5 May 2014

A Peek Inside Love at First Stitch (and How to Get a Signed Copy)


Exciting times! You can now order a signed copy of my book, Love at First Stitch, from my shop. Not only that, but the printed versions of Mathilde and Miette patterns are also now in stock. (Of course, all the stuff arrived when the lift in my building was broken, so I've now done my fair share of exercise for the year, phew.) Wanna sneaky look inside? Oh go on then...







LOVE AT FIRST STITCH by TILLY WALNES, published by Quadrille (£20)
Photos © ELLIE SMITH & ARIELLE GAMBLE
I wanted to create a book that looks fresh and modern, with bold colours and graphic prints rather than the expected tropes of a craft book (florals, bunting etc). The super talented and all round incredibs designer Arielle Gamble did such an amazing job! Arielle took the step photos, while the finished garment and "lifestyle" pics were styled by Charlotte Melling, the Creative Director of the drop-dead gorgeous Betty magazine, and shot by one of Betty's favourite photographers, the lovely Ellie Smith. Add to the mix the supremely clear-headed editorial skills of craft author Kate Haxell, plus a whole team of brilliant pattern testers, and no doubt many more people behind the scenes at Quadrille, all overseen by the lovely Lisa Pendreigh who commissioned the book, and I was in pretty safe hands.

The book takes you from the basics of using a sewing machine through to creating a wardrobe full of adorable clothes that you'll be proud to say you made yourself. This isn't a traditional sewing manual - it's a book about learning by doing. Each of the seven chapters centres around a project - from the easy peasy Brigitte scarf, building in complexity through PJs, skirts, dresses and a blouse to the impressive lined and pleated Lilou dress - showing you the techniques you need to make each project as you need them. After all, you don't need to learn five different types of seam finishes before you can make a skirt. You just wanna make a skirt!

If you're a new dressmaker, you'll build your skills and your confidence one project at a time, until you have a whole load of techniques under your belt as well as a whole new wardrobe of gorgeous clothes made by your own fair hand. If you've been sewing for a while, you can skip the techniques you already know and get straight to the patterns. The book comes with full-scale pattern sheets in eight sizes (sizing chart here), ready to use or trace off. These are new patterns: Margot pyjama bottoms, Delphine skirt, Megan dress, Mimi blouse, Lilou dress - plus instructions for drafting your own simple patterns for the Brigitte scarf and Clémence skirt.

Each chapter also includes a 'Make It Your Own' section with tutorials and ideas to add your own special touch to the projects. Every chapter also has a 'Make It a Lifestyle' section in which I share (possibly slightly tongue in cheek) hints and tips on the DIY dressmaking way of life - from fearless sewing to how to behave in a fabric shop.

I'll share more this week about the book, including photos of the pattern designs, which I know some of you are itching to see. And don't forget the #LoveAtFirstStitch online launch party on Thursday - I can't wait to see your Brigitte scarves! Here's some inspiration to get you going... and did you see Rachel's adorable styling post?

In the meantime, if you want to get your hands on a signed copy of Love at First Stitch, head on over to my shop! (Of course, if you prefer Amazon, you can order it from Amazon.co.uk, or if you're in the US and don't want to pay international shipping, you can wait for the US version to be published in October.)



Oh yes, and Miette and Mathilde are now in print! With more sizes! A jargon buster! Annotated pattern pieces! And gorgeous colour photos of each step! Ooh and in an all new snazzy envelope - just look at how awesome they look from the side! A little surprise touch for those of you who stash your patterns on a bookshelf :) I'm going to update the online instructions in the next couple of weeks with the beautiful new step photos (also taken by Arielle - I didn't let her get away), please bear with me in the meantime, it's been a busy few weeks, phew.


Just one more thing and then I promise I'll shut up. The last paragraph of the book is all about you. Yes YOU. This is what it says:

"I'd like to thank all the awesome people who read my blog for inspiring and encouraging me to continue doing what I do. You've made me a very happy lady, and I couldn't have done this without you."

Over and out. xx

53 comments:

  1. How exciting! Everything looks amazing! Looking forward to the US release!

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  2. Tilly! What a glorious book!! I am salivating over the sewing projects and fantastic styling. Gah!

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    1. I'm so glad you like it, Sarah!

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  3. Congratulations, Tilly! I really can't wait for my book to arrive in the post. It looks so so nice, and I love how you describe the concept as breaking from the "expected tropes of a craft book" such as bunting and florals. That's something I think is really important for encouraging people to get into dressmaking. :)

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  4. your book looks so nice. I can' wait to get it ! love the design !

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  5. you & your team did an amazing job, love love the fresh look of it all (might be that gorgeous yellow i love so much!) I've actually never sewed any clothes (like, ever!!) but definitely want to try now!!

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  6. Book is lovely - it arrived Saturday but I'm not allowed to review it yet, though I'm dying to show others what's inside! X

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  7. Wow! Very exciting! Can't wait! Sitting on pins and needles!

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  8. Lovely Tilly I have ordered my signed copy it is a birthday present to myself for this week and I couldn't wish for a nicer gift, especially when it is signed. I have bought the Coco pattern and the fabric, just need the courage to cut it out and sew it! Have a wonderful week Tilly and many congratulations to you. Big hugs and loves
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  9. Hi Tilly, your book look incredible, and I really like the pattern. Congratulations! Will it be available in shops ? I am coming to the UK in May, and would love to get my hands on a copy! Thanks

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    1. Yes, it's in regular book shops as well as haberdasheries.

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  10. Hi, Tilly, congrats on the book, I'll be buying it soon, too, as a present for my first paycheck ;)
    And thank you for such a wonderful blog, I am one of those readers who can't wait for your new posts, I keep checking every day for news :)
    xxx Mariana

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    1. Aw that's so sweet of you to say, Mariana x

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  11. Wow, the book looks amazing!!! I can't wait for mine to arrive this week! The photos look fantastic and really clear about what you're doing, and I love your attitude of 'just get on and make something!' I'm the world's worst procrastinator (something to do with being a perfectionist...) so you are definitely giving me a nudge in the right direction :-) Me and my Brigitte scarf are all ready to party on Thursday! x

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    1. Can't wait to see your scarf!

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  12. Congratulations, Tilly. The book looks so stylish. I can't wait for my copy to arrive it will definitely be put to good use. I don't think there is a garment in there that I wouldn't wear.

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  13. It looks so cool! I want to try all of the sewing projects!

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  14. This book sounds fantastic... definitely going on my wishlist! The design and styling look really fun! Are you the beautiful model? I'm quite tall so I'm wondering if there are instructions for altering the length of the patterns. Thank you!

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    1. Don't worry, I draft my patterns for an average size person, not myself!! There's also an explanation of lengthening patterns if you need it.

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    2. Thank you Tilly! I saw the post about the patterns today... and the Clémence skirt and Lilou dress look like they'll be my favourites already.

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  15. It looks gorgeous tilly. Congratulations! Can't wait for a look at the patterns. So nice to see a beginners book that focuses on garments rather than cushion covers. Now if you could just write and edit a decent uk sewing mag that would be fab!

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  16. Oh, looks lovely - and just what I expected from you with your style aesthetic - last thing I would have thought you'd do would be bunting etc.... (thank god!) Now I am even more pleased I ordered it sight unseen. And your cat (?) is adorable.

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    1. I wish Blair was my cat! Sadly not, he/she/it(?) belongs to the owner of the photography studio. Such a beauty... (if a bit grumpy)

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  17. I absolutely can't wait for the U.S. release of this book. Congrats Tilly!

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  18. think I might have to purchase this as a present to myself ! looks like its a really easy to follow book x

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  19. So looking forward to this I just know it's going to be brilliant:) congratulations xx

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  20. Looking forward to reading this even more now, looks so lovely- and have really appreciated all the help on your blog on my sewing journey so far x

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  21. I just bought your book and am really looking forward to making up some of the patterns. I really wish I had a book to reference like this when I was starting out as it really does cover everything you need to know and in a really clear way. I am sure it will do well. x

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  22. I can't wait until your book comes out in the US!!! It looks amazing - congratulations

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  23. Tilly I love your blog and I'm sure your book is wonderful :) .

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  24. yay! the books looks great! can't wait to pick it up!!! congrats!

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  25. Hi Tilly, I've preordered the book, I've found it also on Amazon.it! (without shipping cost)
    Then I've realized two Brigitte scarf, you can see them at the end of this post:

    http://mycutesewing.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/butterfly-sleeves-refashion/

    Congrats for your book, I think that it become the favorite of many girls!

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  26. I ordered my Miette skirt pattern the moment it was available. I've already bought all my fabric and have a date in the diary for when I can run over and use my Nan's sewing machine. The patterns in Love at First Stitch look incredible, so I can't wait to get that too! Miette will be the first ever item of clothing I've made, so I'm really excited and crossing all my fingers that I get it right!

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  27. Can't wait to get my book on the post and to finish my exams to start making things from it and the Coco!!!
    Congratulations Tilly, it looks absolutely gorgeous, modern, fresh.... really spot on!!
    I love the look of you on a red with white dots dress in the advert of ta new sewing magazine. Is that the Lilou dress on the book? It is stunning!
    Where did you get that red fabric from? I have been looking for a summer red dress for years and now that I think of it, I may end up making it!! It is tricky to find the right fabric for the right garment as I find fabric shops a bit intimidating when you are new to sewing.....
    Thanks for all that inspiration,
    Pati x

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    1. Thank you so much! The red and white spot fabric is from John Lewis. It was by one of the big designers, John Kaldor I think - it's a Christmas fabric in fact!

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  28. Congratulations Tilly! It really reflects your aesthetic and looks as though it's true to you. I'm looking forward to reading it!

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  29. Congratulations clever girl!! Wishing you every success with this book! It looks fabulous.

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  30. Can't wait to get my copy! Congrats Tilly it looks gorgeous!

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  31. ah it looks lovely! Definitely need a copy - wanna make some of these for summer :)

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  32. It looks great Tilly! x

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  33. I am delighted to learn that I can find these patterns in the book, they are lovely "All"
    More than two days to find mine in my mail box.
    Congratulations!!!

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  34. Tilly! I LOVE your book. I bought it from The Guardian Bookshop and it came today, 2 days early. All the patterns are lovely and I'm sure I will make good use of the book. On page 89 you are wearing a lovely Peter pan collar blouse with the Delphine skirt. I wondered if that is one of your own makes, and if you can tell me what the pattern is? From Adele

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    1. Ooh I didn't know you could get it from the Guardian Bookshop!

      The white top? Alas no, the stylist brought that top along. It'd be easy to make though!

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  35. Hi Tilly, I'm so excited about your book! All the patterns look great. Can't wait to receive it !

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  36. This looks fantastic Tilly and I can't wait to buy a copy! It might just be my inner print lover speaking but I adore the patterns in the back-drop of the pages. The book looks like it has a lovely design aesthetic, which is pretty unsurprising given your blog but this must have taken a huge amount of work, from you and everyone you worked with. Congratulations!

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  37. What a lovely dresses in it! I am going to order it right now! Please sign it :) xoxo Giusy

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  38. I just LOVE this!! However, October is forever away to wait for this!! With my hubby's approval, I'll see if I can work through getting it sooner. Much sooner! ;)

    Trissa B

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