I admire designers who have a signature style. When you see their work out of context you immediately recognize it and know it’s theirs. Their blog, their patterns, their business cards – everything they make – is part of an overall aesthetic. Kim Kruzich is one of those designers.
When I think of Kim I think of pretty retro prints, pink and red and turquoise, and carefully detailed sewing. I think this patchwork triangle pillow tutorial on her blog represents Kim’s style well.
Like so many of us, Kim started sewing after she had children. She began designing her own patterns quickly after she learned to sew, starting with headbands and aprons and soon focusing in on softies and dolls. She opened her Etsy shop in 2007. Originally she was selling finished goods like pear pincushions and plush owls, but by 2009 she began selling patterns for those things. For a long while she sold sheets of felt as well.
Beyond selling self-published patterns, Kim’s work was featured in Mollie Makes, Crafts Beautiful, Australian Homespun, and in the book Zakka Style. And now she’s written her own book, Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing: 18 Easy Sewing Projects for DIY Gifts and Toys From Fabric Remnants.
This book came about because Kim consistently created beautiful work and showed it online for years, developing an audience and a customer base of her own. The Content Director at F+W saw her patterns online and approached her about writing a pattern book.
Each of the 18 projects is made with small scraps of fabric and the patterns are designed for confident beginners. There’s a zippered make-up pouch, a doll, baby bibs, a roll-up crochet hook holder, and a business card holder, among others. Several of the projects use contrasting bias binding for a very pretty effect.
The pattern templates at the back of the book are all full-size, using some overlap to fit everything on the page. Hooray! For a book of small craft sewing projects it’s unusual for a publisher to print the templates at full size.
The fact that the tempates ready to copy and use right away makes this book a great value. Considering that individual patterns in Kim’s shop run from $8-$12.50, getting 18 patterns for the book’s cover price of $22.99 is a good deal. (Note that the patterns include a 1/4″ seam allowance. There are cutting lines, but not stitching lines.)
I made the Scrap Patch Pincushion because I liked the look of the pleated linen sides. I have tons of quilting cotton scraps and it was fun to sift through and pick reds and greens that went together.
I redrew the triangular pattern template to make it a bit more pointy (the one in the book is blunt at the tip) because I was having trouble getting the middle to meet up. Otherwise, this pattern was fun and I enjoyed creating the pleated linen for the sides. The instructions are not too wordy and are accompanied by plenty of step-by-step photos.
The book’s design has some lovely touches that make it fun to look at. The pages that divide the chapters are collages of pretty fabric scraps. Fabric scraps are used as decorative elements on the materials lists for each project. The sidebars are outlined in circles that look like wrapped thread. I love these little decorative elements.
Scrap Happy Sewing has enough projects for you to make gifts for years to come. It’s pretty and practical.