*** UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS IF YOU ENTERED ***
If ever the was a publication that proved craft and sewing has moved on from it's stuffy, old-fashioned image it's 'Just Sew Stories' by Katie Allen. It would take a week to explain to your grandma all the influences and cultural references behind the projects in this neon-hued book. It is interesting that Allen (who is a regular contributor to Mollie Makes magazine) references her grandmothers as her source of inspiration in the introduction of this book, but you cannot deny that she has taken the techniques they taught her (cross-stitch, patch work, hand embroidery etc.) and translated them in a direction that is very much her own and for her generation.
The design of this book is delightful: cute collages of inspiration, clever typography and geometric elements make flicking through this book a joy. As with most books of this ilk, she starts by imparting some basic techniques that you'll need to complete the projects within. But this is no detailed 'How to Sew' book: mastering skills is not the objective here. You get just enough under your belt to get going with the projects, so if you are looking for a comprehensive sewing guide, you'd best look elsewhere. But in this sense it is perfect for it's intended audience.
The projects include appliquéd glasses case, sequinned hair fascinator and bloomers. They are cute, fun and quick. But I'm not going to pretend otherwise: this book probably isn't for the readers of my blog, not even the younger ones. This book is for their teenage-ish daughters or little sisters: individuals who have expressed an interest in making stuff but don't currently have the patience and/or desire to master a sewing machine or figure out sewing/knitting patterns. Obvs I'd like to say this book would appeal to sons and little brothers too, but alas vintage-style aprons, retro head bands and puffy bloomers are unlikely to draw many young creative dudes. However, the projects are 'cool' enough for the teen market who would like to have a bash at them (I'd imagine) but also quick enough to get a finished result before Hollyoaks or Skins comes on the telly.
The eagle-eyed of you will have noticed that this post is another instalment of my Giveaway Monday series, so it may not surprise you to learn that I have one copy to give to a lovely reader of my blog. And with Christmas coming up, this giveaway could be a great opportunity to encourage the creativity of a young crafter or crafter-to-be at no expense to yourself! Unlike the 'Sew Over It' book I gave away a couple of weeks ago, I don't have the publisher stumping up the postage this time, and because books are heavy and I am skint, I'm afraid this week's giveaway is UK ONLY. Sorry overseas-peops.
To enter, just leave a comment in the comments section of this post telling me why you fancy getting hold of a copy of 'Just Sew Stories' (no reason, I'm just nosey). If I can't access your email address within two clicks, please include it in your entry comment. Email addresses will not be used for anything other than to contact you if you are the lucky winner of this giveaway. To reiterate, this giveaway is open to residents of the UK only and the winner will receive the book completely free of charge. The giveaway entries will close at midnight GMT Sunday 18th November and the winner will be chosen by random number generator and contacted Monday 19th November October. Good luck, my UK-based, book-loving friends!