This is the debut sewing book from Lauren Guthrie. Maybe you remember her from the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee? That seems a lifetime ago now. Back then, we had no idea if the series would be any good, what or whom it might feature. Little did we know that an institution and new careers were in the making!
I vividly remember Lauren’s dedication to a clean and pretty aesthetic, executed to a high standard, and you’ll definitely see those principles reproduced in this book for beginners. Crisp lawns and cottons abound, along with pretty bias tape and liberty print details. Lauren is a woman of taste and her aesthetic is arguably one of the main reasons for buying this book over others aimed at beginners.
There’s a range of techniques and projects, aimed at steering a beginner through makes, from bow belts and scarves (above) to skirts and dresses and children’s outfits. It’s not all dressmaking. There are bags and quilts and roman blinds, something I’m desperate to make!
These PJ bottoms are cute, aren’t they?
Four books have emerged from The Great British Sewing Bee so far, priced between £20-£25. (Not that many of us pay the full cover price, or have for a long time now.) I’m sure more are in the pipeline and wonder how many sewing books can or will be published on the back of this massively successful programme. Not forgetting that the US version hasn’t even gone live yet!
My palate is starting to crave something aimed at people who may have been sewing for a few more years, or someone who wants to aspire through their reading. One day I might be able to do that, too! That’s what started me sewing and I’d happily pay £25 for a book by Beth or Ann. Beginner Sewists won’t stay novices for ever and will want something for the next step in their sewing careers. (And their loved ones will want more ideas for Christmas gifts!) I hope publishers are already drawing up their grand plans, because I don’t think the sewing craze is going away.
Good luck to Lauren and her book! She seems lovely and has clearly worked like a trojan. She deserves success.
What do you look for in a sewing book?
This post was written as part of a book blog tour organised by Octopus Books.