Stitch at Home by Mandy Shaw: A Review

This was one of the Christmas presents that I got, and a few people said they would be interested in reading a review of it. I apologise now for the quality of the photos, all of the bulbs are going in my house and it is impossible to find a room light enough! I haven’t made anything from the book yet but once I have I will link it back to the review.

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Author: Mandy Shaw
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts, Sewing, Quilting
First Published: 2012
Pages: 128

In fell in love with this book when I was leafing through it at work. I loved the pastel colours and vintage designs. It went straight onto my Christmas list then! I’m definitely not disappointed with it!

While the cover boasts over 20 handmade projects, only 19 are actually outlined in the book but alternative projects are also suggested. However, even though there aren’t as many projects as it states, the projects in the book are often large and detailed, which makes up for the shortage. 19 projects is also pretty generous for a craft book which only costs £14.99.

The book opens with an introduction and an outline of the stitches that you will need to use. What struck me about this book was the fact that it clearly outline the stitches for both right and left handed people – something that I don’t often come across in craft books.

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Stitch Instructions

After the instructions, you go on to the projects. The projects are divided into nine sections; home, tea time, sewing, pets, beach, village, garden, house and Christmas. Each of these sections contains one, two or three projects. Each project has a brief introduction about what inspired it, a detailed list of materials and then a numbered list of instructions. The instructions are sub-divided into stages e.g. the ‘Union Jack Tea Cosy’ is broken down into ‘make the front and back,’ join the front and back,’ ‘make the lining’ and ‘bind and finish’. This appears helpful to allow the reader to know exactly what piece they are doing at that moment, as well as demonstrating ideal places to stop if you do not have enough time to complete the project.

Here are a few of my favourite projects:

Place Setting Tablecloth

Place Setting Tablecloth

Beach Bag

Beach Bag

Village Patchwork Quilt

Village Patchwork Quilt

The only problem I have had with this book is that all of the projects seem pretty advanced, rather than providing a range for all abilities. However, the stitches are explained incredibly clearly and the instructions are broken down into really simple steps so even though the projects look intimidating, they might not be as daunting as they seem. A more advanced stitcher would have no problem with these, but as an absolute beginner I think I will have to tackle a few simpler projects first. The other thing that is intimidating is the list of materials needed. For a regular stitcher with a stash, they may have some of the materials needed but for someone like me who is just starting out, it would involve spending a lot before I could even get started.

Overall, I am really happy with the book and I can’t wait to get started on the projects. They are a beautifully detailed and clearly explained but may possibly be designed for a slightly more advanced stitcher. Nevertheless I will be attempting some of the projects as soon as I can afford the supplies. I’m really glad that I have this book in my collection and I’m sure, when I have more experience, I will be making almost every project in the book!

My favourite project that I can’t wait to get started on is this one:

Sewing Machine Cover

Sewing Machine Cover

Rating: 9/10
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