A gorgeous new book to get kids stitching!
In my experience, kids love sewing and get so much out of learning to stitch something with their own hands. It's great for their concentration, creativity and confidence and, as a parent or caregiver, it's a great way to get them off their screens for a bit and enjoy some time together. So, I was delighted to be asked to review the new book by Trixi Symonds and Deborah Fisher called 'Sewing Simple Softies with 17 Amazing Designers', published by Schiffer Books. Trixi is the founder of Sew a Softie, which aims to inspire people and community organisations to sew with kids. Deborah Fisher is a well known author of sewing books, so together they make the perfect duo to bring this book to life.
The book is a collection of projects from fantastic contemporary designers from around the world. It's bright and fun and really accessible, even for kids and adults who have never sewn anything before. Each project has clear step-by-step instructions and lots of photos. All the stitches and techniques can be easily learnt and it comes with a great how-to section, with links to videos showing the basic stitches used. So clever!
The projects are really cute - from Bluey the Koala to a cuddly sandwich (by the wonderful Mollie Johanson), and a delightful circus pincushion (I'm planning to make this with my little one first!). Most of the projects are made of felt but there are also some that used recycled materials, like the giant tomato pillow, which is a great way to re-use an old jumper.
I would say that the projects are most likely to appeal to kids aged 8-12, and perhaps younger more dextrous children could manage them too with some help. I love that the focus is on enjoyment not perfection, and encouraging kids to get creative with customising the designs to make them their own.
For those times when it's tricky to come up with ideas to get started, this book will provide inspiration to have a go and will enable kids to build their skills and have fun while sewing. Hopefully they will then become life-long stitchers!