Review: Sewing Made Simple

I've got some exciting news: two of our fabrics have been featured in a UK sewing bookazine!  Yay!  The bookazine is called Sewing Made Simple and it's published by the same publisher as the magazine Love Sewing.

What's been featured?  Two of our stretch cotton sateens - our purple floral sateen and our black Leonore sateen.  They've been used to make a jacket:



I absolutely love this fabric.  I'm a real sucker for floral prints.  If I bought fabrics just based on my personal taste, the store would be filled almost exclusively with prints like this!  LOL  Since this fabric arrived, I've looked over at it longingly many times, dreaming of using it to make...

... a By Hand London Georgia dress


...and/or a simple pencil skirt paired with a black crepe camisole (probably McCall's 3830 for the skirt and Grainline Studio's Tiny Pocket Tank and our soft, black Isobel crepe for the top).

My plans have been thwarted by a lack of sewing time and the fact that I am, at heart, a practical sewer: I only usually make things that I know will go into heavy rotation in my wardrobe.  I can't envision that I'd get much wear out of either outfit.  Sigh.  So, I doubt these outfits will get made anytime soon.

Getting back to Sewing Made Simple, I have to admit that I wasn't familiar with this bookazine until I bought my first issue (which was this one!). Since there don't appear to be any full reviews on the web and since you can't flip through it in the newsagents (as, due to the included patterns, it's in a plastic bag), I thought it might be helpful to provide a quick run-down of what's in it.  

First, lots of patterns are included.  Some are separate patterns (in their own envelopes and printed on tissue) and some can be downloaded from Love Sewing's website.  The patterns are focussed on clothing and accessories, and they range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate (about half are aimed at beginners and half at intermediate sewers).  Most of the magazine is devoted to providing instructions for these patterns, with some of the more complicated techniques (including sewing a fly zipper) being explained in detailed, photo-heavy tutorials.




There are also some substantial articles in the magazine, including (but not limited to!):

  • a great introduction for newbie sewers on the differences between indie and commercial sewing patterns (written by Deborah Simms from the GBSB)
  • a fantastic article by Jamie Kemp on his favourite sewing patterns for men
  • a really useful article on using a tailor's ham (by Fiona Parker), accompanied by a tutorial on how to make one yourself (by Jeanette Archer)

I absolutely loved the article by Jamie Kemp.  I have never sewn for my husband before, and I loved his rundown of his 5 favourite patterns.  For each pattern, he explains why he likes it and gives some really useful tips.  With the 5 patterns he recommends, you could literally do an entire wardrobe for a man - for many years to come.  They basically cover my husband's entire wardrobe (except his sweaters and winter coats).  I'm definitely keeping this article and might even pick up the 5 patterns - just in case I decide to do some altruistic sewing in the future...  :-)


All-in-all, I really enjoyed reading it.  If any of the patterns and articles catch your fancy, I definitely recommend that you amble down to your local newsagents to find a copy.  :-)  This is issue 3 and it costs £9.99.  Issue 4 will be on sale on 3 March.


I think it's fantastic that there are so many sewing magazines and bookazines in the UK at the moment.  I buy them from time-to-time - often before getting onto a train or a plane!  Do you ever buy them?  Do you have a favourite?


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February 01, 2016 by Amy Lloyd