Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
A good basic book with caveats
on 8 March 2015
I have been trying to get back into sewing for a while having sewn and adapted garments a lot when I was young and had very little money for interesting clothes. As I now wear a lot of knits this seemed like a good option for starting to work with these types of fabric more... the starter patterns were also a great resource.
I like the ethos of this book, it is clearly laid out and the various options for construction with different types of machines are great, however there is a big caveat with the patterns. Like one of the other reviewers I attempted the Breton shirt, I cut a slightly larger size as the fabric I used has great drape but not as much stretch as a viscose / elastane jersey and I thought I could neaten up the sizing if required. The neckline came out waaaaaaaaay too wide, admittedly I did use the twin needle on my conventional machine and this stretched the neckline a bit - maybe this is why it is not referred to in the book. The shoulders are absolutely tiny 1" wide, which if you deduct the 1/4" inch seam allowance gives you a shoulder of 1/2" inch wide. I found tying to adjust the width of the neck nigh on impossible because you have so little fabric to work with. This is not accurately reflected in the technical diagrams (technical flats). The other comment I have is that on closer observation the patterns are very boxy, there is no shaping, and the shoulder line is narrow - this would suit certain figure types, maybe boyish with narrow shoulders, or tall and very slender, or apple shaped, but for my figure type: quite athletic mesomorph UK size 10 (RTW) with defined shoulders waist and hips it does not work and given the issues I had with the Breton top which was abandoned when I could not fix the neckline issue I'm not sure I would put the effort into trying to fix the fit issues with the basic block.
A good basic book but ultimately rather frustrating.