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Book Review + Giveaway: Jane Austen’s Sewing Box

Book Review + Giveaway: Jane Austen’s Sewing Box

I probably reread at least one of Jane Austen’s novels a year, picking the title to suit my mood: Persuasion when I’m feeling pensive on a frosty fall morning, Pride and Prejudice when I need a bit of a pick-me-up, Emma when I have a jones for some juicy gossip. So I was delighted to hear about Jennifer Forest‘s Jane Austen’s Sewing Box, a book that manages to simultaneously be a craft history, literary analysis, and how-to.
It’s a seriously nerdy book, in the best possible way. Hefty, with beautiful reproductions of period paintings, furniture and housewares, it starts off grounding the reader in Jane Austen’s world, bringing a little background to her work. Forest explains the role of women’s “work” in the 19th century (by which was meant needlework, sewing, knitting, painting, etc.) and sprinkles quotes from Austen’s novels liberally throughout.
Then we get into the good stuff! There are 18 step-by-step projects for crafts mentioned in the novels. Some are perhaps a little too period (although it’s cool to know how to make a gorgeous silk bonnet, I am unlikely to wear it), but most would look as well in a crafty hipster’s apartment as in Fanny Price’s hands. The beautiful linen pillowcases would add class to any bed, and who doesn’t need an embroidered work bag or quilted huswife to hold projects in-progress? The netted purse is perfect for going out, and would look smashing with a faux-fur muff and tippet. And I think cravats should definitely make a comeback for women or men (there’s even a handy illustration showing how to tie the most popular Regency styles).
I loved thumbing through this gorgeous book, and if you have even the faintest yearning for bygone days, you probably will, too.
NOTE: I just heard from the author, who pointed me to Amazon in the UK, which has a much better price than the one in the US. Apparently shipping takes about a week. Enjoy!
SECOND UPDATE: Apparently the book is now available in North America through Indigo Books.
Book Giveaway Time!
We are giving away a copy of Jane Austen’s Sewing Box. Just leave a comment in this post and tell us why you want this book. Please make sure you include your email address in the comment form field (won’t be published). All comments will be closed by Noon PST on Wednesday, November 4th. The lucky winner will be announced on the site. Good luck!

445 thoughts on “Book Review + Giveaway: Jane Austen’s Sewing Box

  1. Laure says:

    I am desperately trying to finish my PhD thesis which is due in a month, and I am looking for things to help ease me out of panic mode once I am done. This is just the thing that could help!

  2. Gwyneth White says:

    what isn’t fabulous about jane austen????

  3. kjerstiye says:

    this book looks super cute! As an ardent austen fan I’d love to see which projects have been chosen

  4. Marie says:

    Just moved states away from friends and family, got sick with food poisoning and we’ve already gotten snow! This would be a perfect pick me up to a gloomy winter…

  5. kat says:

    I’d love this book to give to a friend who is the biggest Jane Austen fan I know & also recent got a sewing machine.

  6. lizziwhizz says:

    my dear cousin has done her best to indoctrinate me into Jane Austen’s works, so the least I could do is make her some gifts that Jane might have made herself!

  7. Arlene says:

    Like tatting and I’d love to see some period crafts, possibly to add to my c.1812 outfit.

  8. Pooja says:

    Lack of sleep due to Daylight Savings Time, undue stress causing havoc on my digestive system, and work, work, work with no end in sight. This book would be the perfect thing to squirrel away with this weekend! (That, and I have recited out loud Darcy’s two proposals to Lizzy – by heart – on a long-haul flight.)

  9. Katy says:

    Period pieces and craft projects. I NEED THIS! Plus I love JA!

  10. Rachael says:

    I’m a crafty librarian who loves Craft. This is the first I’ve heard of this book, and I love that I learned about it here instead of a boring library journal. Thanks for being so generous!

  11. Olga says:

    I would LOVE to have this book. I have heard a lot about it!! I have a lot of craft books but not rthis onE!

  12. Orghlaith says:

    My cousin adores Jane Austen. She has recently been stricken with Pink Eye, H1N1, and a sinus infection. Yes, all three at the same time. This would make her immeasurably happy.
    I love the ideas on this site. Fascinating!

  13. Sara Wagner says:

    What crafter hasn’t read those books and wondered about the projects and handwork? What an opportunity to get to experience Jane Austen on a tactile, visceral level. I need this book to bring a little of Austen’s magic into my everyday life.

  14. Meghan says:

    Years ago, I had a teacher who I really loved for medieval literature. Somehow she and I meandered onto Austen during a meeting, and were both talking about how much we loved her books. She told me her favorite book was “Persuasion,” and when I told her (in all my nineteen-year-old wisdom) it just seemed a bit wet to me, she said “Wait a few years, then read it again. It’s patronising, but you’ll understand it more when you’re older.” Now, at twenty-eight (so, like, I’m totally done learning now, right?), I totally get her point, and it might even be my favorite now as well. For that, I think I owe her *something* as a thank-you, and what better than a project from this book?

  15. wendy says:

    Oh, I want, I want, I want!
    I love Jane Austen! and I *would* wear the silk bonnet, and force my husband to wear a cravat. I would, I would!

  16. polkadottedsheep says:

    As if I didn’t already have enough projects in the works! I feel so compelled to have this. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of enjoying watching period pieces while working on embroidery projects.

  17. mary says:

    I would love to give this book to a dear friend of mine. She is a mother of two young boys under the age of 3 (with another on the way, adopted from Ethiopia) who is my inspiration for all things crafty. She is an amazing cook, seamstress, organic gardener, friend and woman and she’d so enjoy this book.

  18. CeliaSews says:

    Because I loved Fanny in Mansfield Park. Because I loved Emma at Highbury. Because I loved Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice! Because Mr Willoughby broke my heart in Sense and Sensibility!
    Because she is my all time favourite author along with Virginia Woolf. For no other reasons :)

  19. kuklagirl says:

    Because I am getting into crafting period pieces, plus I’ve moved into a more expensive apartment and I need to find things to do that don’t require going out!

  20. Justine says:

    I’m a recent convert to Jane Austen fandom and relatively new to crafting too. Combining the two is awesome! I’d really love to flip through this book.

  21. Apron Thrift Girl says:

    And thinking of him makes me all warm inside. I adore Jane and would love this book.

  22. sarah g says:

    I just saw this book in the store the other day and immediately added it to my wish list! While I’m not working, I have tons of time to craft, but limited funds for buying books. So *pretty please* will you give it to me?

  23. Amy says:

    Because I read this line in the books description: “a world where women….eagerly turn to their sewing to avoid an uncomfortable conversation.”
    This describes one of the best uses of crafting ever. I need this book to learn about these women!

  24. Meg says:

    I confess: I am not a Jane Austen “fan.” I haven’t read her books (although I LOVE the movie versions of them). Mostly I love seeing how authors make historical crafts accessible to those of us living in the current modern era. Makes us feel connected to those who came before us, yes? Jane was definitely ahead of her time, and this book will help those of us who love crafting get BEHIND ours. :-)
    celticred63 at comcast dot net

  25. Marissa says:

    I’m in the market for a seriously nerdy book that mixes the best of both worlds. (JA + crafts = awesome!) Count me in!

  26. j says:

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a crafter in possession of a Jane Austen obsession must be in want of this book!

  27. Christin says:

    I am a Lit major in college and Austen is by far one of my favorite authors, but don’t tell my professors. I am of the opinion that Austen is one of the greatest English writers. I am so excited to see my two favorite things, crafting and Austen, in a book together! I so need this book!

  28. Kristen says:

    I’ve been a Jane Austen fan since sixth grade! This book sounds really fun.

  29. karen says:

    As a Jane Austen fan and a sewer of costumes and maker of crafts, this is a meshing of two beautiful worlds for me. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention…I would love to undertake these projects!
    “Your entire personality is a riddle, Mr. Knightley. I thought you overqualified.” –Emma

  30. missmarymary says:

    If they can combine Jane Austin with zombies and sea monsters, then crafting should be the easy part, no? I’d like the book to have the book. and possibly make pantaloons so wearing skirts on a bike won’t be quite so risky.

  31. Johanna says:

    I love a good novel and I am crazy about crafts. That sounds like a perfect book <3

  32. Anonymous says:

    I love Jane Austen… I am a little obsessed at present. I read all the spin offs and am on a quest to own every Jane Austen movie ever made. I think it is something about the charm, manners, simpleness, and texture that draws me in. I dream of being able to sit in needlepoint for hours or to paint quaint seaside landscapes.
    Like Austen’s, books I think it would be a nice refreshing break from reality to have some crafty injected back into my life…

  33. Pam says:

    and I would love an excuse to comb through my Austin novels to find the original mentions of projects

  34. Julie says:

    I practically live and breathe Pride and Prejudice. The BBC miniseries Lost in Austen should have me as the main character. I have all Jane Austen books and this would be a great addition to my collection!

  35. Stephanie says:

    I’ve always loved historical crafts, and this one seems to be right up my alley. I already have some American Girls craft books, a Harry Potter knitting book, a Little House cookbook, and my nerdy collection could use some expanding…

  36. Marsha says:

    I need this book so I can add yet MORE interesting projects to my to-do list! :)

  37. Andree says:

    Sign me up!

  38. Missy Ann says:

    Because “Dear Jane” is on my “To-do Before I Die” list. (I know people call them bucket lists, but I think it sounds stupid and refuse to use it.)

  39. Maribeth says:

    What a cool idea for a book! I love this kind of period crafting-reminds me of the Prairie Girl book.

  40. Sue says:

    and I need a muff. Sounds like a great book.

  41. Caroline V says:

    because I love Jane Austen so much, sometimes I dream of living in her books.

  42. AmyDe says:

    Why Wouldn’t I want this book? I’ve just come into Jane Austen – I tried in high school and again in college and thought if I had to read the word “disagreeable” one more time I’d slit my own throat. But now (admittedly I am listening) I find the stories droll and charming often downright laugh out loud funny. Whoever wins this book wins a true prize. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  43. PixieShtick says:

    Because I love learning about historical living, and if I can craft it, even better!

  44. Emily Dawn says:

    I should have been born ages ago. I love the crafts and doings of people that long ago!

  45. Arhylda says:

    …is my passion. And what could inspire more passion than Jane Austen??

  46. cavgirl22 says:

    I want, no I need it!!! Crafting and Reading, Reading and Crafting what could be better than having both at once. Oh please please please pick me. I need a good pick me up. Mr. Darcy would pick me, I just know it.
    Jennifer Berg
    ps I tried to sign in and comment but it wouldn’t let me.

  47. Mary says:

    I LOVE history; I LOVE crafting; this way I could put the two together! And who doesn’t love Jane Austen? Thanks…

  48. Susanna says:

    I’m always attempting historical needlework, and the old books just don’t explain things well enough for someone like me with none of the training that women used to get. and I LOOOOOVE Jane Austen :)

  49. Tania says:

    I delight in bringing old elements of fashion into our modern world. Home-made is a must. This book will be a great help in combining my passions!

  50. Bran says:

    I’m seconding the call for the return of the cravat. Witness nearly every BBC/Austen miniseries, not to mention the Beeb’s North and South.
    This book is genius, not least because Austen adaptations make the best background entertainment for crafting marathons. I can’t wait for a peek at the book.

  51. Helms says:

    “Next week [I] shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend.” ~ Jane Austen 1798.
    I might even wear the hat once I make it! :)

  52. Shirley Crow says:

    I think it will make a great addition to my growing collection of history collection and I know I will thrill “bore” my friends with all the knowledge I gain from it.
    Shirley Crow
    Also I am loving Pride and Prejudice and Zombies can’t wait to finish it.

  53. Diana Foss says:

    I wasn’t going to bother to enter the contest, since I won’t win, but when I searched on Amazon to buy the book, there were only two available, both from third-party sellers, with the cheapest going for $71! What’s the deal?

  54. kristen ewer says:

    i have a bad habit of not saving money when pay check time comes. i told a friend that until thanksgiving i wouldn’t buy anything that wasn’t necessary (ie food, gas, etc) – this book looks amazing as i am a huge jane fan and crafting fan, but i can’t buy it and i’m doing so good so far…!

  55. Blackjam says:

    I was obsessed Jane Austen even before I started making things. I was read Pride and Prejudice at the age of 7 or 8 and it made such a impression on me that I would draw ladies in bonnets and men in top hats over and over. I then taught myself ,beginning at the age of 7 or 8 how to knit, crochet, needlepoint and embroider. I come from a very non craft family so I don’t fit in at all. So it must of come from somewhere else.
    I have always considered myself a “A fine needlewoman”(I love that title for myself). So I now see that my life as an Artist/Craftperson was all started with Jane Austen.

  56. Mindy says:

    This book looks incredible. Jane Austen is wonderful and I lovee to craft but I can’t buy the book. Thanks.

  57. Jasmin says:

    I’m seriously nerdy when it comes to period crafting and this book would be så perfect for me! I actually sewed a medieval style dress by hand recently because that is the only acceptable solution when sewing a period style piece of clothing :oD

  58. kristen ewer says:

    i have a bad habit about not saving money when the paycheck comes. i bet a friend i could go until at least thanksgiving without spending any money on anything that wasn’t necessary (food, gas, etc) and im doing great so far! but as a huge jane and crafting fan (often combining the two – crafting/jane austen movie marathon or reading for days and ignoring life) this book just may be good enough to break the streak! help me to prove my friend wrong!

  59. Jessie Stimpson says:

    …and because I’m a nerd, too. I love Austen stories and sewing, so why not together?

  60. SReed151 says:

    I actually have a place where I could appropriately wear the bonnet — I teach HS English and it’d be the perfect adornment to don the day we begin “Sense and Sensibility”! That will get my students’ attention!

  61. Nancy says:

    I would love a chance to win.
    I love historical crafts and would make and enjoy this treasure immensely

  62. topinambur says:

    someone a copy of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” as a birthday gift and would love to get another different perspective on Austens work.

  63. Beth says:

    I’d love this, especially this autumn/winter. Those are my favorite months to re-read Jane!

  64. Danielle says:

    I play musical instruments, enjoy sewing, embroidering and generally crafting, love to read, have a ladylike disposition and I am really not cut out for working a 9-5 office job!
    Rescue me!

  65. Leigh says:

    I want this b/c I love Jane Austen and I love to craft things. All things, anything – and I love historical crafts.

  66. Holly says:

    How cool! I love Jane Austen and crafting. My favorite novel is Persausion.

  67. Heather says:

    I love Jane Austen’s novels but a lot of the details that her readers would be intimately familiar with passes me by. I also love knowing what constitute’s “women’s work” in any given historical period.

  68. Eliza says:

    ANY sane person of taste and/or breeding would want this book, existing as it does at the happy confluence of Craft and Austen.

  69. Stephanie says:

    I love all of Jane Austin’s novels and reread them! Having this book would be perfect for me as I also love crafting!

  70. Edelweiss says:
    I would like to win this to give to a dear friend/English major, but I confess, I love to craft and I adore Jane Austen myself, so I only hope I would be a good enough person to give it to her. You did not hear me say that, did you Erica?

  71. tesseract84 says:

    Do I really need to say more? Jane is one of the greatest writers of all time and I can’t get enough of her work, if only there was more of it. What could be better then combining crafting and Jane Austen?

  72. Chelleann says:

    Oh, this is so awesome! I LOVE Jane Austen’s satirical eye and her wit. I often think I was born in the wrong era. I love to craft, sew, crochet, cross-stitch, and am teaching myself to knit. I love looking at the period piece costumes in all the Masterpiece Theatre remakes of Jane Austen novels. It would be so great if I could sew one for myself.

  73. Sallie says:

    I have a super-hyperactive, attention-hungry son who I stay home with. The odd moment I get a chance to have “free time” I either sneak away to my sewing room or I settle into the bath with a Jane Austen novel. I am so excited for the possibility of combining these two escapes! (when the moment presents itself)

  74. More Money for Sewing Notions says:

    I can’t wait to have a home filled with Regency-era handmade goods.

  75. Jean C says:

    I’m a huge Jane Austen fan and crafter. This is totally geeking me out…

  76. Heather says:

    Hm. The full text of this article seems to have copied over to the Facebook notification. So I’ve already commented there and am now hedging my bets by repeating here.
    My goodness…do I really need to explain why I want this? I’m an Austen fan, a history buff, and a crafting nerd. Just the thought of this book already has me swooning!

  77. Katherine says:

    What a fantastic giveaway! Sign me up :)

  78. tammyo says:

    my heart is about to explode with nerdy love! all of my loves in one!

  79. Jessica says:

    Because I just went as Lizzie from Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and almost got carried away making a Regency-era dress. I would love to try my hand at some crafts from that time period.

  80. says:

    I’ve always been envious of the amount of free time they had back then to read, sew, knit, draw. Of course, if that’s all you can do, it gets boring (no tv! egads!), but it looks like fun from here!

  81. Courtney says:

    I think its amazing that someone is writing craft how-tos from way back when. I have to look at this book!

  82. Tracy Cornell says:

    I need a good read. “Pride & Predjuduce”,hmmm… This has to be a great read- and, my books get “double-duty”! It would go to my step-mother afterward! She just had surgery, so she could definitly use a good read!
    Thank you for the opportunity!
    Tracy :-)

  83. jenne says:

    wow, why?! easier to say why not! I can’t imagine anything more perfect: reading…about Jane Austen…and crafts…and history…and then getting to make something?! totally cool!

  84. Jessica T says:

    I love Jane Austen’s books and I love doing needlework of all kinds. What a fun book to fill my winter evenings!

  85. Adrienne says:

    ….while you, dear author, may not wear a silk bonnet that you made from this pattern, I as a living historian, would wear it with pride! A history of crafting would be a great resource to generate a period accurate Regency impression. Not only could I knit things Jane Austen would have used, I can knit them like she would have.

  86. quilary says:

    Two winners for one prize – My daughter and I both sew and both are Jane Austen fans. We would love win because we can share book.

  87. Deanna says:

    I love period hand crafts, and since I frequent anime and costume conventions, I am flamboyant enough to sew that silk bonnet and sport it like crazy! This would make an awesome addition to my crafting library, and I am sure I’d love every page.
    My e-mail is

  88. Brooke says:

    I love love love Jane Austen! My friend and I have a saying… “He’s no Mr. Darcy!” I think this may be the greatest book idea, ever!

  89. Brady Shuman says:

    What’s better than crafting with Jane? (well, probably lots of things, but that’s not the point, really)

  90. Tish says:

    …this is quite possibly the most ingenious craft book to ever happen. I must get my hands on it!

  91. kat says:

    Aww… Jane Austen… guilty pleasure… I’m into the Victorian aesthetic so looking forward to see the projects!

  92. Cindy Finnamore says:

    What a great idea. Now I have to think back to all the books and remember what is referenced! I would love to send myself back in time!

  93. C. Finnamore says:

    I would love to use this to travel back in time and experience a little bit of the romance.

  94. Heather N says:

    I would not be the only one wanting this book in my household. My mother is a hugeeee fan of the jane austen books. I adore listening to the audio books while I knit where as my mother enjoys having marathons of the various movies.
    This type of book would allow my mom and I to craft together in a common theme, she is the expert sewer, where I am trying to learn, on my tiny sewing machine she bought me not too long ago. So this book would be a prize for my mom and me if I were to win it. :D

  95. Clare says:

    Wow, that sounds like so much fun!

  96. Alexis says:

    Pride & Prejudice is always a good pick-me-up.

  97. jalphaiv says:

    I want to win this book because I love Jane Austen…obviously!

  98. Emily Leachman says:

    I’m a librarian who has a crafternoon group with other librarians, all of us Jane Austen fans! We would love this book, and might actually do the projects at our own “sewing circle.”
    Emily, Charlotte, NC

  99. wickdgurl says:

    I love historical costuming, I love Jane Austen, and I love to sew but haven’t in a while. This is the perfect inspiration!

  100. Tsipa says:

    Because I’m in the middle of watching Pride and Prejudice right now (the Ehle-Firth version, natch). Because I am about to join the Jane Austen Society of North America. Because I’ll need to make that gorgeous silk bonnet for next year’s ball in Portland, where I live! And if I am crowned, I will dedicate my reign to ending Janeaustenlessness across the country and around the world.

  101. Jesselyn says:

    As an English major and a crafter, I would love to win this book!

  102. Azureh says:

    So want this! I’ll definitely end up buying it anyway if I don’t win lol I love the period stuff.

  103. specialk122114 says:

    Because I love crafting, and I love Jane Austen so much that I’m having a Jane Austen Day at my library to celebrate her birthday in December!

  104. Carol says:

    It would be fun to go back in time with Jane Austin and experience some of her life through crafting. What a fun way to spend some cold winter months.

  105. heather says:

    I am a rabid Austen fan and try to make it through the whole cannon each year. I read Sense and Sensibility while I was in labor, that’s love.

  106. Carol says:

    I’d love to go back in time and experience some of Jane Austin’s life through sewing and crafts. What a great way to spend some cold winter months with craft and sewing.

  107. Sarah says:

    Oh, I would love to have this as a gift for my Mom, she loves Jane Austine!

  108. Sara says:

    Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors, as it should be of all English majors. Plus, I can always use some new ideas in the crafting realm.

  109. crestedbuttegirl says:

    I’m thinking I would maybe add some Sublime Stitching patterns to these crafts in homage to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies! A girl needs something to set her apart for all the “Knightlies” and “Darcies” of the world, right?

  110. Kristina says:

    I love Jane and would love this book! Thanks!

  111. Stacey S. says:

    I desire this book, due to the practical nature of its subject. A woman should be accomplished in sewing, painting, knitting and of course the pianoforte.
    Thank you for the give away. Austen, ah, what can you say that she couldn’t have said a million times better (and with more wit!)

  112. Hypothetical McGee says:

    It’s just not the same when you’re sewing period underpinnings on a machine you got at Target. I need to learn to do things the proper way!

  113. Elizabeth says:

    Dearest Friends,
    I humbly and with great humility submit myself as a candidate to receive this wonderous prize. As autumn leaves fall and cooler temperatures work to confine one to the comforts of home it seems only reasonable that one should gather about oneself the type of enjoyment found in a good book! Though it may be unseemly to flaunt one’s abilities, it should never be said that a woman of good breeding an excellent society should cease to further develop her talents and to remain industrious in even the most fallow of times. And though it is with some embarrassment that I must admit, due to meager circumstances, I shall have to absent myself from a wonderous season in London and most certainly must abstain from travelling to Bath it would be a great comfort to have Miss Austen’s Sewing Box as a companion.
    Best Wishes.

  114. Joelle says:

    She is home with a toddler who just went out for her 1st trick or treating. J. knitted the baby an angelic devilish cap with little tufted horns. Last year J. gave me the tiniest knitted sweater on a paper clip hanger for my Christmas tree.
    I think she’d not only love the book, but really enjoy the crafts!

  115. Swellanor says:

    Pride and Prejudice is the strongest remedy I know for feeling down! As I read this review, I got more and more tingly with excitement- It’s Jane Austen-y! It’s nerdy! THERE ARE BONNET INSTRUCTIONS! All I can say is, if I don’t win this copy, I will put it on my Xmas list. If I don’t get it for Xmas, I will buy it for my own damn self!
    Your obedient servant,
    Swellanor Darcy (I wish)

  116. Katherine Rothschild says:

    I’m writing a novel set in the Regency period, and the main character (a women who is in a similar position as many Austen’s characters were) will be sewing and creating other crafts. I also sew handbags that I sell online, so I’d like to try out the how-tos, and make sure my book is accurate down to the last detail!

  117. kathyell says:

    I re-read Emma and Pride and Prejudice several times a year, and this book would help me become that fearsome thing to behold, an accomplished woman.

  118. Lauren says:

    I would love to have a copy of this book. I love to read Jane Austen so much and so often, that I am even willing to traverse the slippery and often downward slope of fan fiction. I just can’t get enough. I can’t wait to see the marriage of two of my favorite things to do. Reading Jane Austen and making things. Not only am I a huge Jane Austen fan, I have 2 little girls who are begging me to make them bonnets.

  119. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza says:

    Please put my name in for this. Not only is it about my favorite author, Jane Austen. But it’s a craft book too! I love knitting and embroidery, anything at all. The historical perspective will be awesome.

  120. Wehaf says:

    I have a sister who loves 19th century needlework and sewing; I would love to make some f the projects from this book for her.

  121. Lane says:

    i *heart* jane austen! i’m not at all a girlie girl but she makes me all woozy and romantic. i’m also a huge fan of the books ‘pride and prejudice and zombies’ and ‘sense and sensibility and sea monsters’. what better way to complete the geek than crafting with/like jane!

  122. Emily B says:

    This book has come at just the right time for me to be on an Austen binge again! (granted, the book I’m reading right now is Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, but it’s still Austen… somewhat)
    I’m crossing my fingers.

  123. meghan says:

    that a giveaway copy of jane austen’s sewing box must be in want of an owner! and i’d love to be that owner — i just spent all sunday afternoon watching the entire ehle/firth p&p and knitting a sweater for my husband (after reading the book for the zillionth time). i’m fascinated by the history of craft and its role in women’s lives, and what better pair than austen’s pithy, wry outlook on the narrowness of women’s lives and a history of “women’s work”?

  124. Melissa says:

    I am a *devourer* of nonfiction. The whole concept of the book sounds fascinating.

  125. tamstercmt says:

    I have had a life long interest in needlework techniques, and being a Renaissance Faire playtron, I have learned quite a few fiber arts to compliment my character.
    The book sounds wonderful – we need more studies of women’s lives and interests.

  126. Andrea says:

    Well, too cool to someone who is a complete fashion and craft history nerd, which would be me.

  127. Alice C-T says:

    Oh my goodness, I’d even make and wear that silk bonnet if I’m lucky enough to win this lovely book!

  128. Bonney says:

    Good Lord!! Isn’t it true inspiration to see some vintage pieces that I’m sure will not be repeats under the Christmas tree!! Everyone has their fingerless mitts and a warm scarf. This book holds great promise for a more interesting gift to give to friends and family!

  129. Heather Johnson says:

    Oh, I love Jane Austen. I have been searching for something “good” to read lately, everything seems to fall flat. This is just the ticket.

  130. Elli says:

    I can’t imagine a better combination! Crafting and Jane Austen? Is this heaven?

  131. Sassy Priscilla says:

    I would so love this book because I haven’t been able to catch a break lately. Plus, I have adored Jane Austin for nearly 20 years and have been in love with Mr. Darcy for the same amount of time. Combine Jane Austen with sewing crafts and all I can do is swoon.

  132. Sassy Priscilla says:

    Oh shoot – I forgot to add my email address. It is:

  133. kblondin says:
    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a crafter in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a new project.
    And I am.

  134. Leanne says:

    This would be a great read and a practical guide book. I’m reading Mr Darcy, Vampyre right now, watched P&P (2008) yesterday and watched the new BBC Emma last week. So, you see, I’m a bit of an Austen nutter.

  135. kim says:

    Although I would love this book, I would give it to daughter #2 ! Jane Austen is her life!

  136. Sophie says:

    I have raised my daughter on Jane Austen. My love of books has inspired her own love of Jane Austen and reading in general. She is now an education major and a budding authoress in her own right, and we still have to have a regular Mr. Darcy “fix” (or Mr. Knightly, or…most any Austen man will do. We Would Love to Win a copy of this beautiful book! Heck, we were oohing and aahing over just the description.

  137. Melonie says:

    When I was little I always loved the craft books that accompanied the American Girl historical dolls and wanted to make all of the projects that I saw in the books. It’s a great way to understand where we’ve been and where we’re going.

  138. Sophie says:

    I have raised my daughter on Jane Austen. My love of books has inspired her own love of Jane Austen and reading in general. She is now an education major and a budding authoress in her own right, and we still have to have a regular Mr. Darcy “fix” (or Mr. Knightly, or…most any Austen man will do. We Would Love to Win a copy of this beautiful book! Heck, we were oohing and aahing over just the description. (

  139. Carina says:

    Funny, my two escapes in life are crafting and Jane Austen…I’m curious to see what it would be like combined.

  140. Raelena says:

    I would love this book! It sounds like there are some fun crafts and I Love Jane Austen!
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  141. Jessica says:

    I love reading Jane Austen’s novels! I was so starved for Jane after reading her 6 novels that I started on her minor works & unfinished novels and eventually branched out into anything related to Jane Austen. This would definitely feed my addiction!

  142. breeinvt says:

    Everyone enjoys a giveaway, but I think this really strikes a chord with the blog readers.

  143. Arwen O'Reilly Griffith says:

    Agreed! It made my day reading all these wonderful comments and thinking how much Jane Austen (and crafting) has touched our lives.

  144. Megan P. says:

    I love old patterns and learning about the techniques of the past. Hope I win!

  145. Yetta says:

    This sounds like such a fun book. I will put it on my Christmas list if I don’t win it. :-) THanks for the chance to win.

  146. Citric Sugar says:

    Because a girl needs to dream. And how else will one become “accomplished”? :-)

  147. dinergirl says:

    I love her books and the various BBC film adaptions. And making crafts to go along would be nirvana!

  148. Jessica says:

    When you have something of an obsession with Jane Austen, as well as crafting and crafty blogs, well you cannot help but think this book by Jennifer Forest a fantastic idea. Indeed, why did I never think of this?! Ah well — as it is, I would love to read it.

  149. Kimberly Pye says:

    I just got into Jane Austen last week, and I would love to have this! Somehow I made it all the way through an English degree without ever reading her!

  150. Katie says:

    This book would be fantastic! My roommates and I all love Jane Austen and we love being crafty so this would be the perfect thing for some long, boring afternoons.

  151. katklaw777 says:

    I have read all of Jane Austen’s books, this book looks wonderful. The time period was so idyllic. I would love to have a copy. Great giveaway, thanks!

  152. Gail Hogsten says:

    It would be fascinating to read the book, bringing back to life an era that is lost.
    My grandmother did many of the things mentioned in the book. Patching with decorative stitching, renewing with beautiful trims, turning collars to make the shirt last longer, and many others.
    So reading this book would bring memories of my grandmother and mother, alive again. Something that I would enjoy many times over, and my daughter would do the same after I am gone~

  153. Miss Kaizer says:

    I love Pride & Prejudice, but I love historical crafts even more. For the longest time, these were the only things women could really create, statebuilding and entrepreneurship being off limits to them. Doing things like this allow me to connect with women who came before me.
    Also, the price is the same either through the publisher or Amazon UK, the currencies are just different. With the current exchange rate, it doesn’t much matter where you buy it.

  154. Dawn in NL says:

    A book that combines my favourite writer and crafts, how wonderful.
    I am even writing a Jane Austen inspired novel in NaNoWriMo this year.
    I would definitely cherish this book.

  155. Baba says:

    I am an avid reader and I love this time period. I am also an avid seamstress so this would really tickle me pink to win!

  156. rroebuck says:

    This sounds like the perfect book for a winter day….Jan./Feb. in Virginia! Thanks for offering such a great giveaway.

  157. Marie says:

    I’d love to win this book. It sounds like the perfect book to curl up with on a snowy Sunday afternoon.

  158. The French Frog Touch says:

    I’ve loved the movies Pride and Prejudice and Becoming Jane and it gave me the desire to know her better than i do and read at least one of her book. This is a good exercise for me to read in english and as we say in french : “joindre l’utile à l’agréable” which is a phrase that means something like “join the usefull to the pleasant”.

  159. The French Frog Touch says:

    I’ve loved the movies Pride and Prejudice and Becoming Jane and it gave me the desire to know her better than i do and read at least one of her book. This is a good exercise for me to read in english and as we say in french : “joindre l’utile à l’agréable” which is a phrase that means something like “join the usefull to the pleasant”.

  160. Lílian Alves says:

    I love Jane Austen. I saw and have all the movies based in her work. I read most of her books and/or books associated once a year. Sometimes I read Pride & Prejudice more than once a year.

  161. Camila F. says:

    I need this book because I love Jane Austen and I love to sew!!!

  162. Jenny says:

    Oh my goodness! This is amazing! Two of my most fave things, Jane Austen and sewing! Pure genious! I do so hope to win! Thank you for the chance!!!

  163. Chrissy Brooker says:

    Ok, its official, I’m a bit of a nerd. I love all things old and I absolutely love sewing. My friends say I was born in the wrong century. I’d love to have this book. I could use the beautiful silk bonnet…in a play. I’m also in the local theatre group. This would be perfect!

  164. Sarah Adamson says:

    I love hand sewing and embroidery and also old things and reading. Please, oh, please, let me win this book!
    Love, Sarah

  165. Becky says:

    This book sounds great, but it’s hard to find in the states. So, of course I need it!

  166. Becky says:

    This book is hard to find in the states. So, of course I need it!

  167. Kris Abyss says:

    Okay, here’s the situation: My friend Corey’s girlfriend Colleen loves Jane Austen and has recently started attending a stitch and bitch night I host at my shop, so I know she would LOVE this. Corey, who by the way is a super nice guy, has a Ween shirt that I have coveted for years (Boognish as a pirate) and I figure if I get my hands on this book he will trade me. He will then have the best Christmas present in the whole world to give to his lady!

  168. majeral says:

    I just recently opened an ETSY store all vintage most of it I have been collecting since I was a teenager. I once travel 2/1/2 hours one way, to take tatting classes. I love the handmade from the past. Hard to find that level of skill now. This book would help fill in the blanks.
    Thank You
    please visit my site

  169. Shana says:

    This book looks so good… if I don’t win it I’m definitely asking for it for Christmas!

  170. Corey Krietenstein says:

    My girlfriend is a huge Jane Austen fan, and has recently discovered the joys of knitting and sewing, so it pretty much seems like a prefect fit. Couple that with the fact that money is very tight this year and the holiday season is rapidly approaching, it seems fairly obvious that you need to give this to me, so that she can receive it Christmas morning. You wouldn’t want to deny a wonderful girl the joys of opening the most thoughtful and glorious gift she could ever imagine, would you?
    Pretty please?

  171. Alex says:

    I want this book not for me, but for my mom, who’s a literature nut and particularly fond of things that can take her to another time, like Austen’s fiction. She’s a costume designer working on Elizabethan things right now, but she’ll be finished soon, and I know she’ll be itching for something else to take on. Plus, she has a degenerative nerve disorder that’s slowly causing her to lose use of her hands, and I want to help fill her time with as much crafting as possible while she’s still able to enjoy it.

  172. Georgia says:

    So many people would like this book and I am one of them. I am retired and have been for 6 years now. The first 2 years were ‘yeah – no more getting up early’ but after 2 or 3 years of relief of having a real job #I had worked for 42 years# I began to get restless and started looking for things to do that were useful. I learned to knit, started fusing glass in a kiln that I purchased, making jewelry with beads that I found online, making floor cloths and quilting. I also volunteer as an RN in Peru for the Quetcha Indians each year for two weeks. I am constantly challenging myself to learn new things and to keep myself from becoming OLD. I am already 72 years old #next week#, I am having fun and continue to do so. If I am qualified to receive this book, I would certainly appreciate it.
    Thank you.
    Georgia Browne

  173. emmy jay says:

    Some of my first memories are watching my great grandmother sewing. She’s been gone many years, but her silver thimble and lump of beeswax were the start of my vintage sewing equipment collection — so *of course* I want this book.

  174. Erika says:

    I would love to recieve this book. I have always been interested in period crafts and the old ways of doing things. I studied history and costume design in college for pretty much those reasons…

  175. Krista says:

    The first grown-up book I ever read was Pride and Prejudice which I filched from my mother’s bookcase. I would love this book!

  176. chadzturtledove says:

    I want this book to give to my sister, who is, if possible, even more of a Jane Austen fan than I am.

  177. Ivy says:

    As a librarian and crafty girl, this book represents my most ideal winter companion.

  178. Cathy says:

    Sounds like an awesome book! Winter is coming fast, and it would be nice to curl up with such a great book!

  179. femmeknitzi says:

    Hey Craft!
    I’d love to read this book because my girlfriends and I just started a Jane Austen Book Club. Spurred by my desire to read to Pride and Prejudice with Zombies and my realization that I’d never read any Jane Austen, we decided to go for it.
    We’re starting with Pride and Prejudice and intend to read all 7 of her novels, including Lady Susan. Our first meeting will be in January.
    We’re all crafters so this would be an amazing complement to our discussions!
    Thanks for considering me!

  180. Dana says:

    I love her snarky wit and critique of English society! She was quite the witticist. :) I also adore knitting and sewing and all of those lovely bits of domesticity. I’m also a raging feminist who wants to reclaim homemaking and motherhood and the aforementioned activites as “feminist”!

  181. dikka says:

    Okay, we all love Jane Austen here. How can you not? I lost my job recently and to keep the stress level in control while I’m looking for work, I’ve been crafting A LOT. The problem is I’ve hit a wall! I’m too stressed out to sketch out and execute my own projects and I’ve done EVERY project from my collection of patterns by other people. I can’t afford to buy the book so this would be the ONLY way I could get it right now, AND it just might save my sanity!

  182. Katie says:

    I love Austen novels, and I found it very interesting how much sewing the women did — and had to do. They couldn’t run out to JC Penney or Old Navy to pick up new curtains or dresses. They had to make it or mend it. It was also one way the women entertained themselves. I’d love to know more about what they were making and how they did it.

  183. Andrea Mc says:

    I haven’t been this excited about a craft book in ages! So cool. Love Jane Austen.

  184. Jessica C says:

    For the last few weeks I have been in a postmodernic funk. After reading all the anarchists and postmodernists required to finish my degree (in anthropology), I am need a break! Jane Austen is down to earth and direct. Crafting is an always has been my favorite hobby, Jane Austen and other Romantic Era Authors, my escape. I would treasure this book.

  185. says:

    I would love to be able to give this as a gift to my good friend who has just started teaching English in China. She could really use a reminder of home, I think, and something to keep her occupied in her off hours.

  186. Little Yuzu says:

    I’m an avid Austen fan who’s read all her completed novels and juvenilia, and I love to craft. Once a month my friends and I get together to sew/knit/crochet while watching period drama and talking about books we’ve read. I mentioned this book to them several months ago, but none of us have it. I’d love to own a copy so my friends and I can craft together Regency style. I’ve already sewn a plushy Jane Austen doll, and next I’d like to try my hand at some authentic Austen-era crafts.

  187. anna says:

    I’m a huge Austen fan.
    I would love to try these projects.
    Thank you for promoting this book.

  188. Henitsirk says:

    Jane Austen novels + regency needlework = humanities nerd heaven. Thanks for publicizing this book. It’s going on my holiday wishlist!

  189. restourceful says:

    Jane Austen and Crafting! Oh, to be able to have these two of my favorites all wrapped up in one package. It would be as though Miss Austen herself had come into my humble craft room just for a visit to craft with me. And we two Janes would have such a lovely time!

  190. Becky Liendo says:

    I made a promise to myself this past summer to read *all* of Jane Austen and I did! I’ve started a book club with all three of my sisters and mother and I’m also teaching them how to embroider and knit! So I know this book would be an excellent addition to our book club and crafty creations! Thanks!

  191. Tamara says:

    I would be able to give my Austen loving sister who just graduated from college with a degree in costume design the best yule gift ever!

  192. Rachel Hazeldine says:

    A new production of Emma has just finished in the UK,and my friends and I are all at a loss now that it’s over.I would love to share this book with my friend who called her eldest daughter Emma and her house Hartfield.

  193. loopylamb says:

    I love learning about domestic life, crafts, and fashion in different time periods. This book is right up my alley!

  194. Tammy Charlesworth says:

    I would really like to win this book. I am a HUGE Jane Austen Fan!! Thank you.
    309 W. Raleigh Pl., Broken Arrow, OK 74011

  195. Jas. Phillips says:

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Jane Austen fanatic in possession of all her works must be in want of more Jane Austen works–even needleworks.

  196. CR says:

    Jane Austin’s work is really amazing, and being able to have this book and sew the projects really would make the books come even more alive, and what fan hasn’t wanted to step into the book from time to time?

  197. elise says:

    This looks like such a fun book. I adore Jane Austen, period pieces, and love sewing… I think this book would be a delight to own!

  198. eharac says:

    Since I was a child of 6 and my mother gave me a crewel work kit, I have spent my life learning and exploring the world of needlework. Other than her patient instruction in the basic stitches of that kit, I have taught myself from books. I have explored candlewicking, learned counted cross stitch, needlepoint, surface embroidery, rug hooking, stumpwork, tatting, crochet, knitting and more.
    Each time I learn a new thing or finish a project, it is a moment of joy. Nothing is more wonderful than the feel of yarn, floss or good fabric in the hands. Nothing is more relaxing than the steady crafting of what is truly art. And there is no better smell than the scent of ink and paper of an amazing book (except maybe freshly baking bread).
    My physical disabilities prevent me from many activities that I would like to do, but they have left me with the will, desire and patience of the world of needlework.

  199. Robyn says:

    I have always been facinatef by the years which have come to pass. Whenever possible I’m collecting replicas of ancient tools, hats, clothings. I recently sewed a 1800’s era green and white bustled dress and spend a day volunteering in said dress. This book seems like it might have fallen from a bit of my own persona, and would be a welcome addition to my home, and my bookshelf. (right between “Fashions of Victorian England”, and the “Caligraphy Bible” )
    Thank you!

  200. Judith says:

    I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and of all kinds of crafts – this book would find a wonderful home with me and I promise to care for it and give it the love it deserves.

  201. Kat says:

    Oh man. This is awesome and I need it to make gifts for my best friend who loves Jane Austen but doesn’t craft.

  202. Jenny Williams says:

    I love everything Jane Austen and I love all kinds of crafts. And I’m just learning embroidery, which always makes me think of Jane Austen-y things.

  203. cfroggie says:

    I have desperately been searching for a new good read. This books sounds perfect, it combines my love of Jane Austen with my love of craftiness! cfroggie(at)gmail(dot)come

  204. Erin says:

    Sounds like a great book. I have several friends who are Austen enthusiasts; I’d love to check this one out and pass the recommendation around!

  205. Laurpud says:

    Although mine weren’t silk. I love obscure crafts & would really love this book!

  206. Marii says:

    I thought it was just a PBS movie..but I could Oh So get lost in this Austen too! I’ve been sewing since I was 6 – and then taught my daughter to sew too –she was about 8 – now she’s 21 – and is ever grateful that she can sew too…..I learned from my mother, who learned from her mother in the 1930’s — I’d love to win this book to honor the sewing women in my past, and to encourage & empower the women in my life (my daughter & daughter in law who is learning to sew!) to keep their hands & needles busy!
    Thanks for this opportunity!

  207. Heather says:

    I’d love this book so I can become an accomplished woman. I’ve already improved my mind by means of extensive reading(Mr Darcy’s chief criterion) so I think now is the time to work on Bingley’s:
    “They all paint tables, cover skreens, and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished.”

  208. tsuyoikuma says:

    Sensible persons, as perhaps one might think Anne Elliot and myself, I presume, would almost always find rewarding past time in producing useful creations for the home and mutual enjoyment of our families and close relations.

  209. KorovaMoloko says:

    Favourite line from “Lost in Austen”. I don’t ever want to face not knowing how to do “womens work” if I’m face to face with Mrs Bennet.

  210. Karina Beck says:

    I don’t know of many that are not fans of Miss Austen and her wonderful writings. I, myself, look upon her as a role model and an inspiration to live as a lady in a modern world. Handwork is such a fine lady like way to pass time and to connect with friends and family. This book would certainly aid in blessing others with the gift of fine hand work for nothing speak love and devotion than the handmade gift (and the handmade home).

  211. Katie Cowden says:

    What a great concept!

  212. Benjamin Woo says:

    My wife is a most ardent devotee of Miss Austen’s novels, a quite gifted painter whose work has often addressed ideas about “women’s work” and the feminine, and a dedicated crafter. Moreover, she eschews a sewing machine for her projects, and so I commend her to you as a fine–indeed, ideal–candidate to receive a book of Jane-Austen themed period craft projects. With your assistance, I should very much like to present it to her.
    Your servant,
    Mr. Benjamin Woo, Esq.

  213. caseychampion says:

    I would love to win this! I am an art historian studying craft and a novice crafter myself! I’m really interested in the differences between women crafters in the 19th century (who may have been making out of obligation, with no positive acknowledgment) and women crafters now- who are completely subverting that rule. It would be so wonderful … Read Moreuse this – both in the historical / research sense and the “ohmygoshiwanttomakeeverythingrightnow” motivation. :D
    please let me win :):):) email: caseyjchampion [at] gmail [dot] com

  214. thatgrrl says:

    I teach Women’s Studies and this book would provide an excellent example of interdisciplinary writing- literature, history, culture- that I hope would encourage my students to look more broadly for information on how women lived in days of yore. Plus, I get serious hankerings for clothing in the style fo that era at least once a year.

  215. Amber says:

    This would be the perfect accompaniment to the historically accurate Regency ensemble I’ve decided to craft for myself in the next year!

  216. Sally says:

    I love Jane Austen. I am working on (long-term) a repro of her patchwork quilt. This book would really complement it and create new opportunities for similar work! LOVE IT.

  217. karielk says:

    As a passionate Jane Austen fan and crafter, this book excites me. I also love the fact that the book celebrates the art that women have done for centuries, art that has often been undervalued. As women were often shut out of “high art,” crafts took their place. I’m proud to carry on those traditions today with a modern twist!

  218. Stephanie says:

    My daughter would love this book!

  219. Out2lunch says:

    Glee! This book is going straight on my Amazon wishlist ^_^
    I’ve loved Austin’s books for many years and the thought of being able to pull a little piece out of them into reality is most exciting!

  220. LisaB says:

    Thank you for posting this! I too pick up Jane Austen novels when I need to escape. I’ve read them all many times. I’m intrigued to see what’s in this book!

  221. Elaine Simkins says:

    I love all things regency and love making and creating new designs. I am sure I would attempt all of the projects.
    My parents and friends say I was born in the wrong century

  222. Amber says:

    Love the blog

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