Can you believe the final of GBSB is already 12th March? Only two episodes left to watch. I think it has been another fun series and it’s always great to see sewing promoted on TV. As with previous years this series is also accompanied by a sewing book and I got all the deeds for you.
Spoiler & Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched GBSB series 3 you probably don’t want to see this projects just yet! The book was a courtesy from the publishers so I can share my own personal opinions with you. I know the author and some of the team involved in this book so I have high expectations (and some love!)
How this book differs from the first two books?
The first two were written by Tessa Evelegh, a lifestyle journalist and +20 books writer.
Fashion with Fabric was written by Claire-Louise Hardie, a trained costume designer and sewing producer the show. She runs a dressmaking course in London.
The first GBSB book was more about setting the scene along with the TV program. A lot of information on starting to sew. The projects are a mix of home decor, men and woman patterns.
The second GBSB book came with 5 full size patterns accompanied by master class sewing techniques. My favourite projects were the 1960’s coat and Anorak. Chapters divided by Fabric, FIT, and Finish. No home decor and projects started to get more challenging. Yeah!
Both books are well presented, have good information and inspiration. So what’s new? Series 3 book just got much better and it’s safe to say it’s my favourite of all.
Sewing books have limited amount of space. Publishers & readers want loads of projects. There so much to talk about each project/subject. Like with many craft magazines, sometimes pattern instructions get omitted, mainly assuming the reader has some previous understanding but sometimes on the editing process. This book seems to use the pages well making room for the pattern instructions to be more detailed and has less of “starter content”. You know, the content that once you read in one sewing book you don’t look at it again.
The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric has all the expected “how to” use patterns, basic sewing skills etc. The book has 30 projects (yeah) and patterns are full size (yeah yeah). Patterns come in an extra pattern pack folder like the second book.
All patterns fit on 5 sheets which come overlapped. Tracing is required! I use Waitrose’s own brand of greaseproof paper but you can use any paper. If you use swedish tracing paper you can sew to test the fit. The texture it’s like coffee filters and it’s very durable.
Patterns names are easily identified on the top of each sheet. They are also colour coded. Note that all pieces may not be presented in the same sheet.
Pattern size range comes both in metric and imperial: Women// Size 8 (83cm: 65 cm: 92 cm) to Size 20 (116 cm: 98 cm:123cm). Men size range 34 to 44
Breakdown of patterns by chapters.
Chapter 1: Cotton
Sleeves shell top// Button back blouse
Girl’s shirred elastic dress// Shirred elastic maxi dress
Jumpsuit// Casual Trousers
men’s corgo short
Vintage curtain maxi skirt
Chapter 2 : Wool and other animal fibres.
Silk woven tee
Leather jacket/ Tweed and faux leather jacket
Chapter 3: Stretch Fabric
Drapey knit dress/ Sleeved stripy knit dress
3 hour slouchy cardigan/ Woven kimono
Kid’s board shorts
Men’s classic t-shirt
Chapter 4: Luxury Fabric
Lace pencil skirt/ Tweed A line mini skirt
Vintage inspired blouse/ Sleeveless collared blouse
Corset gown/ Denim bustier top
Double layered skirt
What I loved?
The patterns are modern, have a good variation of techniques.
No home decor (don’t get me wrong, I love crafting but in separate books)
Not much filler of “really basic of sewing” but enough to be someone’s first sewing book
Relevant information on fabrics before each chapter
Quality of the illustrations
Art and photography
Finish garment measurements (so helpful to pick the right size)
Good mixture of easy to intermediate patterns and enough challenging projects to build up skills.
What I wish the book had it ?
Technical drawings. I love design lines and it helps with my pattern hacks.
More pictures of each pattern, side and back version.
So, what did I made from the book? I made secret pyjamas home outfit a.k.a Casual Trousers.
Only took me an 1 hour to make. This is such an easy pattern. I love making trousers and was looking for an easy project in between pattern testing. This is actually the bottom part of the jumpsuit. the Jumpsuit and the leather jacket are my favourite projects on the book.
Size 8. I used a stable knit (Gleeful by Sew Caroline for Art Gallery Fabrics) and worked well. The waist and hips have a lot of ease but perfect for woven fabric recommended. I added an extra 3cm hem.
I could adjust the fit on the waist and hips but it’s so comfortable and perfect for big lunches. This must be the most perfect sewing-day outfit, ever.
I found a very small error. The lay plan for the casual trousers have you cut the waistband in a long pattern piece along side the trousers (grainline) but the actually pattern piece is smaller and cut on fold. I think they must have changed the configuration of pattern pieces to fit on the sheets and that small change got overlooked on the lay plan. Nothing major. Pattern fits perfectly.
What’s on your sewing table right now? And who are you cheering for the GBSB final?