Craft book review: Liberty Book of Simple Sewing

Liberty book of Simple Sewing review

No trip to London is complete without a visit to Liberty, the historic department store with a to-die-for haberdashery and its own range of traditional-with-a-twist fabrics.

The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing, like its predecessor The Liberty Book of Home Sewing, brings all that floral-print loveliness and grown-up glamour straight to your sewing table.

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Fans of the fabrics will find plenty to please in the design of the book, from its poppy print cloth cover and gorgeously patterned end papers to the boho country-house-style photography.

Floral-print loveliness and grown-up glamour at your sewing table

This book promises “easy-sew” projects, although real beginners may need something a little more meaty. The basics chapter is short, with tips on what tools to stock and how to use a sewing machine. There is also a run-through of sewing techniques such as hemming, seams, hand stitching and appliqué. At the end of the book are all the necessary templates, which will unfortunately mean a trip to the photocopy shop.

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The makes are a happy mix of the small and sassy – customising an old mac coat with Liberty print covered buttons and belt – to the properly big projects, such as the Storage Bolster which hides away your winter duvet.

Our favourites? The matching Basket Bag and Saddle Cover, perfect for your Pashley; a Libby Doll in a ra-ra skirt; and the super-luxurious Edged Pillowcases, which mix and match silky Tana Lawn with pretty scallops.

The makes are a happy mix of the small and sassy to the properly big

The projects offer a combination of difficulties and techniques. The instructions, although not extensive, are clear and no-nonsense with lots of diagrams, so makers should have no qualms in tackling the frankly-too-nice-for-kids Pyjama Trousers or Picnic Bag, as well as the simple Floral Garland and no-sew Covered Letters. One misfire is the extremely un-street Graffiti Table Runner, which utilises linen, appliquéd print circles and pink spray paint.

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While of course the (quite pricey) Liberty prints can be swapped for other kinds of fabrics, this book is really about making those pretty patterns sing. Even if the several metres required for the Striped Throw is beyond our budget, designs such as the appliqué Leaf Cushions and Cafetiere Cover and Coasters deliver bang for much-less buck – and would make smart Christmas presents.

This is a top-quality craft book, and while some of the sheer Liberty florally-ness might be too much for some, there are plenty of ideas to help you add a little London luxury to your life.

Find your prints charming with The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing