Sunday, October 4, 2020

Weekend Review: Girl With a Sewing Machine

Girl With a Sewing Machine / Jenniffer Taylor
Tunbridge Wells, UK: Search Press, c2017
144 p.

This is a cute, DIY style book with lots of projects for ambitious beginners. Written by Jenniffer Taylor, a contestant on the Great British Sewing Bee in a previous year, this is a book that brings back the more free-form 70s kind of sewing book -- it's quite fun. 

There are no patterns per se in this book: there are measurements and a guide on how to draft your patterns according to your own measurements. Most of the patterns are quite simple, but there are a few like some wrap trousers and a dungaree dress that look more complicated even though the process of drafting them is fairly straightforward -- a lot of rectangles and angles to trim. 

The book starts out with some very simple craft projects -- a teacup pincushion, for example -- to get familiar with hand-sewing and your sewing machine, then talks about measuring yourself correctly, and moves on to drafting patterns. There's even a section on customizing existing clothes using doilies, dyes and block printing.

There is an intro telling Jenniffer's story, and showing that she's a rock'n'roll kind of girl, which explains her more independent and free form sewing style. Taylor sprinkles sewing tips throughout the book, little things that help in the sewing room such as keeping bobbins organized, that add a little more to the text.

The projects do have a certain DIY aesthetic, which may not be for everyone, but they are still nicely finished and look modern and wearable. This book would be great for a younger sewist, especially one who likes to do things their own way. Anyone who wants a step-by-step, clearly outlined pattern to follow will likely find this book stressful, but if you know a creative go-getter who learns by doing, this book has lots of energy and inspiration to just get going on making and customizing a wardrobe. 

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