A couple weeks ago I found out I was a winner in the Goodreads giveaway for Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing, written by the Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo. I've known about the Crafty Chica blog and products for a long time and I loved the title of this book so I was excited to read it. And I loved it!
The book centers on Scarlet Santana, who is starting a Patternless Sewing class (doesn't that sound fun?) to help pay her tuition to a prestigious fashion design program in New York City. She has some trouble along the way with work and family, and grows and changes through the story, which has a great ending. (But I want to read more about her. Will there be more?) Another character, Mary Theresa, is in the midst of a crisis in her marriage and family, and she signs up for Scarlet's class to fulfill a requirement for her marriage counseling. The sewing class is the setting for new friendships and lots of fun, too, and I really felt like I got to know the characters.
I loved the descriptions of the sewing, fashion, makeup and hair. I felt like I was able to get a clear picture of each character in my mind. Scarlet is really beautiful and people who don't know her don't see her insecurities. She has a real retro vibe and drives a cool car, too.
I got a huge kick out of the fact that blogging, the internet, video chatting, smartphones and other parts of modern life were a part of this novel. Scarlet is the author of a popular blog and has an etsy store, and they were just a natural part of the story, nothing forced or explained, which I loved.
I don't know if it was the writing or the southwest setting (Arizona in this case), but the Crafty Chica's writing reminds me of some of Barbara Kingsolver's earlier books, which are some of my all time favorites. I'm going to see if my library has Kathy Cano-Murillo's first book (Waking Up in the Land of Glitter) and read it too. She did a fabulous job with Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing and if you sew and especially if you blog about it, you should read this book!
Disclosure: I was given a free copy of the book, and not compensated for my review. Links to the book in this post are affiliate links.