Book review: One Stitch at a Time. Author: Gen West. Toymaker: Laura Clempson, puppet maker on Postman Pat

One Stitch at a Time. Author:Gen West. Toymaker: Laura Clempson, puppet maker on Postman Pat, published byBlack Dog Books, 2011, ISBN 978 1742031644. $24.99.
This book is an ideal introduction to the making of softtoys and is set out in a straightforward way with plenty of illustrations thatthe reader can readily understand what it is he/she needs to do.
The book is set out in four different coloured sections witha tab for each and it is well laid out with handy Top tips peppered throughout and relatively easy to read althoughsome words a younger reader may be challenged by (embroidery). The paper is sturdy so that younger hands can easilyturn the pages, but there lies the rub, while the indication on the back of thebook is that it is for children ages 7 and up, I would, personally, strongly suggest thateither an older sibling or adult be present while the child is learning theintricacies of learning to sew.
The front cover and blurb on the book state that The sewing box includes everything you needto make the cat, but once the book is unwrapped from its cellophanewrapping the reader discovers that as well as the …materials needed to make your cat and his clothes there are severalextra items needed for the young toymaker in order to have his or her own sewing kit.  So unless the seven year old has anextensive range of needles, buttons, spare felt, pins etc on hand there will behelp required. I would recommend to the person buying this book to check thislist out before going home, particularly if the book is for a present; it canbe quite stressful if a child gets a present and then has to wait until thenext trip to the shops in order to be able to use it (even the most avid sewermay not have embroidery thread at their disposal.)
The book includes patterns to make up both the cat featuredas well as a host of other characters.
So combined with a sewing kit this book will be a lovelyintroduction to the making of a toy.

Published by sharongreenaway

Bachelor of Visual Arts (Photography), Latrobe University.

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