We’re spoiling you here… another giveaway!

This week I have a rather special book to give away. If you are a sewing beginner who is particular interested in dressmaking, home furnishings and accessories then this could well become an essential reference book.

Sewing Made Simple by Tessa Evelegh

As befits an ancient craft, the language and practice of sewing is full of arcane terms and instructions (how about betweens needles, flat felled seams, tailors tacks, mercerised thread, mitred corners, for starters!) that mean something to an experienced sewist, but are mind-boggling to a beginner.  The first 5 chapters of this book, and the technique sections later in the book, tackles that problem head on. The author, Tessa Evelegh, demystifies the basics of sewing with an in-depth look at  all the essential tools, equipment and materials you need for successful sewing.

Tips from Sewing Made Simple

Demystifying seams!

Tailors Tacks from Sewing Made Simple

Clear sketches explain skills such as tailor’s tacks.

The rest of the book consists of projects to get you started and improve your skills. Each project focuses on a particular technique, and these are well explained with sketch diagrams. As I am a very visual person, I always appreciate lots of pictures, and these are good. I’d probably prefer photos, but good, clear sketches are a huge improvement on bad, unhelpful photos (which is a problem with a lot of beginner’s sewing books).

I don’t know about you, but, although I want a good reference book, I also want stylish, fun projects to try too. And there are some real winners here.

Blind from Sewing Made Simple

Skirt from Sewing Made Simple

Cushion from Sewing Made Simple

As you can see, the ideas, styles and fabrics are nicely contemporary, and the project photography is really inspiring. I’m already thinking about fabrics that would work well for that lovely bias cut skirt.

Sewing Made Simple is published by Jacqui Small Publishing, who have very kindly sent me a copy to review and to keep, but the good news is that I also have a copy to give away.

This giveaway is open to UK based readers only, and will close at midnight on 25 March. 

All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post to be in the draw.

I’ve thought long and hard about a comment theme (I am really enjoying reading about your favourite books on the My Fabric House giveaway), so how about this? The author of Sewing Made Simple is Tessa Evelegh, who used to work on Family Circle magazine. My mum and I were massive fans of FC in the 70s and 80s – we both read it avidly. My other teen favourite magazines were the peerless Smash Hits and Just Seventeen (I remember the first ever issue in 1983 – definitely showing my age here!). What were your favourite teen mags (or your favourite mags from now if you like)?

Good Luck!

65 thoughts on “We’re spoiling you here… another giveaway!

  1. Smash hits for the song lyrics and now crafting magazines, home mags and womens mags like prima and marie claire.

  2. oh loads of memories flooding back at mags I’d forgotten about but used to get, I have to say the fave teen one was More mag. We would take it to school and all sit and read the ‘position of the fortnight’! Not that we were really of an age to try them out, but we were amazed that there were that many positions to try out!

  3. I used to love Prima magazine when my children were small and loved using the free patterns that they provided. My daughter is taking an interest in dress making it would be great for her! Many thanks

  4. Mine was very definitely Smash Hits too! I don’t think I ever bought anything else as a teenager. All the posters were blu-tacked to my bedroom walls (mainly Rick Astley, Debbie Gibson, Kylie and Bros…!) I even remember making my own version of the mag called Dizee for a school project!!!

  5. I used to like Judy and the Childrens’ Newspaper when I was a nipper (many years ago). As an adult I like Home and Freezer Digest which is also no longer published. I like so many mags these days which is a good thing – they can’t close them ALL down.

  6. Sugar and Smash Hits were favourites of mine back in the day but now the only magazine I subscribe to is Sew Hip, which inspired me to learn to sew. I’m still very much a beginner though so the book would come in handy!

  7. i didn’t do teen mags! i read the Beano (till i was 18)! i still get the annuel every year at christmas, easiest way to expand my collection and as the saying goes – every body we know loves to read the Beano!

  8. I bought my first ever copy of Smash hits purely because it had the lyrics for Last Christmas in it – it was a Christmas edition. Funny about the things you remember 🙂
    I was reading Marie Claire religiously by the time I was 15 though, old before my time!

  9. I don’t remember being that into magazines although would always enjoy a flick through Smash Hits..seem to remember a free Five Star floppy plastic record…the only magazine I’ve bought recently is Crafteroo!! Although someone has lent me a copy of Kinfolk and it’s lovely. (maybe it was The Jets not Five Star….)

  10. Oh, Just Seventeen for me too – started with the first issue as well, and kept a big pile of them for years! Also used to love my mum’s family circle magazine!

  11. This looks just the sort of reference book I need! Thanks for the giveaway.

    My favourite mag as a teenager was Jackie – oh, and my grandma’s People’s Friend 🙂

  12. the book looks great – I love the window blind project. I used to live TV Hits and then Sugar magazines when I was younger. I had the posters all over my bedroom 🙂

  13. The book looks great. My favourite magazine when I was younger was top of the pops, think it was called that?. I liked to sing all the songs using the lyrics sheets. 😀

  14. You are defo spoiling us Ali with all these giveaways, fantastic. My absolute favourite was Jackie or Diana – does anyone remember them? Recently my dad was moving house and he had a big sort out and came across a box of old annuals, such a treasure, it took me right back to my youth, loved it, Jackie annuals, Diana, Blue Peter, Tammy totally brilliant – aaahhh happy, happy days xx

  15. I didn’t really buy magazines in my teens. I remember having one comic between my 4 siblings and I when we were younger. I couldn’t remember the name so looked through the comments here hoping to see it. Linda mentions Topper and I’m pretty sure that was it.
    I used to get Prima regularly then changed to Zest during a health kick. Now it’s usually County Living or a Sewing mag – I try not to get more than 2 a month for 2 reasons; first – it’s expensive; and second – I wouldn’t get anything else done 🙂
    Teresa x

  16. I’ve never really read magazines apart from the odd edition of NME as a teenager – I find that I flick through them and then realise I haven’t read any of it and I’ve always been the same…I’m better with a book!

  17. I can remember getting Bunty and Tammy before moving onto Jackie and Pink (which I’ve just remembered). My brother used to get Smash Hits so there were lots of arguments when he found I had “borrowed” it yet again!! Happy memories – so thanks for asking!:)

  18. When I was a teen I used to collect the Sabrina the teenage witch magazine. It was filled with random fashion tips, recipes and the odd crafty item. Also the Horrible histories magazines. I still have them in my wardrobe =D

  19. It looks like a great book! I don’t read many magazines to be honest I prefer books. I think when I was younger I used to read shout magazine?! Now I only buy them if I am flying somewhere! 🙂

  20. This looks like a perfect book. I really enjoy sewing, but mostly just customising clothing or items I already have. I want to have a go at something bigger but am a little scared and not 100% sure where to start. The projects look good – and I really do need some new curtains!

    As for teen magazines, although I did get J17 from time to time, I think the beano was my favourite!

  21. As I am just getting back into sewing after many year – I need all the help I can in techniques…. Its also great getting ideas of what you can make instead of running to a shop to get the same old run of the mill things….

  22. I used to get Jackie and then Smash Hits – when I was younger I remember getting Bunty and having a shoebox of the cut-out and dress dolls that used to be on the back page x

  23. I too loved Smash Hits when I was younger and had every copy from the very 1st one, way back when Pet Shop Boys, Neil Tennant was the Editor! I use to love that they gave you song lyrics every issue and used to annoy my parents by singing the same tune over & over again! Come to think of it it wasn’t long after this that my parents converted our attic into my new bedroom…coincidence

  24. This book looks great!
    My favorite magazines when I was a teen was Seventeen and Sassy (i’m originally from the US).

  25. I too used to love Smash hits and all of the photo comics that were rife in the 80’s! eek! Showing my age too! The giveaway book looks great, especially that skirt! Fingers and toes crossed. Sue x

  26. I never had magazines as a child or a teenager and my first really serious interest in mags started along with Country Living which I so adore. I cannot wait for it to drop on the mat and then, along with a cup of tea, I devour each and every article and dream of life in the country (I live in London) – which actually in reality I should hate!
    So interested in the book as I am a complete beginner – at everything – and master of nothing!

  27. A friend of mine is just starting her sewing adventure and I would love to give her this book for when I’m not around to answer questions.
    As for favourite magazines, I used to love Prima and saved to buy it. It’s changed a bit I haven’t bought it for years but I might just pop into the shops for “good old times’ sake.

  28. Oooo it had to be Smash Hits! I’d go on my bike to the shop at 7.30am to get it and I would be straight to the song cards once I opened it, learning all the lyrics to the top ten for about 5 years 🙂 The book looks great, still excited from the My Fabric House give away, wasn’t expecting to get another chance so soon to win one of your amazing prizes. xXx

  29. I love that book and certainly need some more hints and tips! My favourite magazine as a teen was Jackie (yes I’m a 70’s teen)…..the centrefold always had a colour pic of some pop star or other. I had a bucket of wallpaper paste in my bedroom and each week I stuck the picture on my wall until it was covered in pictures of David Cassidy, Donny Osmond, Marc Bolan, Roger Daltry, George Harrison, Olivia Newton John etc etc! What memories 🙂

  30. Book looks lovely – think I need it as M branching out from knitting…..
    Fave teen magazine – NME (well and whatever cross stitch one my Mum had signed up to … Didn’t read them on bus to school though!!)

  31. that book looks awesome! the curtain ! the pillow ! the skirt ! love love love. my favorite child mag was some terrible teen bop that always featured johnny depp. a love i do still admit .x

  32. I also liked J17 & Smash Hits (loved having the lyrics to all the pop songs in it)! I also liked Patches and Blue Jeans and Jackie (showing my age now)!! Mizz was also a fave – the boys used to love getting hold of a copy & going straight to the problem page in an effort to understand us girls!!

  33. Great book – fingers crossed for me as I need to make a curtain for my sewing room and need all the help I can get! I remember buying one magazine in particualr as a kid. It was the special edition GOONIES movie magazine. It had Sean Astin in it (super crush – I had train tacks on my teeth too!) – I was so thrilled with it. I bought THAT instead of candy with my allowance. What a lovely memory 🙂

  34. I was never really into magazines as a teen. I remember getting Bliss a few times (maybe I stole my big sisters actually haha). When I was little my mum used to buy me this cat magazine, I cannot for the life if me remember it’s name, nor does a google search help. It wasn’t about cats, just named so. Don’t really read magazines now, oh i did have a subsription to “Bride” when I first got engaged haha. Also contemplating this new cake decorating mag, but will probably be like the crochet mag I got a few times, didn’t even open one issue! Anyway I’m waffling.

    Good luck everyone, can’t believe you are doing another giveaway, you are very generous. x x

  35. i used to get judy and share beano ,topper and dandy with my brother though i do know he read judy too :))) great giveaway !!

  36. hello 🙂 im a newby to sewing so need all the help i can get lol.. i am currently making insulin pump bags which my daughter needs to wear 24/7.. and then my next mission is blinds for the girls bedrooms 🙂

  37. Oh my, I used to have all the Just Seventeens and Smash Hits was the total best – my walls were plastered with posters from them.

    But then it all went wrong – I ‘built’ a lifesize Jason Orange over 5 weeks center-folds – he turned out less than 5″; I was not happy!

  38. I remember first reading Twinkle and Bunty before progressing to The Beano, Dandy and Topper comics, then to Smash Hits and No.1 magazines, I was a Durany in my time lol

  39. I enjoyed Bunty as a child – seem to have missed most of the teen mags from my era – i looked up mags from the seventies/eighties up to see what i should have been reading and cant remember any of them! now i enjoy ideal homes.x

  40. What a great looking book!
    my favourite magazine when I was a teen was Jackie – I used to buy it on the way to school and we’d all huddle round to read it at break time!

  41. Ah Smash Hits I used love learning the words to the best songs lol whilst trying to tape those songs off the top forty without getting the dj talking on it lol I also read just seventeen which was odd as by the 17 I was far too old for it already, I was busy going out but was fully prepared for the big wide world thanks to the mags and certainly thought I was really cool singing along to the songs!!! This habit still exists just in the privacy of my car and kitchen lol

  42. I thought I was quite experienced but of those five terms I have only heard of tailor tacks and mitred corners!! Saying that I have only come back to sewing recently after about 15 years and terms like jelly roll were a complete mystery to me!

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