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Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing: A Crafty Chica Novel    by Kathy Cano-Murillo order for
Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing
by Kathy Cano-Murillo
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Sophomore writing efforts can be tricky, but Kathy Cano-Murillo comes through shining like glitter. Her second Crafty Chica novel, Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing, is even better than her first. Once again, she manages to weave humor and a passion for crafting into a story of life, love, and friendship. Ever since her nana taught her to sew at the age of eight, Scarlet Santana has always had dreams of making her career in the fashion world. However, she comes from a family of engineers. So, being a dutiful daughter, she got her degrees in civil engineering.

However, once graduated, she decided to give in to her dreams and try the fashion industry. Her family went with it at first, but now that she's thirty, they want her to come to her senses. Scarlet has other plans. Her blog devoted to designer Daisy de la Flora,, is one of the most popular on the web, she has a job with Arizona's biggest fashion house, and was just accepted into the exclusive Johnny Scissors Emerging Designers Program in New York.

To raise the money to attend and be trained by Daisy's only surviving relative, Scarlet starts a patternless sewing class in the spare room of Vega's Vicious Vinyl, a used record store owned by the handsome Marco. Although her class is small, she makes amazing new friends especially Mary Theresa (an uptight mother who was just demoted at her illustrious job right when her husband decided it was time for a break), and Rosa, a mysterious yet inspiring elderly lady who seems to have a connection to Daisy. Together, Scarlet and her friends will do their best to break through the patterns that life has set for them.

Not only does Cano-Murillo weave an air of crafty inspiration through her novels, she also threads a theme throughout, bringing to the forefront life lessons to which women can relate. This is what really makes her novels stand out from the normal chick lit fare (her craft how-tos at the end also help in that aspect). Scarlet and her friends come to life on the page, leaving the reader flipping furiously to see how things are going to turn out. Cano-Murillo expertly brings her characters' emotions into everything they do, letting the reader feel what they feel right along with them, and providing a wonderful, uplifting feeling when all is said and done, whether things turn out for the good or the bad.

Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing is a must for any crafty chica who is stuck in a rut in life, whether they know it or not. Kathy Cano-Murillo provides plenty of inspiration for life and for sewing.

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