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Like many 20-something year old women I have managed to grow up and not learn anything and about stitching or sewing (my grandmother would be disgusted) but like many women I have realised that there is a certain charm in being able to turn my hand to something and create a pretty end result, that is why I ended up buying 'Stitch!' from Cath Kidston and I have to say, I've really enjoyed it!
First off, that cute little purse you see on the front comes with the book ready for you to make with your newly learned skills, which is a nice touch.
The photography in the book is brilliant and up to the usual Cath Kidston standard, and there are lots of step by step guides on a large range of products from purses, glasses cases, pin cushions, clothing embroidery, rugs, cushions etc there really is loads to keep you busy.
The first couple of pages teach you how to start with 3 pages titled:
1. Needlepoint Basics
2. Basic Stitches
3. Advanced Stitches
All with easy step by step instructions.
The next few pages are a bit heavier to read and these are titled:
4. Cross Stitch Basics
5. Getting Started
6. Getting Ready To Stitch
7. Starting To Stitch
8. Sewing Essentials
9. Finishing Touches
After that the projects begin.
This book would make a fantastic gift or a little present for yourself, and when you learn to stitch just think of how much money you will save on christmas gifts when you can make everyone something unique.
A simply lovely book and for £15 it is quite a bargain.
Cath Kidston - Stitch:
Being an avid hand-embroiderer and a massive fan of designer Cath Kidston purchasing this book was an easy decision. I adore her lovely, vintage inspired fabric designs but lack the funds to buy them often; this book allows me to recreate the look at a fraction of price. I will also get the joy of stitching and making these pieces and the warm glow of satisfaction when then are finished.
(When you buy the book you get all the materials needed to make a pretty zip up pouch/purse. I want to talk about that first and then review the book afterwards as this "free gift" is a nice touch but not the reason that I would recommend/purchase this book).
The materials supplied to make the purse are all of reasonable quality; the fabric is not the best quality in the world but it is durable and does the job more than adequately and it's nice to have an exclusive design as opposed to a "copy" of something you can buy already. The embroidery threads (floss) are good quality and do not tangle easily nor do they break or fray more than usual. As far as I can tell the threads are colour-fast which is a good thing! Once you have stitched the vintage-rose design onto the fabric making it up into the purse is very easy and the instructions are clear. It is a great way to learn how to fit a zip which is a useful skill to have in my opinion.
You end up with a pretty and useful little item which is a good size for make-up or more appropriately sewing notions.
Inside the book you will find 30 exclusive projects using needlepoint and cross-stitch. These all ooze that distinctive Cath Kidston charm that so many of us love. My favourite projects are the huge needlepoint rug (not started yet but it looks like a really great project that will fill many a gloomy winters night), the Union Jack purse and the Spotty needlepoint cushions. There is a good mix of projects here from tiny buttons and tea-cosies to cushions and hand bags. If you like the Cath Kidston aesthetic you are bound to find something here you like.
The techniques needed are really very easy to learn, I already had some skills at both needlepoint and cross-stitch but I learnt them from a book that was less detailed and clear than this one and picked them up quickly enough despite having all the finesse of a drunken baboon! Needlepoint and cross-stitch are covered clearly and in simple terms at the start of the book so you should be able to just dive in be you a beginner or a more experienced stitcher. The couple of things I have made so far have turned out well and I can't wait to stitch more!
All the illustrations and patterns are printed clearly in colour and they look fantastic on the glossy pages of the book (the paper used in lovely quality) making this a joy to browse through on a dingy day. It's always nice to find a book that is both useful and lovely.
I paid about £8.00 for my paperback copy and it is currently on Amazon for £8.39 with free delivery, (the cover price is £15.00). I think it's great value for money even without the "free" purse and it will certainly provide me with hours of stitching pleasure! If you do know a crafty Cath Kidston fan this would make a great gift.
I certainly recommend this book.