No, your eyes are not deceiving you! In the run up to publication day on Monday (a very important day in any author’s life), Laurence King are doing what every good publisher should – promoting the heck out of their new titles.
This means that as well as Tilly’s Giveaway on DIY Couture, there’s a second giveaway here. A second bite at the cherry!
Laurence King are the publishers of Drape Drape and the Pattern Magic books, so their lineage is impressive. Rosie Martin must be absolutely delighted to be joining the ranks, and there’ll be an interview here soon all about her route to publication. But first, what did I think of the book?
It’s easy to become jaded with general interest sewing books. After a few years’ reading, you start to see the same techniques shared in the same ways and feel like you’re not learning anything new. Which is why I was so excited by Rosie’s approach. Even to a long-term Sewist, I think her attitude and manner of working would really shake up the bag of tricks.
First of all, there’s a lot of self-forgiveness involved in Rosie’s school of thinking. As the introduction tells us, ‘All the clothes pictured in this book were handmade at home, and veyr few of them could be considered 100% perfect. My line of reasoning is this – let it go.’ Rosie, I want to marry you!
None of the makes involve the use of patterns. They barely feature a measuring tape. It’s all about refashioning, tracing, and some inspired use of pencil and string. A skirt is made by tracing your favourite pair of jeans! There are ten projects heavily illustrated in flow charts, but each project has eight variations – 80 potential makes and not a single pattern. It’s simple and it’s clever.
I particularly LOVE the repeated mantra that comes at the end of each make, reminding a reader of what they’ve achieved:
This book is undoubtedly aimed at a younger audience than myself, but there’s something very all-inclusive about it – I don’t feel that I shouldn’t be reading DIY Couture or can’t make something from it. Indeed, the relaxed and adventurous approach pushes me towards experimenting with makes I’ve shied away from in the past. (I’m nervous around cloaks, yet eerily drawn to them. There’s a cloak in this book – well, eight cloaks in this book! – and with Rosie’s simple take, I’d be happy to experiment. I wouldn’t be losing weeks of my life to an ultimately doomed project.)
The skirt variations particularly appeal.
I think this book would be perfect to crack open on an empty weekend for a fast and fun make. So, one lucky reader can win a copy of DIY Couture. One of the collections in the book is called ‘The American Road Trip’, and seeing as I’m about to go on an American Road Trip, here are the rules:
Leave a comment saying which place in America you would visit on your dream road trip by midnight GMT Sunday 13 May. I’ll select a winner after that, but be aware – I can’t put the book in the post until two weeks after that date because of, you know, having fun commitments!
Thank you, Laurence King and Rosie.