17 February 2015

The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric

The Great British Sewing Bee is back! And with it the third tie-in book - this time written by Claire-Louise Hardie, the sewing producer of the show who also runs sewing school The Thrifty Stitcher. Wanna see inside? Spoiler alert - the book features projects from the series, so if you would like to keep the contestants' makes a surprise, best stop reading...

Still here? Okay, let's take a look. The book is a hefty hardback, accompanied by a pack of printed patterns. It begins with some sewing basics, followed by four chapters divided up by fabric type - cottons, wool and other animal fibres (leather and silk), stretch fabrics, and luxury fabrics (such as lace, satin and tweed). Each section starts with a glossary of those kinds of fabrics, some tips on working with them, and even a bit of history on their origin - the series is on the BBC, after all!

I really like the idea of breaking the book up by fabric type, as it not only helps stitchers to understand the impact that fabric choice makes on a finished project, but it might also encourage people to branch out and work with materials they haven't tried before. I'm definitely feeling inspired to try some of the tips and projects - and on that note...

The projects! While the book is very text-heavy, it also includes a ton of garment projects for women, men and kiddos - some made from the patterns included, others with instructions for drafting your own, plus a few variations. There are seven women's sizes included (UK 8-20), six men's sizes and the range of children's sizes differ between the patterns.

Obviously being a mainstream BBC TV show the book is aiming to appeal to a wide target audience, and it covers a lot of ground, from simple skirts to a leather jacket (omigawd I can't wait to see that episode!). While on the downside there may be only a couple of things in here that suit your particular taste, on the plus side there is, as they say, something for everyone. If you're looking to sew for your family, then this could be a great resource for you, as you get a ton of patterns for the price of a book.

I haven't tried the projects yet myself as the book just arrived yesterday (and because hello project backlog), but I've got my eye on the jumpsuit and casual trousers variation for Summer. And I might have to make the elephant costume for a random child - did you see that episode? Awwww!

The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric comes out at the end of February and is available for pre-order now.

Book c/o Quadrille. Opinions my own.