Win a Copy of Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking

***30/6/16 – this competition is now closed, a big thanks for all your thoughtful and inspired entries, the winner has been announced here***

fishtail-skirt-9

Have you seen the fishtail skirt that Winnie aka Scruffy Badger recently made from my first book “Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking”? I do love that skirt in denim and wear mine regularly.

beginners guide to dressmaking

Well Winnie loved the skirt so much she asked if she could host a giveaway for the book. We’ve come up with a cunning plan to make this more interesting that a boring old “share and leave a comment” competition, so here’s what you need to do if you want to be in with a chance of winning….

My aim when writing this book was to create a collection of patterns from which you can easily create a wardrobe of everyday basic garments. I tried to create patterns with enough adaptability for readers to make basic changes / additions to really make each garment suit their own style, with suggestions and instructions for how to adapt the basic patterns and inspirational photos of different versions of the garment. Of course all your basic dressmaking techniques are also explained in detail.

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So, what Winnie and I want you to do to be in with a copy of the book is to describe a dream outfit that you could make from the patterns in the book!

Here are the 6 patterns included in the book, along with examples made in different variations:

beginners guide to dressmaking projects

If you need a bit of inspiration, here are some outfits from the book:

beginners guide to dressmaking outfits

and if you need more, have a look through my Me Made May weekly summary posts as I regularly wear a lot of samples from this book!

Once you’ve decided which are your favourite patterns and have your dream outfit in your head, share your ideas in a comment. Just tell us your favourite 2 patterns from the 6 in the book and then describe your dream outfit that you would make using those 2 patterns.

Winnie and I will pick our favourite and the winner will be announced on Monday 27th June.

If you can’t wait that long and need a copy of the book for yourself or as a gift for a new stitcher you can buy it here.

35 responses to “Win a Copy of Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking

  1. Pingback: Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking – Dream Outfit Competition – WE HAVE A WINNER!! | Wendy Ward

  2. I would make the fish trail skirt in 3 or 4 variations for sure but the zip jacket has me biting my nails! So customizable and ready for a creative combo…perhaps some wax print fabric… Whatever i choose i know it’s gonna be a wardrobe staple. Thanks so much!

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  3. Charlotte Gray

    I would make a shift dress and a zipped jacket. I love the RTW zipped jackets that are out at the moment and would love to learn how to make one.

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  4. Fishtail skirt with scalloped hem with black zipped jacket…plain grey t shirt and coloured tights with a cute pair of shoe boots. Plain leather satchel and umbrella/sunglasses complete the look

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  5. I am a beginner sewer and I am so excited by the chance of winning this book. I was only looking at it recently thinking how fab and useful it is. It is such an fantastic journey you go on when you start sewing. I have started to see the world of clothes through different eyes and see more and more possibilities. But I do need guidance and inspiration and this book offers a great balance of both of these elements. It will help me learn the right way to do things and also how one pattern can be made in many different ways. As to what I would make? Well my teenage daughter has finally show interest in my making her an outfit. She loves the shift dress and would like it in a t-shirt fabric. She has chosen this material called “tiny dancer midnight” – great name — which is a jersey with a dandelion pattern on it. And she says she will wear it (lets hope I can do this!) with the zip jacket in a dark gray or black with a lime green trim which picks out the green on the dress fabric. Yes!

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  6. Nicola Bostock

    I would make the t-shirt in blocks of horizontal and vertical stripes, using fabric reclaimed from charity shop finds and the trousers using the gorgeous silver pineapples chambray from faberwood.com. The ultimate in comfort for a totally chilled out summer day, just add gin!

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  7. The book is brilliant – it gives you the opportunity to use a basic pattern but to add your own identity and be creative.
    I work from home most of the time and love wearing comfortable dresses so I would definitely make the shift dress in a nice summery floral print and a plain zipped jacket to match and edge the jacket with bias binding made from the dress fabric. I have a lovely pair of sling back kitten heeled turquoise blue shoes that I would match the fabric to.

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  8. Love some long jersey skirts for summer coolness and comfort but hiding my Irish Lilly white legs 😀 So the maxi skirt would be a must for me. Teamed with a fresh stripped Breton type top and a version of that cute jacket – I would be set for the holidays.

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  9. I love the zippered jacket, especially the asymmetrical zip, and would love to make it in a black-white colour block version. Second sew would be the tshirt in a sea-green stretch silk. Worn with simple black trousers and my black-and-white sandals… elegant with a quirky twist, completely me! But I think that once I start off with these patterns, they’ll lead to any number of variations (love the colour blocking options!) in colour and materials…

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  10. I would make the zipped jacket, perhaps in that pleather that Winnie used some time ago and a silk t shirt top. Love the contrast fabrics. Teamed with some slim leg trousers this would be a winner for me.

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  11. I would make the jacket first! Then layer it over the simple but classy/classic t-shirt. Very versatile pieces!

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  12. I love the t-shirt with the diagonal seam across the front – I would use a stripe and a floral 🙂 And I would love to try the fishtail hem skirt in a denim to wear with the shirt. What a cool book!

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  13. Ooh what a fab book. I’d make the dress with sleeves in this wonderful silk https://www.dittofabrics.co.uk/dash-design-vintage-silk-material?search=Silk&description=true&sub_category=true&page=2 and the zip jacket in a grey ponte like this; http://www.fabricgodmother.co.uk/roma-grey-marl/

    I’d finish my outfit off with this necklace; http://www.jewelthiefgallery.com/collections/necklaces/products/winged-scarab-beetle-necklace

    This would give me an all Brighton outfit, patterns, fabric and necklace all from independent retailers based in Brighton and Hove. Perfect to celebrate my home town!

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  14. I would love to make the shift dress using one of the lovely batik-style fabrics that have just arrived in my local sewing shop. And then the jacket in a plain linen. I think the zip would be a challenge to me as a returning sewer! I’m so grateful for all the www sites and wonderful bloggers for all the tuition that wasn’t available to me as a struggling teenage sewist more than 30 years ago☺

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  15. Jan Blankenship

    I have a lovely sixties style flower pattern knit in peach and brown tones to make a sleeveless shift layered with a peachy boucle knit zipped jacket.

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  16. I’m not very good at describing what’s in my head. But I would be on the hunt for that special fabric. I already have a chevron print for the maxi skirt. Next I would need to find a leather look for the zippered jacket. Next a solid colour, perhaps a tensel cotton denim, for the T shirt.

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  17. Hiya, inspired by Fawzias top and your ideas on Instagram I would lengthen the sleeveless shift dress and add side splits in a brightly coloured Aztec print cotton. Then pair this with a lightweight denim zipped jacket. A perfect comfy British summer outfit.

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  18. Lisa Raison Trehy

    I would make a linen shift dress -perfect for summer – and a jacket in denim. Classic and stylish outfit.

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  19. I think the t shirt and shift dress would be my favourite patterns as I can see a million ways to customise them to creat my own style garments. I think having 6 key pieces s genius and I love the styling.

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  20. Would make the zipped jacket in something textured, would love a chartreuse green or acid yellow. Would be great with a navy tee or shift dress. Wouldn’t mind giving the other patterns a go despite not being initially drawn to them, I think that is a real bonus with sewing books, more patterns for your cash and the potential to try something different.

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  21. Clair McLaughlin

    I would make the jacket and the maxi skirt/dress! Endless possibilities and I love the contemporary feel. I could see myself wearing it with boots in winter or in summer with sandals & for date night – a pretty necklace. I would probably stick to my basic black – but add in pops of colour along the binding of the jacket and the top of the dress/skirt.

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  22. My favourite patterns here are the zipped jacket and the teeshirt. I’d wear them with jeans. I’m wondering about the possibility of a dark floral jacket and toning teeshirt with contrasts picking out one of the other colours in the floral.

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  23. Eliza-sew-little

    I love the fishtail skirt and the zip jacket. Inspired by international week on GBSB I would use an African print for the skirt ( a short version) and a loose weave linen for the jacket possibly in a pale colour for contrast. Oh for summer evenings. I love all the inspiration ideas in the book. It looks worth it for just those.

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  24. I would make the T-shirt using the front from an old T-shirt I have in my stash – brown with white silhouette print of The Jam. The back, armhole trim, and neckband would be a contrast solid red. Then, the fishtail skirt in a muted tartan.

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  25. I need comfy, casual clothes for work (a small software company means I’m sitting at a desk all day, and my male coworkers wear fandom tshirts and jeans, even shorts in the height of summer, my one female peer wears yoga pants regularly), but I don’t feel like I’m At Work in that kind of thing, and like dresses and blouses. I think the shift dress in denim or chambray, with the zipper jacket in a fun print (maybe something to do with space) might strike the right balance.

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  26. As a complete beginner at dressmaking I’m not altogether sure what I’d be able to make, but I really like the jacket and think it would look good with the shift dress. My local fabric shop has some wonderful new fabrics in and the dress would look lovely in a bright floral fabric. I’d match is with the jacket in a solid colour, possibly trimmed with the dress fabric. I hope the patterns are easy to follow.

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  27. Ohh, definitely the zipped jacket in a black / charcoal faux suede (I just love the feel) with a bright jewel lining – maybe emerald, ruby, amethyst or a deep sapphire blue, and the shift dress – nothing beats a beautiful shift dress in a good wool crepe or maybe a crisp cotton – not sure what colour or pattern, but I may just venture outside my comfort zone and use something with a big loud floral print. I could wear it with the jacket for nights out, or without the jacket for work meetings in the summer months.
    That said, the trousers and t-shirt would be incredibly comfortable for wearing whilst working at home – those trousers look so snuggly.

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  28. Dream outfit: zipped jacket in raw silk for summer nights and a color blocked simple t-shirt. Minimalism!

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  29. I would put the t-shirt together with the trousers, making a knit outfit for Dance Church on Sundays!

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  30. What a great idea! So. Hmm. Well my biggest area of disappointment (that’s the wrong word – dissatisfaction might be better) with my recent turn to dressmaking is getting my edgy nature into my clothing. I miss slogan tees! So I would go with a tee made from two fabrics like you’ve shown. Or maybe the one with the stripes down the middle. Grey with black and teal stripes… added safety pins? Oooh… And one of those fishtail skirts is a must. Maybe shortened in a very dark denim so I can wear great big boots with it. And distressed like mad to match the safety pin tee. I wonder if you could line the fishtail in teal to match? Could I have three picks? Coz I love that biker’s jacket. Although I’d go classy and make it in grey wool – with a band arm patch, obvs. *g* Mum punk suitable for a forty something with a teen!

    Fab, fab competition!

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  31. I like the zipped jacket and the maxi skirt/dress. I’d like to make the maxi dress in a green gauze but altered so it falls just above the knee with a black linen zipped jacket. A great summer outfit!

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  32. I’ve already got my dream outfit planned! It is Isabel Marant inspired. I’m going to make the zipped jacket in an ikat inspired blue and white woven cotton edged with a heavily beaded cotton trim. It will be paired with my cropped flared blue jeans and the tshirt sewn in a red and white striped cotton viscose. Finished with my red birkinstocks. Colourful and a bit Boho.

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  33. I love the layered look. In my (very) late 60s I enjoy being playful with my clothes choices and enjoy the memories of hippy chic and rock chic styles. I would make the short jacket in a stretchy dark figured animal skin (with a leathery look) and heavy metal zips, worn over a floaty jersey floral fishtail skirt (probably with a net petticoat under) and a long striped tshirt. For winter I would add stripy tights and cowboy boots. I don’t have any biker boots, but If I could find some really classy ones that would be good. For summer I have red patent Mary Janes or some splendid pink platform sandals with ribbon ties. Who cares about age appropriate!

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  34. margaret finnimore

    I love the simple style of the projects in the book and it is really difficult to pick two items. However, having recently retired, I no longer have to dress for work and can have some fun with my clothes. With that in mind, I would make the fantastic trousers in orange silk, cuffs and waistband in a contrasting French navy. Lovely and light to wear and great to dress up or down. My second item to make the complete outfit would be to make the t-shirt in a stretch silk, not too heavily patterned but with hints of the French navy on a cream background. The French navy would feature as the sleeve and neckline and for a bit of p’zaz, I would use French navy lace for the back. Great for sitting outside the pub in the garden with a glass of wine in hand on a balmy summer evening.

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  35. Susan Harrison

    I would make the zipped jacket in a black material but with a purple contrast. The black would be ‘useful’ to mix into my wardrobe, but the rich jewel purple would cheer me up every time I look at it. I would then make a charcoal grey sleeveless shift dress. I would hope to layer it in colder weather as a pinafore and as it is in the summer. These would add to my emerging me made work wardrobe but on my terms. I no longer want to be high street suited and booted but find my own ‘uniform’ and ring the changes with them as they become tried and tested in different versions and material.

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