Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes

From Goodreads:
Tilly Walnes demystifies dressmaking for the generations that have never been taught to sew. Written for novice stitchers by the author of the popular sewing blog Tilly and the Buttons, this book presents the sewing basics in an informal style, with Tilly's friendly and encouraging voice cheering the reader on throughout. Instead of overwhelming the novice dressmaker with theory, this book is about learning by doing. 
Each chapter presents practical tips and inspiration to guide you through creating a made-to-measure garment from one of the seven versatile and adaptable patterns included with the book, which can then be personalized to suit your individual style. Peppered throughout the book are Tilly's top sewing tips, including everything from what to look out for when buying--or borrowing--your first sewing machine, to how to behave in a fabric shop so that you appear like an expert, to techniques for pressing perfection.
I was super excited to see that Walnes, who blogs at Tilly and the Buttons, planned to release a book. Her website is one of my very favorites when it comes to sewing.  She's just so down to earth and approachable in her style and has a little bit of something for everyone, from the complete novice to the more experienced seamstress.  I was even more excited to have the opportunity to review this one for my own blog.

The very first thing I did when I finished this book was to add it to my Christmas wishlist.  It's one that I absolutely must own, especially since it comes with patterns and step by step directions for making some of her most popular pieces.  She starts things at the most basic level with a scarf and builds up to more difficult dressmaking pieces.  The pictures included throughout are a huge help to those, like me, who are really just hobbyists.

In addition to giving specific pattern instructions and tips, the book also includes lots of general sewing information, including tips on choosing a sewing machine, learning to thread your machine, and advice for choosing sizes and customizing patterns.  It's such a great place for a beginner to start, but it also includes information that will appeal to those who have been sewing longer.

My one problem is with the sizing in the book.  It's really intended for smaller sizes.  At my current size I would need to modify almost all of the patterns in the book in order to be able to wear them - and I'm not a good enough seamstress to know how to do that.  It'll take me losing a few more pounds to make many of the patterns in the book work, but there's enough here to appeal to me that I plan to purchase the book even if the weight doesn't come off.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review!

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