There are so many new sewing books being launched right now, in fact just this week I received my copy of Work to Weekend by Rachel Pinheiro and after a quick flick through I have to say it looks pretty good. But today, I am here to review a book that was released in January – Sewing Basics for Every Body by Wendy Ward.
I already owned Wendy Wards last book on knit fabrics and really love the care and detail that went into it so as soon as I heard about her new book I jumped straight online to pre-order and I have to say it didn’t disappoint.
For a lot of us when we first start sewing we focus on outfits and garments for special occasions, after all, if we are going to put all that effort into making something it has to be outstanding and a one-of-a-kind celebration piece? Wrong. Those are the pieces that get worn once and then languish at the back of our wardrobes never to be worn again. This book celebrates the realisation that a lot of sewers make when they have a few “special” garments under their belt and they decide that if they are going to make their own clothes they want them to be seen and worn every single day. The garments in this book are all good quality everyday basics that can be mixed and matched to create an everyday wardrobe.
One thing I absolutely adore about this book is that these clothes can be made to suit anybody. I don’t just mean in terms of the style which can be mixed and matched with different fabrics, colours, textures and prints to suit your individual style. Actually, these clothes are also designed to suit any size or shape!
The projects in this book aren’t designed with men or women in mind, but with both, either, and neither. This is simply a book of clothes for people, people of all sizes, ages, genders, because good quality clothes that you can make for yourself shouldnt be restricted to just one narrow group.
It is this philosophy that makes this book stand out from all the other sewing books out there – you are given the freedom to choose and make whatever clothes you want irrespective of your size or shape. There is a lot of debate at the moment in the sewing community at the moment about inclusivity and this book goes some way to addressing not only that but also celebrates diversity of all kinds (you only have to take a look at som of models used in this book to see what I mean). Wendy’s instructions guide you step-by-step in how to adjust the pattern for a number of different needs including lengthening and shortening, grading and bust adjustments.
So, onto the patterns: as the book focusses on basics you would be forgiven for thinking there would be not much to see here, but actually, the beauty comes in the number of variations shown for each pattern. By showcasing how you can take one simple pattern, say the Felix sweatshirt and taking you through a number of variation (tunic, hoodie and jacket) you quickly realise that the possibilities are endless.
I decided to keep it simple for my first make from this book and opted to make a simple black sweatshirt, sticking to the basic pattern. I started with the smallest size (32-34″) based on my upper bust measurement (34″) and graded out to a 36-38″ at the hip. I shortened the bodice by 1″ and the sleeves by 1.5″. I then did a bust adjustment following the detailed instructions to add 3″ across the bust (1.5″ on each side).
The construction was super easy and the instructions were really clear. Before adding the cuffs and the waistband I tried it on and shortened the bodice a bit more (taking more off the front than the back as for me the length added during the bust adjustment was too much).
All in all, I really love this book and my new sweatshirt is a perfect everyday addition to my wardrobe. It is super comfy made up in a black Ponte Roma and I am sure it will get lots of wear.
Have you sewn bought Wendy’s book? What did you think of it?
p.s. to keep up with my latest makes you can follow along on Instagram
I bought this book myself and all views are my own.
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