When I discovered craft blogs 4 years ago, Hillary Lang's weewonderfuls.com was my first blog crush. I've purchased and sewn several of her patterns, was pleased as punch to see the pending book announcement, and so excited to get the e-mail this week that her books were shipping a bit earlier than expected. I'm a big fan of Hillary's, appreciating her writing and aesthetic, so I was expecting to love this book (bought one for me and one for my mum, shipped here on vacation because I thought we could ooo and ahh over them together). I can be quite critical of craft books, however: many seem to just be riding on an artist or blogger's niche fame and don't really offer anything new. But _this book does not disappoint_.
24 Dolls just came today, so I haven't actually sewn any of the projects, but I have sewn her patterns before and they're usually well tested. I particularly appreciate this book because:
(1) The photography is excellent. Not only is it design-gorgeous, but each view of a project shows useful aspects that help the reader in recreating or appreciating the toy's details.
(2) The illustrated instructions are very clear. Extras like color-contrasted stitch lines and measurements will keep me from making first-timer mistakes.
(3) There is an excellent mix of projects. Gender, detail, fabric type, size, and play use are varied. I could recognize each as uniquely Hillary's, but they are different from each other and from her previously shared or published patterns.
(4) The extensive "Wee Wonderfuls Basics" section at the end covering materials, methods, and expert hints is worth the price of purchase itself. It's clear enough for beginners and thorough enough for toy-maker-aholics such as myself.
(5) Although the instructions themselves are direct, each is headed with Hillary's own trademark best-friend commentary. She is so in love with these dolls; how can I help but share her enthusiasm? I do like a friend to "project" with, and am glad to have her along.
I am very happy.
(and so are my August-birthday nieces...hmmm...which doll to start on first??)
I think the "Mermaiden." I found some gorgeous blue gauzy scarves on clearance at Old Navy today for $1.98 that will make the ultimate sea play cloths. But I think I might shrink her a little bit. My only complaint about wee wonderfuls patterns has been that they're not quite as wee as I want them. But I am a bit crazy that way.