Book Review. Make it, Own it, Love it by Matt Chapple

I am really excited to be reviewing the new book Make it, Own it, Love it by Matt Chapple (published by Jacqui Small). The book is released this Thursday 20th October for £20 (Buy it here) and I have been lucky to get an exclusive look.

Equally exciting: I have 2 copies up for grabs for 2 lucky readers courtesy of the publisher. Read on to find out how you can be in with a chance to get your hands on a copy.

Disclaimer: I have no connection to the publisher or author. All views expressed are my own.

When I received an email asking if I would like to review Make it, Own it, Love it, naturally, I jumped at the chance but when the book arrived I realised the difficult task ahead. I suddenly thought how hard it might be for me to review. Although I've never met Matt I feel that I know him, not just because we both appeared on the Great British Sewing Bee but he is a man that sews, like me: Also, would I read through the book and be thinking 'I would have said this...' or 'I would have done that...'?

Photo: Simon Brown
Actually, as soon as I started reading, I forgot my silly thoughts and got stuck in. The book is clearly laid-out in a crisp, modern, clean style. The typeface is easy on the eye with excellent photographs throughout. Instructions are supplemented with clear drawings and the writing style is very relaxed yet clear: In fact you can almost hear Matt as you read.

Firstly, this book is a little different to many other sewing books I have read. It is not a 'technical' book that focuses on one area of sewing, nor is it a 'general', catch all beginners sewing book. What Matt has done is to create a book that will get people interested in sewing or indeed rekindle your interest; from beginners to more advanced sewers, there is something in the book for everyone. I consider myself to be a more advanced sewer but there are several things in the book I shall be having a go at! (Thanks Matt)

Photo: Simon Brown
The book is split into several chapters, each having many sections: The book starts with Matt guiding beginners and less experienced sewers through tools and basic techniques before moving on to the nuts and bolts of the book.

In the Make it your own chapter Matt demonstrates and guides the reader through various aspects of customising, altering and embellishing a multitude of garments. This section also includes must know techniques and methods involved in sewing.

Photo: Simon Brown
The following chapter, Make it from scratch, will appeal, I think, to everyone. Matt shows the reader how to make several garments, as the title suggests, from scratch. There is nothing overly-complicated but plenty to get the reader involved and wanting to have a go.

Photo: Simon Brown
The final chapters covers a multitude of areas designed to help you get the best out of clothing. Matt really touches on an aspect so often overlooked and one I feel very passionate about: Repairing and maintaining clothes. We live in a throw-away society and it is great to see someone actually writing about how to mend something, rather than just throw it away!

I really enjoyed reading the book and I think Matt has really done well for his debut. It is refreshing to see a well written sewing book that covers so many different areas and I know it will appeal to many sewers. The book is well priced at just £20, especially as so many hardback books seem to command more.

Photo: Simon Brown
Well I guess you can't write a review without any form of critique but I will be honest as there are really only two things: The next paragraph I will write is me being really, really picky:

I was disappointed that there were not more menswear items included in the book. I know menswear and sewing is a very underrated area but it was a shame that Matt didn't promote it a little more.

Whilst the photographs and drawings in the book are very good, I did feel that a few of the more difficult techniques could have done with more drawings for clarity.

So would I recommend the book? Yes definitely. It is a sewing book that gets you thinking and is good at refreshing your memory on less used techniques or skills.

My thanks go to the publisher for allowing me to review and congratulations to Matt on his first book.


Of course you do and thanks to the publisher you can. All you need to do:

The 2 lucky winners will be picked at random next Friday, October 28th at 7pm.

Good luck and until next time....Happy Sewing!