This is an exciting post for me. Not only am I reviewing a sewing pattern book written by someone local to me but I am reviewing something a little bit special.
Disclaimer: I have no connection to the publisher or authors but was kindly gifted a copy for review. All views expressed are my own. Photos Kate Whitaker.
The Fox, the Bear & the Bunny by Olive and Vince, aka Natalie Martin and Naomi Regan (published by Kyle books) is a sewing pattern book, with a difference and will really appeal to so many. Looking at the front cover, you might be mistaken, in thinking it is a children’s story book. No this is a pattern book for children’s clothes; children’s clothes with a difference!
You will always hear me moaning about the lack of menswear patterns and the same could be said for patterns for children’s wear: Limited, dull and boring spring to mind but The Fox, the Bear & the Bunny is about to change all that.
Olive and Vince was launched in 2011 selling a unique range of children’s clothing. The Fox, the Bear & the Bunny is an extension of their successful business but now you can make your own!
Confession: I should have written this review last week but I so enjoyed reading it, getting inspiration and even making from it that I’ve not really put it down.
So what do we have? A 127 page paperback with 17 full-size, pull out patterns (age 1-5 yrs) for you to create some beautiful children’s clothes. I’ve already mentioned the beautiful cover and the same can be said for the rest of the book: Beautiful photography, clear diagrams and almost whimsical illustrations throughout.
The first section introduces the writers before moving on to some guidance/techniques and a list of what you will need; it is brief but actually just right, having enough information for the beginner/novice sewer without re-repeating every other sewing book on the market. I get so annoyed with sewing books that have pages and pages of the same stuff. The book will be bought by people who sew, regardless of ability and don’t want pages wasted, telling them the same.
The following, main, chapters; The Bunny, The Cat, The Fox, The Mouse, The Owl and The Bear are where we find the real gems. Pages and pages of instruction, diagrams and photographs to help you make some really interesting clothes. No it is not full of girls dresses! Instead we find clothes for girls and boys all with an animal theme.
From a simple pair of paw print mittens, more challenging fox faced dungarees to amazing duffle coats in various animal varieties. There is definitely something for every ability in this book.
The instructions for each garment are clear with suitable illustrations to help you with more difficult aspects. What’s really nice is the instructions are obviously written by people with a passion for sewing; you can feel it throughout. They aren’t ‘clinical’ but more friendly as they explain the steps and want you to succeed.