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Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes: Short review and giveaway

May 6, 2014


As I’m sure you know, Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons has written a sewing book called ‘Love at First Stitch’ aimed at beginner-level dressmakers, published on Thursday 8th May 2014.  I was fortunate enough to be sent a review copy from Quadrille publishers, and I have pre-ordered my own copy from Amazon, so, lucky for you I have a copy to give away.  Hurray!  There is a catch though – I’m not made of money, more’s the pity, so I can only afford to ship it to UK based people!  Sorry, international readers 😦

Anyway, about the book!  Well, the first impressions are good!  I love the yellow accents throughout the book, it’s bright and stylish and it really stands out from its competitors.  It isn’t sumptuous, dark and moody.  It isn’t a cloying overload of florals and pastel colours.  It isn’t twee.  It just manages to be fresh and appealing, definitely a little French in style, and of course Tilly’s signature colours – red and blue – and her penchant for nautical style, are all featured.  The photography is excellent; tutorials and techniques are demonstrated clearly, and the photos of Tilly modelling her garments are simply stunning.

The great thing about this book is that although it is aimed at beginners, it isn’t a collection of cushion covers, bunting, aprons and table runners.  Instead you get patterns for beautiful clothes that you actually would want to wear.  You don’t have to learn to sew by faffing around making a pointless bolster pillow; start with a stylish head scarf, and if you follow the book through you’ll end up with a pair of pyjama bottoms, two skirts, a blouse and two dresses!  What an incentive to learn to sew!  The aim of the book seems to be to banish procrastination by starting simple and progressing with each project.  It’s almost like a sewing course in a book, and for the RRP of £20 that’s a bargain, especially when you get seven paper patterns included.

If I was new to sewing, this would be exactly the kind of book I would want.  But I am not, so why did I order the book for myself?  There are three main reasons: 1) To support Tilly with her book launch 2) because the patterns included are gorgeous and 3) because I love books.  So, if you like the idea of making clothes, whether or not you already do it or not, you should have a copy of this book!  To win one from me, all you have to do is live in the UK and leave me a comment below, and I’ll choose a winner at random.  You can enter until Tuesday 13th May at 12 noon UK time.  Good luck!

  1. May 6, 2014 11:47 pm

    so glad you mentioned the cushion cover and table runners that are usually found in beginner sewing books. I love Tilly’s site and often use it for reference. This book is a complete bargain as it contains so many useable and customisable patterns and a reference book. Love the idea that the projects get steadily more challenging too. Really looking forward to seeing all the versions made, especially Megan( dress)

  2. Yamie permalink
    May 7, 2014 12:21 am

    I love Tilly’s blog too! This book looks amazing!

  3. May 7, 2014 6:21 am

    Tilly’s book sounds great! I would really love to own one!

  4. Nicola Mcbeath permalink
    May 7, 2014 6:25 am

    The book looks great! I am just learning to sew clothing so I think the book would be a great help and the patterns look amazing too!

  5. Emma permalink
    May 7, 2014 6:26 am

    I’d love a chance to win a copy!!
    Thank you

  6. May 7, 2014 6:48 am

    It’s a great opp to support one of a number of indie designers that are out there – this looks pretty fab!

  7. Sue permalink
    May 7, 2014 7:04 am

    Can’t wait to see the patterns

  8. May 7, 2014 7:07 am

    Oh I am ready to take the plunge and start making things for me to wear so this would be perfect. I’ve been sewing for years it’s time to start sewing for me!

  9. May 7, 2014 7:11 am

    Very excited to get my hands on Tilly’s new book!

  10. May 7, 2014 7:21 am

    Ooh how generous of you – I love all of Tilly’s patterns and this book looks just as yummy!

  11. Jan P permalink
    May 7, 2014 7:21 am

    Inspired….now want to resurrect my sewing skills of years ago!

  12. Tanja permalink
    May 7, 2014 7:21 am

    I’m not new to sewing either, but I love Tilly’s style and am always looking for wearable patterns. I’ve made several Miette skirts and they are just fantastic, simple but with enough of a twist to make you stand out.
    Thank you for your great review 😀 this makes me want to have the book like now!!!!! xx

  13. Katie permalink
    May 7, 2014 7:25 am

    As a beginner dressmaker I love Tilly’s how to sew series so I’m looking forward to more great tutorials in her book. And the patterns look great, stylish yet manageable!

  14. May 7, 2014 7:29 am

    I’ve been following her blog for a while and I love her style and patterns. It will be wonderful to have her book. I shall keep my fingers crossed! Thank you for this giveaway and you generosity!

  15. May 7, 2014 7:30 am

    This book contains a make your own capsule wardrobe..perfect and all with that wonderful retro style..the patterns look fabulous and I love that they start more simple and gradually take you to more advanced sewing skills at the end. I’m already a Tilly convert and made a Coco and a Miette! Kate :))

  16. emma grant permalink
    May 7, 2014 7:33 am

    I have used Tillys blog since I started sewing – sooo helpful, Im sure the book is awesome. X

  17. May 7, 2014 7:35 am

    Oh I’ve been dithering over whether to get this or not. Like you I don’t *need* an absolute beginners book but Tilly’s presentation is gorgeous… I also read somewhere that the patterns address printed on fabric rather than paper – is that true?

  18. May 7, 2014 7:40 am

    I’ve been meaning to start (again) making some clothes for myself but have been too scared to try. Many moons ago I was taught sewing at school and was brave enough to make a few things. When my son was small I made a few summer skirts and even made his summer shorts, with pockets no less! Then I lost my confidence and stuck to knitting. Now I’m ready to try again and Tilly’s patterns and books seem the ideal place to start. So I’m hoping to score a present via your lovely site (failing that I’ll head to my local bookstore and buy one). Now, how do I thread my Mum’s old machine again?

  19. Gemma Parton permalink
    May 7, 2014 7:50 am

    Lovely review. This book sounds fab and having been inspired recently I am looking to learn to sew myself clothes this year. Excited to potentially have a copy of my own. Xx

  20. lisa d permalink
    May 7, 2014 7:50 am

    The dress patterns look fun! Would love to try them 🙂

  21. Vicki permalink
    May 7, 2014 8:00 am

    Hi! I am new to sewing but love at first stitch pretty much sums up my experience so far! Great review too! I’ve been pining over this book since it’s launch!

  22. May 7, 2014 8:12 am

    Tilly has a great way of explaining things so I think this book will be a fantastic resource.

  23. Bethan Rosemary permalink
    May 7, 2014 9:16 am

    Great review! I love Tilly’s blog – it was the reason I first tried out sewing. I am still very much a beginner and dying to learn more so I would love to win!

  24. Vita permalink
    May 7, 2014 10:46 am

    Oh me me me! I’d love a copy of Tilly’s book 🙂 Such a nice change to have clothes patterns to help you learn to sew. Maybe this will get me over my fear…

  25. springystitches permalink
    May 7, 2014 11:07 am

    This is such a kind gesture! I certainly would love to spend hours pouring over Tilly’s new book as she is such a great seamstress and blogger. It is so inspirational for newbies like me to follow others with a fine sense of style and buckets of talent!

  26. May 7, 2014 12:16 pm

    Thanks so much for the giveaway, v generous of you! I really like the look of the Mimi blouse pattern that comes with the book.

  27. May 7, 2014 12:53 pm

    Nice book review! I think this book would be a lovely addition to any sewer’s bookshelf :o)

  28. May 7, 2014 1:48 pm

    The book looks beautiful and the patterns are actually for things I would like to make. I would love to win a copy!

  29. Karen O'Brien permalink
    May 7, 2014 2:07 pm

    Love Tilly’s blog. Can’t wait to see the book. Karen

  30. May 7, 2014 3:49 pm

    Ooeeee I just discovered your blog via this giveaway and I’m so glad I did! I’m new to sewing; I’ve only attempted an elastic waistband skirt and a Colette sorbetto too so far, but I think I’m hooked! This book sounds perfect for me- I can learn on the go and copy Tilly’s fabulous style! Xxx

  31. May 7, 2014 6:42 pm

    I just had a look at the patterns and they are amazing! I would love to win the book 🙂

  32. Jessica R permalink
    May 7, 2014 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway! It would great to have this book – I always have to google so many questions when I’m working on a new project

  33. May 7, 2014 9:13 pm

    I love me a good enjoyable sewing book! But it’s hard to find a good one that’s not just about sewing pillow cases and curtains. And Tilly’s book really sounds as if it would make a great gift for a beginning sewer, too! Would be greeaaat to have this book!

  34. May 7, 2014 9:18 pm

    I like the idea about banning procrastination. As someone who only manages to sew on weekends with the occasional taping and tracing of patterns midweek, being able to get started with a project straight away is something I sometimes struggle with, as I’ve already been planning things too much in my head!
    Thanks for generously hosting this giveaway 🙂

  35. TheLondonMum permalink
    May 8, 2014 11:41 am

    I’m about to embark on the sewing side of life! I’m really excited to start learning. I follow Tilly and her blog and hope it’ll teach me everything I need to know! eeeek!

  36. May 8, 2014 1:06 pm

    It would be lovely to win this book. Thank you for the offer.

  37. marie permalink
    May 8, 2014 10:29 pm

    I’ve tried a Coco so I know her explanations are clear. Would love to try more.

  38. May 9, 2014 9:24 am

    I’ve been trying to decide whether to get this book so your review was really helpful. As you say, it’s good to start with clothes if that’s what you want to make anyway! Fingers crossed for the draw 🙂 Thanks!

  39. May 9, 2014 10:43 am

    I am so pleased to have found your brilliant blog, as i am looking forward to following with great interest!!
    I would LOVE to be entered for the AMAZING giveaway, as it sounds like a fantastic prize 🙂
    My email is – lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk
    Thank you x

  40. Mary permalink
    May 9, 2014 12:54 pm

    I love the look of this book, would love to win it.

  41. May 9, 2014 2:13 pm

    I’d love to win a copy of the book, what a great giveaway, thanks for organising x

  42. mairi permalink
    May 10, 2014 11:55 am

    Love the look of this book it’s like a blast from the past.

  43. May 10, 2014 7:45 pm

    Lovely review thank you! Please pop my name in your hat – I would love this book to add to my shelf of inspiration!

  44. May 11, 2014 7:49 am

    Thanks for the giveaway and review. I would love a copy of this book, the patterns are great!

  45. May 11, 2014 6:58 pm

    I’d love to win a copy! I definitely consider myself a beginner and with limited time to sew this sounds like an excellent approach.
    Thankyou for doing a giveaway 🙂

  46. May 12, 2014 10:28 am

    Obviously would love to win this 😉 not bought it yet because I’ve just been on holiday and can’t justify the £20 pricetag…. wahhh!


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