Book: Great British Sewing Bee 2

So I know I’m way behind the times, since the series has been over for weeks now, but I’m sharing the second Great British Sewing Bee Book with you today. I got a copy free from work (one of the perks of working in a bookshop is not only cheap, but sometimes free books!). I think I enjoyed the second series of the Sewing Bee a bit less than the first, partly because I felt like some of the challenges were hard for the sake of being hard – but maybe they had to do that as they can’t make the same things in every series. And although I enjoyed the no pattern week, it kind of irritated me that it was a bit Project Runway and that I would imagine the majority of home-sewers do use patterns always.

Anyway, these were small niggles, and the patterns that come with the book are pretty good – and you get printed pattern sheets with this book instead of having to print and stick the downloadable ones like with the first book.

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I think the first book had a pencil skirt in, but I prefer the one in this book. Maybe I’m just drawn to the pink and the spots!?

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I really love the 1930s blouse that they made and have it traced already to make!

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I also thought the baby dungarees they made were really sweet, and I was so glad the pattern was included in the book. I have already made these for my nephew (who turned 1 the weekend before last!). I’ll be posting the full details later in the week.

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I also love this bowling shirt – it seems quite rare to be able to find a bowling shirt pattern. I think it could also double up as a Hawaiian shirt pattern – I have some gorgeous, genuine Hawaiian fabric that I desperately wanted to make into this shirt, but there’s only about a metre and even with a contrasting collar and cuffs, I can’t get the pattern pieces to fit, boo 😦

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I’m thrilled that they included the pattern for Tamara’s 1960s coat! I would definitely not use the same fabric as her as that stuff looked like a bitch to sew with, but I really love the 60s and this coat is a really nice shape. I’m determined to make a coat at some point, so maybe this will be the pattern?

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Book: Love At First Stitch

Love-At-First-Stitch-1 I’m sure if you follow any sewing blogs, you will have heard about the release this week of Love At First Stitch by Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons. I was lucky enough to get an early (and free!) copy from the publisher – there are some perks to my job! As I’m sure everyone else has said, this is a really lovely book – both beautifully produced and filled with brilliant tips and some lovely patterns.

Love-At-First-Stitch-2The book takes you from total beginner, making a scarf, via pajama bottoms, skirts, a blouse through to a pretty party dress, teaching you all the techniques you need as you progress through the book. There are little sections between the instructions to teach things like putting in a zip, and help fitting patterns to your measurements:

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If you already know how to sew, then this book is still for you as the patterns are lovely and have a 60s-style vibe, which fits in with things I like to make and wear.

I especially love the Mimi Blouse (and have already cut one out – just need to find time to sew it together!):

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The other brilliant thing that Tilly has done is to show you how to customise/ alter the patterns to your own taste/ style, like this Mimi variation with contrast collar and piping:

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I also love the Megan Dress:

Love-At-First-Stitch-5and the Lilou Dress is definitely on my list of patterns to make.

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And I love, love, love, the variation with a scalloped neckline:

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To celebrate the online launch of the book, I made the Brigitte Scarf, which is the first pattern in the book. I made it double-sided, with some stripey fabric I have earmarked for a laurel dress. I cut the pattern 9cm x 60cm, compared to the original size of 15cm x 65cm. I shortened it because my paper was 30cm long and I changed the width because the pattern should be folded in half lengthways (then turned around the right way), but because mine was 2 different pieces for each side, I halved the width and added another 1.5cm seam allowance.

The stripes go lengthways:

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And they go across the scarf:

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