Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Book Review: Makery

Today I'm reviewing Makery by Kate Smith.

Kate is the co-founder of The Makery, a craft workshop space and shop in Bath (which I really must remember to visit next time I'm there!)

 

As you might guess from the lovely cover (mmm... yummy colour coordinated craft supplies...) this is a very attractive, stylish book.

 

It contains 31 projects, divided into 3 sections with a short techniques guide at the end. The projects mostly involve sewing but there's also a mix of other crafts included: upcycling some tins, decoupage, carving rubber stamps and making shrinky dink jewellery.

Section 1 is "Fashion", including a clasp purse, wrist warmers, shoulder bag and tape measure brooch.

 

Section 2 is "Gifts", including a knitted cup cuff, a make-up roll, a toy truck pincushion and a lunch bag designed to look like a paper bag (such a simple idea but a great one).

 

Section 3 is "Home", including a fab felt cuckoo clock, embroidered bed linen, a knitted rug, button magnets, a patchwork pouffe and a pair of bookends decorated with text from your chosen book(s). The bookends are a little plain for my taste but I think one would make a great doorstop.

 

The projects are beginner-intermediate level, nothing too complicated but a nice mix of fun things to make, with a good balance between decorative/fun projects and practical/useful projects.

Kate emphasises the importance of using good quality crafting supplies, saying that "'Makery' is a lot like cookery - if you start with gorgeous, high-quality ingredients, you're well on the way to creating something beautiful." The focus on supplies continues throughout the book, with each project illustrated by one page showing the finished project and another page showing the materials used, all artfully arranged.

 
 

These are lovely to look at but I'm not sure how helpful it is give over quite so much space in a craft book to pretty pictures of supplies, especially as it means the instructions get less space so there are only a few step by step illustrations provided.

The book does have some great, useful features though. There are full size fold-out pattern pieces in the back of the book (you will need to trace these as they're printed double-sided and some of the templates overlap). The list of stockists at the back of the book are also helpfully listed by material, making it easy to track down the supplies you need.

Also very helpful is the inclusion of an estimate for how long each project will take, written in a friendly, chatty way rather as an exact time, e.g. "This project can take only a couple of evenings - although I took ages deliberating over what text to use".

Crafters looking for advanced projects or detailed step by step instructions probably won't be fans of this book. But if you fancy some modern, achievable craft projects and a book with a bit of a coffee table "ooh" factor this book will be a lovely addition to the craft section of your bookshelves.

Makery is published by Mitchell Beazley. RRP £14.99. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.
 
[Disclaimer: I was sent a free review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links].

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