A couple of weeks ago now I bought Learn to Sew with Lauren; “Why?” I hear you ask when I’m clearly not a beginner. Well, I’m not even ashamed to say it was for the Simple Sleeveless Top pattern. £15 (eBay bargain!) seems like a lot to spend on a pattern…and is the most I’ve ever spent on a pattern, but I bought it anyway. I justified it by having already checked out Lauren’s blog and seeing the modifications I could make (button down back, pin tuck detail front) I was sold! (Incidentally when the book arrived I Instagrammed a picture of it – Lauren commented on my picture to say she’s looking at a sleeve variation for the top; I spy me having a wardrobe with lots of variations of the same top at this rate!)
In short I love the book. It is fab for absolute beginners, with easy to follow instructions and guidance and plenty of illustrations. As well as the projects section, Lauren details all sorts of techniques to get you started on your journey as a Sewist, from different seams, to gathering and tucks, to inserting zips (the real things you need to know when you’re starting on your journey). The projects really do suit a number of levels and vary between clothing and accessories for adults and children, to useful gifts for the home.
I was very new to sewing when Lauren appeared on The Great British Sewing Bee in 2013, and her comment of making lots of children’s clothes as it was easier to learn skills on smaller garments – this really struck a chord with me and is very true – if you’re fairly new to sewing (and have little ones to make things for) it’s a great way to hone your skills. You’ll be pleased to know there are lots more nuggets of advice in her book.
Everything Lauren makes in the book comes on four double sided handy pattern sheets for you to trace to your heart’s content when you want to make something. The sizing is also very realistic (I don’t know about you but on some commercial patterns, I find I don’t easily fit in one size, however with Lauren’s patterns I do!) From buying it for one pattern, I’ve found quite a few things to add to my ever growing project list. As well as the Simple Sleeveless Top, I absolutely love the Yoke Top, the pyjama bottoms (they’ll be perfect in brushed cotton for lounging around all winter – when I find some fabric I like that is!), the Pick Your Pockets Skirt and the Have It Your Way Dress…and that’s just for my wardrobe! I’d never thought how easy it would be to make my own Roman blind but this is another project Lauren has included that would be so much fun to make!
If you like this book, you may also love The Sewing Book by Alison Smith – this was my original sewing bible and one I still refer back to now. I’m a firm believer of having a few different books to refer to – you can guarantee if you don’t understand how to master something from reading one book, the other might explain it in a different way!
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