I’ve found a lot of wonderful, crafty women through twitter, one of whom is Kathy Cano-Murillo, a.k.a. The Crafty Chica. When Kathy tweeted that she was looking for bloggers to review her new sewing book, I jumped at the chance.

crafty chica

Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing: Fabu-Low-Sew Projects for the Everyday Crafter is a great beginner sewing book. Kathy’s writing is down to earth and her personality shines through in her projects. You don’t have to love glitter to find inspiration within the pages.

If you’ve never sewn before, Kathy gives you a good, basic overview of threading and using your machine. She covers types of fabric, embellishments and designing your own material. She also differentiates between “must-have” and “luxury” supplies. Advanced sewists will enjoy this part of the book, too. It’s sprinkled with tips, tricks and fun anecdotes.

This is definitely an “artful” sewing book. The patterns are easy, but not boring. I’ll admit I pulled out my box of buttons and ribbons after reading through it the first time. There are also ideas for upcycling and recycling. Some of my favorite projects are:

• sending fabric postcards
• using vintage scarves for a dress
• updating a skirt with ribbons
• embellishing a coat with trim
• making a t-shirt and yarn scarf

These projects will have to wait in line, though. I have a few projects that have been sitting in my to-do pile waiting for some inspiration.

crafty chica

Beach Towel Tote: I saved some scraps from a beach towel that had my name embroidered on it. It’s not enough for a tote, but it would make a cool zipper pouch for sunglasses, sunscreen and a book. I just need to pick out some ribbon and buttons to jazz it up a bit.

crafty chica

T-Shirt Glitter Tote: I’ve wanted to turn one of my ’80s Siouxsie shirts into a tote for awhile now, but wanted something that wasn’t floppy. I can’t believe I never thought of just stitching it to an existing canvas tote. Duh! I may even add glitter.

crafty chica

Bohemian Bed Cover: I have some beautiful embroidered blankets from my in-laws that need to get out of the closet and on display. They aren’t big enough for our bed, so I’m going to add some more fabric. T doesn’t share my creative vision on this one, but I think they will look great!

Bottom line: I recommend this book for any level sewist, especially if those looking for some artistic inspiration.

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