Review: Sewing in a Straight Line

Last summer, I did not even know how to turn on my sewing machine, so I took a class at Stitch Lab and fell in love with sewing, but here's the thing: I'm not very good at it. In fact, I've said that the only thing I can do is sew straight lines. That's why I was so excited when one of my readers told me about Brett Bara's book "Sewing in a Straight Line: Quick and Easy Projects You Can Make by Simply Sewing Straight". I pre-ordered this back in April and read it cover to cover when I got it in the mail on Tuesday.


This book is really fun. It covers basic sewing knowledge in the beginning and is written in what I imagine to be the voice of a very patient, kind, cool, and whip smart slightly older sister. There are 28 projects in the book, about half of which are clothes and accessories (the other half are home decor projects, like cool Urban Outfitters-like quilts and darling duvet covers). The clothes are really remarkable. I was most struck by the cover skirt and the "first time's a charm cardi" (below). I spent all day Friday trying to make the cardigan:

Here's a tip: follow the instructions when it comes to fabric recommendations. I really wanted to use the yellow chiffon I've had in my fabric stash for a while, so I started using that. Big mistake. Huge. I've never worked with chiffon before, and I had the darndest time cutting it and learning how to do a French seam so it wouldn't fray. It made the dimensions of my cardigan all off, but it's not completely unwearable:

But all that is my fault, not the book's or not Brett Bara's.

As you may be able to tell, the photographs in the book are gorgeous! The styling is spot on, and the instructions are really simple but fully explained. The only thing I didn't like were the illustrations in the beginning of the book that showed things like a measuring tape. Pretty sure if you're buying this book, you know what a measuring tape looks like. The pictures were so beautiful that I think they could have done away with the cheesy drawings and put their stylish photographs in the intro, too.

The book is great for a woman who is somewhat new to sewing. I recommend it for someone who already knows how to use their machine and has made simple things like curtains or cloth napkins or pillows before. If you can do a pillow, you can do everything in this book. There's even some great videos to go along with the book on Brett Bara's blog.

I'm taking on a this skirt and a summer shirred dress next!

Buy Sewing in a Straight Line here on Amazon and check out Brett Bara's blog: Manhattan Craft Room.