Wednesday, 24 November 2010

book review:: make it perfect

make it perfect

penguin australia sent me an advance copy of toni coward's book "make it perfect" to review last month and i have to say*, this is one good sewing pattern book. there are over twenty multi-size patterns provided (with detailed instructions) and they include both children's and women's projects, which i dig. the intro section has handy tips and techniques for beginner sewers or those with a fear of zippers, like myself, plus it has lots of patterns that are actually useful - cute skirts for women and girls, kid's pajama bottoms and basic kid's pants and shorts - and some really interesting ones, like house slippers, a girl's cape and a women's jacket.

i used the Snug as a Bug PJ pattern to sew mae some quick, lightweight summer pj bottoms out of a vintage sheet and have plans to make many, many more. it's a great, simple pattern with a nice shape and these were super fast to make. i made a size 3 so mae has plenty of room to grow into them over the long, hot summer.

make it perfect


new pj bottoms


i definitely want to make the amour skirt for myself once i shed my last chunk of baby weight (ahem, if i can stop eating leftover canadian halloween candy that my sister brought with her).

make it perfect


and this skirt is so beyond cute. it is hard to tell from this photo but it has these interesting overlapping tiers that make it extra sweet. definitely one for maesey in the cards...

make it perfect



make it perfect should be hitting the book shops this week or you can order a signed copy here and i'm pleased to say that i have an extra one to give away! simply leave a comment on this post telling me what you look for in a sewing book and i will use a random number generator to choose one lucky winner  monday, november 29th (open to international readers, too).

 make it perfect

make it perfect

make it perfect


*i mean, i don't actually HAVE to say that this is a good book. penguin was very good about sending it to me and then emailing me a few days later to see if it would, in fact, be something i would be happy to review and i was happy to say yes, indeed. i would never promote something that i wouldn't buy and use myself and i would recommend this book for beginner and intermediate sewers even if i hadn't been sent a free copy. but i'm pretty pleased that i was : )

61 comments:

  1. What do i look for in a sewing book? Simple and easy to follow instructions - sound slike this is just the ticket too! Loving that dear little layered skirt!

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  2. Patterns that suit a variety of body shapes and are easy to follow - and a patterns that are easyto just cut out (not that I don't love the multi coloured japanese jumbles - but you know in an ideal world!)

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  3. I need to have patterns that just have to be cut out. I have another sewing/pattern book (Twinkle Sews) which I absolutely love but the patterns have to be printed and sticky taped together and each pattern has about 50+ pages to print - eeeeekkkkk! Needless to say I have only attempted 1 pattern. This book looks fab and I love Mae's new haircut - she's looking all grown up.

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  4. as a beginner sewer, with a toddler, one on the way and an increasing bump would love to add to my sewing book collection :)

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  5. I look for clear, simple instructions on uncomplicated patterns! That skirt is gorgeous! Looks like a great book.

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  7. ooo, it looks lovely! I looks for cute design that don't look too hard for a beginner sewer. With a belly babe on the way a book with patterns for women and children is pretty tempting :)

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  8. Oh my goodness. What a lovely looking book. The projects have sucked me in. I want to make shoes. I like books with clear and easy diagrams. I guess I am quite a visual person. Thanks for hosting such a cool give away!

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  9. In an ideal world my perfect sewing book would have the styling and trend setting garments of Ottobre and Japanese sewing books etc with the ease of the big brand pattern companies tissue patterns that you just pin and cut out. No tracing and adding allowances. Sew and go! I have made a few Make It Perfect patterns so I'm interested in seeing the book in person.

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  10. I'm glad you would recommend it for a beginner - it's on my Christmas wish list!

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  11. Clare2:25 pm

    Ooh I was admiring this book online last night, how timely!

    I look for pretty pictures and simple instructions!! (Hmm, what does that say about me?!)

    Thanks for the review and chance to win :)

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  12. Easy to follow instructions are #1! I don't consider myself a beginner in terms of sewing, but zippers still defy me time and time again! Still looking for a decent explanation!

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  13. The main thing that would attract me to a sewing book would be easy to follow instructions.
    The next would be clean, modern images. Up until recently I have found a lot of sewing books very ancient and dare I say it "daggy" pictures.
    And what a bonus to have ladies and children's clothes together in one book. Fab idea.

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  14. Before I buy a pattern book there needs to be at least 2 projects I want to make straight away. Thanks for doing the review- this will definitely go on my Christmas list!

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  15. Love Mae's PJ's - very cute.
    I look for simple, simple, simple & I do like the japanese sewing books.

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  16. Clear instructions and lots of pictures, I'm a really visual learner!
    Simple cute patterns too.

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  17. Inspiring photographs are an absolute must. Helpful tips never go astray, everyone can learn a new trick. Straightforward and easy to understand? Ticks all the boxes.
    I am so looking forward to sewing up a storm when the dust settles from Christmas. This looks like just the answer!

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  18. Clear easy instructions and multi-sized patterns would be my things to look for. This looks awesome! Thanks for the chance to win!

    Ps love Mae's pants x

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  19. I look for inspiring photos and at least three projects I want to try out. This book looks like lots of fun!

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  20. Projects that will teach me something new and that are things we will actually wear or use. Good photos always help! I'm looking forward to seeing this one in the flesh.

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  21. I love a sewing book with inspiring pictures, clear instructions and a good variety of projects which seem to be all included in the lovely book you are giving away :)

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  22. I love a sewing book with great pictures and easy-to-follow instructions, preferably with pictures... this look like a good one!!!

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  23. Any woman with kids, looking to sew them clothes, wants simple, quick patterns that not only are easy enough to make, but end up looking store-bought. And patterns that are essentials are wonderful. PJs, Play pants, summer dresses, hats etc. All the things they grow out of quickly. You also want a book that has a little something in there for mumma too. Something pretty. Something that makes you feel attractive again. This book sounds like it ticks all the boxes :)

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  24. shimrit7:49 pm

    hi. simple and understandable instructions, and of course a variety of sizes.
    thank you for this chance to win.
    shimrit
    sgazit@gmail.com

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  25. shimrit7:49 pm

    hi. simple and understandable instructions, and of course a variety of sizes.
    thank you for this chance to win.
    shimrit
    sgazit@gmail.com

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  26. Mae looks really cute in her pjs!
    Now, what I am looking for in a sewing book are clear instructions with good pictures and most of all - inspiration!
    Thank you for having this giveaway!

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  27. Mae looks very happy in her new pjs!

    What I look for:
    -clear instructions
    -quick and easy due to my beginner/short attention span/baby to chase after/job to go to status
    - and preferably (but not essential) something for boys. just one thing. that isn't daggy or too preppy.

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  28. I like the idea that it's quick sewing - that is me these days. I also like the look of that skirt. I have a similar one that has smocking at the top part, I love it and it hides a lot of sins!

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  29. I like sewing books that give achievable goals! Not too complicated and room for creativity. :D

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  30. it looks fabulous! I would look for appealing designs, beautiful photos, and clear instructions.
    Thanks for the great review!

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  31. I look for something that is straightforward and clear and not too fussy - clothes that will be worn rather than saved for the very occasional 'best dress' day. This looks great.

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  32. Great review and so many cute outfits to make for your girls. I can't wait to get a copy of this book. Toni has done a fantastic job.

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  33. It looks great and I love those little pj's! I always like useful and simple projects in a sewing book (and cute too!). Well done to Toni.

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  34. Definitely a cape. It's a must.

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  35. Looks very appealing ...

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  36. This books looks really cute and so does Mae in her new pajamas.

    I look for enough patterns to make it worthwhile and this one looks sure to please. Also, clear directions and a nice overall design.
    Thanks for the chance.
    x
    Nancy

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  37. Night Owl4:12 am

    I dont actually own a proper sewing book yet,I have looked at a few but as a total utter beginner I was a tad overwhelmed, this book though looks welcoming with its great photos and simple instructions. Deft on the chrissy wish list thanks hubby!

    ps. how are my little bloomers coming along :) congrats on the recent shop sales by the way, we deft need a playdate soon x yikes is it really that time...off to bed!

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  38. Oh this book is what I have been looking for. Sounds great!

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  39. What I look for?

    I want to feel that it will last longer and give more inspiration than a magazine. :-)

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  40. practical and stylish designs, simple instructions, clear pictures... inspiration!
    Thanks!

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  41. Hey Leslie. Love Mae's little pj pants! I look for a sewing book that has that beginner section at the front. Any book that can demystify zippers is a winner in my books! x

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  42. I look for instructions I can understand- I'm not good at visualising other people's words! I would love to make the Amour skirt too!
    Thanks!

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  43. sallyd11:23 am

    what do i look for in a sewing book? well simple instructions (i am a beginner), cute pictures (got to know what i'm trying to make) and at least 2-3 projects that i want to make.. this book seems to fit those & this book has just jumped to the top of christmas list..
    thank you for the chance to win one.. and your little girl looks very cute & comfortable in those little pants (would you say that they are easy to make?)

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  44. I look for clear instructions and cute patterns of course! And recommended by you is an extra bonus!

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  45. Looks like a good one. I look for simple, clear instructions, lots of diagrams/pictures, full sized patterns (I never get around to photocopying to enlarge patterns), multiple sizes and a few projects I can see the kids/myself actually wearing.

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  46. Anonymous9:44 am

    Sensible instructions and clothes I would actually want to wear are my essentials for patterns. Kath. kathandtim78(at)bigpond(dot)com

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  47. When I'm buying sewing pattern books I look for easy, clear instructions (if the have step by step pictures that's brilliant!) and designs that are practical as well and stylish :-) I like to find something that I can't make myself without a pattern, and something that is a little bit different, that I couldn't find a pattern for easily somewhere else :-) I have used several Make It Perfect patterns and they are brilliant! :-)

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  48. Louise8:35 pm

    I need a book that's very easy for beginners. I love the look of everything in the photo's. I'm not a very confident sewer but I'd love to do more.
    The cape looks beautiful and with a little girl on the way I'd love to give that a try.

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  49. i look for pretty pictures and nice, clean lines - in the finished garments and in the paper patterns included. and it needs to be inspirational, a little bit challenging, something i've not tried before.
    and anything with capes in it is a winner!

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  50. Rocking patterns and simple easy to understand instructions for the sewing challenged!

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  51. In a sewing book I look for
    1. clear instructions

    2. patterns for items that look stylish and simple to sew, with additional flourishes to make it individual. If ppatterns are too simple it kinda defeats the purpose of buying the book.

    3. tips and advice on making the patterns your own through personalising with embellishments etc, not merely a step-by-step to sewing projects in the book.

    4. inspiring photos are a must :)

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  52. I look for patterns pieces that are easy to use and at least 3 things in the book that I'd like to make (even if I never actually get around to making half of them)!
    That cape is seriously cute, and I really like the slippers too - how cute would they be for a little girls sleep over party :)

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  53. Amanda11:00 am

    I look for easy patterns with both children and adult sizes, so this book would be perfect for me!

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  54. frances3:11 pm

    this is such a great giveaway, thank you!
    things I look for in a sewing book are easy to follow instructions, beautiful photography, and the patterns made up in fabric that makes me feel "I need to make that now!".

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  55. I look for patterns that I can finish in a reasonable amount of time, but that also look like "real" clothes that my kids want to wear. So many designs are just too much, even for my girl girls, and aren't very wearable. This book looks like stuff my hooligans would love! Plus, not sure when it'll come out in the States.

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  56. I love patterns that are versatile, look great in lots of different types of fabrics and easy for a VERY busy Mama to complete with one hand while are littlies hanging off me! ;)

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  57. Claire White11:25 pm

    I like new and interesting patterns that can be sewn up quickly. Fingers crossed for this one!

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  58. It looks lovely! I usually look for pretty things I REALLY want to make as a starting point. Then go through the list: Well photographed? full sized patterns? clear instructions? I do like my sewing books to be pretty! :)

    claire@paynedesign.co.uk

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  59. Step by step instructions are great and pictures to accompany some of the instructions.

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  60. Beautiful book, and oh my gosh that girl of yours is growing up!

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  61. I look for simple easy to follow instructions... illustrations that show you the details... and gorgeous photos! Thanks so much!

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