When just beginning to sew or simply looking for easy projects, one yard of inexpensive cotton blend fabric is the ultimate versatile canvas. While I could compile a small list of sewing projects from my personal experiences, encouraging you to invest in the well-written, charming book “One-Yard Wonders” is more worthwhile.
Written by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins, “One-Yard Wonders” features 101 designs for sewing patterns using one yard or less of simple cotton blend fabric. Little sewing experience is necessary to use the book, and the opening chapter gives a fairly extensive guide to good sewing practices.
The fabric to make any given project in the book will cost at most less than $20. It can even cost as little as $1 depending on your fabric choice. If you’re new to buying fabric, being told exactly what kind to get and not having to perform yardage price calculations ($7 per yard listed on the bolt?
That will be $7 please!) will save a lot of time and headaches.
Some of the book’s more original projects include a lined lunch bag designed to mimic the folds of a brown paper bag, a challenging but cute sectioned box organizer, an easy skirt with a sassy A-line flare, a military style cap and three-ring binder covers. All clothes in the book claim to be easy to adjust size for any body type, though I suspect it might take more than one yard to do so.
One of the book’s strengths is the abundance of easy and quick patterns that have real repeat potential, which include flannel sleep shorts, a laptop sleeve, several kinds of tote bags, café curtains for windows, a hanging laundry bag and a cute little teepee for cats.
“One-Yard Wonders” does have a rather large chapter on children and baby projects. If you have any kids in your life, this could be a real boon—the projects are very cute and easy, such as several toddler girl skirts and a fabric growth chart. If not, then it might deter you from buying the book, though I would say having kid items in your repertoire is an asset, as projects can be made for charity or gifts, or hey, even for you—the elegant bird mobile would be pretty hanging in any room.
In order to round out the 101 number, some of the projects are a bit repetitive. Five aprons give variety but seeing how they all serve the same purpose, it’s redundant. It’s a similar situation with tote bags, though various sizes and styles do have different benefits. A handful of sleeveless cotton tops would be cuter if they were made with a softer, more drape-y fabric such as jersey, though if made to match the flannel sleep shorts, matching pajamas could be a sweet gift.
“One-Yard Wonders” retails for $20.95 and is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s websites.
Some local libraries have copies available if you want to make a “trial” project or just for taking a look before you buy. A sequel book, “Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders,” is also worth a look if you’re interested in more projects for clothes and home items made from more challenging fabrics like wool, fleece, oilcloth and more.
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