I am a lapsed sewer. I used to really love sewing, from making and ‘upcycling’ clothes as a teenager, to making quilts and toys when my children were little, but somehow I seem to have let it slip by the wayside, aside from basic repairs and sewing name tags on school uniforms. So to ‘Sew!’ (pocket edition), a new book of sewing projects by Cath Kidston which might just re-ignite the spark.

The bright and colourful book comes in a jacket that holds a needlecase and needles, and templates and a paper pattern sheet that can be used to complete all the forty sewing projects in the book.


Sew (Open)


The projects include aprons, bags, cushions, quilts and toys – all with instructions and illustrated with photographs of the finished items in Cath Kidston material. The book also contains and introductory section with advice on essential equipment and the various sewing techniques needed to undertake the projects. I found this section very useful as a refresher, and also thought it would be great for beginners, as so many children are not taught to sew beyond very basic stitches in school these days, something I think is a real shame.

For the purposes of this review, I thought I would make the ‘Stanley Toy’ (pp. 102-103), one of the smallest projects in the book and stitched completely by hand (all the other projects are for sewing machine). And then I encountered my first problem when I went to choose material for the toy.



None of the scraps of material I had seemed right, and when I went to the local fabric shop, I couldn’t find anything I thought suitable either. Then I realised that you really need to buy into the whole Cath Kidston aesthetic with this book. I duly came home and sourced the recommended ‘Stanley’ and ‘Blue Mini Dot’ Cath Kidston fabric on the internet, and will make Stanley when these arrive.


The projects are written in clear language, on one or at the most two pages per project, which makes them seem undaunting and achievable. It would make a perfect present, and if you would like to fill your home with patchwork quilts, and appliqued birds and hearts on floral aprons, cushions, teatowels and more, with the satisfation that you have made them all yourself, then this book is for you.


It’s all a little bit twee for me I’m afraid, but I will make Stanley when the material arrives, and report back. Who knows, I might even be tempted to make an egg cosy (do people really use these?).


Sew! – pocket edition, is published by Quadrille on 18 February 2011. Thanks to Quadrille for sending me this review copy.


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