I am a huge Liberty fan, and if I had to live in a shop happily for the rest of my life, it would be Liberty. With hopes and ambitions of one day producing an Everything Alice Liberty fabric, styling the next book or window, you can safely say I have a certain bias when it comes to this brand. So when I was offered a pre-release copy of the brand new Liberty Book of Home Sewing, surprisingly their first ever book (proving the new popularity of craft!) I jumped at the chance to do a practical review, ie make something from the book to test it a bit!
On first glance, ( and I love a good hardback coffee-table book) the page design was lovely and clear, the use of the Liberty Lawn throughout looks great & the photos hold the moody, rich sophistication of the fabrics. I also really liked the retro style watercolour illustration, which reminded me of the 1970s arts and crafts books I used to read as a kid, practical and clear, jolly good.
This book is a bit like a catalogue, I wanted to own pretty much most of the things in it, which meant owning the fabric too: There is a reference guide in the back which is good to know.
Now I know this sounds ridiculous, but before this book, I haven't been in to buy their fabrics before, so I decided to pay the store a visit. The fabric room was full of gorgeous prints, bubbling ladies from Surrey and Korean art students. I only had a limited amount of time, which was a bit of a mistake, as there was so much choice I could have been in there a good hour, even to buy 3 fabrics! I had had a look through the book before I went and decided on my project, the Round Cushion.
Funnily enough there was a little display of the book, and examples of the Round Cushion laid out on top (which looked decidedly smaller than the one in the picture... unless the chair is for small people?). I decided I needed to use brighter fabrics than the ones used in the book, as I was planning to brighten up a chair in my dressing room. So I went for the below. One of which I realised later on was a Hello Kitty print, which I didn't even notice when I was buying it! There is also a rule that you must buy 50cms minimum, which was a bit annoying as when I glanced at the You Will Need of the pattern before I went out, it only said I needed 30cms of each fabric, but many places have that rule. The fabric is £21 per meter, which isnt cheap, but of course you can use less-dear printed fabrics for these projects, my big question would be would they look as good?
I had pre ordered my round cushion online so when I got home I was ready to go. It ended up that the 50cm minimum was a god-send, as when I read the Cutting Out section, it explained I needed to cut out 4 x 14cm/54cms sections from each fabric, as the prints on the fabrics work lengthways its not ideal to cut sections out the wrong way. I then noticed a section at the bottom of the page which explains exactly this, but I had missed it. I think I am so used to just reading the You Will Need I don't really read the rest, so this is much advised for this book, read everything about your project before you go shopping for it! Ideally I would have bought 54cm of each, but the 50cms I bought worked fine as my cushions were slightly smaller than the recommended size.
The instructions were really clear and easy to follow, and had a great Taking It Further section which just gave additional ideas of how to use the patterns. CLICK HERE FOR INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ROUND CUSHION PROJECT.
Overall its a lovely book, its great for sewing basics such as The Eco-Shopper bag to more complicated projects like the Kimono; it pretty much has something for everyone. It would make a great gift or purchase for someone who loves Liberty and wants to learn how to make some of their products. Buy below from Amazon.