retail therapy – craft books

I’ve been having a bit of retail therapy . . . adding a few craft books to my book shelves. It all started when I came across some pretty Waldorf dolls (on etsy) and began looking into the possibility of trying to make my own. However patterns are a bit too expensive, for my liking, and there’s a lot of skill (therefore room for error) in the shaping of a Waldorf doll head . . . so I began leaning towards more traditional rag dolls and stuffed toys.  Found several books that looked interesting and bought three.

“Sewn Toy Treasures” by Sandra Reis.  It’s a David & Charles publication, so nice size and 80 pages.  15 projects inside such as

Templates take up 16 pages of the book.  They’re full size, so easy enough to photo copy.  Lots of lovely photos of the finished toys but sadly only written instructions for the making of.  Would have been helpful to have some photos of the making process.  It’s a nice book, but I’ll only give it 4 stars because of the lack of “step by step” visuals.

Second book is “Sewn Toy Tales” by Melly & Me. Also a David & Charles publication.  I bought my copy second hand on ebay for only 6€.

126 pages and 12 different designs, including

I bought this one mainly for the “Tilly” ragdoll design.  Again, lots of lovely coloured photos of the finished toys, but no photos of the step by step process.  Only written instructions.  Another negative:  templates need to be enlarged by 200% which is do-able, if you have a printer like mine, but full-size templates would have been preferable.  I’ll give this book 3 stars.

Third book “Happy Quilts” by Antonie Alexander. Published by Interweave.  140 pages containing 10 quilt projects AND coordinating soft toys.

There are no templates in the book. Instead, there’s an internet link to download the pdf (which I’ve done, and saved to my hard drive). The pdf is over 200 pages and contains all templates, full size, for the different patchwork blocks and soft toys.  Coloured photos of the finished items, but also lots of coloured pictures to show the various step-by-step processes.  Written instructions too, step by step.  I’m giving this book 5 stars.  The photos and step by step illustrations make each project look fun to make. I’m not a patchwork appliqué fan, but I reckon this book could convert me and make me want to try.

10 thoughts on “retail therapy – craft books

  1. I am with you on wanting full size templates and photos of the techniques. I hope you will post pictures of the finished toys.

  2. I’m in total agreement about full size templates. I’d sooner pay more to have them then less to not have them.My other annoyance is with books that imply you can make things with a fat quarter or half a yard, then in the instructions it says you will need five fat quarters! Your books don’t do this. You have a goodly haul, love them. Look forward to seeing your makes.

    • well I googled the Mae doll after reading your comment ^^ She looks very much like the ones in the book – same basic shape etc. I’ve got a few projects on the go I need to finish first (knitting & crocheting) but I hope to start a sewing project from one of these books very soon.

  3. Cute pirates and caterpillar. 🙂 And I love the last one with the superhero. Somewhere in my collection I also have the ‘Hound Dogs’ pattern – might go looking for the book.

    • I love buying craft books and rarely limit myself to just one on a new idea ^^ And I will be sure to share progress when I get around to starting making soft toys!

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