Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee Book

The Great British Sewing Bee Book tour has landed at My Happy Sewing Place! YAY!  If you haven't heard--the Great British Sewing Bee is a new TV show in the UK all about sewing!  Plus, it has the best. intro. ever. If the intro alone doesn't make you want to run (not walk) to your sewing machine...I don't know what will!

Check out episode 2 here (the title music at 1.50 to 2.10 is the best!):

You can imagine I jumped at the chance to get my sewing paws on this book. One of the things I absolutely love about the book and the show are the stories of sewing history in the UK.  The show name is inspired by the Sewing Bees that took place in Buckingham Palace to 'Stitch for Victory' in 1939.  I've just loved reading these vignettes which are scattered throughout the book..

Including the story about how bespoke tailoring started in Great Britain:

There are also loads of fantastic patterns in the book.  I think it's the first time that I've seen a sewing book in which I wanted to make almost all of the patterns:

There's one pattern included in the back of the book (for a tunic blouse).  For the rest of the patterns you either have to download them and print them out or scan and enlarge the pattern page.

I've downloaded the Pyjama bottoms pattern (I don't know about you but I've been wanting an easy staple pj pattern that I don't need to draft

It was really easy to download and print out the pattern.  This is what one of the pages looks like:

The black notches help you match up the pages for taping together:

Et voila!  All ready to cut out!  I'll be making both David and myself some new PJs this week!  Definitely check out the book if you want a nice collection of staple patterns (including curtains, cushion covers, a circle skirt, a fabulous halter dress...the list goes on!)  The book is also great because I recognise a lot of the patterns that were made during the show (including Tilly's blouse pattern!)

Check out the giveaways of the book happening at the moment:

You can also buy the book at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Also check out the other reviews that are part of this blog tour organised by Crafty magazine:
Next up, the blog tour is heading over to Rachel, just back from her trip to Brazil!  Check out her post tomorrow at House of Pinheiro.

A super big thank you to Crafty magazine for including me in this fabulous line-up!  So, tell me... Have you seen the show?  What did you think of last week's elimination?  Do you love the intro music/title as much as I do?


  1. Nice review Debbie. I didn't know about the bits of history in the book. There are a few nice patterns in the book as well.

  2. Hi I already ordered the book, like the combo of history and sewing!
    and I think I got my mojo back, just finished cutting a dress

    Last weeks elimination; fair

  3. I too really like the book! The photographs are lovely to look at. Look forward to seeing your His&Hers PJs!!
    And I am enjoying the TV program as well. Regarding the those who left, I think it's just a shame that there are any eliminations at all really.

  4. I've been watching the show, the book sounds great.

  5. I'm an enthusiastic beginner - and think I might treat myself to this - to inspire me to get better, and quickly!

  6. I'm in the US and have been hoping to be able to catch this online! Thanks for the link!

  7. Deb - is there a demo in the book on putting in an invisible zipper?

    1. Hi Helene! Yes, they have a 2-page spread of pictures on how to put in an invisible zipper!

  8. Have been watching it online is Aus and loving it to bits. love the intro music too! have the book on order at my local bookshop. (they are busting to get their mitts on it too btw!) ;-)

  9. I have no idea if this is correct but I just found this comment in one of the reviews on Amazon ----- "decided to make a pair of pyjama pants for my partner and printed off some 30+ pieces of A4 paper which then took over an hour to piece together. When i came to cut the pattern out I found that the markings were incorrect. I doubt that I will make the items I want to because of the effort (plus ink and paper) required to make the patterns before sitting down to actually sew" ---- I thought I would pass it on so that you may be forwarned to look out for it. I am sure you will be able to sort it out if it is a problem and it would be good to hear if it isn't.

  10. I don't have a printer at home but I want to buy one when I see all these down-loadable patterns! I need an office job so I can steal the printer on off hours. And I totally want this book. I'm watching this show on the big tv, but it seems they only have the one episode on YouTube. Poo.

  11. Hi, I've just bought the book it arrived today, yay! Like jennywren above I also read about the PJ trousers pattern on an amazon review and I too fancy having a go at those. But I don't want to print out the pattern if there is genuinely a mistake. I would love to know how you got on with it and whether you encountered a problem or not.

  12. I've printed and cut out my pieces and they look ok to me (sewing them today or tomorrow) only think I was unsure about was sizings so making the XL and can always pull them in if needed but just hoping they are a good size (making them for my husband and Dad lol but if they are too small ill be nicking them


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!