Blog Tour: Christine Haynes’ New Book & Giveaway!!!


The lovely Christine Haynes has recently launched her second book, The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction, and I’m so happy to be the next stop on the blog tour!

Christine has written some of the easiest instructions to follow in a sewing pattern. In the same way, her book does not disappoint. The book actually looks thinner than most of the other sewing books I have, but looks are certainly deceiving in this case!


There is just so much information that a beginner would find relevant and useful. When instruction sheets can sometimes leave us puzzled or confused, this photo guide is where we can turn to for a potential solution or just to clear things up. The abundance of clear, numbered photos  accompanied with step by step instructions definitely helps clarify and boost our confidence in getting it right.

My favourite section has to be the one on zippers. The front fly zipper has been one of those things I’ve attempted once, did a so-so job and never dared ventured again. With Christine’s book in hand, I decided to take on the challenge and learn a new sewing skill.

I used the same 1970s Kwik Sew jeans pattern like I did the last time as I liked the fit.
 Kwik Sew 407 1970s Jeans
To be fair, I followed the pattern instructions for completing the fly zipper. However, I wasn’t able to understand the instructions well the first time I sewed with this pattern a few years back. My zipper wasn’t well hidden enough and peeks out at times which made the garment sadly unwearable.  This time round, I read the 3 pages Christine dedicated to the fly zipper first, cross referenced with the pattern instructions and then things became crystal clear.
Even though the two methods (pattern instruction and Christine’s) were not identical, the book pages brought to light why things were done a certain way and that helped me understand what I had to do with the pattern instructions. Like Christine mentioned at the start of the chapter “A fly-front zipper…is the most challenging zipper insertion to master, as it is the least intuitive” but with the help of this book, I dare say I’ve finally acquired the skill!
fly front zipper in progress
front fly zipper
I am just so happy I managed to sew a fly zipper I’m proud of! Thank you Christine! Now that I’ve learnt how to sew the front fly zipper, I can envision myself tackling a variety of jeans, shorts and pants! Would love to try Christine’s lapped zipper method next!
lapped zipper
I would strongly recommend this book especially to beginners who are learning to sew. I wished I had such a good sewing guidebook on hand when I started. With Christine’s guidance, I could have learnt all the easiest or most efficient methods which provided the best finishing to any garment. The good news is this handy book is now available on (which also provides a peek into some pages from the book).
Fabric bundle
To celebrate Christine’s book launch, you stand a chance to win a copy of her new book at this stop of the blog tour. In addition, I’m also adding this fabric bundle to the winner’s package. The bundle includes 2 yards each of an Amy Butler cotton, an adorable dotted swiss chiffon with teddy and heart print and an Anna Maria Horner cotton voile from my stash. This giveaway is open internationally. Please leave a comment letting us know if there is a sewing technique you’re hoping to attempt and don’t forget to leave your email so we can contact you if you win. This giveaway ends Sunday, 23 March 2014 and a winner will be chosen using

159 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Christine Haynes’ New Book & Giveaway!!!

  1. So many things I need to learn! But where to start? How about a fly zipper. Yes I’ve tried it once unsuccessfully maybe I should revisit that.

  2. I have so many things to learn! Right now, I would probably most like to learn how to properly sew set-in sleeves.

  3. I’m teaching myself to sew so this book would really be invaluable! There are so many techniques I need to learn I don’t know where to begin…

  4. I would love to learn more about proper zipper insertion in general- your fly zip is inspirational!

  5. What a wonderful package, thank you for offering it. I would like to master zippers as well, currently I will not sew an item if it has a zipper. Sad, I know. thanks again

  6. Gaaah, I really want this book! I’ve already put it onto my birthday wish list!
    I really need to master buttonholes. I’ve sewn a few so-so ones where they wouldn’t be very visible (think a single one on trousers or a skirt), but I’m really, really afraid of tackling something like a shirt, where there would be several buttonholes—and all of them front and centre! Help!

    Congrats on your fly zip! Looks great!

  7. I really want to master front fly zip too!! I love picture guides, do much easier than just reading the words !

  8. I am starting to sew again after many years so there are a lot of techniques I need to refresh my mind on. This would be a great reference for me. Thank you.

  9. Hi and thank you for hosting the give away. As a beginner I have a lot of things to learn ; however the one technique I would like to master the most is Small bust adjustment. This gets me every time I attempted to sew vintage pattern where correct bust size is not available. Hope I will win the give away but if not, congrat to the winner! 🙂 You’re so lucky!

  10. I would just like to feel comfortable sewing clothes. I have a half finished tank top and a half finished button up shirt. I have lots and lots to learn. . .including basics like a nice, neat hem.

  11. These are the kinds of reviews we need more of. You actually showed how the book helped you and even something you made under its guidance. That’s so helpful! I am happily admiring the color of those pants too, giiiirl

  12. Ooooh, nice front fly zipper! I would love to be able to insert welt pockets. I love the look of them, no idea how to sew them. The fabric you are putting in is really lovely as well!

  13. I love those pants! What colours! I’d love to learn more industry construction techniques to speed up my sewing and obtain more consistent results..

  14. I have the intense desire to learn a fly-front zipper as well, since I’m getting a lot of cool vintage pants patterns and wanting to make them! I’ve never made a pair of pants, and I think I’m ready to tackle something besides dresses. Thanks for the opportunity!

  15. I love the creative spirit and sharing of information. I think fit for me is always a mystery, so I’d love help with that skill. I think I’ll get the book specifically for the fly zipper tutorial! Thanks!

  16. I think I’d try sewing something with a lining. I always slavishly follow instructions that came with the pattern, but since sew far the vast majority of things I’ve sewn have been children’s Halloween costumes, there is a large margin for error. It also means I always sew sleeves in flat, since toddler clothes are too small to do anything else. One difficult technique averted. I’m getting ready to branch out into clothes for me.

  17. Hi there, great giveaway! I would like to try bound button holes in a coat. I have a coat ready and waiting, but haven’t quite plucked up the courage yet. 🙂

  18. This book sounds so great, thanks for the giveaway! I’d also like to learn how to do front fly zippers as I’d love to make a whole host of Grainline moss mini’s!

  19. If ONLY I could sew a fly front zipper the way you have I would think I had conquered the world! That would just be the best thing ever. Well done you and Christine.

  20. That guide for fly zippers looks just what I need to make them good. Last time I made one was on the way but I still dont really get it. I also need to learn to make better general finishing of garments.

  21. Hi! I would like to learn how to insert gussets into sleeves. Need this for a blouse I hope to sew soon. Thanks.

  22. Hej. I would like to learn something about bias-binding. And how to make “the final touch” as nice as possible. Best regards, and thanks for your inspirational blog :-). Nina

  23. I´m entering every giveaway… and realizing there are so many techniques I don´t manage well enough… like…sewing linings to the shells! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway.

  24. the colour of that fabric is a-mazing! i want to make some hot pink trousers too, so the fly zipper will be. a must to perfect

  25. I’m brand new at sewing, so am definitely this book’s target audience, though it seems like it would keep on giving for quite some time to come! I suppose I should learn to do any other type of zipper than the invisible zip I keep putting in everything as it’s the only one I know how to do!

  26. I’d love to gain confidence with fly zippers also! I have everything I need to make jeans, but I keep procrastinating because that fly makes me nervous.

  27. The book must be really helpful with all these detailed photos. The next techniques in my to-learn list are double welt pockets and fly zipper. And I love the orange fabric- such a vibrant colour!!!

  28. I’m totally with you on zips… As is almost everyone else by the look of these comments! Also, that fabric is lovely; thanks for the giveaway.

  29. This looks like an amazing book! I really want to get better at fitting and maybe this can help me!

  30. Thank you for the giveaway!
    I am a beginner at sewing so there are many techniques that I will have to learn. This book will be perfect for learning all the techniques that I need to learn as a beginner!

  31. I’ve made a fly before but it’s always a struggle. These instructions look great, it would be nice to “master” the fly front.

  32. Wow your zipper turned out fantastic. I feel i have a lot of techniques that need to be fine tuned with the helping hand if Christine. Thank you for hosting this great giveaway.

  33. I’d love to know more about sleeves and how to properly insert them. I’m getting back into sewing after a few years’ break but i’m not very confident to step away from the easy stuff!

  34. Well done on your fly zipper – it looks perfect! And the book sounds great too. I’d love some more tips on setting in sleeves, whenever I try the results are OK, but they could definitely be better!

  35. I taught myself to sew so I know so many things that I do incorrectly-flat bias binding, setting in sleeves, etc. I’d love to try new methods!

  36. Excellent looking fly front! Makes the book sound very compelling reading.
    I’m all about mastering collar stands this year. I must be able to get them consistent and pretty by the end of the year. Thanks for hosting the giveaway 🙂

  37. I’m really excited about Christine’s book and can’t wait to get my hands on one. The pictures look beautiful and it appears the instructions are clear and straightforward. As for techniques, I still struggle with fitting so that it something I need to understand. And I’d loved to try a lapped zipper. Thank you so much for the giveaway! The book looks gorgeous and so does the fabric!

  38. I want to be so comfortable inserting zippers that I don’t break out into a cold sweat when I get to that part of a sewing pattern. Thanks!

  39. Installation of any zipper is my nemesis. Whether it is an invisible, flap or fly zipper I can never seem to get the tops of the zipper to match up, leaving a lopsided mess. I always see pictures on blogs and think I can do this, but alas it is always “FAIL”

  40. Thanks for such a lovely giveaway! I love your zipper fly, it looks so professional 🙂 I think I have only done a zipper fly once, but with the help of Christine’s book I think I would tackle it again. Thanks for the chance!!

  41. I’m impressed. Can’t say I’m anywhere near ready to tackle the zipper fly. You did an amazing job. I definitely need to work on zippers myself!

  42. Your zipper looks really great. Thanks for doing this giveaway. I am working on learning some hand sewing techniques, so I think this book would be helpful with that.

  43. I’d love a foolproof method of setting in sleeves – and I am hoping to have tried my first welt pocket by the end of this month, so am currently looking out for helpful hints for that.

  44. Your zipper looks amazing! 🙂 I would definitely love to learn to master zippers as well – I can install them but they are FAR from perfect! 🙂

  45. Nice job on your zipper! I feel like I have the fly front zipper under control, I’ve done quite a few. But I would like to get comfortable with how to insert other types of zippers- I’m sure it’s not that hard but I do tend to avoid them! I would love to have this book, it looks like a great resource!

  46. zippers I think everyone is kinda afraid of lol. I’ve only done zippers in stuff like makeup bags so I’d love to figure them out for clothing. I’m a fairly new sewer/sewist so I’m sure I could learn tons from such a book. ty! cokelush at gmail

  47. Fabulous giveaway and a great review of the book. Congrats on your successful button fly! I’d be interested in learning more about set-in sleeves from Christine’s book.

  48. Thanks for the giveaway, I’d love to learn the “correct” way to insert a regular zipper since mine turn out pretty sloppy, also I’m always trying to expand my knowledge when it comes to getting a good fit!

  49. There are SO many things! Like other posters say, no way am I ready for that sort of zipper fly, but I want to learn french seams and to insert pockets in a non horrible way!

  50. I’m a new sewing, and I have lots to learn. In particular I’d like to learn more about attaching linings and facings. Thanks! I love your blog.

  51. This looks like an awesome book! I hope it can teach me how to properly insert a lapped zipper!

  52. I’m a beginner to sewing and would need to learn all the basic techniques. This book will be so useful !

  53. I love Christine. I purchased the Emery dress pattern and her invisible zip instructions were very clear. It is one of the neatest things I have sewn.
    I’d love to learn how to line garments properly as well as lapped zippers, which have never worked for me.
    Good luck to everyone else who has entered.

  54. Ooh, i think I need to try a fly-front zipper too! I’ve been far to scared to try it until now, but maybe the book will help it seem less confusing!

  55. Oh so many techniques but I’d have I go with zips of all kinds.

    Zips have always daunted me but, as my son is asking, no begging, for a pair of homemade shorts I really need to get over my fear of zips. He’s getting a bit old for drawstring shorts to be honest (which raises the question can you ever be too old for a comfy pair of drawstring shorts?!).

    Truth be told, though, there are so many techniques that I’ve learned along the way but would love to see the “proper” way to do them in order to get a better finish on my home sewn items.

  56. This book would be invaluable for me. I truly am a beginner as I’ve never sewn anything by myself before. My mother is an excellent seamstress and now I wish I had paid more attention when she tried to teach me a few things as a child. I want to one day sew my own vintage style day dresses in whatever fabrics I want. I look everyone’s blogs that sews and am so jealous when I see their cute finished products and the cost to make them is exceptional. A great savings from store bought clothes and made better as well.

  57. Zippers! I have long been terrified to try them (I’m still very much a beginner), but after reading your post I am feeling not-to-terrified about them and actually kind of inspired! 🙂

  58. A front fly zipper is also on my to do list. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance.

  59. I also want to master on fly zipper.
    thanks for a chance and for the fabrics too!
    elocose at

  60. I’d like to get better at working with knits and sheer fabrics. In fact any technique I can use to make my garments look professional is great in my book. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  61. I’d like to master set in sleeves, fly front zipers, patternmaking and finishing techniques! Thanks for the giveaway!!!!

  62. The book looks great! I would like to master invisible zips – mine are a bit touch and go at the moment. Thanks for the chance to win, love your blog!

  63. I would like to sew welt pockets next. I’ve done bound buttonholes and I assume they’re just a bigger version of those but it would be great to have some guidance!

  64. What a wonderful giveway! I almost always use invisible zippers… they are the easiest for me but I would like to learn how to do a pro looking fly zipper.

  65. This book looks great, and thanks for running the offer! I am sewing a while now, but still struggle with zippers and sleeves. Would also love to curved seams, they’re always a wee bit wonky 🙂

  66. Eeek! Buttonholes are on my long list of sewing skills to work on, and this book seems like the perfect aid.

  67. Congratulations on installing your fly zipper. One of the things I love most about sewing is that wonderful sense of satisfaction when something just clicks. What great fabrics you’ve chosen to give away. I hope I win!

  68. Nice job with the fly zipper! The book looks wonderful with lots of pictures for visual learners. I’d love to learn how to sew knits without having the seams pucker or be wavy.

  69. Can you recommend a good online fabric store for a beginner? I live in Puerto Rico and we don’t have much variety, stores here only carry lycra or fabrics with slow turnover so there is no change in merchandise for many long months.

  70. I just started sewing garments, so I’ll say ALL of them! This book looks great and hits the basics without looking too overwhelming! Thanks for the chance to win. I found your blog and I’m super excited to be following now!


  71. I want! I want! I was just thinking about this book when I stumbled on some blogs earlier. Oh, the fabrics are yummy too! Definitely zipper insertion as I’ve always tempted to try sewing jeans with fly zipper.
    Eunice (

  72. Hmmm, so much to learn & so little time! I’m pretty unadventurous when it comes to zipper insertion (I just stick with invisible) so it would be fun to learn some alternative techniques.

    Your fly looks perfect so I’m keen to put this book to the test myself!

  73. Oh, I just recently failed miserably at a front fly zipper–even using the recent Burda tutorial! Would love to check out this book!

    And I’m so glad I discovered your blog. Super inspiring. Thx!

  74. I would love to win this for my 15 yr old daughter who is making her own Prom Dress, its a great giveaway, Thanks.

  75. Interested in sleeves, zippers and well, making my clothing construction look a-ok! Thanks for the giveaway!

  76. I’d love start sewing again.. this would be a great help.. need to jumpstart! And am so drooling over your fabrics too..

  77. It is, I am afraid, the most basic of all techniques, but I’d love it if something could finally explain the difference between under stitching and topstitching. And what sort of distance you’re meant to be from the edge of the fabric for either of them!

  78. That golden cotton voile is to die for! As is the book, which I am very excited to read.

    I most want to learn pleating — and that fabric would make a great pleated skirt!

  79. This book looks great for visual learners like me 🙂
    I made a skirt with a fly front recently and definitely need to practice! I’m always keen to try new finishing techniques; my latest is edging sheer fabric with bias strips to avoid facings.

  80. Looks like a book I need! Need help making French seams..right sides together, wrong sides together- I’m in a mess here!

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