If you’re a crafter who reads a lot of blogs, you’ve probably come across Hillary Lang’s work at some point on her Wee Wonderfuls blog, which chronicles her adventures in toymaking, quilting, and other creative activities. Hillary’s blog, which was started in 2004, led to a thriving online shop, which has now led to a beautiful new book. Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love is brimming with ideas and projects to sew at home that are, well, just wonderful.
The whimsical sweetness of Hillary’s designs is appealing to crafters of all levels, and the book is written in a cheerful, encouraging tone that makes no project seem too difficult to tackle. The bright colors and interesting fabric choices are lovely to peruse, and the author ably demonstrates her techniques for creating distinctive hair styles using different materials, including ribbon, stitched yarn, cut yarn, etc. This trend toward full color, hardback craft books with cloth spines is a pleasing one, since it eliminates the waste and shabby corners of a dust jacket while maintaining the good quality of a hardcover.
The projects in Wee Wonderfuls include soft animals, dolls wearing real clothes, embroidered and decorated pillows, bags shaped like animals, and more, all of which are appropriate for gift-giving. My favorite projects are probably Hillary’s versions of a topsy turvy doll (pictured in yellow on the book cover), as well as bookish Evelyn Inchworm and her flowered head scarf. (I usually try to make a project from each book I review, but various minor injuries prevented that this time, so you’ll have to look at these beautiful professional photos from STC Craft instead!)
Each charming toy is accompanied by a short anecdote with the source of Hillary’s inspiration for the piece. The stories are just long enough to give a little peek into her creative world without being distracting, and they enhance the reader’s appreciation for the featured doll or animal. The usual basic glossary and sewing techniques are covered here, along with a satisfying list of online resources. The book also includes all the patterns necessary for each toy, which may be photocopied and enlarged as needed.
This book is a must-have for any fan of Hillary's work, as well as for any crafter who loves quality handmade toys. The toys are adorable, the projects are fun, and the book will be one you'll reach for again and again for inspiration.
Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love
168 pages, hardback
Skill Level: All
Usability: ExcellentCheck back next week for my interview with Hillary! You can also try out some of Hillary's projects through the links below.
Free Wee Wonderfuls Projects:
Wee Wonderfuls blog freebies
Photographs and review copy courtesy of STC Craft.