I won!

I am the winner of the BurdaStyle Holiday Giveaway Day 12!  Ok, so maybe this is sort of old news, but I didn’t want to report anything here until I actually received my prize, and finally it is here!

Lots of books and a tote bag!

Now, I know one should not look a gift horse in the mouth, but I thought I would give my first impressions of the books in my prize package in case any of my readers had been thinking about getting any of these books.  This will be a picture heavy post, so further info about each of these books can be found after the jump break.


The Party Dress Book

This is probably the book I was most excited about winning – I have been eyeing it on Amazon and at the local bookstores for quite a while.  This book contains a pattern for a dress with a bodice and circle skirt, but includes lots of ideas and inspirations for embellishment and how to make the design your own.

Lots of pretty pictures

Lots of ruffles and colors

A look at the pattern layouts.

I think I will need to read through this book a bit more before I do a review, but so far I like looking at a lot of the inspiration photos.

The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook


Obviously, since this was a BurdaStyle giveaway, the Handbook was going to be included in the package.

I already reviewed this book a while ago, and I will repeat my assessment here – this is the perfect book for a beginner who wants to sew clothes.  It touches on just enough of the essentials to give a new sewer something to go on, without bogging them down in the details.  It also includes lots of Burda patterns and variations, which in my opinion make it worth buying even for more advanced sewers.  Essentially, it is the book I wish had been available when I was teaching myself to sew.

My favorite pattern in the book – one of the jacket variations

A look at the instructions

Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts


This is another of the books that I am very happy I received in this package.  While the section on sewing clothes is pretty laughable (I mean, there is so much to know about sewing clothes it can’t really be well covered in a few pages), I do like a lot of the sections in the front and back of the book.

The first part of the book covers various techniques, including embroidery and dying.  It is a good overview of a lot of techniques that can be used to embellish projects and I feel like it covers a lot of things that other books in my library are lacking.

I do want to play with fabric dying at some point.

Overview of embroidery stitches

However, the middle section of the book with the various crafts and projects for application of the techniques is not of much interest to me.  It is, however, very thorough.  It includes everything from clothing and home dec, to toys and tea cozies.

Ok, so these mice are kinda cute…

The last sections of the book cover tools and supplies that can be used in all of your needle crafts, and I must say that it is a very pretty and nicely organized overview.

This section discusses bias tapes and trims

All in all I think there are some sections of this book that look very handy, but I probably won’t find use for a lot of the application section.

Modern Log Cabin Quilting


First of all, let me say I am not a quilter.  And, honestly, I can’t say that I really want to become a quilter. However, I have also promised my mother a quilt out of some festive holiday prints, so I suppose it is good that I did get a book on quilting.  I really don’t think I need a reason to stash even more fabric, but I am sort of interested in the technical aspects and mathematics of quilting, so I do want to read through this book at some point.  Maybe not right away.  But eventually.

I think this quilt is pretty.

I like all of the diagrams – very clear

A look at the instructions

Make Your Own Toys


As someone who primarily sews clothing, making crafty items isn’t really my favorite thing, though I have been known to make toys from time to time.  When my mother saw my pile of books, this one was on top.  She has been teasing me about using my lovely stash of wools to make sock monkeys ever since.  I assure you that is not going to happen.  However, I will admit that after leafing through this book I actually do want to make some of these toys.  They are just so darned cute!

This elephant is ADORABLE!

All the cool seamstresses have evil henchman/assistants in the form of a cat,
but I am allergic.  Perhaps I can make my own?

Of course, who needs a cat when you can have a penguin?

A look at the pattern pages

I actually think that this could be a great book for making gifts.  And, well, the patterns are just so cute I think I might have to make some out of leftover scrap fabrics for myself.

Simply Sublime Gifts


This book contains a lot of ideas for gift sewing – aprons, totes, and the like.  Overall most of the ideas are pretty simplistic, but who knows, maybe I will look through it for ideas at some point in the future.

The best idea in the book – cupcake pincushions.  I might want one for me!

Sweet Stitches from the Heart


This book is mostly a bunch of patterns for embroidery and cross stitch type projects.  In general the themes of the patterns are too cutesy for my taste (hearts, angels, etc.) but I did like some of the floral patterns.  I think this would be a great book if you do a lot of sewing for babies and do a lot of hand embellishments, or if you are a fan of cute embroidered details.  At the moment I don’t know how much I will turn to this book, but then again I am getting to the age where everyone I know is getting married and having babies, so perhaps it will come in handy!

I do like these leaf and feather motifs.

A view of the included patterns.

Sewing in a Straight Line


This book is basically a collection of sewing projects that aren’t much more complicated than sewing in a straight line.  While the clothing projects aren’t really interesting (see the skirt and top below), I did think that some of the accessory items (bag, jewelry organizer) are sort of nice, and I might use them.  Actually I think this could be a good first sewing book for someone who wants to learn to sew but gets discouraged very easily.  They won’t be making the most stylish of projects right away, but of the sewing books with easy projects, this one has a few more interesting ideas than the others I have seen.

The clothing is, in general, not at all exciting.

I did like this bag though.

And the travel jewelry organizer is cute and practical.

So those were my prizes!  I am super excited to have won something in the BurdaStyle giveaway, and the fact that I won books makes it much more exciting, since I love to read.  Some of them were books I would have bought eventually, and some were books I probably never would have considered, but I love my growing sewing library, and I am really happy to have all of these lovely editions.

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