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Girl With A Sewing Machine
Jenniffer Taylor

Search Press
17 May 2017/ ISBN 9781782214564
How-To Books/Sewing

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


If 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 for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2017