Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Flossie Teacakes Guide To EPP - Book Review

I have a very exciting book review to share today! Although my sewing tends to be mainly dressmaking based and this blog reflects this, English paper piecing has always been something that I love to do. I find that hand piecing is extremely meditative and relaxing, and EPP is perfect to bring away on holiday or to sew in the evenings while watching television. One of my favourite blogs Flossie Teacakes (which I have mentioned before) is one of the most fantastic places for seeking English paper piecing inspiration. As someone who creates the most astonishingly beautiful and intricate projects, it seems only natural to me that Florence should write a book on EPP and for the said book to be wonderful.

What I love about this book is that it seems to cover everything. It's split into five sections: The World of English Paper Piecing, Spotlight on Modern EPPers, Introduction to English Paper Piecing and the final two sections are on sewing the patterns included with the book. While it's perfect for beginners and has clear and detailed instructions on how to learn how to paper piece, it also provides both information and instructions for people of all abilities. One of my favourites sub-sections is the one on fussy cutting, a method which I haven't yet tried but that I've always wanted to.

I enjoyed reading all of the sections but I think that my favourite has to be the first one, The World of English Paper Piecing. History is my favourite subject and I love to read about it; sewing is my favourite hobby and something that I am also passionate about. To be able to combine sewing and history and read about this in a book is one of the things that for me made this book so enjoyable to read. I particularly enjoyed reading about Lucy Boston, 'the woman behind one of the most famous English paper piecing patterns.

Florence also includes several extracts all about the psychology of sewing, such as working with our hands. It's a fascinating read in itself, in my opinion even for people who don't sew. One of the things that I liked about the book was the layout, it seemed to be a way starting an EPPed journey from learning about it's history to hearing about modern makers and finally creating your own project. I also liked how the section on modern EPPers was placed after the historical section, for me it allowed the idea that this is a something that is still continued today despite being hundreds of years old to really resonate.

As I mentioned, at the end of the book there are patterns! I still can't believe that as well as interesting reads and never-ending inspiration as well as tips, there are patterns available with the book too. I decided to make one of the three rosettes, the Billilla rosette. It features an interesting but not intricate pattern and was a really satisfying sew. One of the great things about rosettes is that they are much faster to complete than ordinary EPP projects, although now I've made it I'm not quite sure what to do with it! One of the things I liked about the design is that it looks great fussy-cut (see the front cover of the book for what I mean) and I think it would be a great pattern to use for a first fussy-cut project.

Overall, I honestly couldn't recommend this book enough! It seems to contain everything you need to know about English Paper Piecing and more, not to mention the fact that the pictures included are inspiring and Florence's style of writing is brilliant. I know that this is a book that I'll be going back to time and again to re-read the articles inside and try out some of the other projects. 


  1. Looks like a great book. EPP can be so incredibly intricate and beautiful. I didn’t realize it has been around so long, for some reason I was thinking it took of in WWI.

  2. another book for my wish list, and thank you for the link to Flossie Teacakes....just started to follow....her work is amazing

  3. I have never heard of EPP until this blog post! How beautiful! The colors you chose for yours are so pretty. I hope you get to put it to good use--even if you frame and hang it, lol!

  4. Thank you so much, Anna! I'm delighted you enjoyed my book and your rosette is gorgeous - I love the colours you've chosen. I saw someone on Instagram who had turned her rosette into a hexagonal handbag, which I thought was an amazing idea, although your dressmaking aesthetic makes me think that may not appeal to you so much. I'd been thinking of making one into a coaster or table mat though - have you ever used heat proof wadding? It's amazing stuff (I've used it in oven gloves too and it really does work well).

    I'm so pleased you enjoyed the first section of the book particularly, as it was the opportunity to explore the hisotry/psychology that prompted me to write the book.

    Florence x

  5. I admire this so much, your patience is outstanding!