Sewing Bee book review: From Stitch to Style

Sewing Bee book review: From Stitch to Style

Great British Sewing Bee book review: From Stitch to Style

Well after a whole 14 months as the reigning GBSB winner my crown is now finally up for grabs, I say finally because we were waiting with baited breath, for what seems like a very long time for the new show to be broadcast.

And now all of a sudden The Great British Sewing Bee is back on our screens, and I’m transported back to that feeling of being in the sewing room as though it were just last week. The panic that sets in when they announce the challenge, the next wave of panic when Claudia bellows 5 minutes remaining. But I tell you what, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, it was a life experience and one that I’ll treasure.

So being asked if I would do a review of the new series book “From Stitch to Style”, was like asking a kid to choose some free sweets…I jumped at the chance.

Cover of Great British Sewing Bee book 2016 From Stitch to Style

The first thing that grabbed me was that they had stuck with a similar branding and cover as last year, which in my eyes was a good idea, the book feels grown up but bright and fun with it. I prefer this to the softer more primary coloured previous books.

The opening chapters, which if you’re a seasoned stitcher you may choose to pass over, but perhaps don’t this time, include some really useful and easy to follow guides on tasks that could feel a little daunting. Such as a full bust adjustment, or unique sizing for a more realistic body shape (you know 10 on top and 14 on the hips).

I actually had a go at the Bias Cut Top, which is the very first project in the book during a live show on Create & Craft TV the other day, quite what made me think that it was a good idea to challenge myself in a public forum with no chance of an edit or cutting room floor I don’t know, but it all went rather well. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, although I did find myself a little confused as to why the core skill is inserted into the middle of a make.

Bias cut top from Great British Sewing Bee book 2016 From Stitch to Style

I know only too well after having recently finished writing my debut book “Make It Own It Love It”, that it’s hard to get the correct balance between tips versus individual makes, you want to show a skill off but not keep referring back and forth to it through the book, or worse still duplicate sections.

I’ve got my eyes on the kids dungarees too and have ordered some super cute corduroy for them, of course the pattern doesn’t quite scale up to 38 year old man, so perhaps I’ll stick to making them for a 7yr old Evie for now.

Perfect corduroy for the kids dungarees

What is great is the pattern hacks, so many people I speak to say, “Oh the alteration challenge, I think I’d go blank, how did you do that?”. Well actually these hacks are teaching you to do just that. Use the patterns as a guide only and insert a bit of you, a bit of your own style and make it what you want it to be.

There’s plenty in there for the advanced stitcher too, perhaps you might like to try your hand at a technical cycle top, asymmetric skirt or even a pin tuck shirt.

Lots for the advanced stitchers our there...

Test out the cycle top from stitch to style

Hats are most definitely taken off to everyone who was behind the book, I know they produced it in a very short time frame, so well done to Wendy and all your team.

Now our appetite has been whetted for what’s to come in the rest of the series, I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

Go Bees!

Matt Chapple, winner of the Great British Sewing BeeMatt x

The stitcher. A magnet for foolery & prankster at heart. Loves being creative, whether with some wood and a saw or with a needle and thread. Attempts to disguise his past time activities as manly pursuits, but is actually pretty handy at sewing!


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