I’ve had One-Yard Wonders for quite a while now. And I’ve made quite a few projects. My feelings are mixed. I’ve had annoyances with pretty much every project I’ve made. But then I keep returning to it…
This book says it has 101 sewing projects. I never counted. Full size patterns are included. They’re printed on that thin brown paper so many sewing patterns are printed on. The book is divided into 11 chapters, 1 fundamentals chapter and 10 project chapters.
Most of the patterns look like they call for quilting cotton which comes in a 44″-45″ width but some use other fabrics. Some patterns require 60″ wide home dec fabric, which isn’t bad either. One pattern, a short bias cut skirt requires 60″ wide quilting cotton. I’m sure there is some on the market but it isn’t nearly as frequent as the 44″ width.
Patterns also generally require some extra notions such as ribbon, buttons, D rings, etc. Unless you like keeping a wide variety of notions on hand, it’s likely you’ll need to make some purchases before jumping into a project despite having tons of fabric on hand.
The first chapter, sewing fundamentals, is okay, I suppose. It certainly won’t teach you sewing but it will help you out if there are terms or techniques you’ve forgotten. I’ve used it in the past when I don’t remember something. Now that I’ve gained a wee bit of experience, I never turn there anymore.
The project chapters are divided by type of project. Sort of. Why the mailbag pockets are in home decoration while the hanging wall organizer is in the crafting accessories will always puzzle me…
First up are some home decorating projects such as a smocked pillow that I’ve always wanted to make but never got around to and a two-drawer file cabinet cover. That cover was the inspiration for my own cabinet cover, actually! Two of the projects in this chapter don’t involve sewing (framed tack board and lined bookcase), which is a little unexpected but doesn’t bother me.
Next are household items like aprons (3 of them!), a tea cozy, and oven mitts. There’s an obi-inspired hot and cold pack and a hanging laundry bag that I would love to make. They just haven’t made it to the front of the queue.
Crafting accessories get their own short chapter. And 2 more apron type projects here! Also in my queue is the origami organizer which is really just a divided fabric tray made out of fabric. The construction is really intriguing though.
The fourth project chapter is all bags of some sort. No handbags here; that’s another chapter. Here, you’ll find a laptop sleeve, a CD pocket (really?), school binder cover, lunch bag… I might make the yoga mat bag. I have a felted one I made but it’s developing holes.
Clothing comes next. A lot of these projects are more suited to teenagers or very thin women. A sundress with 1 yard of quilting cotton? I’m thinking that won’t be a very long dress. Besides, a size large goes only to a 39″ bust. Still, I’d love to make the summer nightie and the perfect fit sleep shorts. The nightie doesn’t seem long enough but combined with the shorts? That could work.
I’ve made two projects from the handbag chapter. The flouncy bag is very cute. Souricette 1 uses it to store her ballet clothes and skippers. The picture in the book makes it look really big but it’s really on the medium/small side. Plenty big for a small 5 year old. A little too big, actually but it works. The other bag I made is the folklore bag. Boxy bag with pleats. I was happy with the result but frustrated with the pattern. Some of the pattern pieces didn’t quite fit together. I couldn’t figure out what I was expected to do.
The three following chapters are for children : clothes, accessories, and toys. The clothes are only for babies and preschoolers and only one of them would work for a boy : the newborn flyaway jacket. It’s a quick, easy project. I also made the ballet-neck toddler dress and the pleated girly skirt. The accessories offer more gender neutral projects such as a craft and tool belt, and art smock, firefighter hat, and bird mobile. The toys are also a good mix. It’s mostly stuffed toys but there’s also a checker set and kite. I made a dinosaur but omitted the pull along part of the project. The pattern pieces seemed like they should fit together but I had a very hard time assembling it. Maybe just beginner difficulties?
The last chapter is dedicated to pets. There isn’t much there. For dog lovers, a walking set with collar, leash, bandana, and bag, a bed, and a coat. For cat lovers, a bed and a teepee. The cat bed is very interesting. It’s made of only trapezoids. And two squares but squares count as trapezoids, don’t they? The whole thing looks a little like a donut. My cats would love it.
All in all, there is a good variety of patterns. My issue with the patterns is that they aren’t always thoroughly tested. It creates frustrations, especially for the less advanced or less confident who might not know how to solve the issues they encounter. Sometimes, it’s hard to get the pattern pieces to fit on the material. Sometimes, the pattern pieces don’t fit together precisely. And sometimes, the instructions are unclear. Still, the patterns are interesting and I keep going back to them for inspiration. This isn’t even close to the quality of an Oliver + S pattern but it’s still a decent book. Decent enough for me to buy the second volume…