Make! by Cath Kidston: A review

If you haven’t heard of Cath Kidston then you must have been living in deepest, darkest Peru for the last couple of years. Her nostalgic designs have come to characterise the make-and-do revival of recent times, fitting in all too well with people’s desire to return to simpler, less stressful days, when recessions, job losses and sky-rocketing prices weren’t such a daunting reality.

Into this melee comes Make!, a 176-page tome that at first glance looks like all you could possibly need to take your stitch-and-sew ambitions to the next level. After all, it comes complete with over 40 projects and 16 exclusive Cath Kidston designs – the perfect choice for any die-hard fan of the British designer.

Or is it? If you think this book will teach you how to make some of her bags, wallets, clothes or cushions, you’d be wrong, but that’s not your fault since the book itself is called Make! A more appropriate title would be Modify!, although that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Turn to page 82, for instance, where you have instructions to make a cowboy skirt. In the equipment list, the first item it says you need is a red skirt. So you’re not making anything from scratch, you’re simply taking a template from the back of the book and appliqueing it onto a bit of material. You could come up with this idea yourself without paying £15 for the privilege.

What’s more, some of the designs are a bit simplistic. Do we really need to be provided with templates of circles? What’s wrong with using a compass, or the time-honoured method of drawing around a plate?

That said, if you’re a novice seamstress and need to master the basics, this would be a good – and fun (very important) – place to begin. You’re provided with instructions on how to applique, as well as how to do basic stitches like blanket, chain, back and satin. And to top it all off, you get a blank tote bag, a CK pencil and some thread so you can get going immediately.

And there’s no saying you have to stick to the projects suggested in the book. You could take one of the templates and turn it into something in its own right, like this charming strawberry needle book. All you’ll need is a bit of ingenuity – which as a crafter you should have in absolute abundance.

So before you splash the cash, make sure you have a proper flick through Make! You could find yourself experiencing buyer’s remorse when you get it home otherwise.

Are you a Cath Kidston fan? Did you find this review helpful?

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