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Book Reviews


Love at First Stitch – Demystifying Dressmaking
by Tilly Walnes

Those of you who are a fan of the Tilly & The Buttons blog will have a good idea of what to Love At First Stitch sewing book from Tilly Walnesexpect from this book.  It is stylish and cheerful with lovely photos and useful information for beginner dressmakers just like her blog.

Unlike most books instead of devoting the first half of the book to techniques it goes straight into the projects so you learn as you sew.  You start with simple projects like making a head scarf or an A line skirt and Tilly teaches you different dressmaking techniques as and when you need them in the projects.  It means rather than concentrating on theory you go straight into the practical and have something to show for what you have been learning, instead of just written notes.

There are 7 projects in the book – a head scarf, pyjama trousers, a couple of skirts, a couple of dresses and a blouse.  However there are 3 variations of each patterns so you can make several different looks. 

There are also useful tips, and sewing lifestyle type posts throughout the book giving advice on things like how to act in a fabric shop, sewing socially, fitting sewing into a busy life and choosing fabrics.

I think many people new to dressmaking will be inspired by this book.

The book is published by Quadrille Craft


Quilting with a Modern Slant by Rachel May

Book review - Quilting with a Modern Slant

I don’t quite know where to start when describing this book.  It’s unlike any I’ve seen and is a big mix of many things.  The author has featured 70 well know designers and quilters in the book, profiling some, featuring techniques and advice from others and featuring full quit projects from others.   So basically you will learn lots about modern quilting, from the experts from inspiration through to practical techniques.

Modern Quilting book by Rachel MayIt is more than just a book telling you how to make quilts, it gives you history, inspiration, advice  You will recognise many of the names of the contributors – Aneela Hoey, Anna Maria Horner, Valori Wells, Thomas Knauer, David Butler, Kaffe Fassett, John Q Adams, Katy Jones etc.  It is like the who’s who of modern quilting!   The advice doesn’t just stop at quilting either, there are tips on blogging, starting a business and opening a shop.   I think you get a huge amount of information for the price, if you are interested in modern quilting I think you will love it.

This book is published by Storey Publishing



25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks (Vol 2) by Katy Jones25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks book review

Second in a series from Katy this book shows you how to sew 25 different quilt blocks.  These blocks will teach you how to use templates, how to do machine applique and how to cut and piece simple shapes like squares and triangles.  There is a brief guide to the basics techniques at the front of the book but there is a more extensive guide available to download from the publisher’s website. 

Each block has a full A4 page showing you how to cut and piece the block.  There are written instructions accompanied by colour diagrams making it easy to follow.  There are full size templates in the book (always a plus), and a few projects at the back to show you how you could use the blocks you’ve made.  The projects include 2 quilts, a drawstring bag and an apron.

This book is published by Martingdale


25 quilting blocks by Katy Jones from I'm a Ginger Monkey


Make & Mend Fabulous by Denise WildMake and Mend Fabulous

This on trend book will help you make your wardrobe last longer, or to jazz up any thrifting bargains.  It covers each kind of repair that could be need to your clothes, showing different variations, or how to do it on different fabrics.  Then after showing you how to mend it tells you how to take it one step further, how to upcycle it or revamp it to make it even better than before.

The repairs covered include fixing tears/holes in fabric, repairing problems with seams or hems, fixing or replacing fastenings, changing the colour of a garment and dealing with strap problems.  The book is full of bright close up photos showing you every little detail of the techniques making it easy to follow.

I think it would make a useful addition to any stitchers library.  We are all sure to need at least one or two of techniques at some point.

This book is published by Search Press


Find other sewing and quilting book reviews here.