Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing: review and giveaway

Good afternoon. I have a real corker of a craft book to share with you today, oh yes! If you're a lover of Liberty print fabrics and want to add a few stylish touches to your home, then you may want to take a look at The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing, published this week by Quadrille Publishing.


There are 25 home projects in the book, all beautifully photographed to showcase the fabrics. They range from the everyday (table mats, several different cushions, curtains and throws...

Cloud cushions: a great way to practice curved seams


... to the more unusual (pet beds and dog leads, bike seat covers, rag dolls and covered letters). 




The premise of the book is that if you can sew a straight line of stitches then you can tackle a larger number of the projects. If you're brave enough to try curved seams and a bit of slip stitching, then you can master the majority of them. This is true....up to a point. There are indeed projects that require no actual sewing at all, 


Fabric covered letters: I love the styling in this shot

but some that demand quite a few different techniques such as inserting a zip, quilting and applying bias binding to corners. 

This seems like a simple project but is actually quite involved

The complexity of some projects in the latter category could be a little daunting to a total beginner. For this reason, I think the book may have benefited from having a difficulty rating at the beginning of each project stating just how simple the project is (or not as the case may be).

Many of the projects use simple strips, squares and rectangles of fabric, requiring nothing more taxing than measuring dimensions. For other projects, templates are provided which have to be enlarged from anything from 120% to 400%. And for larger patterns you're required to scale the patterns up on dressmakers paper. This is my only major gripe with the book - who on earth is going to be bothered to do that? I really wish the book had included a set of full scale templates and patterns. Even one large sheet with different templates in different colours  (like you get in Burda Magazine or in a Japanese sewing book) would be an improvement. At least then you'd have something you could work with immediately, even if it is a pain to trace it.

Despite this, there are plenty of projects that could easily be undertaken without having to make a special trip to the photocopy shop - 14 in fact. And the instructions are well explained and clearly illustrated. I particularly like the way the book shows you how to achieve a little taste of Liberty style without going too over the top, such as adding strips of fabric to the hems of curtain panels or pillow cases or covered buttons and a belt to a raincoat. 


Now, I've actually done this exact thing for a friend of mine. Not with Liberty fabric unfortunately (although I really wish I'd thought of that), but I changed her old raincoat buttons for covered ones and made some matching bias binding for the cuffs and neck edge. It's a great introduction to refashioning if you don't have much sewing experience. With this book as a guide, you can even make a co-ordinating dog lead!

Overall, I think the Liberty Book of Simple Sewing is very inspirational. You can't fail to be inspired seeing achievable home projects made with such beautiful fabrics. The fabrics really are beautiful and it's a pleasure to read because of this. The book would make a lovely present, especially for somebody new to sewing looking for stylish ideas. Well, the good news is, I have a review copy to give away to one of my readers! Yippee.


If you'd like an opportunity to win the book, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The giveaway is open worldwide and closes at midnight GMT on Sunday 22nd September 2013. Please make sure you leave your email address if it's not linked to your Blogger profile so I can contact you if you're a winner. I leave you with my favourite project form the book - a sewing machine cover! Good luck everybody. x



The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing was given to me free of charge for review. All views my own.

108 comments:

  1. I like that cover!
    Some of the Liberty fabrics are just too flowery for me but some of these projects use just enough to make the stand out in an attractive way.

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  2. Also love the sewing machine cover, I am picturing a matching one for my over-locker!

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  3. That dog leash looks stylish! I could easily see myself go overboard with lots of these projects!

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  4. On I love the restyling of the trench coat! So great with the rain we are having at the moment! Thanks for the chance!

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  5. I would love to be inspired by Liberty!

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  6. I do love a good liberty book - and one day I will persuade myself I am skilled enough to warrant purchasing some of the fabric! Some of these projects do look like things I could tackle, though. The belt and the machine cover are particularly tempting. Thanks for the giveaway!

    (my email is rach.porter@hotmail.co.uk)

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  7. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Especially the darling cafetiere jacket.

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  8. This is a wonderful book. I love the machine cover and the raincoat, even though I probably should first try to get a matching dog for the lead. :-)

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  9. The book cover is super pretty!

    Love the trench coat refashion idea - very simple, yet very effective.

    Fab sewing machine cover too - would look lovely with my little cherry number ;)

    www.mancunianvintage.com

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  10. Wow, some of those projects look like a lot of fun. Thanks for your thoughtful review!

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  11. Oh my goodness yes please x Jane

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  12. Lovely book- I'd very much like to win, please!
    Freya May

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  13. what an inspiring book, ready for a few home makes over the winter. Count me in! charlottepowellbrooks@gmail.com

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  14. So many projects and so little time! But I reckon I could find quite a bit of time if inspired so I'd love to win the book for inspiration.
    FenellaCoughdrop@BTInternet.com

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  15. Beautiful things, would love to add this book to my collection

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  16. Those cloud cushions are so sweet! I have some Liberty fabric patiently waiting for me to work up the courage to cut into it at home. I didn't really think of using it for homewares but now I've seen this I will definitely consider covering my house in it :)

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  17. I too am keen on the cloud cushions - looks like a very inspiring book.

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  18. Hi Jane, I would like to win it for the sewing machine cover alone. I bought a smallish refurbished one for my daughter but it has no cover and I am looking for a good pattern to make one for her. Thanks for hosting this giveaway :)

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  19. The sewing machine cover is very sweet - perhaps if I won I would have time to make one for myself before gifting the book on to my new sewer sister in law!

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  20. I would love to make any of the projects you highlighted in your post. They all look great.

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  21. LOVE those cloud cushions! Might just make me some of those... Lovely to see you yesterday, my dear xxx

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  22. What a cool book! That dog lead looks awesome and the fabric letters. It's kinda making me want to go and make something now actually haha!

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  23. It looks fabulous. I love the sewing machine cover and I actually need one! (Not that my machine is ever unused for long enough to gather dust, ha ha.)

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  24. I think the sewing machine cover is my favourite too! Although I'm now imagining Sewaholic's Robson trench with some print accents! And the cloud cushions are lovely too... I'm more sold on this than I thought I would be!!

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  25. Never thought I'd like cloud cushions, but I'd do too!

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  26. The machine cover is fab, great review. Thank you

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  27. Super cute projects. Thanks for reminding me of my first trip to Liberty (and London) earlier this year!

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  28. How lovely! If I won this, I'd give it to my mother-in-law, who collects Liberty fabrics. I hope if I keep buttering her up with nice presents she'll eventually give me her Liberty carpet bag :p

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  29. Looks like a fab book. My photocopying shop is just down the road so even the projects that need enlarging wouldn't put me off! My email is suziemontreal1@gmail.com, thanks for the giveaway :)

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  30. This looks great, there are some lovely projects. If I were lucky enough to win I would make the sewing machine cover first. Thank you for the chance to win.
    Clare

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  31. I could use some home decor ideas. My house is stuck in the 90's! On behalf oh my house, thank you for the great giveaway.

    thaack@gmail.com

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  32. What a beautiful book. I think I need it.

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  33. Beautiful. It'd love to own it! Emmamade88@gmail.com

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  34. The cloud cushions are cute! And I love the sewing machine cover too - would be much nicer than the ugly plastic one I've got at the moment!

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  35. Fantastic looking book. I just love a bit of Liberty! Count me in!

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  36. I recently came across this book in Waterstones and really enjoyed leafig through it. I loved the quilts. Who wouldn't love a liberty quilt or throw?! Thanks for the opportunity!

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  37. Great looking book and I'm just about to move into our first ever house with husband and baby boy. I can think of many projects that will be great for this, as it's definitely a doer upper. Fingers crossed! X x x

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  38. My only experience of sewing with liberty fabric is from up-cycling my mum's old shirt. Even 10yr old fabric looked lovely so would love to try something with pretty new fabric too.

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  39. These projects would keep me busy for a while!!

    mail2kat_s(at)yahoo.co.uk

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  40. Thank you Jane for cheering up a dreary day with your review. I love the cloud cushions. They would make a cheerful addition to a child or teenagers bed especially if personalised in some way. Second thoughts - may copy the idea for myself!

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  41. This looks like a lovely coffee table book with such beautiful photos.

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  42. Looks like a great book!

    abbeyjg@gmail.com
    sewcharleston.wordpress.com

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  43. Thank you for review this book, I may pick it up for myself regardless of whether I win a copy or not. Thanks again.

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  44. This looks like a ton of fun! I'm excited

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  45. It all looks so pretty! I need more weekends in order to make ALL THE THINGS!

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  46. I love the sewing machine cover and I need one! What a lovely book.

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  47. Looks like a lovely book! I agree though about the whole enlarging patterns business. I have a book that requires you to do the same and as a result I haven't actually used any of the templates. Great review!

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  48. O what an amazing book....I am such a liberty fabric fan.... Love to have the book please count me in.
    My email just in case: carlalissa35@hotmail.com

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  49. Great ideas, great review please count me in

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  50. What great ideas! Looks like it's worth purchasing. Thanks for sharing.
    Sarah
    www.betsysbaby.blogspot.com

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  51. Cute book. The projects are simple, but unique.

    pricklypearcactuscandy AT comcast DOT net

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  52. Beautiful fabric and I love that doll. Very cute!

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  53. Would love this book! The cloud cushions are a great idea

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  54. Aw, I'm in love with that trench coat and the matching dog leash! Thank you for sharing! : )

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  55. I would love to try the cloud pillows!

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  56. They are all gorgeous. I want to make them all. Not being a bit overly ambitious am I :)

    buddydal10@gmail.com

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  57. Wow, what a lovely book- would love to make clouds and a cover for my sewing machine!

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  58. Actually one of the best tips I read on this thread was about how you restyled your friend's coat. I want to give that a try!!
    Appreciate your review of this book!

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  59. Just started following your blog recently, I feel inspired! I am obsessed with liberty prints. Laura.k.firth@gmail.com

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  60. Back in the early 80s during a visit to London as a student, I made sure to stop in the Liberty store. I would very much enjoy the book! Thank you.

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  61. I'd like to try my hand at making a dog leash! It looks like a really fun book. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  62. Ooooh how pretty! I adore the print in the cover of this book - so much so that I'm off now to stalk some down for my stash!

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  63. They all look so inspiring, but I know the very trench coat for that makeover.. it's managed to miss the school's recycle bin by a thread for a while now! cathyems@gmail.com

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  64. I have loved Liberty fabrics forever, I have some patchwork cushions and a quilt which my mother made with scraps of liberty fabrics that I got from a clothing factory way way back in 1975! In those days there were a lot of browns and beiges, cute prints though! I'd love to see how the fabrics have changed!

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  65. wow what a beautiful book. I have to say i do love that sewing machine cover aswell x

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  66. Might well inspire me to practise those curved seams.... :) cwithall13@gmail.com

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  67. I would love to make the dog leash for each of my dogs. I have seen some great ones on Etsy but keep thinking I could make them myself.

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  68. Looks like a beautiful book with some great ideas for a beginner like me!

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  69. Love the cloud and the belt. Any excuse to buy more Liberty.

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  70. love those cloud cushions! would love to make them, very unusual!
    (eimearcdonnelly@gmail.com)

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  71. I love liberty and may have to buy this book anyway! Thanks for sharing!

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  72. I'd love to have the book, and to come to London to fetch it ! Thanks a lot and congratulations on your blog!
    Esther
    elarasuri@gmail.com

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  73. What a great book ... thanks for the chance :)

    melani (hippolicious@hotmail.com)

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  74. I need some simple sewing projects.

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  75. Ooh I love that sewing machine cover!! I too hate when there are no proper templates in a book. It's such a pain when you find a book that you want to start on straight away but the templates are really tiny.
    Rosie xx

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  76. I love that sewing machine cover! and Liberty prints -- sounds like a perfect book!

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  77. I would love some Liberty inspiration! I have been meaning to make a cover for my sewing machine and I love the one in the book. Hkslater at yahoo.com :-)

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  78. Be still my beating heart - love everything, but especially the sewing machine cover. Wonderful give away. domesticgoddess76@hotmail.com

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  79. Be still my heart! I would love this book, especially because of the sewing machine cover.

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  80. I absolutely would love this book--I'm already inspired to cover/replace the buttons and belt on my fall/spring trench coat!

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  81. Really really want to make the sewing machine cover!!!
    cathcott@gmail.com

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  82. I love Liberty fabrics and I love that sewing machine cover - must have one!

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  83. I love the cloud cushion,and the sewing machine cover,it looks like a beautiful book.

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  84. Hi there...passing through...oh yes please enter me in your giveaway....thanks so much for this...I've not seen this book! Have a wonderful day!!!

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  85. I can certainly use all the help I can get, lol!

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  86. That is an absolutely gorgeous book! I just finished my first shirt today and have become quite addicted to making my own clothes! This would be wonderful for ideas!

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  87. It looks like something I could use to give some love to my home. I love the picture of the machine cover at the end!

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  88. Neat book! I, too, love the sewing machine cover....appliques are super fun. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  89. Love Liberty...love some of these projects. I'd be willing to get back on my bike if it looked that cute!

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  90. Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  91. I would love to own that book! It looks beautiful :-)

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  92. Dear Handmade Jane :)i would really love to win this book as im just learning to sew and it looks really informative :)my email is the_pixie_returns@yahoo.co.uk

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  93. Such a lovely giveaway... and dreamy sewing machine cover!

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  94. Have to make the letters! What a lovely way to use affordable amounts. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  95. Gorgeous! Love the dog lead and refashioning ideas.

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  96. Wow, that book looks great! Cute idea to change the buttons of the raincoat to liberty covered ones and line the belt with fabric :-)

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  97. Jane,as always I enjoyed reading your blog today.I particularly like the sewing machine cover. I am leaving my sewing machine out this term in the hope that it will be easier for me to sew each day! I just love the look of that book.
    plwales@yahoo.co.uk

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  98. Liberty fabrics are so lovely. Sounds like an interesting book.

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  99. Hi Jane, I love to read your blog. I would love a chance to win the give away.
    Thank you
    ELizabeth

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  100. Would totally love to win this book! jen_rachel_wright@hotmail.com x

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  101. I'd love to try some of these projects, the book looks really pretty.

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  102. Hope I'm not too late! Count me in please. :)

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  103. Liberty fabrics are gorgeous:)

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  104. This is so fricking beautiful!!! I love it when books look as nice as their stories/ things they're getting you to make etc. My email is naia.mehdi@gmail.com. Thanks for the opportunity, naia x

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