BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern

BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern is published by ‘Potter Craft’  GMC Distribution

The authors are Nora Abousteit and Jamie Lau


51Jdcfc7FUL._AC_US218_.jpg Pub: Potter Craft

The editors of BurdaStyle introduce key fashion looks of the past and deconstructs them so sewers can learn to use these iconic elements to make their own stylish clothes. Using five basic patterns for a dress, blouse, trousers, trench and skirt, the book gives step-by-step instruction on how to apply versatile techniques from the 1920s through to the 1980s to create an inspiring collection of fresh, new looks. Fashion designers have always looked back to move forward and budding designers and fashion savvy sewers will use this indispensable resource as a springboard to an amazing range of sewing possibilities


If you love sewing then this book is just a must have..

With 19 projects and 5 patterns these iconic styles from eras 1920 to the 1980’s, each adaptable pattern gives a good range of fashion both chic and stylish.

There are 4 skill levels, beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate and advanced, so everyone who loves sewing can give this a try and even upgrade their sewing ability.

Blouses, dresses, trousers and even some menswear are included.  It is an inspiring book and the author has given helpful hints and tips as well as a clear and concise method guide.

The pattern pages are full sized but doubled paged so you will need to copy your size onto your own pattern paper. You will also need dressmaking rulers, i:e  French curve, etc for the pattern adaptions.

There is a wonderful history of each era and the main fashion point of that time, and with the vintage feel of each garment, the only problem is which one to make first.


The main concern with this book is copying the patterns.

2017-12-04 17.46.15

The pattern pages are double sided so you will need pattern paper.

2017-12-04 18.00.09

You will also need Dressmaking rulers, A French curve  and others will be useful to get your ‘lines’ correct for your shape.

2017-12-06 09.27.39

Some of the patterns need to be adapted. I am making the Amelia top which uses pattern pieces from the Elizabeth Gathered Waist Dress

If you are not accustomed to adapting patterns, be prepared to copy your pattern more than once.

I found using pencil rather than an ink pen more useful, as any measurement error can be erased.

2017-12-07 18.06.27

Once you are happy with your pattern, cut out your fabric and sew.


Happy sewing x

Buy the book..



A Woollyful Christmas Kerry Lucas

61qkXympzzL._AC_US218_.jpg Pub: Beercott Books

Have yourself a woollyful Christmas with this collection of fun festive knits by Kerry Lucas. Building on the success of her first book ‘A Year in Woolly Wonders’, Kerry has designed a wonderful group of festive friends to adorn your home or tree at Christmas.

Accompanied by full colour pictures the patterns are easy to follow and contain full instructions, as well as a list of materials and abbreviations


I adored Kerry Lucas’s last book ‘A Year in Woolly Wonders’ ..

So I am delighted she has followed it with an equally fabulous 30 page Christmas knitting pattern book.

A Woollyful Christmas is filled with six delightful Christmas characters, such as  Eric the Elf, Flo the Fairy and of course Nick Claus.

Kerry’s talent stretches our own imagination and I am furiously knitting to get these marvellous little creatures done in time for the big day.

I adore Flo the Fairy, She is pretty and simple, and with Kerry’s guidance she is easy to knit and adapt to your Christmas colour scheme..I plan on adding some gold to her dress and also her hair.

Once again, these patterns are easy to follow and although some knowledge of how to knit is an advantage, there is no reason why a beginner cannot accomplish these beautiful festive wonders.


2017-12-04 09.36.16  Flo the Fairy

2017-12-04 09.36.22 Nick Claus

2017-12-04 09.36.38 Rodney the Reindeer

Happy Knitting x

Buy the book..



A Beginner’s Guide to Making Curtains, Shades, Pillows, Cushions

51QZyil3uwL._AC_US218_.jpgPub: CICO Books

There’s never been a better time to sew for the home, with a huge range of fabrics available in stores and online. And the money you save by making these items yourself can be put towards buying the loveliest fabrics you can afford, making your home more beautiful still. Designer Vanessa Arbuthnott guides you through 50 projects, each made in one of her own beautiful printed fabrics, and all with easy-to-follow illustrated instructions. The projects range from simple cushion covers for the novice stitcher, through to lined curtains with an array of different headings, blinds, bed throws, and table linen. There is also a chapter on accessories, such as a cook’s apron, and table mats, which would all be a great starting point if you want to brush up on your skills before tackling a larger project. Vanessa explains how each of her collections was developed, and what inspired her designs, but if you prefer to choose your own material, there is plenty of advice on selecting fabrics, using colour, cutting out, matching pattern repeats, piping, and hand-stitching, as well as a techniques section covering the basic sewing skills you will need. Guidance on measuring for curtains and blinds, and on ways to hang them, as well as instructions for valances and an upholstered cornice, make this a complete introduction to sewing your own window treatments, and more. Previously published as The Home-Sewn Home, this new edition includes four completely new projects and inspirational photography featuring Vanessa’s most recent fabric collections throughout.

This is quite a beautiful book..

224 pages of everything you need to soft furnish your home.

There are 50 projects and each is shown with a step by step instruction guide and I have to say.. it is beautifully photographed. In fact it is probably the best photographed book I have seen.

Curtains, Accessories and Shades are projects that are not only useful, but they are made extremely well. They all have a look of quality, and the muted colours of the fabrics are inspiring and stunning.

I loved that I can upholster, pleat and frill and the basic ( there is a lot covered for giving it the ‘basic’ title) technique guide is clear and concise.

At the front of this book is an inspiration guide, taking ideas from nature, the sea and foreign climes shows how you can find beauty in just about everything. I loved the hand painted fabric idea and will definitely be giving it a go. Even animals are used as ideas for cushions and curtains.

This is an amazing book, even if you just look at it. The projects are simple and delightful and there is something for everyone.



Buy the book..






Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method Sara Alm

download Pub: Creative Publishing international

In Sara Alm’s  Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method, sewers learn a technique that opens up myriad possibilities for making one-of-a-kind garments. By using basic pattern blocks called slopers, Alm shows sewers how to design new shapes, style lines, and fashion details–creating patterns for nearly any piece of clothing they want to sew. Take a basic straight skirt pattern, for example, and convert it into any other skirt design. Change the hemline or the basic shape of a skirt from straight to A-line to full swing with multiple gores. Try adjusting the waistline placement or convert it from waistband to waistline-facing. Change the style and placement of the closures. The options are endless once sewers understand the basics of flat-pattern designing, which is explained in the book.

Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method  is divided into sections: skirts, tops, and pants. While many of the same principles apply to each garment type, there are different techniques to take into account. As soon as sewers know how to design from these three slopers, that knowledge is easily transferred to designing dresses, shorts, jumpsuits, and outerwear. The principles and techniques taught are also easily transferable to designing children’s clothes. By following extensive technique instruction in each of the three categories, twelve different garments are designed from each basic sloper and photographed on models so readers fully understand the process and the end result.

Thanks to  Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method, passionate sewers will be as skilled as  Project Runway  contestants in no time!


As a self taught dressmaker, books such as these are an invaluable source of information..

The commercial pattern is one that has been used for decades, and very often with disappointing results concerning fitting.

What this book does is show you how to step up your sewing by giving a master class in shaping, fitting and personalising your pattern for a more bespoke garment.

Every garment is given the Sara Alm treatment. Dresses, trousers and skirt are made and adapted so they fit well and look good.

No pattern is included with this book, but with perfect instructions we are shown how to make a basic pattern, and this can then be adapted, with sleeve, cuff neckline and darts adjustments to make a garment that you can actually wear.

This is a beautiful book. It is photographed and set out extremely well, it is also easy to understand and although you do need a knowledge of sewing and dressmaking, I do think that everyone will learn and improve their dressmaking skills.


Buy the book..






Overlockers Sergers and Coverlockers Clementine Lubin

61h35kDGH-L._AC_US218_Pub Search Press Ltd

Learn how to get the most out of your machine with this comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide. Full of practical advice to help you master all the features and applications of your overlocker (serger) and coverlocker, you will learn how to handle your machine using its more complex features and will soon be finishing hems like a professional sewer. There are 50 beautifully photographed step-by-step lessons to guide you through all the skills you need to get started, and 15 lovely projects to make, to apply your knowledge and help you realise your sewing goals. This book includes full-size, fold-out patterns and is the essential guide for all aspiring sewers. It is a fantastic resource for those new to machine sewing and a great source of inspiration and ideas for more experienced sewers, guiding you steadfastly to sewing success.

For me this book is a Godsend ,

Being new to the mysteries of my Overlocker, I devoured this book from cover to cover.

I never knew these fabulous machines could do so much more than just finish a seam.

Clementine Lubin has written a manual that is a must have, She explains quite simply what each machine is, what it is for and gives their technical features.

50 lessons from the basic inserting a needle to the more advanced chain stitch gathers are set out perfectly. With photographic pictures and simple instructions which are easy to follow, I just know that we will all be a whizz with our machines in no time at all with just a little practice.

This wonderful little gem comes with 15 projects and 12 full size patterns. There is so much to this book, it is hard to talk about everything.

Different fabric, thread and what feet can be used is all described and the settings to your machine are discussed.

Tips and worth while knowledge are highlighted and what I loved most is the main stitches used are all photographed at the beginning of the book so are easy to find.

I would have liked the book to be spiral bound, I find these manual type books are used far more than any others and to be able to lie it flat would make it more easy to use, but that said it is one of those books that makes you wonder how you ever lived without it.

It’s perfect


Buy the book





Best of Quilted Bags

618vp5eQhVL._AC_US218_.jpgPub:  Leisure Arts Inc

Carry your stuff with unique style! Best of Quilted Bags from Leisure Arts offers a great assortment of shapes and sizes, with pattern options to reflect your fashion preferences. Nine designs by Kristine Poor and Sue Marsh include Mini Bag, Shoulder Bag, Floral Stripe Backpack, Three Charming Totes (Pinwheel Tote, Pocket Tote and Charms-On-Point Tote) and The Big Shopper (monogrammed large and small versions of three styles: colour block, strips and charm squares

This is the perfect book to use up your oddments of fabric..

9 fabulous designs are perfectly showcased, with easy instructions in order to make a bag specific to everyone’s needs.

Mini bags, Shoulder bags and Backpacks are all covered. Each designer has given measurements and different options in order to create a beautiful and usable item.

My favourite were the tote bags, each one stunning and adaptable.

This book comes with general instructions and a few pattern pieces, so every level of sewist will be able to make a bag as gifts or for themselves.

What I liked was the measurements are in inches, cms yards and meters so however you work it’s all covered.

Simple, beautiful and above all amazing


Buy the book



Sewing Your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe Arianna Cadwallader Cathy McKinnon

download Pub: Kyle Books

A capsule wardrobe is timeless, stylish and effortlessly chic. Composed of go-to pieces that can be dressed up or down, it is the perfect antidote to the overstuffed drawers and ill-fitting cheap outfits that are the result of years of fast fashion on the high street. In this practical but inspiring book, seamstress Arianna Cadwallader and designer Cathy McKinnon present sewing patterns and instructions for the five key pieces that will form the basis of your own capsule wardrobe: * a great shift dress * well-fitting trousers * a simple yet stylish skirt * a light blouse * a jersey vest Their focus is on quality and fit – all the patterns can be adapted to fit and suit you perfectly, whether you prefer long, short or cap sleeves, high or low waistbands, and slim, straight or wide legged trousers. Once you’ve created your items you can then mix and match them to create a variety of looks and styles. Aimed at advanced beginners, the book guides you through how to measure yourself and all the techniques you will need. With a foreword by TV star Dawn O’Porter, this is the essential guide to creating your perfect wardrobe.


This beautiful book gives 5 key pieces to create a perfect Capsule Wardrobe.

The French have mastered the art of a Capsule wardrobe and it is becoming quite popular with us British ladies who need a simple style and less clutter in our closets.

To be able to choose an outfit from 5 pieces of clothing that will see you through the week, each one looking great, fit well and be on trend is just like a dream come true.

A dress, a vest, a pair of trousers, a skirt and a blouse are all perfectly shown, with pattern pieces and adaptable styles, we are given a sewing masterclass to be able create a bespoke wardrobe.

Sewing instructions which are easy to follow and tips for fabric choices are given and what I loved the most is that each piece comes with idea changes for every body shape.

The trousers are adorable, and will be the first thing I make, The pattern allows you to change them into culottes, high waisted, narrow or wide legged, every shape and change is catered for.

Seams, edge finishes and much more is included and the fitting of your garment from taking measurements to darts are fully explained.

This book is a must have for every dressmaker. The lessons to be learned are invaluable and even a beginner would be able to construct a wearable item.


Buy the book