Tag Archives: sewing books for beginners

Signed Books Available Again!

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Win a copy of “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking”!

win the beginners guide to dressmaking

So, my book is finally, officially published this week on Friday 7th November. If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, you can currently save a whopping £6.40 on the cover price of £19.99 from Amazon, where it’s number 2 in the bestselling Dressmaking books chart!!

The book is aimed at new sewers who want to have a go at making their own clothes but feel a bit daunted by the prospect. It covers 14 basic dressmaking techniques and contains 6 multi-size patterns printed full-scale on 2 pull-out pattern sheets.

Once you have a few basics under your belt or you’ve already made a few clothes but want some patterns for modern, classic everyday wearable clothes there is also a whole chapter on making the patterns your own style which covers another 5 techniques such as pockets and collars.

You can have a look inside the book here.

I have been teaching people to sew for 7 years and I use my own patterns extensively in my classes, so you can be sure that the patterns in this book are tried, tested and easy to follow. The patterns come in 5 sizes which cover the following range: bust 84-101cm (33-40″), waist 68-85cm (27-33.5″), hips 92-109cm (36-43″).

I have 2 copies of my book to give away (to entrants in the UK), for winners outside the UK the prize will be a PDF version of the book. To enter, answer the following questions:

**Competition now closed – winners to be announced shortly!**

If you want to share this competition with your followers on social media, include the hashtag #wearwhatyousew

Good luck!

Competition Rules:

One entry per person. Two winners will be chosen at random after the closing date of Friday 14th November at 18:00 GMT and sent a paper copy of the book if their address is in the UK, or a pdf if outside of the UK.  Only entries with both questions completed will be entered. Your details will not be used for any other purposes or shared with any 3rd parties.

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How to Sew T-Shirts

Have you been watching the Celebrity version of the Great British Sewing Bee this week? What do you think? Anything that gets more people interested in sewing is a good thing in my book and even better, making t-shirts! If you know me or my blog you will know how I like to evangelise about sewing with stretch knit fabrics, so I was very happy to hear this was to be included in the show.

If you are feeling inspired to start whipping up your own t-shirts, read on for patterns, tips and guides to help you on your way, all tried and tested by my eager sewing students at MIY Workshop, so you can be sure they all work.

T-shirt Patterns

easy t-shirt sewing pattern

Here is the T-shirt sewing pattern from my book (“The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking”).  It’s a really quick and easy make for beginner dressmakers.

If you have done a bit of sewing already, are dabbling with pattern hacking* and fancy something a bit more than a plain version, the book comes complete with a whole chapter packed with ideas for how to modify the basic patterns to create more styles:

beginners guide to dressmaking t-shirt make it your own

*Newbie sewers – pattern hacking = modifying an existing pattern to adapt it into a new version of the style.  Something of which I highly approve as it’s creative and empowering to start with a simple version of a pattern and be able to change it a bit to create a new style.

If you don’t want to invest in a whole book and want a t-shirt pattern to just get on with, here’s one from my pattern range, MIY Collection:

easy t-shirt vest dress sewing pattern

Available as a print pattern for £15 or a PDF download for £7, another easy one for beginners and infinitely adaptable for pattern hacking.

Here are just a few of the versions made by my sewing students:

easy t-shirt vest dress sewing pattern

How to Sew T-Shirt Fabric & Where to Buy

Here are some links to some of my most popular posts about sewing with stretch knit t-shirt fabrics:

How to Customise a Plain T-shirt

So, once you’ve started you might want to move on from a plain t-shirt to a bit of pattern hacking, customising and embellishment.

t-shirt customising

Here’s a piece I wrote last year for Sewing World magazine which includes 2 easy ways to customise t-shirts: stencil printing (like on the vest above) and using shirring elastic to change the shape of the t-shirt.


I hope that’s inspired you to go and get busy!  If so, why not sign-up for my newsletter to get regular sewing advice and tips: http://eepurl.com/EVEYj