At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.
Within Supercute Sewing by Melanie McNeice discover the bright and bold patterns you will need to craft your own menagerie of storybook characters and animal soft toys. With twenty easy to follow sewing patterns and a wealth of handy tips provided by the author, we are sure you will be inspired to start stuffing your own creatures to be.
About The Author
Melanie McNeice is half of a sister based duo Melly & Me, a design label specialising in soft toys and accessories based in Australia. Through her experience as a designer, she began sewing with an interest first inspired by her own children, wanting to create products for them personally. Her design goals were centred around creating a range of colourful, pattern heavy bright and quirky accessories and toys; which she has achieved. She continues to develop new patterns and has published five books. Fabric design and teaching are also a part of her work; check out her Instagram account for up to date news.
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
Those who wish to make a cute gift for a child or friend who likes stuffed toys. The patterns are designed to be achievable whatever your sewing experience, so you may be a new parent, with a willingness to learn a new skill and a desire to make something from scratch for your little one.
The book itself is very child and adult friendly, with plenty of creatures outlined in the introduction to capture your enthusiasm.
I liked the squared off images, which give us a taste of the projects taught. They have a modern, Instagram style.
Because the book is focused on children’s toys and gifts, it has all the safety tips and handy hints, so that the creatures made really are safe for anyone to handle! I personally thought this feature was a strong point as it means that the projects are not just for inspiration, but for actual making and using.
Melanie could have made the projects up using plain fabrics, however instead she has used her own designs, so they are personal to her yet still temping for us. The heavily patterned fabrics she uses make these projects a little different.
You may be a new mum who has little sewing experience and no one to ask. You will feel secure using this book as the questions you may have are answered. Take for example the finishing stages of the toys, the stuffing.
The projects are not all based on real life inspiration, there are fun fairy tale ones as well as ones which are space themed. Take Otis as an example….
The whole layout of the book is pretty much a repeat job throughout for each project.
All the required bits and bobs are listed.
Have you ever cut out fabric before? It might sound straight forward, yet little tips do really help those who have not done it before.
As the book is built on step-by-step projects each having a title and theme, all the templates have been provided, so all you have to do is follow along and cut them out to get the right shapes for your creatures. Again for those with less experience, details such as seam allowance are covered so that mistakes are less likely!
The stitching techniques taught and used are all quite basic, however just incase Melanie has provided a guide to help us all along. It proves a good reminder for everyone.
All the photographs are similar in format and style; finished item placed against nice interior background. This isn’t boring though, as all the critters are so adorable and photogenic that it doesn’t feel like ground hog day when flicking though the book.
What Is Special About This Book?
It is perfect for so many, as it is so easy to follow yet it doesn’t feel too simple for the path well trodden sewer. Every step has been broken down and made achievable, it isn’t a pretentious read at all. I reckon that the products will be a pleasure to create as well as a pleasure to gift, so it is a win-win situation. As she herself says in the introduction ‘sewing a gift for a child can be as exciting and fun for us’; really most of us secretly love kids stuff anyway, children are a good excuse most of the time!
If you are stuck, she has helpfully added tutorials to her website to help us along.
Anything Wrong With The Book?
If you are totally not children inclined, this will not suit you.
As a step-by-step project book with twenty to try, this one stands on its own feet rather well. It has a bit of an edge on most, as the author has not only designed the projects, she also designed the fabrics used to make the projects. As the designer, her company website sells all the goods you need too. It is like a one stop shop! So if you have your own kid or want to create something for someone else’s, there is bound to be a creature to fill your needs.
Supercute Sewing by Melanie McNeice is published by David & Charles. Grab your copy right here!