Monday, 23 May 2016

Are the Great British Sewing Bee Books Worth The Money?

Very often I see bloggers posting about the latest releases of the Great British Sewing Bee books. But after thinking about the latest release I started to wonder if these books were actually worth the money we spend on them? Very often I follow the blog book tours, see bloggers make an item and then I never really see the books being used again [I'm not saying all bloggers do this, but it did get me thinking about other people and whether they use them]

So I've decided to review what I've made from the books and try and work out if they are worth buying!
So I best start off with the first book! which I don't own! well that was quick! [I also don't plan on buying it, the patterns have to be printed off not traced and I heard it was a bit naff projects wise, that said if I see it in a charity shop I might have a cheeky purchase]

Instead I started my GBSB book journey with the book from the second series, sew your own wardrobe!

Now at first I didn't think I'd used this a lot until I took a gander through the old blog archives! And I've made 14 things from this book! [the child's dungarees I made are not pictured!]

From left to right

Tunic top, tunic dress, pencil skirt hack, pencil skirt, pencil skirt

This is still my go to pencil skirt pattern, the fit is awesome and I love how easy it is to add my own features!

And I still think about this tunic top whenever I want to make a comfy dress! Sadly I lost the skull print dress to the great bleach incident of 2015, insert sad face here!

But I think I got the most mileage ot of the princess seam bodice! this is used for two projects in the book and I love it! I have finally got the fit just right!!!!!! 

gingahm and lace dress, knit dress, leather insert dress, Pansy dress, and wrap skirt [this is a hack of the pencil skirt.

Vintage princess seam dress, flower dress, velvet dress.

So I'd say that was pretty good value! and I still have a few things I'd like to make from it, like the bowling shirt and the box pleat skirt! And maybe the leggings, maybe......

Now onto book three!

Surprisingly I made less from this book, maybe because by now I have a bunch of patterns that I love so I use those instead? or maybe because I haven't had it as long? 

Anyway I've used the corset bodice three times so that was well worth tracing, and I made the sleeveless top once, which was meh, I'm going to remake this at some point in a larger size and do the button back version.

I used the blouse pattern twice, once for one with a collar and once for the pussy bow one, which I omitted the sleeves on. And I used the cami top pattern twice once as a top and once as the starting point for a dress.

So I've made less in this book but I do still want to have a go at the walkaway dress, and the comfy trousers. But its a case of finding the right fabric for both.

so do I think they are worth buying?

I think it depends on what type of sewer you are? If you already have a huge amount of patterns then probably not. because likely hood is you already have some variation on the patterns in it. 

But if you don't have many patterns and you like hacking and experimenting with patterns then this is definitely worth investing in. There's so much you can do with the Patterns from the book if you use your imagination!

So will I be getting the latest one?

Simply put? YES!!! I'm curious about the sort of patterns that are going to be featured this year and I've already seen one I definitely want to make!

Much Love




  1. Yes I would say you have definitely had your money's worth from these 2. I, on the other hand have only made about 4 items from 2 books. I love the vintage inspired blouse and will make that several times but I still like to look at the books, even if I don't make much so I don't feel I wasted my money.

    1. I think even if there one pattern you love that you make over and over then its not a waste at all

  2. Well, given that they're such a fad item, they'll be out there on sale in a short time. I certainly didn't get mine full price. But I think sometimes we purchase books not for the sake of following the projects religiously, but to participate in the cultural experience of the Great British Sewing Bee. It's a lovely series that gives us the opportunity to connect with other sewists. If we do make something and share it with others, they will recognise it. And probably in later years we'll be able to say 'I had that book!'. So in that sense I think its worth it, even if you don't get maximum pattern value out of it. Plus, how we spend our money is a kind of voting, and I'm happy to vote for more sewing bee. :)

    1. I hadn't thought of it like that! although would the books sales directly effect the show? I dont know if theyve brought out a new book for every bake off series? or do they just do the masterclass tv program for those every year?


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