Publication Day!

Our co-founders have a secret…

Caroline and Alexandra had a secret which is now sitting on the shelves of bookstores online and in store. Along with running Selkie Patterns, growing a baby and getting married, our co- founders wrote a book! Read on to find out more about this incredible opportunity Alexandra and Caroline worked on last year.



Alexandra & Caroline have been some busy bees… all puns intended! Last year our co-founders were secretly working on their biggest project and dream to date. They were charged to write the next Great British Sewing Bee Book with its own theme around sustainability. No biggie…

Along with writing the book they where tasked with hand picking patterns from the show along with creating and designing original new sewing patterns, writing articles, and creating upcycling projects for the Sewing Bee readers to enjoy.

This was a mammoth task and could not have been done without the all-female power force behind this book cover. ‘Team work makes the dream work’ was a phrase declared daily and this book was created by a team of strong, creative and hard working talented women. Caroline and Alexandra would like to thank Harriet Butt and Emily Lapworth at Quadrille for their incredible support and hard work from the first meeting to publication day and beyond.

Alexandra will be featuring the book on her Instagram account today taking you though the patterns, articles, and sewing tips, tricks and sustainability hacks. Follow Alexandra on Instagram @alexandra.bruce to celebrate the launch of the book!

Now that the book is published and we are spending more time indoors, our co-founders have a few sewing plans up their sleeves. Scroll down to see their top pattern and fabric pics from the book.


The Sewing Plans!



Caroline has had her eye on this halter neck dress from day one! The dress featured in the book was sewn by the talented Susan Young for our photo shoot using a bamboo silk in this spiced orange colour. Caroline has a thing for orange and tassel earnings so expect to see her flouncing around the market buying her package-free fruit and vegetables wearing this dress!

Her second sewing plan is to whip up this trendy cropped bomber jacket in a floral dead stock fabric that is reversible! South London won’t know what hit it…

Alexandra’s top pattern pick has to be the Carnaby coat! This new design by Alexandra was inspired by the 1960’s mod look and after the coat challenge last season it just had to be in the book. Alexandra will be making her Carnaby coat in this classic ‘Mac Raincoat/Trench coat’ deadstock fabric. Her coat will be lined with a check fabric she picked up at a fabric swap and the cherry on top has to be the chunky navy buttons. A classic timeless coat!

The Maxi Dress is another pattern designed for the book by Alexandra. She has been saving Selkie’s foxglove linen for this dress for a while!  For a vintage flair Alexandra will add three vintage green buttons to the centre bust. Perfect for spring when we can return to the parks for picnics!

Caroline’s Favourite Sustainable Project


Caroline loves the upcycling project where you turn a beautiful but unused sheet into a gorgeous dress bag. This is such a great way to use textiles you might have in your home that you want to keep and cherish, but have no use for in their original format. Also, these dress bags look amazing in your closet.
A unique feature of the book is a recipe for natural dyeing with avocado stones. It will tell you step by step how to a dye a garment or fabric, which is such a fun thing to try at home. It’s low cost, you need no fancy supplies, and it uses kitchen waste. Plus the colour you get is stunning!



About the Book


The BBC2 primetime series, The Great British Sewing Bee, is set to return to the nation’s screens next year.

The companion book to the sixth series of this flagship BBC2 show, The Great British Sewing Bee: Sustainable Style accompanies sewers at all levels on their creative journey to reduce, reuse and recycle – ultimately creating their own considered closet.

Starting with the essentials, sewers will learn how to maintain and care for their sewing machine, find out the secrets to using an overlocker (and what to do if you don t have one) and the key to pattern matching. With a guide that demystifies the fitting process, and with expert sewing tips on making alterations, you ll be able to choose from 27 projects, for both women and men, that will ease you into the world of sustainable sewing.

For burgeoning dressmakers, this book showcases a vast array of sustainable and natural fabrics, reveals how to breathe life into old garments and entices the would-be sewer to dress handmade. Interspersed with sustainable tips, from advice on keeping an eco-friendly sewing space and how to better care for your garments, to guidance on recycling old clothes, using up fabric scraps and making repairs, this book is an indispensable reference to a more considered approach to sewing, that will encourage you to create long-lasting projects to cherish.

With womenswear sizes ranging from 8 to 22 and menswear sizes ranging from XS to XL, along with five full-size pattern sheets, expert sewers Caroline Akselson and Alexandra Bruce cover everything you need to build your sewing repertoire and grow in confidence as you sew yourself sustainable.


This link will take you to your closest retailer, wherever you are in the world.


Team Selkie

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