The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing: Book Review Part 1 – Table Mats

the Liberty book of Simple SewingLiberty, Liberty, Liberty – there’s something about that word that makes my heart skip a beat. If you don’t know, Liberty of London is a department store on Regent Street, London, that sells all sorts of lovely things – including Liberty print fabric which, to be fair, is absolutely PERFECT and I want to make EVERYTHING out of it. Unfortunately it’s also quite expensive and so this remains a dream for the future…

A couple of weeks ago, however, I received this wonderful new book in the post. Published by Quadrille, The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing (RRP £20) is the most recent publication by Liberty of London and is an absolute delight to read. The book is perfect for the beginner seamstress and features all sorts of little projects, from chair pads to coasters to pet beds to pillowcases. It’s also making me wish that I owned a bike so that I can make the very cute bike seat cover and basket liner!

Alas, I do not have a bike, nor the need for a chevron quilt, a cafetiere cover or some children’s pyjama trousers. I do, however, need some new place mats for my dining table – and that’s exactly the project I decided to begin with!

Liberty Simple Sewing tablemats

OK, so my finished Liberty table mats don’t look EXACTLY like the ones in the book – namely because I can’t afford that much Liberty print fabric – but I’m very pleased with the finished result nonetheless! I substituted the Liberty print for a lovely floral linen and added a decorative pink top stitch around the edge. I did, however, use Liberty print for the pockets (remember a few weeks ago when I had my first encounter with Folksy?) which I think adds just enough interest/luxe to my table mats.

If you want to copy this cute pocket idea for yourself, then here’s how!

  • Take two 8x16cm rectangles in contrasting fabrics and sew them right sides together, leaving a small gap in one side.
  • Turn the fabric right-side round, press flat and slip-stitch the gap closed.
  • Fold over the top 4cm of fabric to create a ‘cuff’ and stitch in place.
  • Use a decorative top stitch to attach 3 sides of the pocket to your place mats. Voila et bon appetit!

Have you tried this pattern for yourself? I’d love to hear what you think! This is a great pattern for a beginner sew-er (or for those who want to whip up something that’s both quick and visually stunning!) and the instructions in the book are very easy to follow. Stay tuned for the other project I chose to make out of the book, too!

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18 thoughts on “The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing: Book Review Part 1 – Table Mats

    • thank you! I’ve been there just the once but I was in the fabric department a good hour or so! have you visited their Christmas room, too? It’s very difficult to leave!

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  1. How strange! I was just looking at this book today! Those placemats look fantastic with the cute little pockets! Ahhhh! Liberty is such a lovely place to wander around in… I miss it!

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    • it’s definitely a lovely book to have (even if it’s just to look at the photos!) The only problem I had with it is that you have to photocopy and enlarge some of the templates…. which I have no idea how to do. The placemats tutorial doesn’t have templates but a lot of the others do and this is going to cause me a few problems! It’s a great book though – some lovely projects. And yes, I agree! Liberty is a great place to wander round! (or live in…)

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      • Definitely! Looking at sewing books makes me very happy and I’ve had a very happy afternoon flicking through them today! Have you thought about getting some squared drafting paper and drawing the templates straight on to there? If this book is like the previous Liberty book, the patterns should be drawn with squares so you can see how large/small each part is. I do this a lot because I’ve not found a giant photocopier yet! If you do find one though, you just need to scan it and use the enlarge to scale it up (usually by 100%, I think) – but they do all tend to be different!

        I’d love to live in Liberty… Maybe one day I will roll myself up in one of their carpets so I can sleep there! 😉

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      • haha rolling up in carpet sounds strangely tempting!

        The patterns aren’t drawn with squares so I’m not sure how easy transferring them to paper would be. I’m quite good at free-hand though so maybe I’ll just wing it?! Great idea though, I’ll look into it!

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