Book Review: Girl’s World – Jennifer Paganelli

Girl's World: Twenty Pretty Sewing Projects to Make for Little GirlsRecently I indulged myself in a trip to our local library which is brand new and fabulous (I realise we are so lucky given how many are under threat at the moment) and found this little gem lurking in the craft section.  It’s subtitled “twenty one sewing projects to make for little girls” which just about sounds like my idea of heaven so I grabbed it quick before someone else spotted it.

It is a hardcover book with the inside cover featuring a mini folder which contains all the pattern pieces – to my surprise they were all present and looked like they hadn’t even been unfolded which was a bonus.  Great to be able to store them with the book so you aren’t left looking for them when you decide to have a go at a project.

The first thing that struck me about the book was simply how gorgeous it was, it is just stuffed with bright and colourful photos that are a joy to look at and really get you in the mood to get started.  The mix of candy colours with brights is like a little burst of sunshine.

There are a mix of clothing, home decor and even one toy projects and they all feature a clear photo and then a combination of written instructions and diagrams.  The pattern pieces are used for the shaped pieces and then, where rectangular shaped pieces are required, the dimensions to cut them too are given in the instructions.  I mention this so that when you are looking through the pattern pieces, you aren’t left wondering if you are missing some like I was for a while but then that is my fault getting excited and leaping ahead without reading all the instructions first!

I think the smallest dress size catered for is 2-3 and they go up to 8-9 years but the home decor projects would be gorgeous for girls of any age, even my age which I’m not going to put here but is definitely a fair few years older than that.

Spoilt for choice but desperate to make something and having some very pretty pink floral materials that were burning a hole in my fabric stash, I picked a dress to make for my friend’s little girl.  The patterns were very easy to cut, and all of them offer the opportunity to mix and match fabrics so they tell you how much you need for the bodice, ties and skirt for example  (most of the dresses are pictured in a combination of different prints and they look just fab that way). The pattern was easy to cut with all seam allowances included and traditional tailors markings, and the instructions were clear and easy to follow.  There were also diagrams where something needed extra explanation.  The dress went together really easily and I was thrilled with the finished result  (I’ll post a picture of that and the cushion that I’m also working on which is another of the books projects).  One thing that I did find a little strange to start with is that the patterns use bias binding to finish bodice edges for example rather than the more traditional method of using facings.  Of course this saves on fabric and makes the patterns much simpler.  Once you get used to it, it really is a very simple way to operate!

I’d absolutely recommend this book if you have girls in this age range who are fond of all things pretty as it contains a good mix of achievable projects – I wouldn’t say it would suit an absolute beginner at sewing but if you’ve already had experience of following a dressmaking pattern, it is a breeze and really an enjoyable experience.

If you want to own a copy of your own rather than chancing finding it in your library, never mind being lucky enough to find one with all the pattern pieces intact, you can buy it here on Amazon (and lots of other good retailers I’m sure!)


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