Made by Me!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Great British Sewing Bee Book Review

So I have to admit that I must probably be the only dressmaker in the UK right now not tuned into 'The Great British Sewing Bee' on a weekly basis - I am sure that is some kind of blasphemy in the sewing world but I have never had the desire to watch it. Even though I am not hooked on the series I do appreciate the sewing skills of the people working on it and I have picked up the book accompanying the third series with a lot of excitement because I think it's a rather brilliant sewing book with a lot of wearable items in it. Now I guess if you watch the series then this may give away some of the items in the show - like I say I don't watch it but I am guessing they based the patterns on what the contestants make....so you better look away if you don't want spoilers!


The book has the obligatory basics such as measuring yourself correctly and fabric selection in the front but it doesn't go in to much more detail. More of the book is given over to patterns which is great and there are traceable full size patterns in a separate cardboard envelope that comes with the book. In all there are 30 projects which is pretty good for the £16 I paid for it and it really has something for everyone -  everything from beginners to more advanced and children's, men's and women's clothing. Admittedly one persons style may not fit all of the books aesthetic but I have to say I would happily make and wear a lot of what is in here. So if you are pondering on the purchase of this book here's a taster of whats inside.


Firstly I really love the colourful pictures on the inside of the front and back covers and on the back of the book. Whilst I may not watch the show I think its nice to see all of the contestants on the pages like this. 


Secondly I love the fabrics used in this book - a little bit of Liberty and some lovely Cotton and Steel fabric as shown in the images above. These are my favourite patterns in the book by far. I love the simplicity of the trousers and the prettiness of the top, and of course the lovely hack of the simple jumpsuit. I can see myself making the top most definitely and I would make up the jumpsuit as well if I thought it would suit me. I keep thinking about this style but I am still not convinced that it's for me.


This skirt is also a lovely summer staple and another example of a great use of fabric.


The pussy-bow blouse is very cute and I absolutely love the sleeveless variation. I want it now!!


This dress has a lovely geometric construction. The striped version shows it off much better than the blue version. I think this dress could be quite flattering on but it feels more wintry so its maybe something to bring out in the autumn time.


This dress also has a lovely line around the bodice and buttoning down the front. Beautiful Liberty print as well. It's a variation of a vintage pattern apparently which is probably why it has some interesting features. If I made this I would lengthen the skirt a little as I don't really like flared skirts above the knee.


This jersey kimono cardigan is lovely and a great wardrobe staple. I love a great kimono!!


Whilst this top and dress isn't the most exciting of patterns I like that they are showing how to hack a pattern and change it into a nice shift dress. I kind of like the dress version because it could really showcase a beautiful print or colour.


I am not sure I am ready to sew leather or that this would be the pattern I would choose to do it with but it's great that this book has such a diversity of types of projects and levels of experience.


These two aren't bad as far as men's patterns go and the man in them isn't too difficult to look at either! They are pretty basic staples really. The women's patterns far outweigh the men's and children's in this book which in some ways is a shame as I am at the point of wanting to sew my man up a few things and am searching for slightly more exciting variations than this.

Now on to the patterns I really didn't like - and there are only a couple of things so for me that's a good average.


This is god awful although it possibly could look better in another fabric. It just feels a bit 80's in a bad way, especially the fingerless glove styling!! Eek..!!


What the hell is this kilt all about?? I don't think I know any man who would want this as a fashion item.....of course unless they are Scottish....

Overall I think it's a very good book and worth every penny. Have you bought it or made anything from it? It would be interesting to hear what you think.