Present Perfect Book Review

About a year ago Betz contacted me with a handful of new patterns to test for her new sewing book.  Unbeknownst to me they would all end up making the cut and becoming part of Present Perfect.

First, let me just say that this is most likely her best sewing book to date.  I’ve tested quite a few of her patterns over the last 4 years and each time the process from her initial design and testing to seeing the final product gets easier and more cohesive.  I could not wait to have a copy of my own in hand and it’s everything I’d hoped it would be, a visually gorgeous, practical, easy to understand and follow sewing book.

There’s a nice beginning section called The Gift of Sewing that talks about how her mother, Janice, inspired her love of sewing for others and why that is so important.  It’s like a love and thank you letter all rolled up in a tidy bundle. She’s dedicated this book to her. It really is touching and a meaningful introduction.

All the patterns in this book are wonderful and the materials to make each of them easily sourced from either upcycled materials, your own fabric stash or your local sewing shop.  But most importantly, they’re fun and practical!

I helped test on 3 of the patterns in this book, the Pasha Pleated Clutch, the Gentleman’s Travel Case, Patchwork Bears Baby Quilt.  Each one held it’s own unique challenges while sewing, but the results in the end were none-the-less satisfying.  Please note these are not my own finished projects in the pictures below.

While I no longer have my Pasha Pleated Clutch on hand (it was gifted to my niece early last year) I do still have my Gentleman’s Travel Case and the Patchwork Bears quilt.  I’ll blog a bit about those later this month once I get pictures of them both.

Another thing I love about this book, aside from the photography, at the end of each pattern there’s an excerpt at the bottom called, Stitched with Meaning.  It gives the sewer additional ideas on how to reuse and upcycle fabric from clothing castoffs, old bridesmaids dresses and even dad’s outdated ties.  It’s very Betz-like to add this as she’s quite fond of upcycling just about anything into her current projects and patterns.

The very end of the book she gives a technique overview and a nice list of resources used for all her patterns.  And on top of that the book even includes templates for every pattern that needs one.  This is SO handy as most sewing books that use templates do not include ones that are already scaled up.  I don’t always like taking things to the copier at the library to get a template blown up to the proper size.

It’s a testament to the editor and Betz that this particular book is as simple and complete as it is.  There’s no extra fluff and every section and detail as a place and purpose. Well done! I can’t wait to try out a few other projects including Hexie the Turtle Floor Pillow, Tagalong Teddy and the Sweet Life bumble bee pillow.

Thank you for letting me help you out again Betz! As always it was a great pleasure and alot of fun along the way.

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