Book Review – Sew Wild

When I first saw this book in publicity sent out by Interweave, I immediately loved the book’s cover image! When I received the book the other day to review, I could not put it down.

Sew Wild
Sew Wild by Alisa Burke

Sew Wild – Creating Stitch and Mixed Media is written by Alisa Burke, a painter and mixed-media artist who returned to sewing after a 20-year break. In this book, she shares more than 20 mixed-media and stitching techniques to transform fabric into playful pieces.

She begins the book with chapters on materials and tools and color, pattern and inspiration. The following chapter on surface design includes 13 techniques. Some of these include doodling and drawing, graffiti-style letters, building layers of color with paints, wet-on-wet painting, easy screenprinting, and fusing plastic.



Her stitching techniques chapter includes eight ways of stitching including free-motion, stitching over patterned and painted surfaces, establishing line, contrast, and color, freehand and expressive drawing, journaling and writing, sewing with alternative patterns, graffiti quilting, and building stitched layers.

All of the techniques are clearly explained with detailed instructions and helpful color photos. With each technique, she also shows other examples in her Go Wild section.

The projects chapter puts all of what she teaches in the earlier chapters into instructions for finished items. Wonder Woman Cuff Bracelet, Obi-Style Wrap Belt and Cozy Jersey Scarf are just three of the projects. The projects are clearly explained. She even has sketches on adding that dreaded zipper to her Graffiti Zipper Bag. After fighting with my zipper, it was nice to see her illustrations and instructions.

In addition to all of this, there is a DVD where we can watch her show us a few of the techniques and a bonus project. I really loved that part and tried a couple of her techniques.

After she demonstrated her Wet-On-Wet painting, I just had to try it on a piece of muslin.

Wet on wet technique
Wet on wet painting

When a book can get me to drop everything and try a technique or make something – that’s a keeper. I really like this book because Alica gives the readers the permission to explore, to get out of our comfort zone, and not be concerned about perfect.

Alisa says “I want to break down the stigma that often goes along with sewing – that it’s scary, that there are rules to follow, that you have to be technical and always use a pattern. Instead I want to encourage you to experiment, find your style, embrace mistakes, be messy, let loose and explore.”

If you’re looking for a projects book, I must admit that this book is really not about the projects – it’s all about techniques and just letting your creativity flow. She has some cute projects to make, but what I love about this book is her attitude, her encouragement, and the easy-to-understand instructions.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I absolutely love this book! You can pre-order it HERE. The book will be shipped by the end of the month.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow I will show you one of the other fabrics I created with one of her techniques.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review and received no monetary compensation.