Sewn with love by Rebekah

Sun Aug 9 Back to Blog Home

Review of The Great British Sewing Bee Book and My Makes so far

When I first saw The Great British Sewing Bee Book - Sustainable Style I was very excited! But before I made the purchase I wanted to find out more about the book. The book is written by Caroline Akselson and Alexandra Bruce so I watched a video by Alexandra discussing the book and the different projects in it. Click here to watch it. After watching it I was totally sold and ordered it through SoSewDressmaking's Amazon Storefront here. Just click into the Books section and you'll find it there. It doesn't cost any extra to order through Sharlene's Amazon Storefront but she will earn a little commission from the sale. We all love to support each other don't we. 

Overview of the book, patterns and box

How cute is this dress

It arrived pretty quickly as I ordered it on our Prime account. I always love the fresh smell of a new book. The GBSB book comes packaged in an illustrated cardboard box. The box was designed with the thought that you can store your traced patterns in this, such a wonderful idea. Inside the box then is the book and the full size patterns. This book is jammed packed with patterns and projects, you will not be disappointed! The book feels so high quality and it is printed in matt making it a delight to read through.

If you're new to sewing or want to refresh your sewing skills this book is great for that. Before delving into the patterns, the book first talks about what sewing kit you need. Even if you have an extensive sewing kit you might get some more ideas to add to your kit. There are also sections discussing fabrics, sizing and sustainable sewing. In the sustainable sewing section it explains a number of sustainable fabric options. I particularly like this to help me make more informed fabric purchases. 

There are 12 patterns in this book each with variations. There are also transformation projects, sections on mending and more! I won't tell you all the patterns, but I will tell you some of my favourites and some plans I have...which will be hard because I love the whole book. 

First pattern of the book and one of the patterns I have cut out is the Pussybow Blouse. It has beautiful bound keyhole openings at the wrists. I also love the gathered sleeves, and the front bow. Who doesn't love a bow?! I'm planning to make mine in a beautiful dusty blue floral crepe from Elizabeth Rose NI near Armagh, it's part of Woodview Garden Centre. Throughout the book there are also special technique sections, the first one is 'working with delicate fabrics'.

One of my favourite features of this book are the transformation projects. I'm planning to make Robert the denim apron from this book from an old pair of jeans. Another of the transformation projects I love is the Scraps Jacket. I made this recently and plan to do a full blog post about this soon. I really loved the experience of making it and it felt great using offcuts from previous projects.

Excited to show you mine

Stunning Collarless Coat

Something else I would love to give a go is the Dress Bag, I have some special garments I would like to store in a dress bag to keep them good. 

It's also time I get looking around the charity shops to find a tablecloth to make myself the Tablecloth Dress! 

There really is a pattern for all occasions and seasons. The Carnaby Coat is everything you could want in a winter coat. It could also be made for a Spring coat too, just depends on your fabric. As described in the book it is the ultimate work to weekend coat, a timeless staple that will never go out of style. It features big faux buttons down the centre, flat collar and deep retro style pockets. I'm planning to make my version for the Minerva blog in a gorgeous mustard teddy bear coating fabric. Now to decide what lining fabric to use, I'm thinking of a nice print to stand out on the inside. There's also the option for a collarless coat which would make a super stylish jacket. I have a stunning jacquard fabric from Selvedge and Bolts coming originally produced in France, ahhhh I can just see it now!

There's also a few patterns for men in this book including flared/straight trousers, linen jacket and bomber jacket. I would love to give the straight trousers a go for Robert. For the bomber jacket, there is also a cropped version for the ladies. I'm planning to make the cropped version in a minty birdy floral scuba fabric with pink ribbing. 

Planning to make Robert these...maybe 2022

Love this jumpsuit pattern

One of my next favourite patterns from the book is the jumpsuit. This is one of the patterns that sold the book to me. It's the perfect staple for your wardrobe. The Sewing Bee book suggests making it in denim for a weekend look or bamboo silk for a more dressed up look. I just love the idea of having a denim jumpsuit, it also has a boilersuit feel to it. 

I got a beautiful light denim twill from 1st for Fabrics, it had a little stretch to it. It was so nice to sew with and just as nice to wear. I sewed it with a stretch needle seeing it had a little stretch to it. As with all the patterns in the book, the instructions are very thorough and well explained. All the steps were very straightforward and easy to understand. The main thing I struggled with was the rise of the trousers and depth of the crotch. I think next time I make this I will adjust the crotch length by making it shorter and longer leg length. Instead of using buttons for my jumpsuit I decided to use silver poppers, so delighted how these look on my jumpsuit and make it easy for feeding Henry.

This fabric was from 1st for Fabrics

Paired with my Pink Coat Club Hairband and Ditsy Little Necklace

Overall I am very happy with this book, there are patterns for everyone I think and for all seasons and occasions. With a mix of tops, trousers, dresses, a coat and jumpsuit there is great variety. Along with the patterns for men. Aside from the patterns, it's great to have a sewing book focused on sustainability. 

Thanks for reading and don't forget to keep an eye out for my blog about the Scraps Jacket I have made from this book. 

Rebekah x

Keyword: Dressmaking 

ref: 19 | Review of The Great British Sewing Bee Book and My Makes so far