As promised here is my review. Learn to Sew with Lauren is a gorgeous book by the series one Great British Sewing bee contestant, Lauren Guthrie.
I have to say this is one of my favourite sewing books so far. I'm a fan of Lauren's blog and was really pleased when I received this book from Father Christmas.
The book contains a mix of projects including home furnishings, bags and clothing. It is aimed at the beginner sewer but I think that it would appeal to more experienced sewers too as the projects are all so lovely. The book comes with full size patterns which is pretty essential I think, as no one likes downloading a pattern they want to make and then having to stick it together. Yes, you do have trace the patterns out, but I do that anyway in most cases as it means you can re-use your pattern over and over again, making different sizes when needed. Cutting layouts and sizing are included in the back of the book.
The book starts with a techniques section which I think is really well done. Lauren gives lots of detailed information in this section which would be essential for a beginner such as selecting fabrics and how to use sewing patterns. She shows you to master essential sewing and dressmaking skills such as inserting a zip, hemming, using bias binding, inserting piping and how to set in sleeves. I thought this section was really well illustrated, with the steps broken down clearly.
The second section of the book focuses on a range of different projects. The projects included in the book are totally gorgeous and really inspiring. One of my aims for 2015, is to try making some different things, and I can really sew myself tackling some of the projects in this book. Lauren has sorted the projects in to four sections - beginners (easy peasy), beginners - moving on, improvers - next steps and improvers - tricky. There is a real sense of progression and I can see a total beginner working their way through the projects in this book and learning new skills as they go.
The projects included in this book are:
Envelope cushion cover
Simple tote bag
Placemats and napkins
Girl's summertime set
Trimmed cushion cover
Pick your pockets skirt
Have it your way dress
I'm really impressed with this book from Lauren. The book has been beautifully put together and you can tell she is really passionate about sewing. The book is good value for money due to the number of projects included and I can certainly see myself tackling some of the projects, in particular I'd like to have a go at some of the home furnishings such as the envelope cushions and the placemats/napkins and even the simple patchwork quilt.