This book’s sub title is “How to unlock your inner sewing goddess: projects, advice and inspiration for a creative lifestyle.” It’s aimed at people completely new to sewing who are keen to get stuck in despite lack of experience and lack of time. Is that you?
What makes The Busy Girl’s Guide to Sewing so different is that it’s written by 31 year old Carrie Maclennan, a complete sewing rookie. The book has a range of projects, each from one of Carrie’s more experienced sewing chums and the complete beginner can gradually develop more skills by working through the projects – just as Carrie herself did, gaining confidence on the way. The projects are quite diverse – ranging from a pouffe to put your feet up to a skirt from an old duvet cover. The projects are grouped by the time they’ll take to make: from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
To check it out I decided to try the easiest project in the book in the 30 minutes or less section – and it took just 10. I’m no expert seamstress and I’m sure even the most inexperienced person could easily manage it in under 30. And what a great simple project to start with – a jumbo pincushion – an essential for everyone’s sewing kit. I’d lost mine and hadn’t got around to getting another – so hey presto a rummage in the remnant box and a bit of spare wadding (batting) left over from my quilting and I was ready to go. (By the way my personal top tip is if you don’t have any wadding to hand, use an old clean pair of tights).
Every project is beautifully illustrated with photographs and line drawings and has a section titled “Stitch it up a notch” with some ideas for you to develop your skills further within the same basic project. For example by graduating from the pin cushion to a full-sized cushion or trying out embroidery or applique finishes.
Carrie intriduces us to some essential tools to get you started towards Sewing Godess-dom. She has sections on how to find time for sewing and how to create space in your home to accommodate your new hobby, together with tips on how to get help and inspiration online and and turn your sewing into a social activity with your mates.
This is a real gem of a book to whet the appetite of someone new to sewing. It’s right in the spirit of our MIAMI ethos, as it’s all about building confidence, offering inspiration and helping build skills. It addresses a real gap in the sewing manual market.