This is a book that I have borrowed from the library approximately 3 times! Why, you ask? When I had initially borrowed it, I flipped through it the same day, saw a few neat, common-sense ideas and I was really happy to have the book. However, I then set it down somewhere only to inadvertently neglect it for several weeks. Before I knew it, the book was due back...
The second time that I had borrowed it, I took a very close look at the contents. I saw very cute projects, all around the theme of storage and organization. This time, I earmarked a few pages, but failed to begin any projects.
By the third time, it was just getting ridiculous! I borrowed it, again, and this time vowed to either use the book to it's full potential or be done with it for once and for all. Something kept drawing me back to this book everytime I perused the stacks of hobby, craft and sewing books. Was it the fancy cover and the fact that this book stood out more than most? (I have been known to be a sucker for packaging). Not sure why the reason, but I am pleased to have given this book another chance.
Sew & Stow: 31 Fun Sewing Project to Carry, Hold and Organize your Stuff, Your Home and Yourself, by Betty Oppenheimer is a book that really grew on me. As the title indicates, this book revolves around projects that produce practical everyday items to aid you in organizing your home, your belongings and yourself. From a sewing caddy, to a wall organizer, or a lunch tote to a laundry bag, this book offers projects that are appropriate for sewers of all skill levels. Though do I feel that the average novice can tackle the vast majority of these projects with little to no difficulty. No new inventions here, just simple, useful items that can be created by most anyone. There are plenty of sidebar tips and information is frequent throught this book. Instructions are clear and well written and the projects are nicely photographed. This is a book that I turned to constantly when my fingers itched and I felt compelled to make something, but my brain was lacking any concrete ideas at the moment.
My only caveat (and it may seem trivial to some), is that all of the lovely photographs of each project were grouped together in the first section of the book. Instructions for each followed in the later pages. This meant for quite a bit of flipping back and forth. No, not the end of the world, but I tend to want to have a constant visual along side my instructions (like when you are following a recipe). I had successfully completed a handful of projects, taking inspiration from this book, but adding my own additions or adjustments. I often refer back to my teenaged niece (as she is a relatively new sewer), and this would be an excellent addition to her personal library. This is a great book if you are keen on making handmade gifts that are practical as well as appreciated.
I give this book 4 pink buttons out of 5!