Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review + Giveaway - Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing by Kathy Cano-Murillo

Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing

TITLE:    Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing
AUTHOR:    Kathy Cano-Murillo
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 323 pages
PUBLISHED:   Grand Central, 2011
ISBN#:   978-0-446-50923-7
SOURCE:   Received from publisher for review and blog tour

FROM GOODREADS: Scarlet doesn't do things like other people. Unfortunately, this leads to some misunderstandings, like when her manager at the fabric store mistakes her measuring methods for assault. But while she may not be as wealthy as her siblings, or as respected as her grandmothers-strict seamstresses whose criticism left Scarlet permanently pattern-phobic-she will be soon. She's been offered a position with Johnny "Scissors" Tijeras, the hottest young designer in New York. To raise money for her move, Scarlet opens an after-hours sewing school in a local record shop, attracting a surprising mix of students. Future freeform garment makers include a high-strung office manager whose marriage counselor thinks she needs to learn to break some rules, and an elderly seamstress with a secret past. But as friendships grow, the lines between teacher and student blur, proving there is no single pattern for happiness-it is always a custom fit.

MY TAKE:    The Goodreads blurb above doesn't do this book justice.  It is so much more. The initial reason I chose to review this book is because I love to sew ~ sometimes without using a pattern.  The fact that the story is such an enjoyable read was a treat.

The character of Scarlet Santana is quite the hoot.  She is vibrant, creative and ambitious.  It's too bad her family doesn't support her unorthodox methods of making a living.  All of her family that is,  except for her beloved grandmother.  She is the one who taught Scarlet how to sew and is her biggest fan. 

Scarlet's dream is to be a celebrated designer like her idol Daisy de la Flora.  Her life and creations have inspired Scarlet since she was a child.  When Scarlet is finally accepted into a prestigious training program with the nephew of Daisy, she will do anything to make it happen.  Unfortunately Scarlet soon finds out exactly what "anything" entails.

The growth of several of the characters throughout the story really pull the reader in.  I became very invested in Mary Therese's marital issues as well as the mystery of Scarlet's oldest student Rosa.  They were all well written and full of depth.  I warmed to them immediately and really cared about their tale.  Scarlet's family wasn't at the top of my list for a while, but they grew as well as the story progressed.

This was one of those stories that makes you feel good, makes you mad, makes you cry and pretty much hits all of the range of emotions.  I highly recommend this story and am looking forward to getting my hands on Kathy's first book, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter.  Be sure to read my interview with Kathy from earlier today.  She's an interesting lady!

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

WHERE TO BUY IT:    Amazon or The Book Depository

I'm sure none of you missed it when I mentioned the big G-word, you know.. GIVEAWAY!  The author and publisher have generously offered one lucky reader a prize package that includes BOTH of Kathy's books:

  Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing  Waking Up in the Land of Glitter: A Crafty Chica Novel

I'm jealous!  I haven't yet had a chance to get my hands on the first book:  Waking Up in the Land of Glitter: A Crafty Chica Novel  You lucky ducks!  To enter:

  • You must be 13 years of age or older
  • You must have a shipping address in the US or Canada, NO PO BOXES
  • Leave a comment on this post and tell me if yous sew and what you make if you do
  • Leave your email address in your comment, I don't want to have to hunt for it
  • Drawing closes 3/23.
  • Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond.
  • One winner per household.  In other words, you can't win this particular prize package more than once!
Good luck and as always,

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


  1. What a lovely giveaway. When my children were small I sewed quite a lot; now that they are grown, not so much, although I do a bit of mending and patching for my grandchildren. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Sounds like my kind of book! I will be looking for this one! Husband just got a Kindle, so I will see if I can get the e-book....Thanks for sharing. I'm off to check it out on Amazon....
    Pam N.

  3. Oooops! Didn't see the giveaway part! Yippee! Yes, I sew but haven't in years because my sewing machine was so ancient. Just got a newer model so there's going to be some sewing for granddaughters in the very near future. I'm going to be altering some jeans into jean skirts with cute ruffles on the bottom! Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win! Pam N.

  4. I would love to win this book. I am an avid sewer making baby things right now (new granddaughter). I do make quilts as well as embroider. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

  5. I do sew sometime..but its mostly my mother.

  6. I'm just learning how to sew and right now it's just the basics. captainliss40(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. What a cool giveaway! :) I don;t sew often, and what I can make is pretty but I do like making pillows and matching dustruffles and curtains when I feel the need to shake up my room a comes in handy when you are a poor college student and cant afford those types of things ahah

  8. oh...forgot my email address sorry :)

  9. I don't really sew that often... but I do know some basic skills and have made little projects like my doggy shaped stuffed pillow and quilt squares.


  10. I've been teaching myself how to sew so I can make a quilt one day of all my mother's old cloths. Of course i am still learning (much better at knitting lol)

    Thank you for having this contest!!


  11. I have a sewing machine which I want to sew curtains and quilts on but so far have only used it for hems.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  12. id like to win

  13. I'm afraid I can't even sew a straight line

    dwarzel at

  14. I love to sew. I make quilts, curtains and placemats.

  15. I do sew but not alot, I like to make housecoats, as for me they are easy.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  16. I've tried to sew, many times. Nothing of my experiments end up being wearable.

    cwilliams127 at gmail dot com

  17. I used to sew when I was a child with my Grandmother, but I don't sew anymore.


  18. My sewing skills are limited to fixing loose/broken buttons. :(

  19. I sew, as in sew on a button that has fallen off, or stitch up a small hole/rip if it is near the!

    lusravesandrabts AT gmail DOT com

  20. I don't have much time to sew, but when I do I like to make pillows!
    girl23rocks at hotmail dot com

  21. i can sew curtains and pillow cases
    crazyred61 at yahoo dot com

  22. I don't sew but I really wish I did. My mom used to make a lot of our clothes when we were growing up and all of our Barbie clothes.


  23. I sew about once or twice a year. Sounds like a good book.

  24. I am not a sewer, but, my friend Carole is!

  25. I like to sew blankets for my kids and the new babies that are born in my ward. I also want to start sewing my own clothes because I have a hard time finding skirts, dresses and shirts that are modest enough for me to wear.

  26. I just got a sewing machine so I'm learning.

  27. I used to sew quite a bit,but haven't in done much lately. I like doing quilts and drapery

  28. i sew a little, i just sew up holes and put buttons back on things, but one day when i get the time i want to sew clothes
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

  29. I sewed most of my clothes while I was in high school and for the first few years that I was married. I made most of my daughter's clothes all the way through her high school years. Then I started quilting, although that has gone somewhat by the wayside.
    I don't sew nearly as much as I did several years ago.
    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com


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