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Sewing Book Review: Sewing Basics for Every Body by Wendy Ward

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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HsHandcrafts reviews Sewing Basics for Everybody by Wendy Ward

TSewing Basics for Everybody - reviewed by HsHandcrafts

Book Review: Sewing Basics for Everybody by Wendy Ward

Birthday Goodies

Not only was this weekend a long one with two bank holidays at either end it was also my birthday! This meant I didn’t have to feel quite so guilty about spending the whole time crafting!

The first three days of the four day weekend I was bundled up with a cold – the perfect excuse to not go anywhere and just lay around all day doing bits and pieces of knitting and crochet when I had the energy.

Luckily for me though, yesterday I felt much better which meant I was able to fully enjoy my birthday!

I got some lovely crafty gifts too which I wanted to share with you today.

Firstly this amazing book which I had asked for but wasn’t sure if my hinting had been noticed! After a quick flick through yesterday I can tell that it is one I will read from cover to cover a few times as well as dipping in and out of it as and when as a reference book. the writing style is amazing and I feel like the author is right there with me as I read it telling me little funny stories about knitting. So much better than I could have ever hoped for – and I cant wait to get stuck in!

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I also got myself a little present – a set of pompom makers. I really love a bobble hat but when it comes down to it making pompoms can be a bit of a chore and reminds me a little too much of summer play schemes! These things are amazing though I had a little try yesterday and was amazed with the speed at which I could whip up a pom pom and not just a little weedy one either! I should buy myself presents more often!

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We also went into town yesterday and as it was my birthday I couldn’t bypass tiger without buying just one ball of yarn. As I have been really good lately and not added any more to my stash I allowed myself the luxury but decided it could only be ONE ball. But which colour to choose? and then I saw this one and realised I didn’t have to choose just one colour when I could have them all in this one glorious ball!

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