Book Review: How to Sew a Button: and Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried

how to sew a button
Rather warm and fuzzy for a how-to book. Funny, too (the last step in “How to hang a picture” is to walk by and check to see if the eyes follow you). Charmingly illustrated with pen and ink drawings of ideal 50’s housewives carrying on in calm, polished style. Not too precious, though – there’s good advice in here. Most of the things you can learn from this book are essentials (such as sewing on a button, canning, or using a clothesline), or at the very least, things you’ve always wanted to be able to do (like mix the perfect Martini or make nice with the neighbors). Advice was drawn from real grandmothers who are profiled just after the introduction.
There are about a dozen lessons for each of the 10 categories:

  1. Cooking (How to roast a whole chicken; how to hone a knife, etc.)
  2. Gardening (How to plant a vegetable garden; how to compost, etc.)
  3. Cleaning (How to hand wash delicates; how to mop, etc.)
  4. Dressing (How to pack a suitcase; how to patch a hole, etc.)
  5. Nesting (How to build a fire; how to unclog a drain, etc.)
  6. Thriving (How to get a good night’s sleep; how to wear red lipstick, etc.)
  7. Loving (How to make a baby toy; how to make the most of a night in, etc.)
  8. Saving (How to make a budget; how to throw a yard sale, etc.)
  9. Joining (How to start a book club; how to volunteer, etc.)
  10. Entertaining (How to write a thank-you note; how to host a potluck dinner party, etc.).
This strikes me as the type of book that would make an excellent gift – perhaps for a girl who is moving our for the first time or for that friend who always sighs over Martha Stewart and how together she is.
— Amanda
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