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The Great British Sewing Bee
The Great British Sewing Bee
by Tessa Evelegh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars At least it wasn't full price, 18 April 2014
My main problem was size

The book states the importance of referring to sizing charts but does not include one. It is left up to the reader to guess whether to use their ready-to-wear size or the one which they use for most sewing patterns (which is about two sizes difference).

Because the book was supposed to be an introduction to sewing, I made up a mock up of the checked shirt in my high street size. It turns out that I, a high street size 10 (and occasionally an 8), am the second to largest size the book allows for. This was made more irritating by the fact that it necessitated printing off and sticking together yet more A4 sheets because the patterns themselves are only available online.

In general I found the book didn't really contain that much useful information and worse the instructions for many of the patterns were downright confusing.

Knits that Fit
Knits that Fit
by Edited by Potter Craft
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have done with more content., 15 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Knits that Fit (Paperback)
The part of the book devoted to fitting was a little briefer than I had hoped, as I had bought the book for this rather than the patterns and pictures. It was clear and contained advice other than the obvious, but I felt it left out some key points.

Most notably, I was hoping to find something out about adding some shaping to the bust, rather than simply adjusting the measurement evenly around the whole jumper. I am worried about creating baggy space at the back while not entirely solving the pulling at the chest problem (or, if I just increase the front panels, not getting the right shape) when trying to get a relatively close fit. Also, the topic of shaping garments with patterns on them was only really addressed with the suggestion of side panels for larger women. Since I am often looking to take the waist in on the smaller sizes, this is not actually all that useful.

I am sure the advice on shoulder fitting will be useful, but it did leave me wondering what affect this might have on fitting the sleeves (sleeves as a whole weren't really mentioned in terms of getting a good fit).

The patterns themselves seemed as though they may have belonged to a separate publication, they weren't all particularly well suited to adaption as many had stitch patterns that I - as someone who hasn't much experience at altering knitting patterns -would hesitate to attempt to adjust. Nor did they have any notes or comments about how to go about this.

That said, I fell in love with two of the patterns (and wouldn't mind knitting up one or two of the others) and did find much of the advice that WAS there useful. There were plenty of large, clear pictures with the patterns (though it'd be nice to see the backs on more of them).

Overall, while I am still glad I bought the book, it really didn't contain enough of the information an inexperienced pattern adapter such as myself needs about fit to warrant a higher rating.

Walkerswood Caribbean Kitchen
Walkerswood Caribbean Kitchen
by Virginia Burke
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More like assembly instrutions than recipies, 8 Nov. 2011
I just got this book through the post and already I can see that most of the recepies require some kind of pre-made sauce or spice mix. Some of these things are very easy to make, and yet no indication of the possibility is given. The recipies themselves are mosly quite simple, which would normaly count in the books favor, but with the premade ingredients I think I'd feel I may as well have bought something.

Pictures make up a large proportion of the books, and the spacing on the pages allow for both bulking the book out and using a font size that may be too small for some people.

It's all very well recomending shortcuts, but in the end it is supposed to be a COOKbook.

The Best Recipe
The Best Recipe
by Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Had to buy my Dad a second copy, 2 Oct. 2011
This review is from: The Best Recipe (Hardcover)
I must admit that I like this book as much to read as I do too cook from. The descriptions are very informative, and save a lot of time for anyone who likes to tweak recipies, as it mentions why things were done in some ways and not others. The recipies are consistently good or better (except when I burn them, but I'll get to that).

You will need to invest in a set of measuring cups and some scales which will do imperial (or do conversions yourself before hand), you will also need to sit down before hand to convert all the tempratures from farenheight and then knock of about 20 if you have a fan oven. I sometimes forget about the fan oven part.

Generally, the recipies are not hard though, so I'd recomend it to people at pretty much any level.

Mrs Fields Cookie Book
Mrs Fields Cookie Book
by Debbi Fields
Edition: Hardcover

1.0 out of 5 stars Well, was entertaining at least., 2 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Mrs Fields Cookie Book (Hardcover)
My aunt bought me this cookbook as a joke. We're both really obsessed with baking, so I'm not sure more ballanced people would understand why we were laughing at things like sugar to flour ratios so hard.

I would deffinately not recomend it to anyone planning to cook from it, even if they're just looking for ideas.

The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Roasting and Brewing Exquisite Coffee
The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Roasting and Brewing Exquisite Coffee
by Kevin Sinnott
Edition: Flexibound
Price: £14.88

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for the beginner, 14 Jun. 2011
I have been banned from letting my father near this book. My mother hates the smell of coffee, and it may as well have been written with the expressed purpose of launching him into one of his overenthusiastic "new hobby" moods.

This book is laid out in a simple, logical manner, which takes you through from the varieties and regional variation in unroasted beans to the final finished drinks. There is a small section containing well known recipes near the back, but if that's what you want, I would recommend looking elsewhere. Instead this is like a textbook for the beginner, although perhaps more informal and better illustrated than that description would imply. It offers a surprising amount of information without being boring or overwhelming. It has also made me interested in becoming involved stages of production I hadn't considered before (I was concerned mostly with selecting roasted beans, and vaguely aware that I should perhaps grind them more finely for espresso than for brewed coffee).

Fudge Paintbox Blueberry Hill Semi-Permanent Hair Colourant 75 ml
Fudge Paintbox Blueberry Hill Semi-Permanent Hair Colourant 75 ml

3.0 out of 5 stars Great, as a very temporary dye, 17 Feb. 2011
I loved the colour, and the brand cannot be blamed for my tendency to develop allergies between the patch test and the actual aplication (knowing this, I don't know why I follow instructions to patch test). Unfortunately, the dye took even less well than the last brand I tried. I'm aware purple is a tricky one, especially in unbleached hair, but it's been three washes and you can't tell it's been dyed.

The Woman In Black
The Woman In Black
by Susan Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable but well written., 11 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
It was very entertaining, and rather sinister.

I think it was a little short for such a slow paced book, and the storyline suffered somewhat from a lack of time to tell it. It was sadly quite predictable. The scenery and such could have been a little more original.

The reason it didn't lose any more stars is because I found the writing style very agreeable. It was easy to get wrapped up in, and the tone of the book was suitably sinister. In a way, the ending worked well with the predictability, I think the sense of inevitability at that point goes well with how the character would have felt as it unfolded.

Gold Brown 100% Shawl Seconds Scarf Wrap Stole Throw
Gold Brown 100% Shawl Seconds Scarf Wrap Stole Throw

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much exactly what it says, 5 Jan. 2011
The colour was a little different, but that's to be expected (it can't look the same on every screen). It was soft, a little thinner than I expected (which was an assumption I had made, rather than the description) but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing as it means my great aunt can wear it at any time of year.

The Vegetarian Student Cookbook (Hamlyn Cookery)
The Vegetarian Student Cookbook (Hamlyn Cookery)
by Hamlyn
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my most used books, 23 Nov. 2010
My only complaint would be that I do not like the layout or writing style, which felt to me like trying too hard, although at what I'm not sure.

Other than that, I find this book very good. I am not a vegetarian, but I rarely eat meat anyway, and this book has lots of useful and forgiving recipes. I don't think it suffers from the lack of pictures, as most of the recipes are for familiar foods. I have other books for adventurous cooking, but this is good for cheap and easy.

I'd recommend it whether you're a vegetarian or not.

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