Monday, December 6, 2010

Book review and give-away: Little Girls, Big Style


Little Girls, Big Style: Sew a Boutique Wardrobe from 4 Easy Patterns
by Mary Abreu
Stash Books, 2010
128 pages, plus tear-out patterns
$25.95

This book contains full-size patterns for 23 projects for little girls sizes 2-6.  The emphasis is on “boutique” clothing that “merges personality with a custom fit.” The book includes only four garments: a basic bodice, a peasant top/dress, pants and a skirt. BUT... and this is a big BUT… the patterns are almost infinitely adaptable, so you can create your own look very easily by altering the length, adding a ruffle or embellishment, changing the scale of the fabric print, or mix-and-matching something from one project to another.

All the full-size patterns are at the back of the book on perforated sheets you can tear out:



I’d almost buy this book for the photography alone. Where did they find so many cute, cute, cute little girls to model? (Okay, one of them is Mary’s daughter.) But not this cutie:

Photo courtesy of Mary Abreu
Because Stash Books are a new division (or “imprint”) of C&T Publishing, you can also count on them to be well designed, well edited, and carefully tested. Stash is dedicated to creating books for modern sewists that celebrate “fabric arts for a handmade lifestyle.”
There’s a size chart with chest, waist and hip measurements, so you can find the right size or add a bit extra or a bit less to fit your little girl perfectly. And with each basic garment, there is a page of 5 to 7 little line drawings to show how you can adapt the basic pattern to create just the look you want:


This is followed by detailed instructions for each variation, such as this one, the Barely Basic Top/Dress:


The written instructions are very concise and clear, and there are lots of photos to aid visual learners:



A description of basic techniques (backstitching, buttonholes, casings for elastic, shirring, topstitching, etc.) will keep even inexperienced garment sewers on track. Numerous tips scattered throughout the book add more valuable information to make things easier.

I met author Mary Abreu at International Quilt Market last month, and was lucky to score one of her books, and get it autographed! 

There’s only one thing about this book I don't like: my girls are already too big to fit in these patterns. Sigh. 

Mary dedicated this book to her late mother, and her darling daughter is featured in the photo on the cover. How neat to see generations of women connected by the craft of sewing! Mary is also a gifted journalist; she’s worked as an editor, writer and art director at newspapers and magazines in the Southeastern U.S., and won a Bronze award from the Parenting Publication of America for a story published in 2007. To learn more about Mary, click here.

Read more about Mary’s adventures on her blog, Confessions of a Craft Addict. Check out the Flickr group and Facebook page for more inspiration and insights.

I have a copy of Little Girls, Big Style to give away to one lucky blog reader! Leave a comment after this post telling me why you need this book; I’ll pull one person’s name at random at noon EST Saturday, December 11. If you sign up to follow my blog (see the sidebar on the right side of my blog and look for the "FOLLOW" button), I'll put your name in the hat a second time. And if you help me spread the news about my give-away through your blog, Facebook or Twitter, leave me a comment about that, and I’ll put your name in the hat another time!

This post is stop two on the Blog Tour for Mary’s book. So you have a lot more chances to win by checking in to the following blogs in the days ahead:
I have another fabulous book to give away next week, so please come back and visit me then.


We have a winner! Kat wins Little Girls, Big Style.

80 comments:

  1. Hello Susan!

    Well, in the past two years, my oldest dd gave birth to two little girls and YES, I NEED this wonderful book of patterns so I can spoil the little dears...lol. I am already a FOLLOWER of your blog!!!

    hugz and Merry Christmas

    Pam

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  2. I'd love to win a copy of this book!
    I have a little girl who'd love a big style!
    Gill

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  3. I am fg but the best reason is my first granddaughter, 11 months. PS: she is very cute!

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  4. I need this book because of my 3 granddaughters , 2 who are nearly 4 and one who is 3 months old! they love to get dresses made by Grandma!!

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  5. I would love a chance to win this book I have 3 granddaughters , 2 who are almost 4 and a 3 month old! They love to get dress's made by grandma!!

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  6. I would love to win a copy of this lovely book, I have 3 granddaughters ( 2 almost 4 years old and a 3 month old) they need some stylin dress's made by thir grandma!

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  7. I would love this book I have 2 new grandbabies to sew for and would love them to dress in big style. And so glad to find your blog... signing up right now.:)

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  8. I would love to win a copy of this interested book for my cusins,she have 3 years old....have a nice day from Tenerife!!!

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  9. I am already a follower of your blog....love it...

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  10. I would love to win this book to make a pretty dress for a special little girl...

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  11. I *need* this book so I can give it to my mom to make these super cute outfits for my daughter before they are too small! My daughter is a "Weenie" friend of Mary's!

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  12. Posted a link to your blog (and tagged LGBS) on my Facebook page (Melissa Marowelli).

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  13. I would love this book to make dresses for my little sister!

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  14. I SO need this book! I have only three girls in a house full of boys! (five of them, plus their Daddy) Pick me!

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  15. I am a new granma (mimi) collecting things to sew for the grans (and some of my friends' grans too)!
    Hope to win! :)

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  16. I need this book because my daughter is just about to be too big for the patterns and I love making adorable clothes for her!

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  17. I have a brand new granddaughter, my first! I am so looking forward to making her some clothes and these fit my bill! Best yet, she'll be exactly one month old on 12/11.

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  18. Well, I really NEED this book because my granddaughter is in need of some really CUTE clothes to match her personality and I think this book has just what can do that!

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  19. I certainly could use a book like this! I have a four year old granddaugther who is very much into fashion and sewing things ourselves (with my help of course.) So we'd both love to have this book so we can get more sewing projects lined up. Put me down three times, I'm following and will put it on facebook as well. Thanks Susan! Your blog is always so exciting to read and find out what's being given away next!

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  20. I definitely need this book. I have a 3 year old girl who needs some dresses! Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

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  21. I love love love this book. I made dresses for my two girls when they were little. Now I have a 21 month old grandaughter to sew for. These patterns are just precious.

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  22. I have 2 little girls who love when I make clothes. And I NEEED the patterns to be laid out simply like this book.

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  23. My granddaughter, who is five, has a sister has been sick who is 2, so she is living with her cousin, who is the same age. You can find out more about it at http://www.miracle4mazie.com During this difficult time all I can do is make nice little items for all of them. That's why I need this book so much.

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  24. Kately, So sorry to read about Mazie's problems. I will keep her in my thoughts.

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  25. Need? Of course! More to the point, I WANT this book! Mary is awesome and my two little girls are going to love these clothes!

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  26. Do I NEED this book??? "No", if I'm honest. BUT, would love to own it in the hopes that our first grand child due in 3 months is a little girl. :)

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  27. Hello Susan!
    I just finished watching BOTH of your DVDs on Machine Stitching and Machine Quilting--they are inspiring.
    We have a new baby girl in our extended family and this book looks wonderful for all the reasons you mentioned in your enthusiastic review.
    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Rebecca in VT

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  28. I need this book (well, I probably need it like a need a hole in my head, but I *need* it) because I have a two year old girlie girl who loves pretty clothes.

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  29. I've got a little girl who loves pretty clothes. This book sounds perfect for a beginner, right?

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  30. Hi~ Not only do I follow your blog, I LOVE IT! I have 2 young girls - 2 and 4 and the are true princesses. I love to sew, but have always been afraid of clothes until now! I would LOVE to fill their closets with these beautiful patterns, as dresses are their clothes of choice most days. True princesses! I will be sure to share on my facebook with my friends, as well!

    Andrea

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  31. Oh my gosh what a great book! I love to sew clothing as well and this looks just like what I need as I have 2 granddaughters the right age!
    Laura T

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  32. I actuall have this book and completely LOVE it!!! If I win I would give it to my girlfriend who has two little girls to sew for! I was just telling her today that she needed this book!!! :)

    www.ourbrokenroad.blogspot.com

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  33. I'm following you as well!
    Laura T

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  34. I just posted to Facebook about this wonderful give-a-way!
    Laura T

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  35. 7 granddaughters ranging in age from 2-10. And all of them are cute!

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  36. Oh, I really, really want this book! Love a good sewing book for kids!

    Hugs,
    Gina

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  37. I subscribed to your blog through my google reader!

    Hugs,
    gina

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  38. Looks like a great book, would love to win it!

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  39. I 'need' that book because our little church is OVERFLOWING with little girls now. I'd love to sew up some of these adorable tops and dresses for them.

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  40. I need this book for my neice's girls! They would LUV any of these patterns for them! What a great gift the dresses would make for them!

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  41. This book looks fantastic. Just perfect for my two little girls. I love the adaptability. I adapt most patterns I see anyway!

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  42. I left a post about this giveaway on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/SusanBrubakerKnappFiberArtist?v=wall#!/SusanBrubakerKnappFiberArtist/posts/183467668336814

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  43. I left a Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter! http://twitter.com/rosemaryschild/status/12510919053541377

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  44. I have a 6 year old daughter that loves to wear dresses and skirts. So having this book would help me to keep her in the dresses and skirts that she loves to wear. thank you C&T and happy holidays!

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  45. Oh wow oh wow, how fun would it be to win this book. Thanks to all for the opportunity

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  46. Me too!
    My daughter is pregnant and it's going to be a girl:)). So I could use the book very well.
    Greetings from snowy Germany!
    Rosi

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  47. We have 2 beautiful 4 yr. old granddaughters and I need to make them some of these cute, cute outfits! I'd love the book - thanks for sharing!

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  48. Oh I so need this book, I have a 2yo daughter, a 6 month old niece and plenty of others that I would love to sew from this book for.

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  49. Hi, what a fabulous blog. Especially as I am just making my first ever quilt! I would so love this book. I have just been slavering over it on Amazon and so this is just awesome! I have also spread the word over on Facebook. I have a lot of crafty friends who will no doubt nip on over and start commenting too.

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  50. I need to win this book, because if I don't I'll have to go buy it! I am seeing my 3 yr old fashionista granddaughter in these clothes!

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  51. I have one girl after 3 boys and I love making her clothes. I need this book so I can sew her more imaginative dresses.

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  52. I have 2 girls quickly growing, would love tis book to help me make their 2011 wardrobe!

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  53. I have lots of granddaughters and know I would enjoy this book.

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  54. I have to have this book. Our little blonde blue eyed pigtailed granddaughter would look so cute in these designs.
    Arlene S

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  55. I have 3 girls to sew for...2 of them are too big for this book also, but the youngest...are we going to have fun!

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  56. I am in love with this book! I'm pretty sure I need it...or should I say my baby girl needs it. I can't wait to get started making her a whole wardrobe of the cutness that is in this book! Thanks for the give-away!!!

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  57. I need this book because I have a 5 year old who loves to dress up...and she loves it when I make things for her...only Im not very good at it so I need all the help I can get.

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  58. (ps- I am following you now :-))

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  59. This book looks great. Thanks for a chance to win.

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  60. Just knew about this book few days ago... how exciting!
    Since it seems doable for a beginner like me
    and my dd will love to twirl in those beautiful outfits!
    (Following as well)

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  61. I need to try those amazing patterns! and I love that there are wonderful photo's and lots of tips.

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  62. I love making little dresses for my nieces and this book is awesome with the illustrations and the patterns too!

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  63. I am following your blog with GFC

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  64. The book looks great! I love to sew and make dress for my nieces and friends children - love to donate some too - Thanks for a chance to win. I am a new follower! love your blog!

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  65. I have a 10 month old grandbaby and I love sewing for her already! I need this book to make some great stuff for her!

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  66. I have always loved sewing for little ones especially little girls. Thank you for the chance to win.

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  67. This book would be fab - I make clothing for my granddaughter and she adores twirly dresses and skirts.

    Thanks!
    cokelush at gmail

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  68. Is it too late to enter? If not, please enter me! I'd love a copy of this book!

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