thought, I'm that customer. My trips into Bolt always seem to involve at least one, "how do I?" I'd love a book that would help me learn independently!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngelika
i really need a push in the skills department and would LOVE to check out this book. thanks!!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjamie
This would be a wonderful addition to my library! Thanks!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer
Okay, twist my arm and make me buy fabric and make cute things!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
This would be a great book. I'm just learning how to sew and even small tasks still seem daunting to me.
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKari
I would benefit greatly from the techniques taught through making these projects. I would love a copy!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShayne
What an interesting book! I will definitely have to give it a peek next time I'm in the store. Thanks for all your inspiration!
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStaci
What a fun looking book! I have just recently gotten into sewing since finding a 1954 Elna sewing machine at an estate sale for way was a great find and I didn't even know it! I just finished my first quilt and I would love this book! The projects look like tons of fun. :)
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha
I think I could learn a lot from this book. As a novice seamstress I would love a little push :)
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHillary
I've seen a bunch of reviews for this book, and it looks so helpful! Not to mention the bright colors and clean layouts are definitely an inspiration to bring your own palette to these projects.
Jul 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdeirdre_lyon

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