Book Review: One-Yard Wonders

One Yard Wonder Review

I have a little not-so-secret-secret.  Your library has sewing books. It is my favorite resource for test driving books I’m considering adding to my collection, because, let’s face it, the Amazon sneak peak doesn’t REALLY show you anything. A quick caveat:  I have access to a large metro library system, and even they don’t always have what I am looking for. You may have mixed results, but with the ease of the Internet and library searches it is worth taking the time to look!

I have the most luck finding pattern drafting books. I have fallen in love with some books and purchased them, and barely scanned others and known they are not for me. When I reserved One Yard Wonders I was really interested to see what I would get. Would there be pattern pieces? I recently had a book that referenced the attached slopers frequently. Man, what I wouldn’t have given for those slopers. That book, however, was from the 80s. So maybe not a fair comparison?

What I Got

There were pattern pieces! Not only were there pattern pieces they were tissue. That was interesting for me. My recently published books that came with patterns all had paper pattern sheets. All this tissue made me nervous.

What I Made

kitschy kitchen apron

I made the Kitschy Kitchen Apron. I bought this fabric almost 2 years ago. I was making a truck apron for the little guy and thought “I’ll make one for me too!”. Sure I would…two years later. It’s a cute fast little apron.

Kitschy Kitchen Apron

You could easily take it up a level by lining it, which would make it easier to add pockets in. Of course, as I started to delve into my tweaking ideas I thought, “I suppose that ruins the whole ‘one yard’ concept huh?”

What I Thought

This one is a no buy for me. Here is the bottom line- you can only make so many projects out of a yard of fabric, and chances are, you’ve seen them. The book has an assortment of bags, aprons, simple kids stuff, and crafty type projects.

I want to say this would be a good book for beginners who maybe haven’t “Been there, sewn that.” The problem? I don’t think the directions are super clear. There are no pictures to accompany the instructions. You could find much clearer (and free) Internet tutorials for many of these projects.

I rather loosely followed the instructions for this apron. I added or adjusted when I knew I could easily hide a raw edge, for example. But the dimensions for the pattern they provided worked perfectly and I love the design. It makes me feel very domestic! I’m considering putting on some heels and vacuuming in it. Or not….

I wanted to love the book more than I did. The overall Amazon ratings are pretty high, so for you intermediate-beginners out there this may be worth checking out.

That Being Said….

There is a second book, and I’m still interested in checking it out. So I guess you could say I have mixed feelings about this one. Do you own a One-Yard Wonder book? Do you love it, hate it, meh it?

Happy Sewing,



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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Amy mayen January 27, 2013, 3:10 pm

    I go to the library all the time. Not once have I ever thought to look for sewing books. Thanks!
    Amy mayen recently posted..Sofie’s Summer Romper/ New Look 6134My Profile

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 27, 2013, 3:49 pm

      It didn’t occur to me right away either. Until I got interested in drafting patterns. Overlooked resource!

  • Pam January 27, 2013, 5:34 pm

    I’ve never thought to look in my local library for a sewing book, even when I was sewing pre Internet days. Must check them out. I have copies of One Metre Wonders , bought locally and Fabric by Fabric – One Yard Wonders, bought online. I’ve only sewn one thing using the first book; a skirt. There’s lots of lovely projects in both books, but the books sit on my bookshelf, along with lots of other largely under-used sewing books. I’m not sure why, but I tend to prefer an online tutorial, or an actual pattern. BUT I continue to buy books, because I love looking through the projects, even if just to get ideas.

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 27, 2013, 6:11 pm

      Pam, I am in the same place you are. I never think to look at the library for sewing manuals even though Rachel has had much luck. I do, however, purchase books that intrigue me and have interesting patterns. I have a full library of quilting and pattern books mostly unused. My books are mostly used for quick specific reference. You never know where you will find inspiration! I also continue to buy books.

  • Cindy January 27, 2013, 6:04 pm

    I use the library all the time to see if a craft/sewing book is worth purchasing. In fact, I picked up Amy Butler’s Style Stitches on Friday.:) One Yard Wonders was a book I borrowed about 2 years ago but I ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. It’s great to be able to test drive a book before laying down the cash for it! I like the apron…you should definitely don high heels and pearls and start vacuuming.;)
    Cindy recently posted..Catch A WaveMy Profile

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 27, 2013, 6:37 pm

      I have Amy Butler’s little stitches for little ones in my wait list 😉 I haven’t delved into sewing bags- I think it would be another habit I don’t have time for. I after I finish vacuuming in the apron maybe I’ll do the ironing…I’ve got a busy day planned!

  • Trish Hanson January 27, 2013, 6:44 pm

    I’m with ya’ll…I have this book and many others, yet I too prefr the online tutorials with all the pics and tips. That being said, I have another on the way! They just have the cutest pics and such! On thing that agravates me is when I buy a book that says it includes patterns, only tofind out they all have to be enlarged 200%! GRRRR

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 27, 2013, 7:19 pm

      It is those pictures that get us isn’t it! So hard to resist. I have not run into having to enlarge patterns, that would be so irritating!

  • Stella Marie February 1, 2013, 8:15 am

    Duh! Why did I never think to look in the library! I’ve been looking at reviews this week to purchase a book, and it never occurred to me I could just try it out for free!! Thanks for the review.

    • onceuponasewingmachine February 1, 2013, 9:10 am

      Reviews are so hard, the one for this book are good, but it’s not for me!

  • Sharon December 27, 2013, 10:50 pm

    I’m like you, I check out books from the library before deciding whether to not I want to purchase the book. I can easily get sucked into the pretty cover photo and have saved myself some money by borrowing from the library first. My library has been great about ordering craft/sewing books too when I put in requests. I do own the One Yard Wonders books (both of them, with another due out soon focused completely on children and babies) because I contributed to both books. I am more of a garment sewer so I don’t use these (or other crafty type books) real often, but they are great for gifts ideas.
    Sharon recently posted..Metallic Sparkle Sweater – Burda 128 12-2013My Profile

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