Thanks, everyone for your responses – this competition is now closed
Kickstart your handmade Christmas by taking inspiration from these two new titles, from the Creative Makers series, published by Octopus Press. See the end of this post for details of how to win these books.
Simple Crochet by Sara Sinaguglia has over 30 charming vintage style projects. The author, Sara, has¬†a¬†background¬†in¬†design,¬†interiors¬†and¬†antiques. Sara¬†stumbled¬†on¬†crochet¬†when¬†she¬†moved¬†from¬†London¬†to¬†the¬†country.¬†Her¬†apple cosies (featured in this book) were¬†featured¬†on¬†the¬†front¬†cover¬†of¬†the¬†sell‚Äźout¬†first¬†issue¬†of¬†hot¬†new¬†craft¬†magazine,
Mollie¬†Makes, and caused some ¬†hilarious debate over the value of crafting when featured in the Guardian.¬†Sara¬†now¬†sells¬†via¬†etsy¬†and¬†teaches¬†crochet¬†workshops, whilst also writing¬†the¬†blog¬†onechurchillsgreen.typepad.com
Simple Crochet by Sara Sinaguglia, published by Mitchell Beazley, ¬£16.99¬†www.octopus-books.co.uk
The book is beautifully produced with gorgeous styling and photography, but it is the strength and individuality of the projects that make this book a keeper. So many books churn out variations on a theme, but I would consider many of these to be unique and innovative, and if not, for example, the granny square blanket¬†– they are crochet projects that the book would be incomplete without.
Simple¬†Crochet¬†starts¬†with¬†the¬†very¬†basics¬†of¬†crochet,¬†guiding¬†you¬†through the techniques of crochet comprehensively and clearly, delivering the techniques required to complete the projects¬†with¬†step¬†by¬†step¬†pictures¬†of¬†the¬†stitches.
My personal favourites are the scalloped shelf edging, wrist warmers, a fantastic leather steering wheel cover and the crochet edged linen napkins.
I think that a novice crocheter would feel inspired and confident enough to try crochet having read the book. A more experienced crocheter can skip the ‘how to’ and enjoy some contemporary takes on vintage style items. A number of the projects involve fabric and stitching, which for me is a bonus.
Simple Sewing with Lola Nova by Alexandra Smith has 25 stylish and approachable sewing projects.¬†Celebrated craft blogger¬†Alexandra Smith, AKA Lola Nova, has created the perfect sewing book for the new crafternooner. Alexandra¬†is a self-taught seamstress and designer and her work and tutorials are now a regular part of Mollie Makes magazine.
Simple Sewing by Alexandra Smith, published by Mitchell Beazley, ¬£16.99¬†www.octopus-books.co.uk
Again, amazing photography, styling, type setting, use of colour, great feeling paper….The book is arranged into chapters on Boho, Vintage, Natural, Eclectic and Whimsy,¬†encourages the use of upcycled materials, and for each project there are step-by-step instructions to guide the beginner through the making process.
There is a useful summary of essential sewing kit, and a very brave chapter on simple pattern drafting – we spend a lot of time demystifying the pattern cutting process with class members at CoolCrafting. And the book is worth having for the beautiful animal templates alone.
My favourite projects? The Skipping Skirt goes to the top of the list, the Summer Tent is just fab and I love the Little Joy Dress and the Lola Handbag.
There is a lot to love about Simple Sewing. An experienced stitcher might find themselves doing things their way, but for inspiration, those templates, and for someone about to start their creative path, this is a lovely book to own and reference.
Fantastic news for our readers, we are giving away 5 copies of each of these fabulous books. All you need to do is send us an email with the relevant book title as the subject to email@example.com and you will be entered into the draw. Please include your name and address in the main body of the email.
You will also go onto our monthly email subscription. If you do not wish to be included on our mailing list please say NO in the main body of the email. We respect your privacy and will not pass on your details to any third party.
Emails must be received by midnight on Wednesday, 12th September and the winners will be drawn at random. We will contact the the winners by email on Friday, 14th September and the books will be sent directly to the winners by Octopus. Good Luck!