This is a bit different, although I did bring you a craft book a little while back. I couldn’t resist this one, because as soon as I saw the cover it reminded me of a doll I had to get once I saw it, although it wasn’t that long ago (a few years). Here she is:
She is actually not crocheted but knitted, but you’ll probably know what I mean when I share the book. By the way, as I was writing this I realised I’d never named her, so any suggestions are welcome as well.
And here comes the book:
Amigurumi Style Crochet: Make Betty & Bert and dress them in vintage-inspired crochet doll’s clothes and accessories by Cara Medus
Crochet Betty, an amigurumi-style doll, with patterns for her fifties outfits ranging from shopping to movie-going. There’s a detailed explanation of how to make the basic doll Betty, and also her cute cat Bert. Each section has patterns for a selection of stylish removable garments and accessories on a fifties theme, with a few added extras for Bert too. Come with Betty as she channels her inner Audrey Hepburn at the movies, or takes off on holiday in the glamorous footsteps of Grace Kelly.
About the author:
Cara Medus has made and drawn things for as long as she can remember, but has been seriously crocheting for about 10 years. She became technical editor on ‘Simply Crochet’ magazine when it launched in 2013, and loved the geeky side of crochet; patterns, charts, numbers, you name it!
Cara now freelances for ‘Simply Crochet’ and as a crochet designer, and develops training material for crochet designers and tech editors. She often designs garments, but has enjoyed a recent return to amigurumi, as she is more able to match this with her love of illustration. It’s been a joy for Cara to discover Betty and Bert for this book //or book title// and launch them on some new adventures!
Cara lives in Bristol with her husband and sons where she does a bit of singing, yoga and coffee-drinking on the side.
Rosie Croft from Pen & Sword sent me an early paperback copy of this wonderful book from their White Owl line that I freely chose to review.
I casually discovered this book perusing through the Pen & Sword catalogue, and having long been a fan of crocheting (although I don’t dedicate it too much time, to be honest), I couldn’t resist. Betty, the doll and main character, is wonderful, and her cat, Bert, even more so.
I had to share a review of this book now, because although I haven’t had a chance to try my hand at creating Betty and her wonderful outfits, I thought it would make a fabulous Christmas present, not only for fans of crocheting, but for anyone who loves crafts, dolls, and especially the fashion of the 1950s.
The book is beautifully illustrated, with plenty of photographs of the doll, the details of the making, the stitches, and in an appendix, at the end, there is a list of abbreviations, information of the stockists (especially useful for those living in the UK, although I’m sure it might be possible to order online), detailed diagrams, charts, and symbol keys, and chapter one is dedicated to the basics.
As chapter one explains, it is useful to have some experience in making these types of dolls (yes, amigurumi comes from the Japanese, as you can guess), but the stitches are not very complicated, and there are plenty of instructional videos available for those who might need a bit more guidance (in fact, the author shares patterns and guidance on her own website). Even if you’re not strong at crocheting, this is an inspiring book for people who are creative and enjoy drawing characters (I thought those characters would make great illustrations for children’s books), decorating cakes (it reminded me of fellow blogger, author and artist-baker Robbie Cheadle and her Sir Chocolate series of book with her wonderful fondant characters, you can check the first book here), and the accessories are easier to make and would also be happily received by other dolls, I’m sure!
In case you’re wondering, the book contains six different outfits, with one chapter dedicated to each one, the chapter about the basics, and one dedicated to making the doll. The six outfits (all with cat incorporated and plenty of accessories) are: Betty at home, Betty at the movies (a red carpet occasion), Betty goes on holiday, Betty’s boudoir, Betty goes dancing, and Betty goes shopping.
Here you can see my picture of Betty goes on holiday (as you can see, she does it in style):
This book is a joy, and I recommend it to anybody interested in this type of crocheting, dolls, illustrations, crafts, or looking for a special kind of gift. Looking through it brings a smile to my face, and I’m sure it will do the same for you, and that is something we sorely need at the moment. A fabulous gift and a fun project to take on.
Thanks to Rosie, Pen & Sword, and the author for the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, keep safe, and always, keep smiling!