/ / Book Review: Never Been Stitched by Amanda Carestio

Book Review: Never Been Stitched by Amanda Carestio

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The whole idea behind Never Been Stitched by Amanda Carestio is projects that require little or no sewing. I love it because these quick projects can be whipped up in one session!

‘Thanks to fusible webbing, fabric glue, grommets, and other fun materials and techniques, crafters barely need a needle.’ – That’s what the description says, and it’s true!


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This is the first project I picked. The too-cute Crafty Kid Apron. It was perfect for a fat quarter of laminated fabric. One piece doesn’t cost much at all and is a little bit bigger than this pattern calls for. I didn’t cut mine, though so our apron turned out perfect for a robust first grader. The laminate fabric won’t stain and will look cute forever too.


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He loves it. And since his teacher just asked me to send in an art smock, it is just in time.


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And here’s my daughter Chloe making it. She did all of the work herself. Once we got started little ‘miss independence’ showed herself and I didn’t mind sitting back to watch and take pictures.

Now I’m trying to decide what to make next… it’s so hard! (BTW, that little Octopus was designed by my friend Abby Glassenberg who interviewed me last week.)

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70 Comments

  1. Tonie Sly says:

    It was the 70s. I was 7 and got hooked on making patchwork tortoises (out of cotton hexagons and felt). This book looks lovely, particularly as I have a three kids and we love making stuff together.

  2. Patricia Collier says:

    I too was 8 and I made a recorder case. This book looks excellent and well worth getting.

  3. Lou Ann Rice says:

    I used to "sew" Barbie clothes. Make would be more appropriate, I suppose. I was about 8. I relied heavily on the strapless gown look.

  4. It was so long ago, but I was probably around 8 years old. My mother was wonderful about letting me "play" with the sewing machine. I would create all kinds of things.

  5. Carolyn McGinnis says:

    I started sewing when I was 8, being taught by my Mother. I took a class at the YWCA when I was 10. Other than that, no formal education.

  6. Grace Tan says:

    I started when I was around 10+. Never had any formal training. Started with my neighbor teaching me how to cross- stitch. And never turned back ever since. I love to sew. Even though I have a sewing machine, I still find it very therapeutic to sew by hand. And now, I make hand sewn quilts to my daughter’s dress.

  7. Julie Alessi says:

    I was probably around 8 years old when my mom tried teaching me how to sew and knit. The book looks amazing!

  8. Audrey baker says:

    I just recently started sewing again (I sewed when I was younger, but haven’t sewn in years!) and I am 64. This book sounds perfect for me. My email address is [email protected]

  9. I must have been very young when I started sewing because I can’t remember picking up a needle & thread for the first time. Using a sewing machine didn’t come until Jr High School. And I’ve never looked back. πŸ™‚

  10. This book looks amazing! Sewing is a great art form and such an awesome creative outlet for any age!
    I think I was around 10 when I started sewing. I remember being rather upset when my dad bought both of my brothers a mini bike…but I got a sewing machine. Blah. They were out having fun and I was stuck in the house with this! Well, I got it set up and never stopped! probably within a year those mini bikes were in the junk pile, but I was still happily stitching away! The best gift ever!

  11. This book looks amazing! Sewing is a great art form and such an awesome creative outlet for any age!
    I think I was around 10 when I started sewing. I remember being rather upset when my dad bought both of my brothers a mini bike…but I got a sewing machine. Blah. They were out having fun and I was stuck in the house with this! Well, I got it set up and never stopped! probably within a year those mini bikes were in the junk pile, but I was still happily stitching away! The best gift ever!

  12. I first sewed in my teens at high school and hated it. Then I didn’t sew again until I was mid 30’s and got into quilting. Now I sew almost every day, mostly quilting and machine embroidery. I dedicate one day a week to sew with my 4 year old grand-daughter who I promised a sewing machine to when she turns 6. I see many years of sewing together with Jade. This book looks like the perfect one to inspire the younger ones.

  13. Pppatti Burchwell says:

    When I was 8 my mother and I sewed a dress together. I still remember working on it with her. It sparked a love of creating!
    [email protected]

  14. I think I was about 7 or 8 when I got a hand crank sewing machine for Christmas. It would only sew a chain stitch, but it started me on sewing. Thanks.

  15. Kim DeHaven says:

    I was approximately….40-ish. Yes, I know…I know…late bloomer here.

  16. ginger whalen says:

    i started mending my own clothes probably around 8 as well. i self taught myself to sew from patterns after that as i had the bug, haha. sewing for me has been a blessing and a curse because sometimes when i am in the store and i really love an expensive article of clothing i will not buy it if i think i can make it myself (curse), but we all are busy so most times the item does not get made. on the other hand, i am short and have to hem everything,so it is nice to be able to take care of that myself (blessing), but once people, friends, co-workers, etc. find out you can sew, you wind up doing everybody’s mending (curse, again). but i love to sew, it is fun, relaxing, and mostly instant gratification, (blessing again), and i have taught many friends to mend their own clothes and helped some even make their own clothes, bags, home furnishings, and so on. i love all crafts whether domestic or for fun. this book looks like it is both, fun and functional, how fun. i will def. buy this book, it looks like an excellent value for whatever the price. thank-you…gotta go…..want to purchase a book. not sure where to enter email, so here it is: [email protected]

  17. ginger whalen says:

    i started mending my own clothes probably around 8 as well. i self taught myself to sew from patterns after that as i had the bug, haha. sewing for me has been a blessing and a curse because sometimes when i am in the store and i really love an expensive article of clothing i will not buy it if i think i can make it myself (curse), but we all are busy so most times the item does not get made. on the other hand, i am short and have to hem everything,so it is nice to be able to take care of that myself (blessing), but once people, friends, co-workers, etc. find out you can sew, you wind up doing everybody’s mending (curse, again). but i love to sew, it is fun, relaxing, and mostly instant gratification, (blessing again), and i have taught many friends to mend their own clothes and helped some even make their own clothes, bags, home furnishings, and so on. i love all crafts whether domestic or for fun. this book looks like it is both, fun and functional, how fun. i will def. buy this book, it looks like an excellent value for whatever the price. thank-you…gotta go…..want to purchase a book.

  18. Lori Michel says:

    Hello, Caroline, I started sewing, by hand when I was around 6 yrs. old. My mom had us make things from fabric scraps, later I learned they were shirts of my fathers that mom did not like,,,, anyway Abby makes great softies, and her Octopus reminds me of the ones I made when I was young from yarn balls and braided legs….

  19. Eileen Marron Mueller says:

    I remember sewing my clothes in high school, so it must have been way before that.

  20. I remember sewing a Barbie dress by hand when I was about 5… Very crooked seams and hems… I made a dress with a kimono sleeve when I was about ten, then took home ec sewing in 7th grade…it was request back then… I started my daughter in machine sewing when she was ten.

  21. Kelly Haines says:

    I started sewing by hand probably around 8. My grandmother still has the little heart I sewed her that is a jumbled mess of fabric and thread, but adorable nonetheless! That was 25 years ago, so thankfully I’ve come a long way! I’m starting to teach my 6 year old how to sew now – fun fun!

  22. I had a toy sewing machine that really sewed. I was 7 or 8 and got it for Christmas. I made a cloth doll.

  23. Hi Caroline:

    I started sewing when I was <4>8! LOL I love easy projects because I am still learning πŸ™‚ I love this site for learning and new projects to try.

    Thank you,
    Bonnie

  24. Rebekah Gruel says:

    I remember trying to sew my own skirt when I was 4 years old:) I took a piece of fabric, wrapped it around myself, and eyed where I needed to sew buttons on. I sewed the buttons on (who knows how!!) and then cut my thumb terribly by trying to jab the button holes into the fabric with some sharp scissors…I still have a scar on my thumb:)
    I really want this book…my kids would LOVE it!!!!!
    Rebekah Gruel

  25. Rani Self says:

    I made my first skirt when I was 8 years old, but remember my grandmother (who wasn’t terribly domestic) sitting me down when I spent the summer with them learning how to stitch a hem on a circle (Barbie doll tablecloth) sometime before that.

  26. Margaret Epperheimer says:

    I was younger than ten when I started sewing. I remember joing the sewing group in the 4-H group. Each year they had their Spring Dress Show. I remember making a light blue dress with lace over it, but as the dress was completed the lace was unraveling. I was so upset and so my mom suggested that we make just a plain white linen dress, with a little lace under the bodess. I spent the week before the show sewing every night. It was so plain that I was really upset walking across the stage as I thought it just didn’t compare to all those other dresses. What a surprise it was for me to have my name announced as the Grand Prize Winner. I am now the main person in my family of nieces, great-nieces that does most of the sewing.

  27. Judith Martinez says:

    I was probably 10 or 11 when I first started sewing but I didn’t really do very much until I started taking home ec. in 7th grade.

  28. Donna Fife Langley says:

    I started sewing around age 10. I wanted clothes for Barbie and there was no money so I started making them myself.

  29. Donna Fife Langley says:

    I started sewing around age 10. I wanted clothes for Barbie and there was no money so I started making them myself.
    [email protected]

  30. Stephanie Baxter Halland says:

    I was young, 8 or so. Good ole 4-H club !

  31. I remember helping my mom sew as far back as I can remember. I personally didn’t start by myself until I was an adult. The love of sewing never left me. My dream job was working as a "fabric store lady". Yes I accomplished my goal in life. πŸ˜‰

  32. Karen Tippett says:

    I was also around 7 or 8 when I started sewing. I made pencil cases for school out of old bedsheets and velcro

  33. I was 7 or 8 years old when my Mom started teaching me how to sew. I am guessing that I was helping her with small projects before that.

  34. Melanie K says:

    I started sewing at school. We made a crosstitch doily with our name on. I still have mine; I was about 7. Thanks for the chance to win.

  35. I was around 10 hand sewing every hole I could find learning different stitches.

  36. Jamie doman says:

    I was around 2nd grade when I started sewing christmas tree ornaments out of felt with my mothers alterations lady at her clothing store. I still have the patterns from then some 45 years later. [email protected]

  37. I remember using a needle and thread at an early age, mending and hemming, but as for sewing with a machine, thank you Home Economics in my seventh grade of school. I have been sewing ever since. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway. Blessings and smiles, Emilou πŸ™‚

  38. I must have been about 10. But, I’ve started my 5yo daughter on hand sewing!

  39. Luz hanks says:

    I was about 6 years old when I began playing with paper dolls and cutting out pages of different fabrics/material from magazines to make clothes. My mom then showed me how to sew on a button and I learned everything on my own from there. Thanks for the opportunity. [email protected]

  40. Susan Stanton says:

    I was a teenager when I first started sewing. I liked making my own clothes, especially summer dresses. I’ve been sewing ever since, 50 plus years.
    yoyopattycakes at hotmail.com

  41. I think I must have been about 5 when my Nanna started teaching me to sew. She would get me to hem squares of fabric into hankerchiefs on her treadle sewing machine. From then on it took off and by the time I was in highschool I could sew dresses for dances.

  42. My maternal grandma taught me to embroider when I was 7 or 8. My paternal grandma was an amazing seamstress and tailor. She taught me some basics on the sewing machine. btheisen58 (at) gmail (dot) com

  43. Gosh- this got me thinking! I remember my Mum teaching me to crosstitch at around 5 years of age… I wonder where my first piece has gone? It was a number of rectangles stitched together to make my E initial and I hung it on my wall with pride πŸ™‚

  44. Karrie Smith says:

    I think I was around 6 or 7 when I sewed a pillow at my Grandmas house. Thanks for the chance to win!

  45. I believe I was 5 or 6. My Great Grandma taught me how to use her old singer sewing machine, I loved it and felt so grown up to be using the sewing machine. πŸ™‚

  46. I remember my great grandma teaching me to make yo yo’s when I was really young. I think I was 5 or six.

  47. Connie Cain says:

    I didn’t sit at machine until Jr. High. I did other needlework (crochet, embroidery, x-stitch, ect) way befor that. πŸ™‚
    [email protected]

  48. Cindy Dahlgren says:

    I didn’t sew at a sewing machine until 8th grade. I did embroidery though.

  49. I didn’t start to sew until I got married. My mother was an excellent seamstress, but we did not get along and I was opposed to anything she was for. I did take Home Ec in Jr. high, and hated it. But something clicked when I got married, and my mother-in-law was a big help along the way.

  50. Mary kane says:

    I started sewing when I was 10. I made a pretty blue pencil skirt that I proudly. Thank you for the chance to win! Mkane 18 at verizon dot net

  51. Mariana Galvagno says:

    Im so embarrased! I was 38! Hahahaha

  52. I think i was about 13, and it was at school. I hated it, i wanted to take shop with the guys.

  53. Audrey B. says:

    I sewed a long time ago and just recently took it up again. I am 64.

  54. I did some hand quilting as a child, but didn’t begin to sew until my mid 20’s. Because of all the years I missed, I now teach children how to sew. This looks like a wonderful book. [email protected]

  55. Lucy Beth Greene says:

    I started sewing when I was in middle school, but I grew up helping my mom with her fun projects from the time I could talk.

    [email protected]

  56. Lucy Beth Greene says:

    I started sewing when I was in middle school, but I grew up helping my mom with her fun projects from the time I could talk.

  57. Lori Smanski says:

    what a wonderful book. so perfect with children, as you show. I was in kindergarten (6) when mom showed me how to sew clothes for my Twiggy doll. I was ten when I started sewing clothes and have been doing it ever since. And now I am 55 and starting to quilt.

  58. Maureen Mate says:

    I started sewing when I was 11, back when Home Economics was a school subject.

  59. shirley Tener says:

    I was about 7 or 8 when I was really playing with doll houses.. playing with scraps my grandma had cute in WWII, now I wish I had that stash..

  60. Mara Capron says:

    Nay I was the ripe old age of 36, but I am doing a little work with my daughter who is 3 with felt and my 6 yr. old son gets in on the action too. grecomara at gmail dot com

  61. I think I was 10 or 12 and sewed through high school and stopped. Now it’s my new mid -life crisis and I’m loving it! benderfamily1 at cox dot net Thanks for the chance to play : )

  62. Rosalie Wells Ruple Booth says:

    Looks like a lot of fun. Could do this with my Granddaughters,

  63. Only hand sewing as a child. Had LO @ 38 & learning to sew and Serge slowly now that he is 2 ;& a handful!

  64. Jennariece Robson says:

    Personally I have always been fascinated with sewing because my mother used to always knit or do cross stitches in her free time and I loved watching her do it and started learning as soon as I could thread a needle but it never looked quite right until I was roughly 8/9 and now I am doing a few cross stitches , helping to make knitted squares for a mix and matches blanket and for my text styles GCSE I am making little baby toys!

  65. I’m not sure exactly how old I was when I started sewing. The earliest I can remember is making an apron in junior high.

  66. I was a young girl when I watched my mother and great auntie sewing. My mother made some of her and my clothing and my Barbie and other doll outfits. My great auntie was a professional seamstress and an artist, she also created handmade dolls. I started with hand sewing, mending and embroidery stitching. I was very young when I started and I still enjoy and love the arts, crafts, sewing, mixed multi medias and creating and designing. πŸ™‚ <3 Blessings and creative inspirations!

  67. Kelly McKie says:

    I’ve been sewing since the fifth grade and my first project was a blouse. My BFF and I taught ourselves to decipher patterns and sew on sewing machines that our grandmothers gave us. I have always thought outside of the box and right away put some of my own details into the blouse. It wasn’t perfect but I wore it anyhow and figured out what I did wrong as I went along. I’m still sewing, drawing, painting, embroidering and hand stitching today (all outside of the lines, of course) and love all things crafty! Thanks for the chance to play!

  68. marie keller says:

    I started sew my own doll clothes ( wrap & stitch method) when I was 6. I remember sewing my fabric to my night gown one time. [email protected]

  69. I started sewing as a girl, around age 10. I sort of got away from it until recently. I would LOVE this book.

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