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“Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love” by Hillary Lang – Sewing Book Review

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Wee Wonderfuls Book Review

Working through my extensive craft/sewing book collection, it’s time for another review! The author, Hillary Lang, blogs at Wee Wonderfuls and I shared her Pointy Kitty pattern in this round-up of free softie patterns & matching kid’s books.

I picked this up at my local Half Price Books and couldn’t resist poking through it! The ‘style’ of most of the projects is more cutesy than I’m normally drawn to, but part of that is the fabric choices. A few of the dolls looked very familiar, reminiscent of the ‘Black Apple’ doll from the Black Apple shop that was shared on Martha Stewart. There are lots of fun extras, like a doll quilt and clothes for the dolls. I appreciate how quite a few are actually also toys, like the dress-up doll pillow and puppets.

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Houndstooth doxie

I sewed the ‘Doxie Necklace’ project but turned it into a magnet! Dachshunds have such a fun silhouette – I pattern tested a doxie softie a while back too. I think the instructions are very clear; the little dog is sewn entirely by hand.

Dog fabric magnet

I did struggle a bit with the seams. I’ve never sewn something like this from woven cotton and all by hand – you can see where I lost some of the head shaping and the fabric is unraveling or threatening to in a few places. I’m not sure if this means my seam allowance was too small? My stitch too long/big? I would like to try this again with a nice wool felt instead of quilting cotton I think. A herd of colorful doxies would be pretty cute on a fridge, right?

This book has a great variety of projects and I think anyone could find something fun inside. I’ll definitely be trying a few of the other patterns for gifts at some point.

Book: “Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love”* by Hillary Lang 

Publisher: Stewart, Tabori, and Chang

Focus:  Soft toys & dolls! The project names aren’t necessarily helpful but there includes a topsy-turvy doll, a beautifully embroidered doll, a backpack, and puppets in addition to varied dolls & animals.

Wee Wonderfuls Dolls

Project List Overview:
Evelyn Inchworm / Pixie / Koji / Marie Antoinette / Margot / Betsy / Mermaiden / Ellie Bag / Panda Buns / Wee Town Trolley / Sleepover Pals / Eddie / Tag-a-long Doll / I Heart You / Wes, The Baby Giraffe / Katie Kitty / Melvin and Marian / Bjorn Bjornson / Little Miss Storybook / Doxie Necklace / Patchwork Penny / Bonneted Baby / Haus Sweet Haus / Hansel and Gretel

Highlights:

  • I LOVE that there are multiple views shown of each toy, in addition to the illustrated steps. It is so refreshing to see the project from front and back, or with an extra detail shot, especially since the book intro says the projects are suitable for beginners. I wish more books did this.
  • The pattern pieces are overlapping for tracing, but don’t need to be enlarged (which is a total pain).
  • I think the “basics & supplies” section at the back is really well done. Clear, concise, and only tells you what you need to know.

Negatives:

  • I found the text a little unpleasant to read with the cursive and light colors – nothing that made the projects more difficult, just an aesthetic negative.
  • The ‘Panda Buns’ doll made me feel icky – a little Chinese girl doll with panda hair buns. All of the other dolls (and child models) appear to be Caucasian and it just seemed like it was in poor taste.
  • The boy doll, Eddie, is staged to look like he colored on the wall. If you read regularly, you know ‘gendering’ of stuff bugs me – why does the boy doll have to be naughty while all the girl dolls are posed cute and proper? Small detail, I know.

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Here is a shot of the technical illustration & pattern page to give you an idea of what those look like!

If you like sewing & craft books, check out all my other reviews!

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