Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: "Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing" by Kathy Cano-Murillo

Summary from Scarlet Santana is never happier than when creating fabulous fashions for women of all shapes and sizes. Now, after years of hard work, she finally has the chance to live her dream and study under the hottest designer in New York. To raise money for her move, Scarlet opens an after-hours sewing school in a local record shop, teaching a type-A working mom whose rigid parenting style is causing her family to unravel and an enigmatic seamstress with a mysterious past. But as stitches give way to secrets and classmates become friends, the women realize an important truth: There is no single pattern for a good life. Happiness is always a custom fit.

I loved reading this book. It was so fun and full of life. Even if you're not a sewer or into any sorts of crafts these books are really fun to read. But for those who are interested in that sort of trade, there are lots of little tidbits that will keep you intrigued while you read. I don't think that I could do patternless sewing (I can't even do regular sewing) but I loved Scarlet's free spirit and how she taught the women to be finally be allowed to express their true self. It was fun to learn about the trade and the fashion industry.

The book focuses mainly on Scarlet but also spends time on Mary Theresa and Rosa as well. Mary Theresa's character took me a while to warm up to while reading. I understood her decisions to stay in her career instead of being a housewife and stay at home mom. I just felt that she was going about it all the wrong way and didn't truly appreciate her husband until he was gone out of her life. Still her efforts to fix things, once she realizes what she really needs to do, are from the heart and have good intentions. Rosa carries a secret past that we don't find out until the end of the story. Until then, she rather keeps to herself, hinting that she knows more than she really does. When we do find out out the truth, it's a good revelation and things are put in the right place.

Reading Scarlet's blogs about Daisy were really fun. I loved her style of writing in the blogs as it gives her personality a really creative spin. Her character is very spunky and just so spontaneous. I really liked how she stood up to her family about her career choices. I can understand her trying to do everything to please them but still wanting to go her own way. I also really enjoyed the romantic subplot that took place here as well with her character.

If you haven't read the first book in this series, don't worry as it can totally be read as a stand alone. I think there might have been a quick cross over, but otherwise these are pretty much separate stories that can be enjoyed by themselves. As in the first book, there's a lot of Latina culture throughout and it's a lot of fun to learn more about the culture. Even if you don't do a lot of sewing yourself, this book is still a really good read. Yes, sewing and fashion are parts of the story but the real depth is in the people and their heart. It's a wonderful read that is not only fun, flashy and fab but also full of family (yay for f's!). I look forward to more books in this series!

Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing by Kathy Cano-Murillo is published by Grand Central Publishing (2011)

This ARC was provided by the publisher

Other books in the Crafty Chica series that I've reviewed

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter (Book 1)

Thanks to the publisher I'm able to give away a copy of this book AND the first book in the series Waking Up in the Land of Glitter. To enter, you must fill out the form below. This contest is open to entrants from the US and Canada only, no PO Boxes. Winner will be picked Thursday, March 17.

PLEASE use the form only to enter the contest. For any comments about the book, review, etc. please use the comments link at the bottom of the post. All information must be filled out correctly or else your entry will not count. (ie. you must use FULL name and list your mailing address). Your info will only be used for this contest and will be deleted after the contest is over.


  1. Strange; this showed up in my feed reader twice.

  2. I don't sew either but this book sounds like it could be a lot of fun!


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