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The Great British Sewing Bee Hardcover – Illustrated, 28 Mar 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 326 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd (28 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849492875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849492874
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 2.9 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (326 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'The projects included in the book offer something for everyone, including a tea dress, a waistcoat, a tote bag and a range of cushions.' --Country Homes & Interiors, June 2013

'The official tie-in book to the BBC Two series of the same name provides an irresistible collection of more than 25 projects to sew. They offer something for both sexes and all ages, including garments, such as a tea dress, pencil skirt, pyjama bottoms and a waistcoat, and homewares and accessories, such as aprons, a tote bag, a laundry bag, cushion designs and three different window dressings.' --Daily Mail, 14th November 2013

'If you're feeling inspired by the BBC show, here's the tie-in book, packed with crafty ideas and patterns.' --Heat, 13th April 2013

About the Author

Tessa Evelegh has written more than 30 books on crafts, interiors and gardens. Starting as a journalist, she has worked on top selling magazines including Family Circle.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an experienced sewer and was delighted when the TV series and book came out.
The book is fabulous both for beginners and experienced sewers alike with lots of clear instructions and useful tips.
However I would have happily paid more to have paper patterns for all the designs included. There was just one paper pattern included in the book for a simple top.
I downloaded the patterns I wanted only to find that the pattern for the back button blouse was missing from the list of available patterns.
I decided to make a pair of pyjama pants for my partner and printed off some 30+ pieces of A4 paper which then took over an hour to piece together. When i came to cut the pattern out I found that the markings were incorrect. I doubt that I will make the items I want to because of the effort (plus ink and paper) required to make the patterns before sitting down to actually sew.
I think that this is a great shame as the designs look lovely and I would like to make them all.

Do not let this put you off - if you have the ability to produce the patterns yourself I would certainly recommend that you give it a go. Personally I found it too challenging to accurately piece the patterns together, and would have preferred to either find the actual paper patterns inside the book or even to send off and purchase them separately.
The book itself is fabulous .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well-presented book with lots of nice projects (unless you're a man wanting to make clothes for yourself - then you only have a waistcoat, bowtie and pyjama trousers to choose from!) and there are also tips on equipment, basic sewing skills, special techniques etc. Plenty of pictures and illustrations to help you follow the instructions. For £10, it's a bargain for the number of projects included if you consider what it would cost to buy them as separate patterns.

That said, I was disappointed that there's only one full-size pattern included with the book (for the simple tunic) - the rest require you to print and stick the pages together, scale up the pattern yourself, or take the book to a copy shop to get the pattern enlarged 500%. I've also noticed one inconsistency in the instructions for the prom dress - it tells you to cut out one neck strap piece on the fold, but then in the sewing instructions it tells you to match up the TWO neck strap pieces. Hopefully there aren't any other similar mistakes, as this could be potentially confusing for novices.

Another thing that may be useful to know is that the sizing for the women's clothes is on the small side - I'm almost always a size 10 in shops and in other patterns I've bought, but according to the size chart in this book my measurements correspond to a 12. While this isn't really a problem for me, it may mean disappointment for ladies on the upper end of the size range offered. The measurements given for the largest size (16 - the average UK dress size) are bust 38", waist 30", hips 40". I look forward to seeing how the size comes up when I make something.

In summary, I'm pleased with the book as there are lots of items I want to make, the instructions are mostly clear and the presentation is lovely.
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Format: Hardcover
I can only imagine that the glowing reviews come from those who have yet to make anything from this book. Considering the price, the fact that it comes with no printed patterns is disappointing. The quality of these patterns even more so. In attempting to make the circle skirt from this book, I noted that the sizes for the waistband were printed incorrectly - the smallest size attached to the largest waistband and vice versa. These sizes were also not particularly well fitting to the measurements given in the beginning of the book. Finished measurements are always useful when making a garment! Tilly's blouse pattern is also not even available on the website, I imagine due to copyright issues (she's now selling it herself, with, I expect, much higher quality)

All reviews I've seen of the patterns in this book contain complaints of major errors! Mislabelled pattern pieces, incorrect sizings and missing steps. Considering that this is a book aimed at beginners, I can only imagine that this has put any would-be seamstresses off the craft forever!

Much better books on the craft, with a number of correct, stylish printed patterns included are the Colette Handbook, both the Burda Style books, or for those who have a bit of French, Un Ete Couture.
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Format: Hardcover
In April 2013, the talents of some of Britain's top amateur needlesmiths were televised in series one of 'The Great British Sewing Bee'. Through this book to accompany the series, judges May Martin and Patrick Grant hope to encourage viewers to pick up their thimbles and thread their needles. This substantial hardback volume contains sections on getting started and basic skills, before taking the reader through 28 complete sewing projects. There's a glossary, a dictionary of fabrics and a handy index at the back of the book. The authors also also offer a few glimpses at the history of sewing in Britain along the way.

After a brief introductory section, 'Starting to Sew' takes the reader through the process of stocking a sewing box, using a sewing machine, understanding paper patterns and finding fabrics. 'Basic Sewing Skills' then outlines how a project should be approached, and offers a detailed guide to the following tasks: tacking, handstitching, sewing and finishing seams, shaping and contouring, gathering and easing, inserting zips, applying bias binding and making buttonholes. Each section is accompanied by some good, clear photos to help the reader understand each process described.

Thus equipped, we are ready to move on to the most substantial section - the 28 sewing projects. A full-size pattern for the tunic is included in the back of the book; all the rest can either be downloaded, printed and pieced together, or photocopied and enlarged, or redrawn from the illustrations in the book. Each project comes complete with a 'button rating' for difficulty - 1 being the easiest, 5 the most difficult. This rating is indicated in brackets in the list below, so that you can get a feel for the scope of the projects available.
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