Crafts & DIY Reviews | June 15, 2013

Valious, Anneta. Soutache: 30 Gorgeous Bead Embroidery Designs. Lark Crafts: Sterling. Jun. 2013. 144p. illus. index. ISBN 9781454707578. pap. $27.95. CRAFTS

Soutache is an ornamental cording often used as trim on marching band uniforms and bullfighters’ jackets. Moscow-based jewelry designer Valious combines soutache with beads, crystals, semiprecious stones, and hand-sewing to make eye-catching jewelry that is surprisingly easy to fabricate. The projects range from statement necklaces and earrings to bracelets and rings and—best of all—a soutache fascinator featuring brightly colored feathers. Though the directions are useful, some basic knowledge of both jewelry-making and hand-sewing is helpful. VERDICT A unique title that offers a new and different spin on jewelry-making collections.—Nanette Donohue, Champaigne, P.L., IL

Best of Stitch: Bags To Sew. Interweave: F+W. 2013. 135p. ed. by Tricia Waddell. illus. index. ISBN 9781596686021. pap. $26.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Stitch, a quarterly magazine focusing on modern sewing, frequently publishes patterns for bags and totes; this collection features some of the most popular patterns from past issues. The bags vary in size (from small pouches to large carryalls) and fabric (natural and printed linen, quilting cotton, faux leather, and more). The styles tend toward the casual and everyday with a few exceptions (some bags have a whimsical flavor, while others are more formal). Paper patterns for several of the bags are included on a separate pullout sheet, and sewing tips are interspersed throughout. VERDICT The projects are appropriate for a variety of skill levels, and the clear, detailed directions are easy to follow. A good collection of popular projects.—Nanette Donohue, Champaigne, P.L., IL

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewMerchant-Dest, Simona & Faina Goberstein. The Art of Seamless Knitting. Interweave: F+W. 2013. 183p. illus. index. ISBN 9781596687882. pap. $26.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Ask a group of knitters to name their least favorite part of knitting a garment, and many will say seaming. This aversion has led to an abundance of patterns—especially for sweaters—that don’t involve seaming. In this guide, experienced knitwear designers Merchant-Dest and Goberstein explore the whys behind seamless knitting, describe the various shapes of seamless garments and accessories, and educate knitters on best practices for seamless knitting. For the truly seam-averse, there’s even a section about adapting flat-knitting patterns for seamless knitting in the round. Eleven patterns—most for sweaters—are included. VERDICT Rarely do knitting books contain both gorgeous patterns and authoritative information on technique; this title is a notable exception. The background information about seamless knitting is useful, and the patterns are beautiful.—Nanette Donohue, Champaigne, P.L., IL

The following titles are reviewed in the June 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Sanmiguel, David & Michael Brunelle. 101 Techniques: Oil. Barron’s. 2013. 144p. illus. ISBN 9781438001975. pap. $21.99. ART INSTRUCTION


Doh, Jenny. Stamp It! DIY Printing with Handmade Stamps. Lark Crafts: Sterling. 2013. 144p. illus. ISBN 9781454703990. pap. $19.95. CRAFTS

LaFosse, Michael & Richard L. Alexander. Michael LaFosse’s Origami Butterflies: Elegant Designs from a Master Folder. Tuttle. 2013. 112p. illus. ISBN 9784805312261. pap. $19.95. CRAFTS

do it yourself

Barkley, Maurice. The Best Tree House Ever: How To Build a Backyard Tree House the Whole World Will Talk About. Skyhorse, dist. by Norton. 2013. 176p. illus. index. ISBN 9781620875711. pap. $19.95. DIY

fiber crafts

Janssen, Edelgard & Ute Eismann. Sock Art: Bold Graphic Knits for Your Feet. Trafalgar Square. 2013. 96p. illus. ISBN 9781570765575. $24.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Morgan, Leonie. 100 Colorful Granny Squares To Crochet. Griffin: St. Martin’s. 2013. 144p. illus. index. ISBN 9781250025128. pap. $21.99. FIBER CRAFTS

Runge, Gailen & others. Stitch Zakka: 22 Projects To Sew and Embellish. Stash. Jun. 2013. 144p. illus. ISBN 9781607057338. pap. $24.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Tsukitori, Yoshiko. Girls Style Book. Tuttle. 2013. 80p. tr. from Japanese by Masashi Karasawa. ISBN 9780804843270. pap. $18.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Underwood, Barbara M. Introducing Traditional Bedfordshire Lace in 20 Lessons. Ruth Bean. 2013. 116p. illus.ISBN 9780903585279. $29.95. FIBER CRAFTS

interior design

House Beautiful Magazine Eds. House Beautiful Quick Changes: Fresh Looks for Every Room. Hearst: Sterling. Jun. 2013. 288p. photogs. ISBN 9781618370358. $24.95. INTERIOR DESIGN