Stitch Savvy by Deborah Moebes – Book Review + Giveaway

Stitch Savvy is a new book by Deborah Moebes of Whipstitch. It combines Deborah’s talent for teaching sewing with 25 projects that include home decor, quilting, bags, and clothing. Each category contains 5 projects that progress from Level 1 (basic skills) to Level 5 (advanced sewing techniques).

A fun twist on the concept of building your skills is a section at the end of each chapter that recommends similar projects in the other categories that build on what you just learned.

As part of the blog tour, Deborah asked us each to take a hypothetical path through the projects and share how we would leap from one to the next.

I began with the Footstool Slipcover with Piping – a Level 2 project in the Home Decor section.

I’m a piping nut and I LOVED the detail that Deborah included. How to join the ends is illustrated with such detailed pictures you’re not left wondering exactly how to do each step and what it’s supposed to look like when it’s done. There’s additional info on what a piping foot is and how to use it as well as end notes on how to make a version with a gathered skirt.

Next Steps is a series of recommendations at the end of each project that give you ideas of how to continue building on the skills you just learned. For the Footstool there were three recommendations: the Tea Cozy (a Level 3 project – one up from the one you just completed), a Sewing Machine Cover which also uses piping, and the Fabric Picnic Basket which builds on the technique of making clean, square corners.

I chose the Tea Cozy project – mostly because it’s been extremely wet, rainy and cold here – the thought of a warm pot of tea under such an adorable bright cover sounded like fun!

Next, I was onto the Lovie Blanket where I can use the skills I learned in sewing simple curves.

The concept of making these types of jumps is a brilliant idea because that’s how we learn to sew in real life: start with one project and then up the challenge with the next, building and expanding our arsenal of sewing techniques as we go.

Part of the challenge of making the Lovie Blanket was using fabrics you might not be familiar with. The Beaded Clutch was a recommended Next Step project where you could work with silk. A version of the clutch with home dec fabric is featured on the cover.

Now I didn’t plan it this way but I was EXTREMELY happy to see that the Knit Top was a Next Step idea after the clutch. Love, love, love this design. I’ve been dreaming of knits lately and this project definitely has my name all over it.

The step by step instructions remind me of being in a sewing class where the instructor demonstrates how to accomplish the task while also sharing tips and tricks that make for a better result. Whether you’re a beginner or an accomplished sewist there is much to learn about technique in this book.

The subtitle of the book is 25 Skill-Building Projects to Take Your Sewing Technique to the Next Level. Learning to sew is a journey. One that doesn’t travel along a single path from point A to point B. Stitch Savvy presents a framework that creates endless paths all leading to the same destination: mastering sewing skills  one project at a time that makes you a more accomplished sewist than when you began.


Leave a comment sharing what sewing technique you would like to learn. I’m giving away a copy of the book and 2 yards of your choice of knit fabric from Pink Chalk Fabrics (that way you can make the knit top too!) Winner announced – congratulations to Lynette Russell of Sew. Knit. Grow.


Be sure to visit these other fabulous stops along the book tour:

Wednesday, January 8:  One Shabby Chick

Thursday, January 9:  Pink Chalk Studio (yay, you’re here!)

Friday, January 10:  Noodlehead

Monday, January 13:  Fresh Lemons

Tuesday, January 14:  This Mama Makes Stuff

Wednesday, January 15:  I’m a Ginger Monkey

Thursday, January 16:  MADE

Friday, January 17:  Stitched in Color

Monday, January 20:  The Long Thread

Tuesday, January 21:  Creative Thursday

Wednesday, January 22:  Whipstitch

336 Responses to Stitch Savvy by Deborah Moebes – Book Review + Giveaway
  1. Veronica
    January 14, 2013 | 7:55 am

    I’d like to learn to be more proficient with my serger. I know how to use it, but I still find it kind of intimidating because I don’t use it very much.

  2. Lorna
    January 14, 2013 | 8:54 am

    I’d love to learn to sew with knits.

  3. Pattie C
    January 14, 2013 | 10:14 am

    Adding piping looks easy but I bet there is a trick to make it look great.

  4. Amanda P
    January 14, 2013 | 10:29 am

    Getting around to working with piping has been on my to-do list for a while. There are a lot of great projects in this book and I love how they build off to new projects.

  5. Sheila
    January 14, 2013 | 10:33 am

    This looks like an awesome book! I like the idea that it builds from one skill to the next. Piping and sewing with knits are both on my list of things to try in the near future, so this books sounds like a must-have for me. :)

  6. Sam Jordan
    January 14, 2013 | 10:53 am

    I’m in desperate need to learn piping. My couch cushions are apparently the best spot for my dog to snuggle and I need a schnazzy way of presenting a basic brown home dec fabric.

  7. Esther
    January 14, 2013 | 11:09 am

    Thanks for the giveaway! There is a lot to learn but I would like to learn how to sew a zipper. I have started sewing a year ago but I have never done it.

  8. Pam
    January 14, 2013 | 11:12 am

    I really like Deborah’s first book. It was very easy to follow and I loved using to help others learn to sew. In her new book, I really like the clutch. I have never worked with the metal frame, but would love to learn how.

  9. Jo Ann McLean
    January 14, 2013 | 11:32 am

    Love the book. It would be so much fun to read and use.

  10. Stephanie C.
    January 14, 2013 | 11:34 am

    I’d like to learn piping – its scares me right now!

  11. Angie
    January 14, 2013 | 11:37 am

    I would love to learn to sew curves. They intimidate me so much and I can’t seem to get a handle on how to do it from online tutorials!

  12. mjb
    January 14, 2013 | 1:19 pm

    I’d love to make more knit tops, too!

  13. Rene'
    January 14, 2013 | 5:34 pm

    I learned so much from her first book. I pipe practically everything now. But I would love to learn to sew with knits. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Jessica
    January 14, 2013 | 7:08 pm

    I’d like to practice with knits. I’ve done a few projects with my serger, but every time I try sewing with knits on the sewing machine I get SUPER frustrated!

  15. Terry
    January 14, 2013 | 7:12 pm

    Thanks for the give away. I would love to learn about piping, and the foot that goes with it. Thanks.

  16. Valerie
    January 14, 2013 | 7:20 pm

    I would love to learn curved bindings. Every time I try it doesn’t turn out right. And knit fabric scares me! But I dream of making pajama pants with them…so soft!

  17. Maree
    January 14, 2013 | 7:42 pm

    Oh, the book looks awesome! In honor of going to see Wicked in March, I’d love to make that knit top in a pretty green. ? Thanks a bunch for the chance to win!

  18. jen
    January 14, 2013 | 10:23 pm

    I would love to stitch binding around corners so they are nice and tight.

  19. liz f
    January 14, 2013 | 11:25 pm

    I’d like to learn mitered corners and become more proficient with knits.

  20. Jo Ann Moulds
    January 15, 2013 | 10:36 am

    I would definitely love to learn about sewing with slippery fabrics like many of the knits.
    Also how to line them so that my imperfections don’t show through.

  21. KerryQ
    January 15, 2013 | 10:57 am

    I have a footstool that has seen a little too much action, and has been waiting for a slipcover, but I’m afraid to just jump right in. I’ve never sewn with piping before, so the would be a great project for me. Thanks!

  22. Susan
    January 15, 2013 | 12:07 pm

    I am interested in increasing my skill in the home dec section. I love that the book touches on varying areas, home dec, clothing, accessories. It sounds fabulous!

  23. Karrie Smith
    January 15, 2013 | 4:32 pm

    I would love to learn to sew with knits and just clothing in general. I know have the skills, I just need the confidence! Thanks for the chance to win!

  24. Lydia
    January 15, 2013 | 7:04 pm

    What a great book! I would love detailed instructions on invisible zips.

  25. tina
    January 16, 2013 | 6:40 am

    Like many, I’m a self-taught sewer and books like Stitch Savvy are a valuable and necessary part of my education. I would love to learn how to insert a zipper without fear and with a lovely finish. Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. Carol N
    January 16, 2013 | 6:42 am

    I had just told myself the other day that I needed to find projects that challenge my skills. I do believe this book is it! What a great concept–building on what we have learned! Count me in!

  27. Lynn Walker
    January 16, 2013 | 2:06 pm

    I’d like to learn more about machine sewing with knits, and that top is very cute. I’ll definitely have to check out this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. Sheri
    January 16, 2013 | 3:10 pm

    I really enjoy sewing with knits and would love to try Deborah’s techniques and suggestions. Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. Tamara
    January 17, 2013 | 5:08 am

    I’d like to learn to sew with knits comfortably! :)

  30. Joy
    January 17, 2013 | 9:01 am

    I found Deborah’s first book very helpful so I’m excited she’s got a new one out. I’ve never made a knit top, so I’d like to try that. Thanks for the chance!

  31. Eva
    January 17, 2013 | 10:06 am

    I’d like to perfect my piping sewing skills. Also, I’d like to learn how to make a metal frame clutch! The book looks great and like a lot of fun with the motivating factor of the next project ideas!

  32. Carole B
    January 18, 2013 | 1:14 pm

    I need to work on curves! Mine usually end up with at least one pleat. I’ve added this book to my “must have list.”

  33. Susie
    January 18, 2013 | 3:47 pm

    I would love to learn to sew with piping, and sew a knit top!!

  34. Michelle
    January 18, 2013 | 9:05 pm

    I want to win this for my daughter who just had her first baby. She has recently showed a strong interest in sewing, for which I am so excited. She has enjoyed making some basic items and this book could help her learn more, and not have to have her Mom show her :-)

  35. Mary Simon
    January 20, 2013 | 11:49 am

    Your review of this book certainly makes me want to own a copy! I haven’t been sewing much lately other than quilting, but that knit top is really tempting!