Little Girls, Big Style: Sew a Boutique Wardrobe from 4 Easy Patterns by Mary Abreu encourages home sewers to mix four basic wardrobe staples to create hundreds of outfits. It’s beginner-friendly approach to sewing “boutique” clothing guides readers through all the basics, from finishing seams to gathering, hemming to shirring and more. Mary uses her experiences as a sewing teacher to create a practical guide any mom, grandmother, aunt or big sister can find useful. We’re happy to share a little more about Little Girls, Big Style with you today as a stop on Mary’s blog book tour. You also have a chance to win a copy of the book by commenting on this post!
Sew, Mama, Sew!: Your book is dedicated to your late mother, whom you call “the original craft addict.” What kind of influence has she had on your sewing?
Mary: I remember wearing so many things my mom made when I was a little girl: Halloween costumes, wrap skirts, T-shirts — you name it, she made it. I was just in awe of what she could do because it seemed like there was no end to her talents. After my sons were born, she sewed for them, too, and I loved seeing that connection with my childhood. My daughter was born almost three years after my mom died and I didn’t want her to miss out on all that mama-made goodness. I’m not as precise as mom, or nearly as fast, but I think I sew with as much love.
SMS: The clothes in your book are described as “boutique” wardrobe components. Can you describe the boutique style and why it appeals to you and other sewers?
Mary: I love little girls’ clothing that looks like it was made for little girls. Boutique clothing runs the gamut from every-day to special occasion to over-the-top. Hallmarks of the boutique-clothing industry are high-quality quilter’s cotton fabric, appliqué, coordinating accessories (hair, shoes, jewelry), themed apparel, made-to-match ready to wear garments and often one-of-a-kind designs. Because of its customizable nature, it’s an ideal way of sewing perfectly fitting garments that reflect your child’s
personality and interests. What’s not to love about that?
SMS: What do you think the most important element is in making a handmade garment?
Mary: I can’t say enough about ironing and pressing as you go. It’s such an easy way to make a huge difference in the look of a finished garment. I really dislike ironing but I’ve come to terms with the necessity.
SMS: The photographs throughout the book really show off the clothes, which are so eye catching yet wearable. What inspires your fabric choices?
Mary: I tend to gravitate to bright, fun fabrics, something that makes me smile. I nearly always start with a dominant fabric and use that to select coordinates, most of the time from outside of that line of fabric. It’s lots more fun to mix things up! Like right now — I’m totally loving how Innocent Crush works with Parisville, and the new V&A line from David Textiles mixes in, too.
SMS: What are some of your favorite wardrobe combination from the book?
Mary: I love layering pieces, so I’m prone to putting the Classic Peasant Top under just about anything but especially the Knotty Apron Dress. Throw a pair of Ruffled Pants under it and we’re ready to roll! I’m also a huge fan of the Pocket Pinafore paired with the Lace-Edged Gauchos.
Now, for the giveaway fun! Stash Books is providing a copy of Little Girls, Big Style for one lucky reader. Just comment on this post to enter!
And be sure to check out the other stops on the Little Girls, Big Style blog tour: