1, 2, 3 Sew: Blog Tour + Giveaway

by Jessika Hepburn, Editor

1, 2, 3 Sew, Chronicle Books, The Long Thread, Ellen Luckett Baker

I have a confession to make…I am afraid of my sewing machine. There I said it! Since I have always sewn by hand, I get easily stressed out by the noisy machine, and find many patterns overly complicated. But I love sewing tutorials and I have been embarrassed by my own lack of skills. So I jumped all over being part of the 1, 2, 3 Sew blog tour and the chance to review the book. Written by one of my favorite bloggers, Ellen Luckett Baker of The Long Thread and published by the ever-brilliant Chronicle Books, 1, 2, 3 Sew has 33 tutorials with clear, easy to follow directions and an awesome back pocket filled with patterns.

1, 2, 3 Sew, Chronicle Books, The Long Thread, Ellen Luckett Baker

I have bought a lot of sewing books over the years, thinking they will help me overcome my barrier to using the machine, but it just hasn’t happened yet-until now. This is the best book for beginners that I have seen so far. My favorite part is the “multiply your skills” aspect of each project. Ellen shows you how you can multiply what you learned from the previous tutorials to build a strong foundation in all areas of basic sewing while making some seriously cute and useful projects.

1, 2, 3 Sew, Chronicle Books, The Long Thread, Ellen Luckett Baker

I (of course) started in the middle of the book because I was all fired up about making these fantastic organizers with some Michael Miller gnome fabric I’ve been holding onto until I can do it justice…but I hadn’t built my skills yet and wasn’t pleased enough with the result to share. My summer promise to myself is to work through 1, 2, 3 Sew project by project until I can actually sew a straight line. Then those gnomes better watch out! I hope you’ll join me in my summer sewing school adventure by entering below to win a copy of the book or buying a copy right here.

Be sure to post your finished projects in 1, 2, 3 Sew flickr pool and share your creations with everyone!

You can also follow along with the rest of the 1, 2, 3 Sew blog tour by visiting these beautiful blogs:

1, 2, 3 Sew, Chronicle Books, The Long Thread, Ellen Luckett Baker

Monday, July 11 – CRAFT
Tuesday, July 12 – Sew, Mama, Sew & Oh My! Handmade Goodness
Wednesday, July 13 – Handmade Charlotte
Thursday, July 14 – Everything Etsy & Not Martha
Friday, July 15 – Modern Kiddo
Monday, July 18 – Crafty Pod
Tuesday, July 19 – Indie Fixx & Patterns by Figgy’s
Wednesday, July 20 – Papernstitch
Thursday, July 21 – House on Hill Road & Coquette
Friday, July 15 – Bolt Neighborhood & True Up

Enter to win a copy of 1, 2, 3 Sew by leaving a comment below about the book, your own sewing abilities, or what you would make first.

You can get extra entries by tweeting this giveaway or posting it to your Facebook page and leaving a comment below. This giveaway closes next Tuesday, July 19th at midnight EST with the winner announced on Wednesday at the bottom of this post.

This giveaway is CLOSED! Congratulations to:


  1. Lisa C. Johnson says:

    I have been wanting to “build” my sewing skills for the better part of this year. This adorable book looks like a great way to do that! Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. Ruby Maynes says:

    Wow! what a neat book. I recently just purchased a Brother XL-2620. My older sister has been sewing for a few years & i thought it’d be a fun sisterly project to get together ever now and again with our sewing machines. I’m still a little frightened to get into a real project as i haven’t sewn anything since high school!
    I think this book looks like encouragment wrapped in a cute little package.

  3. Emma Darragh says:

    I’ve been sewing for a few years but it’s hard to find time with two young kids (and a husband) to feed/entertain/wrangle. So I keep my eye out for simple, practical and FUN projects that teach me new skills while keeping the pressure off. This is exactly the kind of book I’ve been looking for! I love my sewing machine too, but she still intimidates me a little. She’s a little temperamental at times… I do NOT want to get on her bad side and have to pull out my stitch ripper!

  4. Ng Lay Yen says:

    Hi, I have just seen the video on the book, cute ! And makes you want to learn more about it. I would love to make something for myself and that will be the pintuck clutch. I have sewn many beginner’s projects and hope to proceed to immediate ones soon. Thanks for the great giveaway !

  5. Stephanie w says:

    I definitely need a book like this. I am self taught and would like to do so many projects but just don’t have the knowledge to do them. I have bought some different books, but they haven’t helped. I would love to learn more “sew” I can make some curtains and pillows for my house, and some clothes for my children, my daughter loves ruffles but I need help with them. Thanks for a truly fabulous giveaway!

  6. MOXIELisa says:

    Oh so cool! I am completely opposite Jessika…I am scared to sew anything by hand but a whiz on the sewing machine. LOL I am a nut for organizers and that section looks fabulous. Can’t wait to get my hands on this book.

  7. kvossler says:

    i’m always on the look-out for books like this–i’m a bit intimidated by my own sewing machine, too! but i’m determined to keep working at it. i’d like to try the skirt and perhaps something for my one-year old…

  8. Laura says:

    I’m a quilter and have sewn a few other odds and ends. But I’m not very precise so my corners don’t always line up and things don’t always come out the right size. I have a lot of fun doing it though!

    Thanks for the chance for the book!

  9. Jennyroo says:

    I’m a novice sewer/self taught, and I would go through the book as intended… building my skills one pattern at a time, what a great idea!!!

  10. susan hwang says:

    I’d love to win this book! I’m an amateur sewer – I use straight stitch and zig zag (for edges). I love making clothes, pouches and bags with my sewing machine.

  11. Candy says:

    I’m a beginner at sewing and I made the market tote that is on The Long Thread blog. It was very easy and I already used it at the farmers market. I’m excited to see what other things I can make to help advance my skills. It is such a great feeling to make something on your own.

  12. hueisei says:

    I am consider myself as a beginner in sewing. With the book, I am sure I will find alot of skills and inspiration to improve my sewing skill. Thank you for a chance to win it…

  13. Suzanne says:

    I sew quilts but would love the opportunity to enhance my skills. I like how this book offers projects which build skills gradually with meaningful projects.

  14. Muireann says:

    I know exactly what you mean! I keep starting projects, but even the simple ones beceome hard and complicated. I’d love to win this book and start from scratch! Thanks for the chance to win.

  15. Meeks says:

    I can’t get enough of the pictures in this book! It just makes you want the items to appear magically in your house!

    I have been a follower of Ellen for a while now, so I’m super excited about this book.

  16. Ivy Motuyang says:

    just looking at the cover, i know the inside there a lot of beautiful and simple sewing projects that i can try to make since i’m a beginner. i think i will try to make the lunch sack first..

  17. Martha says:

    I would make the lunch tote or a pillow. I still definitely consider myself a beginner, so this book would be perfect to help me build my skills and confidence. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  18. hearttypat says:

    I’m so attracted by the round stitches used around the patches and text on the book! I love crafting but have always hand-sewn… I have been debating with myself if i should get a paper cutter machine or a sewing machine first… with this book, guess which one I’ll get first!

  19. Virginia says:

    I can relate to what Jessika has written, as I am a little bit afraid of my machine too, it seems to have a mind of it’s own and doesn’t do what I would like half the time! I like how ‘1-2-3 Sew’ is suitable for every one and helps you build on skills. I would love to sew my little poppets some bags for their treasures and a shopping bag for myself.

  20. barrie Petersen says:

    I would love to be making things from the organizing section as gifts

    maybe this is the year I’ll start the xmas sewing early


  21. Elizabeth J. says:

    I haven’t sewn since the sophomore year of higjschool, about 10 years ago! Even then I could barely grasp the concept but I would love to learn more!

  22. Ilona says:

    Without my sewing machine I’d be lost. Only just recently I have sewn my first skirt, further no clothes yet, but I love to sew little things and stuffies. This book looks like a must-have for me!

  23. Liz says:

    I am in love with the styling of this book, especially since I saw the cute promotion video on the long thread. I have been sewing for two years now but I bet there’s still loads I could learn from the book so fingers crossed!

  24. Aimee says:

    I first started sewing two years ago when I found out I was expecting my daughter. Lily is now one and what started with a simple desire to have baby bedding that was not pink has ended up with a passion for all things sewn.

  25. Mary says:

    I love to follow Ellen’s blog, she is pretty amazing and so to have her book would be fab, I think I would spend a lot of time just looking, but quite fancy making the craft caddy. thanks for the chance to win.

  26. julie says:

    I have been sewing for a couple of years– totally self-taught through trial and error. I’ve been following Ellen’s blog for a while, and I appreciate her tutorials and projects. I can’t wait to see a copy of the book and learn some new skills.

  27. Carla says:

    Love the cover, it’s inspiring and looks like we can have lots of beautiful projects and so much fun! Before I got married I remember buying an used sewing machine, dreaming about making stuff for my new home. Later a friend of my mom taught me how to sew a straight line (LOL), and helped me making my first (and last, so far) quilt. The most important is that I lost the “fear” about using a sewing machine. Moving to USA, one of the first purchases was a sewing machine, and I already made covers for my Ikea chairs, costumes for my kids, and lots of projects in paper. I love fabrics, and if I do not win I’ll certainly buy this book.

  28. Dell says:

    Funny, I am afraid of handwork and am trying to tackle hand quilting and hand embroidery. The seeing machine is my friend with it’s perfectly even stitches. The projects in this book look wonderful.

  29. Kate says:

    Love this book….and your words! I love to craft, create so many things yet sewing just comes hard to me and sooo many things in this book alone I would love to make!! Thanks for a great give away!!!! 🙂

  30. Melinda says:

    I am great at planning projects and buying all the supplies but have a terrible time getting started. Usually I attempt things beyond my skill level and end up frustrated. I think this book would help me start at the beginning as I should.

  31. Fiona says:

    What a beautiful looking book! I have been sewing for years, but these projects have a special look to them…simple and feminine…The kind that remind you to start making something! I’d love to make some of the projects…maybe the organizers to start…beautiful containers for beautiful materials…

  32. jennyy says:

    I could really use this book! Thanks for the chance. My sewing skills are pretty good until I have to sew a curve… then I could really use this book! 🙂

  33. Marie Noelle says:

    This book looks very great! I’m kinda scared of sewing machine as well.. I don’t even own one but I’ve been looking to buy one for several months now… I just feel like if I buy one, I won’t know what to do first… what easy project I’ll be able to make and I know myself, if I try something and it doesn’t work, I might just abandon… ( I have to be awesome in everything I try… )

  34. victoria says:

    I have been wanting this book all summer. I love to sew, but am still learning. I think I would start with the tote bag or the pillow with the circles or maybe the little mouse. I think I’d make everything! Now if I could just find a few spare moments….
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  35. DeNacho says:

    i have tried beginner projects but am still intimidated by my mom’s New Home sewing machine. i’m just afraid of making mistakes. these projects look like they could get me past that!

  36. Cyndy says:

    I just purchased my first new sewing machine since 7 th grade ( a long time ago) and could really use some up to date instruction. I used it to create a few basic items but it is capable of so much more.

  37. I have been debating getting a sewing machine, I don’t sew very much, but what I do is done by hand. I know I could make cute things if I had a sewing machine, but I’m scared that I won’t be able to figure it out. So having this book I think may help me overcome my fears lol. Thanks for the chance to win!

  38. T. Kimberlyn says:

    I used to love Home Economics class in Middle School and have always wanted to learn to sew my own clothes or accessories. I think I’d start with something simple like pillow covers! I have purchased fabric for such a project, but have not used it yet…it’s been over 3 years lol.

  39. Jessica Shaw says:

    The one other sewing book I own is boring. The pictures are all outdated (early 90s), even though the book was purchased new in 2005. The things in this book look totally cute and totally simple. I love it!

  40. tiffany says:

    i’m a big fan of ellen’s blog, and have been anxiously awaiting the book. it isn’t quiiiiite in my budget yet, but i’ve poured over it at the local book store… beautiful! when i do finally own a copy i think i’ll start with the reverse embroidered circles pillow… there’s something so simple and utterly lovely about that style.

  41. Like you Jessika, I suffer terribly from a mild fear of my sewing machine. I try and try but struggle – which is a shame, because I love it! I want to be able to sew – I’d sew all day if I could – so this book would be a tremendous gift and help and would be well used! Besides, my fabric looks lonely sat in the cupboard not being used properly! Well done Ellen for getting this amazing book published – you’re a great blogger and I know this book will be great 🙂 Thanks Jessika for bringing it to the fore!

  42. erica says:

    I also was scared of my sewing machine until about a year ago. Everything was sewn by hand and I could barely thread my machine. I went on a “get to know yr sewing machine” course locally & it’s given me the confidence top complete a fair few machine-sewn projects now. Love the look of this book & like the idea of “skill-building”. x

  43. Kay says:

    I love sewing and people who sew. It’s such a beautiful talent to have. I am a beginner and made a cushion cover by hand. I felt so proud of what I had made. Been wanting to make something on a sewing machine for a long time but don’t know where to start. I love the visuals in the book, the simple uncomplicated titles of the sections and the way it says ‘build your skills’ like she’s walking along in this journey with me. 🙂

  44. Cinnamon says:

    I am pretty competent with my sewing machine, it’s the hand sewing and patchwork I’d love to get better at. I think this might be the summer sewing book for me!

  45. Line says:

    My sewing skills are close to… zero! I’m just learning to sew (by hand only, since I have no sewing machine), so this book would be just great to help me!
    Thanks for the chance!

  46. Amanda says:

    I am so excited to check out this book. I’m not a complete beginner, but I find there is always plenty to learn even in beginner books, especially since I didn’t necessarily go about learning things in a methodical way…

  47. Mayi Carles says:

    NO NO NO NO NO NO this is not fair! I didn’t need this book until today! I’ve been drooling over the images + wanting it soooo bad. I love to hand sew + this book would be perfect to take with me during the weekends + create a relaxing projects that actually doesn’t feel like “work”.

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win Jessika. You are so kind.

    Crossing all of my fingers, even my man’s fingers. I need all the luck I can get hehehehe!

  48. Jennifer says:

    The past year I have been trying to teach my self how to sew by reading lots of wonderful blogs and I would love to have a copy of a great book like this to hopefully improve my skills!!

  49. Bernice says:

    I’m definitely in the beginner category. I’ve finally managed to sew a straight line but now I need some help taking the next steps. This book would definitely be good for me!

  50. Tanya says:

    I think there is always room for improvement whether you’re an expert sewer or not-I’m not an expert but I do love to sew. The pictures of the organizing baskets caught my eye right away!

  51. sarah says:

    i tend to hoard fabric until i find the perfect project. i can imagine finding a few in this book. i especially love the organization baskets…for all that fabric!!

  52. Christine Gant says:

    I grew up sewing on my mother’s Singer treadle sewing machine. Yes, the old one that you had to “peddle”. I’m intimidated by electric sewing machines that go fast! So since moving out from my parents’ house 25 years ago, I haven’t touched a sewing machine. I really, really want to, though! I wonder if this book would help me overcome my fear of the big, bad, fast “electric” sewing machine!

  53. Carla G says:

    Looks like lots of great projects! But those organizers look like something I need! My sewing area is being cleaned up & these would be perfect. 🙂

  54. Erin Frank says:

    I’m dying for a copy of this book! I found the farmers market tote pattern on the Chronicle Books website and made it immediately—and loved it! Can’t wait to tray my hand at more projects from the book.

  55. katy says:

    I got my first sewing machine for Christmas and I LOVE it! Although, I would consider myself a sew hacker-learning as I go. Experimenting and messing up as I go. 🙂

  56. Viv Smith says:

    I *need* this book! I had a sewing machine for my birthday 2 1/2 years ago and am yet to get beyond a slightly wonky straight line. I’m desperate to learn to sew – there are so many things I’d love to make….. and given the amount of fabrics I’ve stashed I really need to get to grips with my sewing machine and learn!

  57. April says:

    I have been sewing since I was 12 (and playing with the machine before that) and totally credit my skills to Mrs. Barry, my grade 7 Home Ec. teacher. I still use a very basic machine but I’ve learned to make everything from blinds to elaborate Tudor-era gowns. I still hoard sewing books (my favourites being by Anna Maria Horner and Natalie Chanin to date) but always welcome another one to my collection.

  58. Gaby says:

    this book is perfect for me! i have loved sewing since i was a little girl. correction, i have loved watching my mother sew my clothes and costumes since i was little. she was always very particular about her sewing machine and i was never allowed to touch it and any supervised experimentation was beyond stressful. (she’s a little ocd but very talented). so now im a little afraid of the old singer, but i really want to pick it up with some projects that I can handle!


  59. Ana Rojas says:

    I learned to sew in a quilting class and have not stopped ever since. I love making stuff for my daughter. The book looks great!

  60. Charlotte says:

    I can sew but I’m not all that confident with techniques. I think this would be a great way to learn a step at a time. Thanks for the chance!

  61. ~AnneGirl~ says:

    This looks like an excellent book. I confess my sewing abilities are quite limited and I would love to hone them a little. My mom never taught me to sew but I would love to get better at it and for my younger sisters to learn

  62. AnnFrances says:

    Last year I made a quilt for the baby girl I was nannying for. I pretty much just played it by ear since I have no sewing know-how. Right now I’m a live-in nanny but in a few months I’ll have my own apartment with a place for my sewing machine and would love to start teaching myself to sew.

  63. Kathleen says:

    I too fear the sewing machine, but would love to acquire the skill. The projects listed in 1-2-3 sew are quite varied and appealing. Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  64. Angela says:

    I love it! I’m also secretly a bit scared of my lovely sewing machine! It was my nana’s and she made so many beautiful things with it, so I feel like I better not make anything that isn’t fabulous 🙂 but I have been getting braver and using it more, I’d love to try the projects in this book 🙂
    And I’d probably start at the beginning!

  65. Liz F. says:

    Wow! Someone else is scared of their sewing machine, too! (Although I am not a by hand sewer). I am always intimidated by buying a pattern, because I need so much help, but none of my close friends sew (neither does my family. In fact, my mom used to STAPLE my patches onto my brownie uniform). If I don’t get lucky and win this giveaway, I am definately ordering the book. 🙂

  66. Sarah Stevener says:

    I am very much a beginner and would like to become a more skilled seamstress/crafter. Ah, now if only I had more time to sit down with all the projects I’d like to try.

  67. Michaela says:

    I’m very intimidated by sewing projects, but LOVE sewing books and dreaming about being talented enough to make something I see… maybe this book could change things from “oh how pretty” to “look what I made!”

  68. Chiska says:

    Sewing patterns make me nervous. I cut out a pair of pants this winter and it took me about 4 months to sew them together, I was so sure they wouldn’t turn out. But they did!

  69. Sherry says:

    Just got a new sewing machine after 20plus years on my old one, so still in a learning curve, but i love to sew. would love this book. thanks.

  70. Zuri says:

    I love to sew!…. by hand! lol I’m scared of the sewing machine, my mom when she was young caught her finger with the needle and decided to tell me that story when I had decided to learn… so I then decided I didn’t like sewing machines. Everything I’ve made I’ve done by hand, like pillows and cell phone cases. but I want to make cards with a sewing machine So I’m hoping this book could help get a good start ;D

  71. thepricklypinecone says:

    I don’t even need to think about this one, the thing I would make first would be some of the organizers, our house needs as much storage and we can get (or make!).

  72. Tali says:

    wow, i too am really scared of my sewing machine!! My first project was making 4 cushion covers (with the help of my mum – an expert!!), and now I have no idea where to go next.. would LOVE this book to kick my ass into sewing gear 🙂

  73. Kelly says:

    i am a beginner sewer and i would love a book that would motivate me to try different projects to increase me skills. such a brilliant idea!

  74. Paula says:

    I am not afraid of my sewing machine, but I still can’t work comfortably with her. I have many books, and I am slowly learning, but this book sounds like what I may need!

    I have sewn a couple of pillow covers and a fabric box for the remote controls in the living room, but now I would like to move forward and try something a bit more difficult. And I dream of sewing clothes some day! And knit fabrics!

    Thanks for the giveaway and all the best from sunny Barcelona.

  75. megan says:

    my sewing machine is 2 years old-BRAND NEW in its box. I thought i’d be a crafty mama but i got lost… now I need help to set it free! this book sounds like what i need!

  76. Annette says:

    Learned to sew a long time ago, but have always shied away from home-decorating projects. Would love to take the plunge with good directions from this book.

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