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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite sewing books!
I have been sewing properly since around about the time when the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee came out. Since then, I have amassed a lot of sewing books. So I have some idea of what I look for in a sewing book from a recent beginner's perspective and what I find useful and like. I remember being impressed with Lauren's ability to produce such beautiful...
Published 10 months ago by JKA

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book but not for complete beginners
Lovely book but not for complete beginners as the instructions aren't fool proof and the illustrations aren't very clear. I had to look at videos on you tube for back up!
Published 4 months ago by Daisy


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite sewing books!, 7 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
I have been sewing properly since around about the time when the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee came out. Since then, I have amassed a lot of sewing books. So I have some idea of what I look for in a sewing book from a recent beginner's perspective and what I find useful and like. I remember being impressed with Lauren's ability to produce such beautiful work to a high standard on the show despite the time constraints, so I could tell she really knows this subject. When I heard her book came out I was looking forward to buying it. I have high expectations for a book from her and having gone through it - I am not disappointed in the least! It is a wonderful, beautifully illustrated and written, well-thought out book. Actually, one of my favourite sewing books. It's rare for me to like all the projects in a book but I do with this one.
My sewing interests tend to be more focussed on dressmaking but I do like making bags and I enjoy learning how to do other things for around the home and would eventually like to try a quilt. This book is an all-rounder, it has projects covering all these areas, things for the home, garment making for adults and children, accessories, to trying out a patchwork quilt (wonderful gift idea) and bags which goes to show just how versatile this book is and her abilities. Also, most importantly the projects are ones you would WANT to make.

The book is divided into two main sections: Techniques followed on by projects which increase in difficulty as you go on. However, all the projects look straightforward and yet are so versatile and customisable you can really bring your creativity into play. That's the beauty of the patterns she has given - they're ones you feel you can tackle, would actually want to do, can see myself and others wearing, using, and change as you want whether it be different fabric combinations, colours, embellishments to really make it your own, etc.

In the book, three bag patterns are included - all of which I'd want to have. The first a tote bag - ideal for light shopping and I have so many ideas to customise it and really make it a nice gift for someone, there's a big weekend bag which is great for carrying more hefty things and a ribbon bag that makes use of different remnants of material and you could personalise anyway you want to suit. The garments include a simple sleeveless top (very similar to one I made for the Summer) and as I have been trying out different combinations of fabric and colours it's a good pattern to have, a yoke top (like the lovely one she wears on the front cover), a dress with customisable collar and sleeves, pyjama bottoms, a cute clothing set for a little girl and pair of shorts for a boy. She really has covered all the bases when it comes to this book and there is something for everyone here.

I can see myself using the belt pattern to embellish quite a few tops I have and the collar patterns will come in very handy (as I love refashioning clothes too).

In the technique section, I appreciate her giving tips about pinning and keeping the fabric flat, how to measure a button so you have a buttonhole that fits perfectly, transferring pattern markings. There are few books that tell you how to do the quick method of making bias binding (continuous strip method) and she does it clearly. I've had trouble aligning the lines but here she illustrates it so well.

All in all an excellent book with all the patterns included at the front and back of the book, ready to be traced. No having to enlarge patterns with the photocopier.
There has been some discussion in blogs about a gap in the market for books for intermediate sewists. So it is my hope that following the success of this book, that Lauren will also do a follow-on book as people's sewing skills come in leaps and bounds. The variety of projects shows how versatile she is and her ability so I feel she'd be more than capable to do an intermediate book if she wanted to later on and still make it accessible as she has done here filled with her good taste of wonderful projects. This is a great book that gives people a solid grounding in learning to sew and a wonderful collection of projects and I will gladly recommend this book - a wonderful addition to my sewing book library.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt best sewing book I ever bought!, 6 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
Wow, I thought this was going to be good as I liked Lauren Guthrie's style when I saw her on the sewing bee, but wasn't expecting this book to be so full of projects I ACTUALLY want to do! I have already decided on my first project (the really nice top Lauren wears on the front cover), have read through the description and you can really tell that she has experience in teaching, she takes you clearly through every step and there are plenty of drawings in addition to the written descriptions. One of my favourite things is that you have all the full-sized patterns included in the book, so you're ready to go without having to do any printing or copying. The book goes from easy to tricky, 20 projects and lots of useful sewing techniques at the beginning. After the top I will try out the roman blinds, I always thought those were really difficult to make but looks very straightforward. So glad I bought this!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent buy, 10 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
What an excellent book! If you have any interest in sewing whatsoever, buy this book without delay for it will surely inspire you to get your creative juices flowing. It is extremely well written with crystal clear instructions and beautiful photographs of the finished products. From a complete beginner, Lauren takes you through all the skills you will need to become a competent sewer. I love the patterns included too! Excellent buy. I will be getting a few more copies for Christmas presents.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the novice sewer, 9 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
This book is great for someone fairly new to sewing. The ideas in the book are very up to date and can be adapted to your taste. Many of the patterns had 2 alternatives to chose from. I dived in at the deep end with the pattern for the more advanced top, but so far so good. My friend who is a dressmaker was very impressed with the ideas in the book and the practical pointers in the first few pages for novices like myself. I am sure I will go on to try out most of the projects in the book. It's certainly a good place to start. Full size patterns are a real help too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to get into sewing, 9 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
I got my first sewing machine for christmas and this book has been the perfect way to introduce me into sewing without being overwhelming and prone to disasters (which would probably have made me give up). The projects build in difficulty nicely and add different methods slowly and simply. It has a range of useful projects, from cushions, to oven gloves to clothes. Really great guide, i would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to learn sewing on the sewing machine.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars craft heaven, 6 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
What a fantastic book! I'm developing an emerging interest in crafts and have bought a few books but this is by far the best I've got so far.

Very easy to follow and comes with some great projects, including all the patterns you need. It takes you through in a simple to understand way and the layout and design are very cool.

I've started my first project and even for a relative newcomer I'm growing in confidence quickly. Equally this is very suitable for the more experienced of you out there. Some helpful tips to really gain new skills.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 8 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
Great book for all skills of sewing from novice to advanced.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great British Sewing Book!, 2 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
Lauren's book is perfect.
She has obviously put her heart and soul into writing this; the thought and planning is brilliant. Whether it's crafty projects or dress-making your want to tackle, both are covered is careful stages with loads of hints along the way. If you have some experience there are still great projects for you to make too.
Having read all the books by the Sewing Bee contestants, I think this one wins hands down! Every base is covered. The photography and styling are gorgeous. Those Liberty print fabrics....
I cannot wait to get started. Who knows - maybe next year I'll audition for The Great British Sewing Bee!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 9 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
good all round book but think it would suit the more inexperienced sewer
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book but not for complete beginners, 20 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects (Hardcover)
Lovely book but not for complete beginners as the instructions aren't fool proof and the illustrations aren't very clear. I had to look at videos on you tube for back up!
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Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects
Learn to Sew with Lauren: From first stitches to perfect projects by Lauren Guthrie (Hardcover - 1 Sept. 2014)
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