Books Review & GiveAway Simple Crochet and Simple Sewing

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

Simple Crochet by Sara Sinaguglia, published by Mitchell Beazley, £16.99

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 Рthey 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

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 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!


2 Responses to 5 Rather Good Projects for Buttons

  1. christine morris says:

    Happy 3rd birthday, I am a fairly new member. My neighbour gave me a copy of crafts beautiful in may this year and I fell in love with your Luna rabbit. I made one exactly the same to give to my 33 year old daughter, who loves her to bits. I have made one for myself since. I love your site and all your news, you have been most helpful when I have made contact. Hope to see you at yarndale in September. Keep up the good work you are truly an inspiration
    Christine Morris Todmorden.

    • Sarah says:

      We are glad you all loved Luna, we love her too!
      Looking forward to seeing you at yarndale, its one of the best things about this job meeting those who love Luna as much as we do here.
      Thank you for your kind words.

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