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Thursday 13 May 2010

Book Review: Lovely Things To Make for Girls of Slender Means

Being incredibly inept with sewing, I'm envious of anyone who can get their head around crafty gubbins. Not just because I'd like to answer compliments on my outfit with "This? Oh I made it myself" but because there's an ever-growing pile of clothes in my wardrobe in need of repair. Nothing major - just a hem that needs taking up or a button that needs replacing - but when threading a needle seems more laborious than changing a tyre and WundaWeb is akin to voodoo, it seems easier to put it in the charity bin. Don't even ask me how to operate a sewing machine.

So it was with trepidation that I opened my copy of Lovely Things To Make for Girls of Slender Means by Eithne Farry. In this very pretty book, Farry offers tips on customising clothes and provides instructions on making all manner of garments on the cheap. These range in simplicity from flower headbands and pom-pom scarves to shift dresses and capelets. It all sounds a bit hippy-dippy (sew your own clothes - why not make your own deodorant and dance barefoot whilst you're at it?) but the book covers some seriously desirable bits and bobs. I've got my heart set on making a pair of 'gay abandon knickers' and a 'foraged china necklace' when I get the chance.

But the best thing about Lovely Things To Make... is that Farry breaks everything down for beginners. All sewing vocabulary is explained, as well as the different types of stitching (apparently there's more than one - who knew?) and the equipment you'll need. Even basic moves like sewing a button, measuring your waist and taking up a hem are explained, which is pretty nifty.

That said, seasoned crafters shouldn't dismiss this book as 'Sewing for Beginners' - there's definitely stuff here for women who know their way around a sewing machine. I'd also imagine that Farry's creative suggestions for making the most of well-worn clothes would come in handy. And that's another brilliant thing about Lovely Things To Make.... Reading it fills you with inspiration and ideas. It had me plundering my wardrobe for stuff I could massacre within minutes of starting the book.

So not only is this book very useful, it's a joy to read. Farry's instructions are clear and straight-forward, but sound nothing like a manual. And because it's so gosh-darn pretty, it would make a fantastic gift for the girl of slender means in your life.

Lovely Things To Make for Girls of Slender Means
by Eithne Farry is £8.44 from Amazon.


  1. Thank you thank you thank you - this has gone straight on my Amazon wish-list :D

  2. Glad that you like it! I'm so uncrafty but I'm really looking forward to making some of the things in this book.

  3. This looks like just the thing i need. I've got a bag of old clothes that i won't throw away cos they are pretty and I love them - but they're totally unwearable! Looking forward to modifying / updating some pieces. Ordered my copy today!!

  4. arrived today!! so exciting. it is a lovely book :)


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