Kate Smith is the owner of The Makery in Bath, a creative hub that focuses on skills needed for making and specialises in sewing. With The Makery's commitment to helping people improve their skills, 'Makery Sewing' is a good basic book to help you take the steps you need. Inside you will find over 30 projects divided into sections 'Home', 'To Wear' and 'To Give'.
The book is beautifully styled so it's a delight to pour through and get in the mood to make. Each project has a clear picture at the start of that section with an arty styled shot of the materials you'll need sandwiching the instructions. The instructions are clear and I like the fact that each new project starts with a little info bubble on how long you should expect this to take you.
The projects are not costly as they are mostly quite small and easy to achieve. They shouldn't need a great deal of specialist equipment and in fact, hand sewing instructions are given for the really easy to achieve projects. This would be a good book to take nibbles in sewing before splurging on some fabric for a bigger make.
Tools and materials are really clearly laid out at the start and there's plenty of diagrams and schematics, simply drawn, should you need. They remember to tell you to trace the patterns at the back of the book so you can use it again and there's a tips and techniques section at the back of the book too. Very user friendly for a novice like me.
I really liked a lot of the simple items in the 'Home' and 'Give' sections. Highlights include the Foldaway Bread Platter, the Sweet Tin Footstool and Hooped Laundry Bag. I was a little less convinced by some of the 'To Wear' projects as there could have been more simple modified tees, upcycled skirts etc. I suspect the aim was to keep things to a very small yardage of fabric without sizing so that it was a really entry level book. Lots of bags and a dog collar was a little uninspiring though.
I do think I will have a go at the Patch Pocket Tee project to help me familiarise myself with my sewing machine. I think many of the projects would ease you through the skills you'd need to eventually progress to dress making should you wish.
Food For Thought:
Something that might have worked well would have been a rating system or suggested progression of skills. It's arranged by inspiration which makes for a happy flip through and to dive in wherever whimsy takes you. I know I'm guilty of biting off more than I can chew when excited though so would love something within the book to help me pick a project by skills needed too.
I would recommend Makery Sewing for novices and those looking for cute ideas for materials they might already have and wish to use up. It's very sweet and I'd be interested to see more from The Makery. They have a good eye for cute projects and simple but effective technqiues that appeal to those new to sewing.
My copy of Makery Sewing was sent for the purposes of review by the Octopus Publishing Group. Views are entirely my own.