you have a sewing machine that is gathering dust, or you want
to get one and have a go at making your own clothes, you will
find something for you in this book. From adapting existing
items to making garments from scratch, there is plenty of
help for the sewing novice and intermediate stitcher alike.
Like myself, the author of this book is self-taught, and this
is very much a book aimed at the modern person. You don’t
need to buy up the shop in order to get kitted out and many
projects focus on remaking charity shop purchases. Even the
garments to make are all basic daywear that are quick to make
and slow to date. In short, this book is ideal for anybody
who wants to free themselves from off the peg fashion and
might not have a lot of time or money. The book opens with
a look at the author’s own sewing background and this
is followed by a short section on what you need and why. The
why part is particularly useful as it also mentions what you
don’t need; I don’t have an overlocker either
and also have used plates to draw curves! There is another
useful short section on taking a look at your existing wardrobe
and shopping for fabric, plus tips on looking after fabric.
The rest of the book is organized into three sections: getting
started, customizing clothes and making them from scratch.
Make your own pincushion, a top made from scarves, upcycle
an old jumper into mittens and a snood and cut up old jeans
to make a pouch. It isn’t all about sewing either, as
in the customizing section there is a project on dyeing and
printing as well as cutting up an old t-shirt to make a tasselled
top. After these simpler and cheaper projects, have a go at
making your own clothes. Turn a tablecloth into a gypsy skirt,
make simple tops and dresses, a coat from a blanket and wraparound
trousers. These are all comfortable items that would get worn
a lot and are easy to make even if you haven’t had much
sewing experience. All the projects have staged photographs,
as well as several shots showing the finished item from various
angles, useful tips and a chatty style of instruction that
is very user friendly. A book like this takes most of the
unnecessary mystique that has built up around dressmaking
and makes it all seem not only doable but modern.
If you cannot find a good range of sewing materials locally
try www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers.