After sharing lots of skirts (this one and these) I am back with a simple breezy summer-y button-up tank, which I’m sure will get lots of wear this August. This top is one of the many simple garment patterns in Caroline Hulse’s debut sewing book Sew Caroline Weekend Style. The folks at Fons and Porter asked if I would review the book and I knew right away that I wanted to make the button-up tank. The whole book is full of colorful, easy-going patterns from shorts to flip flops and pool totes. The bright, playful style of the book is classic Caroline! Tops like this one are really the sweet spot of sewing. They are easy to pull together and uncomplicated to wear. As for this button-up tank, It fits true to size and is the perfect casual top for a trip to the park. A total win. The neck opening is a little wider than I am used to but I like how it gives it a semi-boatneck scoop.
I’m especially proud of this little button-up tank because I made it entirely out of repurposed fabric. This lovely cotton-rayon mix used to be hanging, all lonely-like, in the Goodwill and I was able to rescue it and eek out this top after deconstructing it. New life born out of the old!
But enough about the top, let’s dive into the book. There is a lot to love about this one.
Things you will love about this book:
+ Great for Beginners: The sentiments, easy and uncomplicated, make up the ethos of this sweet sewing book and I love that. It makes the book accessible for beginners. Given my passion for garment sewing I will always have a soft spot for beginner garment patterns. It opens the world of garment sewing to newbies and this book definitely accomplishes that. None of the patterns have complicated closures, darts or zippers so anyone can pick up and enjoy making something. At the same time, all the projects are actually things you would wear.
+ Easy to Follow: Instructions in the book are straightforward and clear and are accompanied by descriptive pictures. All in all, it makes it easy to follow along. Also, the book is beautiful, which is always inspiring.
+ Awesome Sewing Information: The book introduction includes lots of vital information on sewing basics…yet another reason this is great for beginners.
+Variety! Every project in the book is wearable and useable but it runs the gamut from a headband, a pool tote, a tank dress to flip-flops! There is something for everyone.
Things You Might Not Love:
+ PDF Patterns: The patterns in this book are pdf patterns on a CD. I know everyone has an opinion on this one and some people love having a PDF they can print over and over again. Personally, when I buy a book I usually expect it to come with paper patterns so I can skip all the printing and taping (in addition to the added cost of printer ink!). It’s not that I don’t sew with pdfs, I do all the time actually, it’s just my expectation is different when I purchase a book. This one may or may not bother you.
+ Little Stuff: There are a few nit-picky things I found as I worked through the book. First, I had a hard time finding the seam allowance for the patterns, it is 1/2″ for the record, but the information wasn’t immediately clear. It’s a small thing (possibly a little nit-picky?) but I like when the seam allowance is repeated on each project so it’s easy to uncover without having to dig through the book.
Also, while making the button-up tank I realized the pattern didn’t have the buttonhole marking displayed on the pattern. I reached out to the publisher and Caroline emailed me in response. As it turns out, this was overlooked by the publisher and they have since corrected it on the cd. So, in all, no big deal.
It was an interesting experience, actually. Fons and Porter were happy to hear from me and Caroline was quick to respond and work with the publisher to be sure the pattern was corrected on the cd. The process of making a craft book is so complicated, there are just so many moving parts. Just as happens in my real life, stuff slips through the cracks and a beautiful book needs some after-the-fact tweaking. I was happy to see they were laid back about the whole thing.
Overall, it’s a beautiful, inspiring book for someone interested in diving into garment sewing. Of course, it goes without saying that it would qualify as a great gift for a beginning sewing, possibly paired with 2 or three yards of fabric!
Note: I was given a free copy of this book for review from the publisher Fons and Porter but all opinions are my own. I received no financial compensation.