Thursday, 27 February 2014

Giveaway - Win the Simplicity sewing book!

Those lovely people at Simplicity have a new book out and they have given me a copy to give away to one of my readers!

It's called Simply The Best Sewing Book and it's an update of Simplicity's original book published 20 years ago.  They have updated it to include timesaving tips and up-to-date info on newer sewing machines.

It is spiral bound with a hard cover so that it stays looking nice on the outside but lies flat so you can refer to it easily when sewing.

The fitting section

It covers tools and equipment, fitting (with a focus on tissue fitting but it also covers muslin making), using patterns, cutting and marking, the basics of sewing and how to work with more difficult fabrics.  At the back there are a few basic patterns to get you started.

Love the retro style illustrations

Before I was sent this, I was told it would be great for anyone who has recently started sewing, but having seen it, I think it's the kind of thing that would be useful to more experienced sewists as well. There are some great tips on overlockers which I have found really useful and are not normally covered in "Learn To Sew" books.

Sewing a flatlock seam

The section covering working with difficult fabrics has great tips on how to cut, mark, press and sew fabrics like velvet or lace:

Sewing with velvet

Matching patterns on lace
 The glossary of sewing terms is excellent and there's a really good index to help you find the things you need (and who doesn't need reminding of how to set in a zip from time to time!)

Hand sewing tips

Leave a comment below if you would like to win this book.  It's relatively heavy so only open to people in the UK - sorry!  I am planning a giveaway of my own soon which will be open internationally for everyone!  Please leave me an email so I can contact you if you win.  I'll pick a winner at random from all comments received by 12 noon (GMT) on Friday 7th March.

If you like (but not essential to enter) tell me what your top sewing tip is!

Mine is that you can shorten fabric on the bias by pulling it on either side of the presser foot as you sew.  It's a great way to ease in sleeves without puckers.

Edited to add - if you don't win, you can buy the book from Simplicity directly here!

Giveaway is now closed.  Winner to be announced shortly.


  1. Wow id love to win this :) xxxx

  2. Hi there. Thank you for giveaway the book looks fab. I am a complete newbie as I got the inspiration to start because of the great British sewing bee. Would be really helpful xx

  3. This book looks just what I need. I used to sew when my children were little but then work and life got in the way. I have recently started sewing again with a new basic machine and I love it. Please enter me in your give away. Thanks x

  4. Thank you for the giveaway, I would love to win this!

  5. No tips yet I'm afraid, got back into the sewing game xmas 2012, and haven't sewn huge amounts, time and motivation not always on my side, so any tips are ones I've read on others blogs! so I would love to win this book to up my game a little x

  6. This looks a great book to take me beyond the basics. I don't have many tips, but I find it easier to thread a machine needle if there is something white behind it. If your machine doesn't have a white panel on the shank, try holding a piece of paper behind the needle when threading.

  7. This looks like such a helpful book and I often forget the basics when I'm sewing something complicated and I'm stressed! My top sewing tip is to use tailors chalk to write wrong side on all fabric pieces and a narrow showing which is the top. Esp helpful if fabric is same on both sides and when making princess seamed dresses - easy to mix up pieces!

  8. This looks like a great book - I'd definitely learn a lot from it! My top tip isn't very technical, but I've recently discovered that duvet covers/sheets from charity shops can be a great source of cheap material for making toiles/muslins - provided that they're in decent condition and the material's the right kind of weight of course!

  9. What a generous giveaway! Please count me in! :) I cannot suggest any sewing tips as I consider myself still a beginner, and I am just quitely listening to others...

  10. I use my son's crayons instead of tailors chalk, I always have the right color! :)

  11. Oh, such a lovely idea for a give away. I think my top tip would be to iron your pattern pieces before putting them on fabric, it makes life easier. And subscribing to collete pattern's email list as they do a weekly tip.

  12. ooh - I love a good reference book. If you are handling a fabric which shifts, you can mark a couple of straight grainlines with masking tape, making it easier to keep on grain as you fold and cut.

  13. This is very kind of you Jo!
    My most frequently spoken tip is "measure twice, cut once" I don't know how many times it has gotten me out of trouble!

  14. This looks like a super handy book! I'm really new to sewing so my tip is to find a real life person (in my case my mum) to ask for help


Thanks for your comment - it's great to hear from you!