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Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Tilly Walnes
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
RRP: £20.00
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Book Description

8 May 2014
THE BOOK IS ACCOMPANIED BY THREE FULL SIZE PATTERN SHEETS, PRINTED DOUBLE SIDED, THAT INCLUDES ALL THE PIECES FOR FIVE OF THE DESIGNS. THE PATTERN SHEETS ARE IN 8 VARYING SIZES. Love at First Stitch gives you all the know-how you need to start making the dresses of your dreams. Written for novice stitchers by the author of the popular sewing blog Tilly and the Buttons, Tilly Walnes demystifies dressmaking for the generations that have never been taught to sew. This book presents the core 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 personalised 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, through how to behave in a fabric shop to appear like an expert, to techniques for pressing perfection.

Frequently Bought Together

Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking + The Colette Sewing Handbook: 5 Fundamentals for a Great Sewing Experience + The Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe
Price For All Three: £37.49

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849493650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849493659
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tilly Walnes is a DIY dressmaker, sewing pattern designer and author of the hugely popular sewing blog Tilly and the Buttons. Tilly started sewing a few years ago and it was love at first stitch. Since then she's been on a mission to make dressmaking simple and fun for modern crafters. She designs jargon-free step-by-step guides to making your own clothes and teaches sewing in her South London studio. She has been called "sewing's new star" by Mollie Makes and has sewn on telly on the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee. Find more on her patterns, workshops and blog at shop.tillyandthebuttons.com.

Product Description


'A stylish, practical guide to stitching for novice dressmakers.'--Bookseller Buyers Guide, 1 February 2014

'All of her down-to-earth- knowledge and expertise, along with her selection of unique designs, are contained in one beautiful book! Each project in imbued with Tilly's own vintage-inspired style. With useful examples of additions and extra detailing to make the projects your own, it is simply a must-have for all you aspiring dressmakers out there!'--Making Magazine, Tuesday 1 April 2014

'Stylish and practical guide for novice dressmakers. Her designs are rather scrumptious.' --The Bookseller, 14 February 2014

About the Author

Tilly Walnes is dressmaker turned designer and was a contestant on the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee, and author of the UK's most popular sewing blog, Tilly and the buttons (http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/). Between teaching dressmaking classes at sewing schools in both London and Birmingham, Tilly is developing her own range of dressmaking patterns.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Check measurements of pattern pieces first... 11 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I seriously loved reading this book. The projects look amazing...simple and cute...right up my street...
The instructions are foolproof. The pictures explain just enough, I would imagine even a beginner could follow the instructions. (I'm fairly experienced, so could follow it easily) The book - awesome!
Today I tried to make the Margot Pyjamas. I measured myself carefully, checked whether seam allowance was included in the paper pattern, traced carefully, etc
But once made, they were way too small, I couldn't get them on. Luckily I had not trimmed the seam and could unpick the seams. I could then sew them with the smallest allowance I could get away with.
I know that for a 'skinny girl' I have rather a large hip and bum area so maybe the fault was mine but I had measured carefully...when I checked the table of 'finished garment measurements' the finished garment didn't measure anything like the stated measurements even after I had let the seams out...
So my opinion of the pattern pieces has led me to give 3 stars.

I'm happy for someone to point out an error on my part, I love the book, and loved the coco pattern (bought directly from Tilly's website) which was very true to size...I just can't understand how simple pjs went so wrong...
My lesson here is for me to check measurements of the pattern pieces first.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas, inspiring and fun 10 May 2014
I remember finding Tilly's blog with some relief when I was still relatively new to my sewing machine and still trying to work out what on earth all the terminology meant and wondering if I would ever produce something that would look good.

Tilly's style and ways of explaining things are easy to follow but also fun and interesting. The book (and her blog) really show her enthusiasm for what she does and it is contagious!

This book walks you through learning new techniques. But it does it through actually physically doing it rather than having to read pages of, what in some books become waffling explanations.

The projects in the book progress, teaching the budding dressmaker the essentials. The projects are:

* head / neck scarf
* pyjama bottoms
* skirts (x2)
* dresses (x2)
* blouse

The patterns are there - you will need to trace around them as they are on both sides.

You find all sorts of hints and tips throughout the book, from the physical sewing through to purchasing fabric.

I think this book is fab and it would work for novices and those just looking for more inspiration.

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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really useful sewing book 9 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm new to dressmaking and easily confused by the jargon and code of commercial patterns. Most of the books I've turned to so far seem rather dry and feel either beyond my skill level, or to be a lists of sewing techniques that I have no idea how to apply to whatever I'm making. It was a relief to find Tilly's blog - and now this book.

It assumes no real dressmaking knowledge (the jargon's explained), and is designed as a series of projects that allows me to build my skills and confidence. I love the chatty, plain English style - and gorgeous photos - it's like having a patient and encouraging friend helping you out. For each of the projects, Tilly shows you the necessary skills, and then gives ideas on how each one can be adapted or customised so it's your own unique design (including how to alter lengths and combine sizes for a better fit). And anyone who suggests adding a patch pocket to a pyjama design "for stashing sweeties" gets my vote!
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for beginners 8 May 2014
By Sewing Directory TOP 500 REVIEWER
Those of you who are a fan of the Tilly & The Buttons blog will have a good idea of what to expect from this book. It is stylish and cheerful with lovely photos and useful information for beginner dressmakers just like her blog. Unlike most books instead of devoting the first half of the book to techniques it goes straight into the projects so you learn as you sew. You start with simple projects like making a head scarf or an A line skirt and Tilly teaches you different dressmaking techniques as and when you need them in the projects. It means rather than concentrating on theory you go straight into the practical and have something to show for what you have been learning, instead of just written notes.

There are 7 projects in the book – a head scarf, pyjama trousers, a couple of skirts, a couple of dresses and a blouse. However there are 3 variations of each patterns so you can make several different looks.

There are also useful tips, and sewing lifestyle type posts throughout the book giving advice on things like how to act in a fabric shop, sewing socially, fitting sewing into a busy life and choosing fabrics. I think many people new to dressmaking will be inspired by this book.

This review also appears on The Sewing Directory website.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book - if this is what you want... 17 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like this book - despite what, for me, are some small flaws. The quality is lovely and the book is beautifully designed. I'm a new sewer, but I am good at teaching myself to do things and have some skills. I like the idea of having the patterns included in the book and I find the explanations of each project manageable, but I found it quite difficult to transfer the patterns - having only recently learned to use a regular pattern.
I have other sewing books and I think for a new sewer, more of a 'bible' is more helpful. This is possibly more suitable for the intermediate sewer, with a bit more experience and a desire to expand their skills. I have made the pyjamas - with a good result - and I will probably get round to making a dress too, but I ended up not really doing what the book told me to do. What I have found the most beneficial thing about this book is that it has given me a great deal of confidence to do my own thing - not use patterns, copy things I already wear and like - using this book as a reference guide sometimes but more often as a background reading book to increase my confidence.
It's such a nice book to read, with lovely illustrations - rather inspiring - but not the one I tend to turn to when I want to check a technique. So I would recommend it - but I think you should note the title - it will inspire you to love dressmaking and it will make it seem much more achievable - but it is not (nor does it promise that it is...) a sewing bible.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sewing book for beginners!
As a budding seamstress.. looking for a new hobby to feed and nourish my creativity, this book is a delight!. Read more
Published 21 hours ago by M. Cheung
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love it!!!!
Published 17 days ago by sharon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Fab book. This really does explain everything in loads of detail and builds up so even people who have little or no sewing experience can create really lovely clothes. Read more
Published 20 days ago by E. Hayton
5.0 out of 5 stars Sew fabulous!
I love this book. All the patterns are very straightforward and even the most inexperienced of sewers can make the tops and dresses without any problems
Published 23 days ago by Chantal van den Broek
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
Love this book! As an experienced dressmaker I bought it purely for the patterns and they do not disappoint! Read more
Published 24 days ago by Grace
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to start to Sew?
Amazingly written with fun projects, easy to understand destructions, and great photos. I have purchased this for my daughter who is very keen to sew clothes.
Published 28 days ago by Vickie Farrall
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A bit patronising, even for a beginner but the full sized are worth the prize of the book.
Published 1 month ago by J Luke
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read if you are new to sewing very informative ...
Great read if you are new to sewing very informative but I did struggle with the pyjamas bottoms pattern :)
Published 1 month ago by Sam Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book, beautiful images and classic items to make. Highly recommend
Published 1 month ago by Helena Fortt
This is a fabulous book which is informative and visually pleasing .
A great book to get you sewing !
Published 1 month ago by Hayley Rutherford
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