The Maison Sajou Sewing Book: 20 projects from the famous French haberdashery by Lucinda Ganderton

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The Maison Sajou Sewing Book: 20 projects from the famous French haberdashery by Lucinda Ganderton

Category: Crafts
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Twenty projects with a distinct French feel to them, using a variety of techniques. The 'I Can Do This' factor is high.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 192 Date: March 2014
Publisher: Ivy Press
ISBN: 978-1782400851

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When I was younger I dreamed of going to Paris and visiting the fashion houses. Now I would love to go to visit Maison Sajou, the haberdasher who seems to have everything that someone who works with material could want, so when I saw The Maison Sajou Sewing Book there was no way that I could resist it. It's a confection of twenty projects, the very essence of French chic, with something for everyone.

There's a foreword by Frederique Crestin-Billet of Maison Sajou and an introduction by Lucinda Ganderton which looks at the inspiration behind the book. What you really need to make the most of this book is a little confidence because Ganderton gives an admirably concise summary of the basic sewing kit which you'll need and the basic techniques. I liked that you don't need to have thimble, but she explains the benefits and that she points out the your scissors should only (did you hear me shouting?) be used for material as paper blunts scissors. She's equally clear and not too precious about the materials you'll use. By the time that you get to the projects you'll have the sense that you can do this.

The projects are a delightful mix of the traditional and the modern and all have that indefinable something which suggests a French inspiration. If you have some experience you'll be able to spot which projects are not too complicated (although this will be a case of some suiting your particular skills more than others, I do confess) and which require more of an investment of time and skill. There's a delightful silk slipper bag with a cross stitch insert which would give me a very enjoyable weekend of sewing, but I would have to be very brave to tackle the Running Rabbit cushion. Some grading of the difficulty of the projects would have been a bonus, but that really is a minor quibble. I personally would start with the pincushions and then spread my wings. (There are some butterflies too...)

Templates are provided and you will need to copy these and trace them onto the fabric. There are simple instructions for doing this. Charts for cross stitch and petit-point projects are clear and I would have no problem working directly from the book. Thread colours are given in Maison Sajou's own ranges, such as Retors du Nord, which are not readily available in the UK but there is assistance on the haberdasher's website in the form of a .pdf which gives a DMC conversion. With some projects you'll want to stick to the colours given (it's That Rabbit, again!) but, you might not want to...

I found that as I was looking at projects I was thinking that I didn't have a piece of material as suggested for the tote bag, but I did have another which would be very suitable - and I would use different embroidery threads. I loved the lavender hearts, but would use different fabrics. The sampler cushion could be done in blues to match the bedroom where it would sit. Ganderton has shown the inspiration for her projects and it's this that makes it possible to allow your own inspiration full range.

The book itself is a pleasure. I'm working from a substantial hardback of the type which sits open when you put it on the table. Colour reproduction is superb and it would be a lovely book to give or receive as a present. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

Sewers will love Stash-Busting Quilts by Lynne Edwards and Hand-Stitched Home: Projects to Sew with Pendleton and Other Wools by Susan Beal.

Buy The Maison Sajou Sewing Book: 20 projects from the famous French haberdashery by Lucinda Ganderton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Maison Sajou Sewing Book: 20 projects from the famous French haberdashery by Lucinda Ganderton at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Maison Sajou Sewing Book: 20 projects from the famous French haberdashery by Lucinda Ganderton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Maison Sajou Sewing Book: 20 projects from the famous French haberdashery by Lucinda Ganderton at Amazon.com.


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