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Making Cushion Covers
Making Cushion Covers
by Debbie Shore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for beginners, 10 Mar 2012
This review is from: Making Cushion Covers (Paperback)
Making cushion covers are a great way of revamping your home, and they are a good project for learner sewists to start with. This book features 26 designs of varying complexity and incorporating different techniques such as piping, ruffles, appliqué, shirring & patchwork. I think this book would be ideal if you wanted to learn/practice new techniques.

The introduction section covers equipment, trimmings, different stitches and how to fit a zip. The projects themselves have step by steps instructions with photos for almost every stage too, ideal for people like me who like a visual guide.

My one criticism of this book is that the lighting is pretty dark in some of the photos, making some of them are quite dark & gloomy and not showing the cushions off as well as they could. It's the one thing which brings down an otherwise good project book.

This review also appears on The Sewing Directory.


Linen and Lace: Simple-to-Sew Homestyle Projects Using New and Vintage Fabrics
Linen and Lace: Simple-to-Sew Homestyle Projects Using New and Vintage Fabrics
by Chantal Sabatier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless designs, 10 Mar 2012
This book comprises of 24 projects made using linen and lace. These beautiful projects have a timeless/vintage feel about them and would make great gifts for recipients of all ages, or of course to keep for yourself. The projects are divided into 4 sections: at home, for yourself, celebrations and little gifts.

I find it amazing how such delicate, muted colours can have such a stunning effect, I particularly loved the bags & the star cushion from the front cover. Each project comes with several pages of instructions, images & diagrams as well as useful tips scattered throughout.

This review originally appeared on The Sewing Directory.


Flower Power Patchwork
Flower Power Patchwork
by Anne-Pia Godske Rasmussen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.18

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A colourful book, 10 Mar 2012
This review is from: Flower Power Patchwork (Hardcover)
This book has over 25 bright and cheerful projects either incorporating floral designs, or using floral fabrics alongside traditional patchwork & quilting techniques. There is a great range of projects from bags, cushions and quilts to pin cushions, notebook covers and a pencil case, there should be something for everyone to make.

I love the bright and colourful prints that have been used on the projects and they have used colourful diagrams which match perfectly and make this a very cheerful book of fun projects. The projects have step by step instructions, a materials list and lots of useful diagrams as well as templates at the back of the book and a techniques section at the front.


Minxy Vintage
Minxy Vintage
by Kelly Doust
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book for those who love vintage clothing, 10 Mar 2012
This review is from: Minxy Vintage (Hardcover)
As is typical with books from Murdoch books this is a stunningly beautiful book with very high quality photography throughout. The author starts off by introducing you to vintage clothing and giving advice on how to find vintage gold amongst the junk. The first section is dedicated to crafty repairs, and gives you tips on how to revamp or refresh vintage clothes in general.

The book then breaks down into chapters based on garment type and gives specific advice on how to customise or restore that item of clothing so that it will look great on you. Chapters include frocks, bridal wear & accessories, jackets & coats, tops & blouses, skirts, knits, accessories and sleepwear.

Each chapter shows you several different versions of the item of clothing and various ways in which you can customise or repair it as well as giving the history to clothing from various eras. This book is a must for anyone who loves vintage style.

This review originally appeared on The Sewing Directory.


Craft Business Heroes - 30 Creative Entrepreneurs Share the Secrets of Their Success
Craft Business Heroes - 30 Creative Entrepreneurs Share the Secrets of Their Success
by Alison McNicol
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring stories and useful business tips, 17 Feb 2012
This book is a companion to the Craft Business Handbook. At the end of the Handbook you will find a few interviews with popular crafts people, Alison interviewed several people for the book and decided that the interviews were so useful they merited a book of their own.

There are 30 interviews in this book and they are split down by section of the craft industry: Jewellery, Paper Goods, Homewares, Sewing and Fashion/Accessories. The interviews tell you about each business, how it came about, what lessons the crafts people have learnt along the way and sharing their top tips for business success. Some of the businesses featured are from the UK and some from the US.

The interview questions cover areas such as trade shows, selling direct v selling wholesale, managing the finances, business expansion, what advice they can pass onto others. It might be tempting to skip straight to the businesses in your section of the industry but there is a lot to be learnt from the other interviews too. Some of the interviews are followed with a useful top 10 tips list.

This book makes a great companion to the handbook, you can't fail to be inspired by some of the stories in there and you can pick up many useful tips.


The Craft Business Handbook: The Essential Guide To Making Money from your Crafts and Handmade Products
The Craft Business Handbook: The Essential Guide To Making Money from your Crafts and Handmade Products
by Alison McNicol
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful guide for craft business owners, 17 Feb 2012
Written by the owner of the Stitch Club franchise and the Sew Easy sewing kits both aimed at teaching children to sew Alison shares her knowledge of the craft industry to help crafters turn their hobby into a business.

It takes you through the key steps involved in planning and setting up a business to help you decide what you want to sell and how you plan to sell it. The first chapter gets you thinking about what you want from the business and what your personal goals are, there are a few exercises to work through to help you work out exactly what you want from a business. The following chapters then cover branding, the legal/tax requirements when setting up a business, creating a business plan, pricing, PR & marketing, social networking and selling.

The book does go into quite a lot of detail and it provides the relevant information for the US as well as the UK when it comes to things like tax, company formation, trademarks etc. Although it's worth noting the UK info is under the US info so it's best to skip straight to that to avoid confusion.

I love the exercises throughout the book that really get you thinking your business idea through; you can fill them out in the book as you go and then you have all your ideas in one place. This book is a fact packed guide for someone thinking of setting up a craft business. I enjoyed reading it and I wish I'd had a guide like this to hand when I first started out.


Clothesline Quilts: Quilts and Small Projects with Vintage Appeal
Clothesline Quilts: Quilts and Small Projects with Vintage Appeal
by Darlene Zimmerman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.62

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage feel quilts & projects, 12 Feb 2012
This book has a selection of vintage inspired projects which are split into 3 sections: Small projects, small quilts and full size quilts. Each of the projects have a materials list, cutting instructions and directions for assembling the projects as well as diagrams and photos.

Throughout the book you will also find useful tips, recipes and little historical tales too giving you the background on the items you are making. The majority of the projects are traditional quilting based and made up in repro 1930's fabrics, although there are some variations in modern fabrics too. The small projects at the start include aprons, tea towels, a table runner, place mats and a cushion.


Handbook of Sewing Stitches: An Illustrated Guide to Techniques and Materials
Handbook of Sewing Stitches: An Illustrated Guide to Techniques and Materials
by Lorna Knight
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful reference guide for sewists, 12 Feb 2012
The title of this book is slightly deceptive; this book is much more than just a handbook of sewing stitches. It is also a guide to tools and equipment, techniques and a textile directory. It may be compact but it is packed with information.

In the stitch directory section there is a photo of each stitch, step by step instructions on how to do it with accompanying diagrams plus advice on when to use it, with which fabrics and alternative stitches.

The techniques section covers various hems, seams, edges, buttonholes and zip techniques again with photos, diagrams and step by step instructions. The fabric section describes the fabrics, tells you what garments and projects it is best used for, gives cutting advice and sewing suggestions. There is a detailed index at the back to you can easily find whatever you want.

This is a very useful reference guide for sewists.

This review also appears on The Sewing Directory.


Sew to Swap: Quilting Exchanges Online and in the Mail
Sew to Swap: Quilting Exchanges Online and in the Mail
by Chrissie Grace
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful for anyone looking to run blog swaps, 8 Feb 2012
As the title suggests this book is aimed at people wanting ideas for running online quilting swaps. It is full of ideas for different blocks or projects that you can swap online, as well as tips and advice on how to run the swap too.

The first chapter cover advice on the tools needed for quilting, how to choose fabrics and quilting basics. The following chapters are then split into super small swaps, marvellous medium swaps and gorgeous gigantic swaps.

Each of the swap ideas come with photos, detailed instructions on how to make the thing you will be swapping, how the swap works and how to piece together all the blocks at the end of the swap. I particularly liked the mini interviews with the various contributors throughout the book, you can pick up lots of useful tips from them.

If you want to run a quilting swap on your blog or website and aren't sure where to start then this book would be great for you.

This review originally appeared on The Sewing Directory.


100 Rules for Entrepreneurs: Real-Life Business Lessons (Harriman Business Essentials)
100 Rules for Entrepreneurs: Real-Life Business Lessons (Harriman Business Essentials)
by Neil Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of easily digestible information, 16 Jan 2012
This book is another in the Harriman Business Essentials series. Entrepreneur Neil Lewis, who has over 22 years experience in business investment, shares his top 100 entrepreneurial tips. The tips cover topics including goal setting, staff management, negotiation, collaboration, credit control, intellectual property and debt.

All the questions are indexed at the front of the book so you can go directly to a question that interests you, or read through them from start to finish. Each answer covers 1-4 pages and gives you a lot of useful information. It is all set out in a very readable way, once I picked the book up I was reading for over an hour.

My only criticism would be that for me as a small business/sole trader around half the book was not relevant to me; all the questions about employing staff, managing staff, shares and share holders etc did not apply to me. I would say it is probably more suited to someone who runs a larger business, or for someone who is about to start employing staff (there is plenty of recruitment advice.)

This review originally appeared on The Sewing Directory.


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