Book Review: The Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

Hello,

The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner
The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

This is a fairly unusual post for me, as I normally wait a few weeks after a book publication, before I purchase and review.  However, as I’m have been dragged back into the Great British Sewing Bee (GBSB) fold, I thought why not take advantage of the special deal currently being run by Amazon (yes I know, but I’m an impoverished blogger – please don’t hate me!)

The book accompanies the 4th series of the GBSB, and it’s a nice and weighty, robust, hard back book. I think it will take a great deal of wear and tear – a bonus for a publication designed to be used as a reference book.

So today, on the first day of publication, I’m lucky enough to have the book in my mits, and so far, I’m impressed.  Starting off with a list of items for your basic sewing kit, the book continues with information regarding sewing machine basics, paper patterns,  fit tips and includes that dreaded first bias cut top that many of the contestants struggled with in the first show.  However, you will be pleased to know that the author clearly explains how it should be done.

Over 200 pages long, the book is stuffed with information suitable for the beginner to the expert. There are clothes patterns for children, women and men – my slight gripe is that the models featured in the book don’t cover the wide spectrum of people living in the UK,. It would have been nice for instance, to see a few more patterns for men, teenagers and babies.  I would also have liked to see more models covering a wider range of body shapes and sizes too.

A huge trick was also missed by not including non- clothing items, such as cushion covers and shopping or book bags.  Now that we have to pay for plastic bags, this would have been a fantastic way to encourage everyone to make their own eco-friendly carriers. I’m very surprised they missed such an obvious way to encourage more people into sewing.  Not everyone goes into this hobby to make clothes.

The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner
The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

The book is fully illustrated with instructions clear and concise, and unlike some sewing books, there are many patterns that I would like to have a  go at.  The 1960s dress below is of particular interest.

The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner
The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

There is a separate paper pattern pack included, which is nicely packaged and can be stored away for safe keeping.   I would strongly suggest that if you purchase this book, to also purchase some tracing or Swiss paper.

The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner
The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

The RRP is £25, however Amazon are currently selling the book for £9.99.  At less than £10, I think that the book is excellent value and a must buy especially if you’re a novice.  It’s worth it for the patterns alone.   At the RRP, it becomes a more considered purchase, but still represents good value.

Despite my initial reluctance, I’m glad I purchased this book, and plan to make several of the items within.  Stay tuned to see how I progress.

Rating 4 out of 5

Credits: Original book cover photography by Charlotte Medlicott
Original book photographers Jenni Hare and Charlotte Medlicott
Book published by Quadrille 2016
Photos © Champagne Twist

 

 

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