Learn to Sew – Book Review

Lovely Lauren, of Great British Sewing Bee fame and owner of the gorgeous Guthrie & Ghani, has recently published her first sewing book: Learn to Sew with Lauren. I was lucky enough to win a signed copy when I went to Sewing Bee Sunday a while back, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!

Learn To Sew cover

On Saturday 6th September, Lauren held a launch party in the beautiful workshop above the shop. There were balloons, lemonade, and lots of cake (I took this picture!). I went along with my friend Alison, who recently had her first sewing machine, to grab my copy and eat cake of course. Poor Eleanor, she was so sad that I wasn’t taking her along too, but Lauren sent some cake home with me for her, which I thought was lovely. Alongside the cake-eating, there were some workshops running for those who had pre-ordered their copies, which I thought was great, and also chance to look at the garments and other projects featured in the book as well as the beautiful photography.

Obviously, this book is aimed at absolute beginners, which I’m not, but don’t let that put you off if you can sew. There’s a good selection of projects in here, and I’ve certainly found a few things I’m going to add to that ever-increasing to sew list! My favourite two are the weekend bag (which I reckon I could use as a changing bag for Phoebe) and the pick your pockets skirt (I love pockets in things):

Weekend Bag - Learn to Sew


Pick Your Pockets Skirt - Learn to Sew


A great things about this book is that all of the patterns are contained in the front and back cover in plastic pockets, so they’re easily accessible and won’t get ruined. You’ll need to trace the patterns off to use them, but that just means they’ll last longer anyway.

I love the photography in the book, mostly down to Lauren’s beautiful fabric choices throughout (she’s got a great eye, which you’ll know if you’ve ever visited her shop), and seeing the projects in the flesh didn’t disappoint either, they’re every bit as beautiful as in the book.

So, if you are a beginner, should you get this book? Yes! The first part goes over the basics you need to know and some techniques you’ll need to learn. Each is clearly explained, with photographs, and is certainly something you’ll refer back to again and again.

The second part of the book contains the projects, each of which links back to techniques in the first part. I thought that the projects were very clearly laid out, with good illustrations to show you what to do in each step. I also like that the projects vary in complexity, so you could work your way through the whole book learning something new with each project. I think as a novice sewer, you might look through the book and think, “ok, I can manage a cushion cover, but a dress?!”, but trust me, with Lauren’s explanations, you’ll be stitching up a storm in no time!

If you are a more experienced sewer, there’s definitely some mileage in this book for you too. You could certainly use these projects as a starting point for inspiration and then adapt them to suit your own style. Personally, I can’t wait to try out the clothing patterns for myself, I’m still a bit of a novice when it comes to adult clothing, so I think I’ll do well with this book!

Should you actually want to learn to sew with Lauren herself, then you’re in luck! Guthrie & Ghani are running some workshops to sew some of the projects from the book, which you can book onto here.


Disclaimer: I did win my copy of “Learn to Sew with Lauren”, but all opinions here are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

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