1 April 2016

Love at First Stitch; but was it love at last stitch?

You knew it was coming after all that sewing didn't you? Yep, that's right, I couldn't work through a whole sewing book without ending with a review could I so here it is;

Firstly I should say a massive thank you to my sister for buying me this book, I think it was well timed but it really inspired me to pick up sewing again and it really helped fuel that fire. So thank you Rachel :) . I think that in itself is testament enough for this book but I'll not leave it there.

So let's go over the patterns quickly and talk about my successes and failures. Remember though, my failures are not yours and mine have more to do with personal style than the patterns themselves. 

Starting with the positives my favourite pattern from this book is definitely the Lilou dress. Honestly, since making this dress I've worn it 3 times in a week and it's back on as soon as its out the wash! I already have plans for maybe 3 more, and a possible peplum pattern hack?!? It's become my favourite so far dress pattern :) Yippee! I am also really pleased with my Mimi blouse because it was a new challenge for me and I am still in love with that fabric.

I think my biggest failure was definitely the Delphine skirt. Mostly because the pattern shape doesn't really suit my body type or personal style and so it just didn't sit right. The pattern itself was very easy to follow and the skirt lovely to sew. This probably has my best invisible zip insertion of all the projects as well which is just typical.

Working through the book definitely made me think more about the types of clothes I prefer to wear and the fabric types/patterns which suit my personal style. There is no point spending hours on a beautifully fitting dress if you've sewn it up in a colour that you hate. It's a good thing to keep in mind when sewing for yourself as it will save you time, money and disappointment in the long run. Plus, when you do make something which is so totally you its definitely worth it as you will want to wear it again and again.

I got a lot out of this book in terms of sewing practicalities, tips and tricks and I definitely think it made me a bit of a better sewer. It made me a lot more aware of little things you do while sewing. The biggest thing it taught me was to stop being so lazy with pinning! It really does help when pinning to use more pins and this is definitely something I will keep doing. I also now think a lot more about the type of machine needle I use for a project rather than just using whatever happens to be in the machine, or the first one I pull out the drawer. I paid a lot of attention to the instructions as well, its so easy to assume you know whats coming next but it really helps to read every step and saves you a lot of time unpicking.

The book really is great for beginner sewers as well as those of us with a bit more experience. The projects are really well laid out in that you learn one or two new techniques with every project and build on them as you work through. Its a really nice way to pick up some sewing basics while making yourself some lovely clothes while you go along. Even with already knowing the basics I tackled a few new things because of this book, things which otherwise might have put me off because of not having enough information. This book however took away any mystery and explained things really clearly. The step by step illustrations really helped here. The new things in particular that I tackled were adding in sleeves and also piping. Its been a great sense of achievement knowing that I conquered these and don't have to be so worried next time.

The only downside I think to this book is that all the patterns use woven fabrics. I know this is because they are easier to sew with and the obviously suit the patterns better so are much better for a beginner. However it would have been nice to see some use of other fabric types. I did manage to switch a few out (crepes and viscose) but most of the instructions are for cottons. It's not a major flaw, I just don't really wear cottons so for me it got tedious a bit quickly.

So in conclusion? I think you can tell I definitely give this book a big thumbs up :) It's lovely to have got to the end of this book and know I will be coming back to it again and again, Albeit probably not for every pattern.

Tilly has done a great job here and whether you are new to sewing or already know all the tricks and want a few cute patterns you can't do much better than this. Go on! you know you want too! Have you sewn anything from this book yet, tempted to buy it for a particular pattern or have another sewing book you covet? Let me know.

Finally as a sort of note from the editor I lost a stone from the start of this book to the finish! Go me! I don't think you can tell much from the pictures but I can definitely tell I started to cut patterns smaller by the end! Its a good job I prefer the patterns from the last half of the book to the first ;)

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