Review – ‘The Zenki Way: A Guide to Designing & Enjoying Your Own Creative Softies’

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The Zenki Way: A Guide to Designing & Enjoying Your Own Creative Softies is written by Trixi Symonds, the powerhouse behind the Sew a Softie global movement.

As Sarah Pinault accurately said in her last post, sewing and doing stuff with your hands has become a survival mechanism for many of us moms in this pandemic year.

I started my adventures in sewing thanks to this Cassie Stephens’ book, and I quickly got hooked. (I even developed my own design, inspired by a Bolivian children’s book.) However, I knew Trixy for years before attempting to sew with her method for a group of kids at our local school, a project we are currently tackling via long distance!

As she herself says, she wrote this book because she was looking for the ultimate easiest way to sew with kids:

I came up with the zenki design several years ago.

I had just published Sew Together Grow Together: Sewing Projects for Parents and Children and realized that even though these projects were really simple, and even though I had used them with children in my workshops over many years and knew that my students loved making them, still, I was wondering, could I come up with a really creative fun project that’s even simpler for first-time sewers?

That was the question. Zenkis were the answer.

To be clear, we refer to these sewing patterns as softies: simple cloth characters to sew with basic tools. Once you get started, you will be hooked. The zenki method focuses on simple shapes, facial expressions, and takes advantage of any scraps of felt you have lying around. Most importantly, it enables your kids to empower themselves, by showing them the best way to learn basic sewing and allowing them to come up with their very own designs.

The zenki secret? Two squares of felt, only four straight lines to sew, and a key design feature: wide seam allowances, allowing arms, legs, wings, hair, and more to be cut from the border (with no inserting or pinning). In this book, you will find 14 different zenki characters to make.

Each project builds on designing know-how and has clear instructions.

Learning the zenki way will give you the means to become a great softie designer, and, if you’re not already, a lifelong sewing lover.

The Zenki Way: A Guide to Designing & Enjoying Your Own Creative Softies is available March 28, 2021.

Price: $22.99
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Publish Date: March 28, 2021
Pages: 120
Type: Paperback
EAN/UPC: 9780764361494
BISAC Categories: Sewing, Stuffed Animals, Crafts for Children

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