Sunday, March 13, 2022

Weekend Review: Make It Simple


Make It Simple / Tilly Walnes
London: Quadrille, c2020
207 p.

Another pattern book this weekend, this is one I've been wanting to get a look at for a while. Tilly Walnes, of the well-known company Tilly and the Buttons, has written a few books - this is the third. I like a quick sewing project with simple construction, so was quite interested to see what this book suggested. 

There are 6 patterns included, each with a couple of variations. There are also a couple of small projects like an eye mask included. Pattern sheets are in the back of the book for tracing; I traced off the Suki dress, but it was a little tricky since by necessity a lot of the patterns overlap. Not quite as tricky as a Burda magazine, but the pattern lines could be improved by using different colours for each pattern's lines. The patterns are: 

  • Safiya Trousers
  • Tabitha T-shirt
  • Suki Dress 
  • Bertha Cardigan 
  • Juno Pyjamas
  • Olive Pinafore

The sizing runs from 1-10, which translates into a 30"B/33"H to a 48"B/51"H. And the models in the book are of varied sizes as well, which shows the patterns on different bodies. 

The book also includes sections on sewing basics, plus tips for "shortcuts" to speed up your sewing. The patterns are pretty straightforward and aimed at being quick makes. This does mean that they are all a bit bland, without any extra details, but you can always use a simple pattern to highlight a great fabric, or add some details on your own. 

There are sections between the project chapters that suggest quick projects you can make between bigger projects, ways to maximize your sewing time, how to recognize what makes a quick project and so on. And each project has a quick list of 'shortcut steps' to speed up construction as well.

Overall it's a solid book, but not for rank beginners -- they might do better to start out with Tilly's first book, Love At First Stitch, just because the projects are thoroughly explained step by step, assuming no knowledge at all in that one. This book is fairly simple but does assume some familiarity with sewing. 

I was personally most interested in the Suki dress and the Olive Pinafore; I traced the dress but haven't tried it quite yet. We'll see how it goes! 


  1. Thanks for the book review. I like the look of the dress and look forward to seeing yours.

    1. I hope I get one made in a timely fashion! I found this book to be a pretty good one but would like to try out a pattern to make sure I am really behind it.


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