Well of course you'll remember him -Why wouldn't you? He's the ex squaddie red head with the wide smile!- because he beat off stiff competition from Annie, Alex, Neela, Amanda, Ryan, Paul, Deborah and the two other finalists Lorna and Neil to be crowned Britain’s best amateur sewer!
Published by Jacqui Small, Matt's debut title is now available to buy. Take a look at the end of the post for your exclusive East London Craft Guerrilla blog reader discount code...
First things first, I have to confess... though I'm no expert dress maker as a teen I used to make a lot of my clothing!
Don't get too excited, my makes was pretty much sewn together with hope and out of desperation as it was just too hard finding alternative clothing in a small town so making my own was the next best thing! But it wasn't particularly done well, it served its purpose but mostly things ended up being held together by safety pins. Hey, that's a fashion statement too but... it also was to keep seams together!!!
In all fairness I have progressed but I don't really make that much of my clothing anymore but I have to the point of making a circle skirt from start to finish. Even though I have the basics there's still lots to learn. And I'm keen!
But the reality is that Matt puts my very basic sewing skills to shame -Gosh, do you remember how easily he managed to whip up his beautifully tailored leather biker jacket and a sweet baby blue tartan kilt?! Seriously amazing!!!- so when I was given this book to review I was pretty happy to do so as I thought it would be the type of book that I could dip into when ever I needed to.
It's got lots of handy hints and tips like how to hem jeans and change buttons on coats. It's a nice book and you won't be just up-cycling, mending and up keeping what you already own but also making clothing from scratch, all be it the projects are not super complicated but I'm not against that at all as I do think simplicity is sometimes (if not mostly!) the best way!
And also I don't want to be put off by super elaborate sewing projects either... well not yet!
Making clothing is fun but it can also be daunting especially when following a pattern or doing more complex bits like adding an invisible zip or darts* to a skirt.
*Note: OK so if the word darts has you conjuring images of Bully the Bullseye Bull in your mind then I think forget about sewing and just get yourself down to the nearest pub! But if you have a slight notion that it's to do with tailoring then this book might just be what you need to help you get further into sewing and making your very own clothing.
I've actually got my eye on the red and white stripy top and I'm looking forward to adding it to my Spring to do sewing project list... ha and the skirt!
Matt's book is easy and straightforward with comprehensible step by step tutorials and even a guide to sewing machines and tools.
Not everyone is born with a natural ability to thread a machine or or with the knowledge of which foot to use for a specific task but it's something anyone can learn... and there's a whole section explaining just that and even a handy guide to tools and how to use them so you'll be sewing like a pro in no time!
So if you're after something which will take you to the next level of dressmaking then I think it's a great book.
It's not necessarily a book for the experienced sewer but perfect for those who are taking their first shaky steps into the wonderful world of dress making/tailoring with clear and concise sections including: Tool Kit to Cool Kit, Fabrics, Stitching, Make it your own, Make it from Scratch, Make it wearable, Make it live longer to a handy glossary and resources page in the back.
But what I do really like about this book is that there's a lot of altering projects like tightening trouser legs, mending and maintaining clothing too, and even a handy laundry guide and a repair section. It's 100% up my street as having an ecologically sound wardrobe isn't always easy to have but with Matt's book you'll be a step closer!
If you'd like to get your Craft Guerrilla blog reader discount for Make It, Own It, Love It at the discounted price of £16 including p&p* (RRP: £20), telephone 01903 828503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the offer code QPG462. *UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.