Guest Blogger & Giveaway: Brett Bara’s Sewing in a Straight Line

Posted by on Jul 27, 2011 in Sewing | Comments

Today we welcome our first ever guest blogger to the site! Brett Bara, crafter extraordinaire, has joined us today to tell us about the inspiration behind her new book, Sewing in a Straight Line, and even has one copy to give away to one of our lucky readers! I hope that you enjoy Brett’s post.

REMEMBER: To win today’s giveaway, you must be a registered Craftsy member. It’s easy and FREE to join!


Hi There!

I’m so happy to be popping by today at Craftsy to say hello and tell you about my new book, Sewing in a Straight Line. It’s a collection of clothes, accessories, home decor, quilts and gifts that can all be made by sewing straight lines only!

I was inspired to make this book because I noticed that more and more people seemed to be mentioning to me that they’d like to learn to sew, but that it seemed too hard and they had no idea where to start.

Then one day I had an epiphany when I realized that so much of what I sew is actually made with nothing but… straight lines! And anybody can sew a straight line. So I thought that if I could create a book of projects that are super easy to make but look really cute, then lots more people out there could start sewing. Hooray!

The result is a range of projects that start at very easy, then add in more and more techniques to help you learn and build your skills. Some of the projects are perfect for brand-new beginners, while others will help you learn techniques like shirring, making a fitted waistband, working with specialty fabrics, and quilting.

So I hope you’ll check it out and give sewing a try! In the meanwhile, I’d like to invite you to stop over to my blog where I’ve got some really juicy giveaways happening every day, from thread and books to fabric, sewing tools, and even a sewing machine and serger!

And today I have a giveaway just for Craftsy – one copy of my book!

Thanks, Brett, for stopping by! I just love your new book, and I’m sure that our readers will too! 

Readers: To win, Just leave a comment below and tell us what you love most about Brett’s new book!

REMEMBER: To win today’s giveaway, you must be a registered Craftsy member. It’s easy and FREE to join!


  1. Lindsay says:

    What adorable projects! I would love to win a copy of this book!

  2. Ady says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book! Such cute things for being just straight lines!

    1. trudy clement says:

      i would love to lean to sew as i cant quite sew in a string line

  3. Maria says:

    Those nesting fabric pots look great – I’d love to win this to have a go at them! xx

  4. Maureen says:

    What a great idea for a book. I am a sewing phobic and start many projects that don’t get finished

  5. Barbara DeMora says:

    what a great way to start someone sewing.

  6. Alisond deHaan says:

    What a novel approach. I have been asked many times by nieces if I would teach them to sew and have always shied away as wasn’t sure where to begin. Love Brett’s concept for this book would be the perfect beginning for my nieces.

  7. Charlene Hansen says:

    Congratulations on your book,what a great idea.

  8. Ruthann says:

    The projects look neat – I rarely use my ‘fancy’ stitches, and there is so much you can do with sewing a straight line.

  9. Sandy Bandt says:

    What a great blog! Love the simple designs. Even experienced sewers like me still like simple patterns to work on. Simple is beautiful! Hope I win!

  10. Libby says:

    Cute ideas. would love a copy of this book!

  11. Michelle Lynch says:

    What cute projects. I would love to have the book for myself and my kids for inspiration!

  12. Faye Marcacci says:

    I love the projects listed above. Especially the bowls and the strippy quilt. If I don’t win this I will certainly be buying the book. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  13. Amy says:

    I have so many friends with sewing machines who tell me that they want to learn to sew but need to start with a project that involves only straight lines. Currently, I only have one go-to project that meets their criteria. I’d love to win a copy of this book so that I could have a whole host of projects to offer. I want them to become as addicted to sewing as I am! (Does that mean I’m a pusher?!)

  14. Amy W says:

    What’s not to love about this book? I’m an excellent sewer when it’s all about straight lines and angles, it’s those darn curves that mess a girl up!

  15. Cindy Dodge says:

    Love these projects, especially the cute belt and the bowls. These look like things I could teach my daughters-in-law.

  16. pam sury says:

    I have made one bowl and it was fun. I do a lot of straight line sewing but most of my lines are not so straight.

  17. Roberta Guenther says:

    So many projects to make with only Sewing in a Straight Line. Most people not familiar with sewing, think it is rocket science. Your accomplishments show them just what can be done with straight line sewing. Would love this book, thanks for writing it.

  18. Linda L. Davis says:

    With limited time I love easy projects to work on in between the more complicated projects. This book sounds like it has a good mix of items to work on.

  19. Carolyn Lopes says:

    I have had three family members recently ask me to teach them to sew. This would be great to help me do this since it has a variety of projects that get progressively more difficult using different techniques. It would also be a good review for me to brush up and update my skills as well.

  20. Jeanne says:

    Looks like fun and easy projects, always looking for great projects that will interest the grandchildren so they will love sewing

  21. Maxine Bates says:

    I am always doing one or another sewing or craft project. I have been working on some quilts for gifts but here soon I will need to start in on Christmas for my 7 grandkids. Would love to win a copy of “Sewing in a Straight Line”.

  22. Jackie says:

    I like the idea that the book is all about sewing with a regular sewing machine. So many projects require the fancy dancy machine and these projects will work perfectly on a simpler machine.

  23. Your projects are fabulous! I love it that you are getting people who’ve never sewn interested and discovering the joys of sewing. For those of us who’ve been sewing for a long time the projects you introduce are lovely and I’d look forward to giving them a go if I were to win this lovely book.

    Your blog is super and I just love your kitty’s new “do”.


  24. MelodyJ says:

    I would love this book.

  25. Deena Sanders says:

    I love to sew in straight lines…it’s how I was taught and it looks more polished when done, I think.
    I’d love to read your book too…so, I hope I can win it!

  26. Brenda says:

    I love this concept! I love to sew, and used to make my own clothes and clothes for my girls. It’s been a decade or more since I sewed on a regular basis and these are just the kind of projects to help me regain confidence in my sewing skills!

  27. Robin says:

    I would love this book. I need easy to follow, easy to do projects.

  28. Carol Saucier says:

    I am always looking for new and interesting ideas to sew for my wonderful little granddaughters. Now that I am retired I have time to learn and experiment more. Your book looks like a great addition to any sewist library.

  29. T says:

    great projects!!!

  30. Leah Imler says:

    I love that the projects pictured do not seem to require a lot of fabric to complete. I have a stash of fat quarters that I have no idea what to do with. Those nesting bowls would be a great way to use up some of that stash!

  31. Julie Franklin says:

    I used to sew quite a bit but for the past few years have not done much sewing. This year I took a quilting class and have started sewing again – I realized how much I miss it. Your projects look fun and easy and I would love to add your book to my new collection of sewing and craft books

  32. Lana Prescott says:

    I have bought several sewing machines but I never use fancy stitches. I think a book using straight lines is a terrific idea. I would love to read this book!

  33. Dottie Folmar says:

    This book looks to be full of really helpful tips and great projects, I would love to have this book.

  34. Paula Portanova says:

    would love to win your book

  35. Karen Crawford says:

    I, like many others, love the nesting bowls !! I Love craft sewing, and I also embroider…Everything ! I would love to win your awesome book too, I need some New idea’s for fun gifts. Thank You

  36. Faye Nettles says:

    I would love a copy of your book. I am teaching my 16 year old granddaughter to sew. This book would be a great help to her.

  37. stacyZ says:

    I love the wide variety of projects! I really want to make that skirt on the cover too cute!

  38. Angie S. says:

    I haven’t used a sewing machine in years, but maybe this book would encourage me.

  39. Karen Topor says:

    I love sewing books! This one looks great. :)

  40. Carla says:

    LOVE the placemat! Hope I win!

  41. Karen Nelson says:

    I would like to sew in a straight line! Is love some inspiration!

  42. CLARA says:

    This is awesome. I was just joking about sewing straight lines!

  43. Penelope Gonzales says:

    I can’t wait to make some of the bara bowls! YAY!

  44. Kim Savage says:

    Love it!!

  45. Cheryl says:

    Say “YES” to the dress! I believe I would actually be able to create these peojects! Thanks for the great idea.

  46. Janice Hickman says:

    What a great idea. I am just retiring and looking into getting back into sewing after at least 20 years so need new and easy things to try.

  47. Genevieve says:

    I absolutely agree with what Brett said about how people perceive sewing as being difficult. I hear that same remark all that time. I think its a great idea to create a book so people can become knowledgable on the simpler things that can be sewn with the option of going more technical. Awesome! :)

  48. Elaine Pannell says:

    I’m all for anything to encourage others to sew-I give sewing lessons to anyone who is keen to learn. Once I’ve shown them the basics, they realize that they CAN sew!

  49. Debbie Grqasley says:

    Great Ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  50. Bev says:

    This looks like a book with a good variety of projects!—and fun ones at that!

  51. Danielle says:

    I’m very much looking forward to this book coming out! I can’t wait too see all the different “stuff” to make.

  52. Cindy says:

    I love this idea! I teach a weekly class for young gals who want to learn to sew and thee would be amazing ideas for our newbies!

  53. slrweimer says:

    It looks like a great book, and I love those nested bowls!

  54. Cassie O'Keefe says:

    This books looks great. Funny that so many of us have friends that have machines but don’t know how to sew! This book would be a great tool for those people. I have a friend who asked me to help her learn and this book looks like it would have some really nice and easy projects for us.

  55. Catherine Berkley says:

    I’d love a copy of the Sewing in Straight Lines book. Early in my quilting passion a teacher told me I didn’t need a fancy sewing machine – just one that would go backwards and forwards in a straight line! She was right – LOL

  56. Catriona says:

    I think the book is inspirational and think it would be perfect to get my daughter to try sewing and keep the family tradition going for another generation! It’s something to be passed down for generations to come :)

  57. Jan Maybee says:

    This book looks like a great way to help me teach my granddaughter to sew. I’d love to have one. Really like the “pots.” What a clever idea. (and I like what looks very much like a Navajo rug beneath the pots!)

  58. Isabelle Goswell says:

    I have lost count of how many projects are sitting in a corner because instructions sometimes leave me baffled. sounds like this book will be the answer to my prayers!

  59. Rebecca newman says:

    I have always wanted to tackle making a quilt and your idea is really great! I hope to win your book so I can finally get started quilting!

  60. carol newell says:

    So many straight seams – so little time! Inspirational. Well done.

  61. Gail Swanson says:

    This looks like a great book. Am teaching my 6 and 10 year old granddaughters to sew and this would be easy for them to learn from since all straight lines. Thanks for the hard work.

  62. Louise Mills says:

    I would love this book. I love the wall hanging at least I think it is a wall hanging. I am just learning how to quilt so I am looking for easy patterns. Thanks for sharing with us.

  63. Strange says:

    Your book is a great idea. I’m not a big fan of quilts as they’re not usually my style but I love that little quilt of yours. It’s modern and inspiring enough to make me want to have a go at it.
    This could be the beginning of a new obsession for me as I’m always falling in love with quilting fabrics but never found a quilt design before that inspired me to try.

  64. Carla says:

    It looks like a great book to add to my sewing books.

  65. gery white says:

    I learned to sew on my gr. grandmothers treadle machine.then an old black singer. and then a bernina 1530. I added a serger along the way. also a a con-sew. I made everything from Jeep tops to wedding dresses. I’m retired and ready for really fun sewing I have to teach grandaughters

  66. Rebecca says:

    I love that skirt and those bowls!! I can’t wait to see more of the projects!

  67. gery white says:

    From hand, to treadlesto black singers. touch and sewto bernina 1530. Added a serger and Con-sew. from wedding dresses to Jeep tops. I’m retired and ready for fun sewing. I have granddoughters to teach. This book fits me just fine,would love it!!

  68. gerry white says:

    Hand to treadle to black singer to touch & sew to bernina1530. added serger and dresses to Jeeptops.Retired hairdresser, Want fun sewing to teach granddaughters. this book is a perfect fit

  69. Debbie says:

    This is a way to introduce friends to sewing without the stress! I am going to share this with my friend that is just learning to sew!

  70. Heather says:

    I am just getting back into sewing after 20 years, I was just a teen when I stoped. These projects are georgous with a very simple, and lovely appeal, completely me!

  71. Mel says:

    I so want to make the bunnies that are in that book!

  72. Gail Barabasz says:

    I love the bowls.

  73. ellen olson-sax says:


  74. Judy Cowen-Hodges says:

    This sounds like a really interesting book -I have just begun to sew again after40 years and am so enjoying it. You have some neat projects.

  75. Cathy T says:

    I love the “bowls” and really want to try making these Great ideas!

  76. upstatelisa says:

    looks like a wonderful book!

  77. Christye B says:

    Oh I would love this book! I have been sewing now some 50 yrs and I would love to do these projects on my Singer Featherweight 221 which only sews straight lines. I do use it to piece quilts but I would love to make other things to get more use out of my machine. These seem like perfect projects. Congrats on your new book your designs are so adorable. :)

  78. Kate K says:

    Love the sound of your new book!

  79. Ashley says:

    I just heard about this book the other day on my carft board. This would be an awesome addition to my sewing library! Thanks for the chance to win!!

  80. Wendy says:

    Love the look of the belt…Amazing ideas.

  81. Sylvia says:

    the photos in the book are inspirational — i’d like to try all the projects

  82. Sharrel Norris says:

    This book look like a lot of fun. I would love to have a copy!!!

  83. sandie calder says:

    id love to win this book so i can teach my self how to sew i was given a sewing machine but havent touched it as i have no idea were to start my kids are all ways on my back to make them something but what??? with this book i can do both

  84. Wendy says:

    What a wonderful idea! I quilt but don’t “sew” and tell people all the time that I can only sew in straight lines. I love the bowls!

  85. ellen says:

    That is the same epiphany I had, when I decided to learn to quilt. While looking at the baby quilt gift givent to my son, I noticed it was all STRAIGHT LINES! Love those cute bowls.

  86. Cometgirl63 says:

    I really want to learn to sew! It’s on my list, and this book sounds perfect as a tool to do so.

  87. MaryLou Corrigan says:

    Your designs are so cute! Would love to win!

  88. Sher Henry says:

    I’d love to receive a copy of the book “Sewing in Straight Lines” book. I look forward to attempting some of the projects.

  89. deb witkowski says:

    Looking forward to the book and new site
    I sure could use the help with my sewing . Would love to learn how to use a server. Good luck to I as well.

  90. Lupe Reyes says:

    Im one who wants to learn how to sew my own tops and learn how to quilt. I know I would truly enjoy your book, I’d love to win one!

  91. Lisa says:

    i absolutly love everything! my favorite is the belt though. why i would like to win a copy of this book? i live in austria, and i have a small project planned for next year. i want to create small objects and hide those small gifts in each district of vienna with the instruction, that the person who finds it, has to create something himself and hide it somewhere in the district where they found it. he gives the same instruction and so on. there are 23 districts in vienna, which means 23 crafts. i’m already kind of out of ideas….. i have an old singer sewing machine of my grandmother and i started about a month ago to create some stuff. now i’m completely addicted to this machine! the book looks like a real inspiration for this project! the ideas are easy, the instructions are very well explained and the style is modern – exactly what i’m looking for! :)

  92. Stacey says:

    What a great idea! Would love to win a copy and learn new things.

  93. IslandZen says:

    What absolutely juicy projects! I’ve mostly been doing quilting, but the photos are giving me ideas and tempting me back into sewing wearables again. Good luck with your new book!

  94. Lisa Miller says:

    This book is great. I would love to win it. I have put off sewing lately to concentrate on other crafts, But I love sewing and should get back to it. This is a perfect way to get started again. I love the way you progress to different techniques in stead of making it all just one learning level! Thanks for your generosity.

  95. Rachel Frank says:

    Sewing straight lines sounds right up my alley lol. I think starting out like that will build my sewing confidence!

  96. Linda Rich says:

    I’m retired now and need projects – this sounds like just the thing for me. I can do straight lines. Love the idea.

  97. SHIRLEY G. says:

    It’s been a while since I have done some serious sewing, but just seeing the nested bowls has given me an inspiration to get back to it. I can already see those bowls finished and sitting on my sideboard already!

  98. Hand Made Knitwear says:

    Who new that straight lines could create such beautiful work! I would love to win this book for myself or as a gift for my daughter, who is in college majoring in Costume Design. Yes, she is already a master at the machine, but everyone could use and learn from this terrific book! Even if I don’t win, I may go and buy it! Thanks for the great give away and post!


  99. Gina S. says:

    This book sounds great, would love to win a copy!

  100. Nancy says:

    looks like some great projects! And I love the idea of being able to sew a straight line and accomplishing a project.

  101. Judi Jillard says:

    What a lovely book full of easy to follow projects, hope I win a copy and then can get started straight away. If not I will have to go out and buy myself a copy it looks so much fun.

  102. Dolores says:

    LOVE straight lines, can get one everywhere… went to you site, viewed a few of your videos and love your work. Feeling lucky and hopeful to receive a copy of your book to start a few early Christmas gift and keepers for my home. Thank you for the kind offer of this. Will continue to look for your blog and work.

  103. patricia Owen says:

    Im 74, and learned to use a sewing machine by trial and error a few years ago, I have made dozens of cushions for people , and charities but would realy appreciate some professional help to read…
    I hope I might be a lucky winner, fingers crossed.

  104. Pam Gardner says:

    I want to make the line quilt-and love the bowls!

  105. Dawn Jenkins says:

    What a simple yet absolute essential to sewing!

  106. Jeanette says:

    Looks like some great projects! Would love the chance to win!

  107. Linda Rumsey says:

    Would love to win the book! I have been staring at the dust on my sewing machine and need something to kick start my sewing again!

  108. karen says:

    What I like about this book is that it’s making sewing accessible to beginners. I’d love to win a copy!

  109. kathy says:

    Looks like some pretty nifty things to make! I really hope to get one of these!

  110. Donna King says:

    I’ve often thought that a book with only rectangle, square, and triangular shapes would be great and would fall right in line with your straight line sewing!!! Love It!!!

  111. Carol A. Delmerico says:

    My Mom taught me how to sew when I was a girl, we used to make Barbie clothes! I’ve been sewing ever since then. I have now taught my daughter how to sew and we each have a machine and will spend time together sewing. Not only is it relaxing for me, but I love spending this time with my daughter ~ it’s time that will be with me forever!
    Thanks for listening!

  112. Isabel's Daughter says:

    What a Great Idea!! Keeping it simple has always been my motto. The book looks like great fun.

  113. SandraTM says:

    Just returning to sewing after 35 years away. What a different world now!! Would love to win a copy of “Sewing in a Straight Line” to get started again.

  114. Paula Stewart says:

    I love the concept. I would like to win your book to give my granddaughter who wants to learn to sew.

  115. Kalkail says:

    Those bowls really are gorgeous and I would love to make that skirt. Straight lines are my specialty! I would love this book!

  116. nicole says:

    i love all the different types of projects that she has in the book!

  117. Joy 'December Grams' says:

    I love to sew, sew most every day and love it yet I find I continue to learn something new everyday. I learned from my childhood friend’s moms and I have shared with my daughter, granddaughter and daughter-in-law. Thank you for sharing your craft and experiences!

  118. Louella Turvey says:

    The title of the book jumped out right at me, a straight line! I love that the projects are going to be something that I can do ( I think) I have always always wanted to learn how to sew, so hopefully now will be my chance if I get to win this good book! Thanks so much fo the try! Louella Turvey

  119. Sai says:

    Wow, adorable! So many inspiration and fun projects! I would love the book pleaseeee!

  120. Tonia Bartley says:

    Love this idea The belt in the first picture caught my eye immediately. And those adorable nesting bowls! They look like they would be difficult! I love things that look hard but are really easy!

  121. My sewing skills are so minimal – this book sounds like a fun way to expand my abilities! Thanks for posting about it. I can’t wait to give it a whirl! :)

  122. kate c. says:

    Brilliant idea! A great resource for me and my daughters!

  123. Joyce says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book so that I can put my sewing machine to good use.

    I would also like to join Craftsy but it doesn’t recognize my email address!

  124. Nancy Hagins says:

    I really like the idea of a book with projects for everyone. I would like to win the book because I sew home fashions for the public . Some of the job are big and etc ( 14 yrs ). It is easy to lose the fun of sewing while sewing for a living. I need ideas from other to keep my mind open and fresh. Plus it give me the fun easy things to do so I can keep loving sewing even when I do not want to love it . Nancy

  125. Melanie says:

    Love that you have projects for beginning sewers and for those of us who have been sewing for what seems like forever. I’m teaching a newbie and know she will love the cute projects in your book. Thanks for the give-away!

  126. candis says:

    I love any book about sewing projects. I really am interested in the mat/rug looking thing that looks quilted. I love books and sewing so what would be better than getting a copy of this book!

  127. Evelene Sterling says:

    I love the fact that the projects go from easy to more advanced. That really helps when learning to sew for the first time.

  128. Xuan says:

    Just the right book for me! I’m one of those “want to learn sewing but don’t know where to start” person, luckily I found craftsy, I will begin the sewing studio class very soon. I can see this book to be a great additional practice guide for me!

  129. Carrie says:


    What a great idea….the pictures of some of your projects are really cute and I would love getting your book so I could reproduce them! Thanks for making “funky” easy projects.

  130. Dawn says: many wonderful projects..being a new sewer it makes me so excited to see such creativity that is used not otherwise thought about! I would love to have this book to start off my collection.

  131. ConnSue says:

    oh! I would adore to sew all of this book! :O)
    Hugsssssss and thanks in advance ;O)

  132. Leslie says:

    Quilting in strips really intrigues me!

  133. Debbie says:

    Looks like fun and how imaginative you were to create all this with straight lines

  134. Terrie says:

    There are some really cute things in this book! I’ve just recently started sewing, so this would be a great book to practice with :)

  135. Barbara says:

    I need this book – I have been stuck in the house all summer because of the heat and I need some sewing to keep my mind off of being inside with nothing to do but cleaning and cooking!!!

  136. Shelley Bonefas says:

    I would love to win this book. Thanks

  137. Janice McLain says:

    I’ve perused the book at Books a million, and I am most impressed. I am so happy to see that younger people are again taking an interest in sewing. You do have a chance to make your wardrobe unique and to reflect your own style and not that of thousands of others.

  138. Barbarah says:

    Since I’ve only been sewing for a couple of months, straight lines are the way to go for me! I’d love to win!

  139. lorraine says:

    i love brett there something she cant do?..i love all the patterns in the book..they seem really inventive

  140. sarah says:

    ummm all the straight lines?! i’m new to sewing and i love that i feel like i could actually tackle these projects–needless to say they are also adorable!

  141. Aida says:

    oohh..i would like to have a copy of that FAB book!!

  142. Mishael says:

    Oooh, this looks great!. I just started sewing and these patterns look perfectly easy for me:)

  143. Toni says:

    Beautiful patterns! I would love to own a copy if it is not to late to win. (Going to add it to my amazon wish list too so I don’t forget!)

  144. Andra hepler says:

    What a great idea. Straight line sewing is so easy to learn and will get more people sewing.

  145. CLee says:

    Thanks for the review – looks like a great book.

  146. Lisa says:

    i still want to win the book!! :)

  147. The post you wrote is really nice.