If you're a reader of sewing blogs (and my guess is that you are), it's likely that you are already fully aware that Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons has written a sewing book! However, I've been lucky enough to receive a review copy, and now that MMMay'14 is over and done with I'm damn well going to review it.
In short, it's a sewing companion that shows you how to make small a range of women's garment projects, and aims to inspire sewing creativity and wearing handmade generally. Aside from the step-by-steps of garment construction, there are all sorts of added extras, like how to plan sewing projects so that they fit with your sense of style and colour palette that really take this up a notch from a lot of sewing books. The design and layout of Tilly's book is truly stunning, and for me it's neck-and-neck with the Built By Wendy sewing books in terms of aesthetics (i.e. the best).
Like the aforementioned Built By Wendy sewing books and the previously reviewed 'Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe' book, 'Love at First Stitch' contains a pattern section at the back that includes full size, multi-sized sewing patterns. The book talks you through how to create them in a pretty jargon-free and friendly manner, plus 'Love at First Stitch' emphasises ways to customise the patterns to make unique interpretations of your own.
Who is it for?
It's largely aimed at beginners who find more 'serious' sewing manuals intimidating and a turn-off. Tilly writes in a chatty, friendly way and includes personal anecdotes so 'Love at First Stitch' feels more like taking a class with a lovely teacher who is determined to help you have fun and feel capable. That said, I would argue that this book would also appeal to those who have been sewing for a while. Who doesn't want to sew some stylish, wearable garments and have the instructions actually make sense for once?! It's like, just because I can read Spanish, it doesn't mean it won't be easier to read the menu in English. It'll get me to the food quicker...
It really is a beautiful book as well. So if you have very limited sewing time in your day-to-day life, flicking through this book and stroking the pretty pages when you've collapsed into bed can definitely help you feel like you've interacted with and been nourished by your favourite pastime.
Will I use it?
For reals. I already use it in the 'stroke the pages having collapsed into bed' capacity (I hope that doesn't sound weird, now that I've written it twice). I also have my eye firmly on the Mimi blouse pattern, once I've got my sewing table clear of the mountain of WIP's currently residing on there. The pyjama pattern also looks like a useful staple that I'll no-doubt bust out at some point. This book is also good to remind myself how vibrant and exciting the handmade revolution that we are all part of really is. Oh, and Tilly mentions in the book about how Me-Made-May is a useful way to start wearing handmade more often, and that makes my heart sing with pride.