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:

  • Share this post via Twitter or Facebook (or both!)
  • Leave a comment below to let me know what sewing means to you
The 2 lucky winners will be picked at random next Friday, October 28th at 7pm.
Good luck and until next time….Happy Sewing!

18 thoughts on “Book Review. Make it, Own it, Love it by Matt Chapple”

  1. Nice review Jamie. Sewing for me provides many thing:
    1. for clothing, huge money savings from having to use a tailor to do alterations
    2. for new clothing, interesting clothing that I enjoy wearing, or making something for someone you care about and also shocking people by saying that I made it.
    3. huge savings on home dec, custom curtains, slip covers etc .. Laura Ashley .. eat your heart out!

  2. Sewing for me is two things

    1) the ability to have more control of what I wear, both in terms of fit and style. Style (I don't like 'fashion' as it tends to be more fad based) is what drew me in to sewing – a real passion and love for the clothes that I wear.
    2) a creative outlet now that I can't dance and choreograph anymore. It's so fully to make things. More people should do it ��

  3. It's great to see a review that is honest with some direct critique. I have made shirts and trousers for my husband but I would dearly love to find a book aimed more at men's designs. Come on Jamie you should write your own book, I'd buy it.

  4. Tweet posted!
    I returned to sewing a couple of years ago inspired by GBSB and more spare time.
    Sewing is my me time and relaxation……and I love to see something physical as an output. I also love reading blogs and seeing what other people make…..and have met up with a couple of groups to shop in London so it's also an opportunity to make friends with like minded people

  5. Sewing means I can make things to fit as I find buying some ready to wear clothes difficult (I'm short but not little/petite). I also find it challenging, relaxing and creative – depending on what I am making.

  6. I love the challenge of sewing and creating something all by myself, but I also love sewing with my daughter and teaching her, just like my mum taught me (although my mum still does help me out!)

  7. Have tweeted this post : )
    Sewing means to me, contentment. I am a homemaker who loves to make gifts, dresses, homewares, and it is so fulfilling – I love every day.
    Thank you for the chance to win this lovely book

  8. Thanks for the wonderful review, Jamie!
    As a little girl, I used to sit next to my dad as he sewed every night. He was a very talented tailor and mostly made clothes for my mom and I. Shortly after his passing 9 years ago, I missed him dearly and started sewing clothes. That made feel close to him again.
    I've been sewing since! Clothes for my kids, accessories and quilts. I love the calm feeling that I get when I sit down infront of my reliable Pfaff, all the tensions and worries just dissolve as I hear sweet hum of my sewing machine 🙂 it feels like coming home. I guess that's what sewing means to me.

  9. Really appreciated your review and I've entered your giveaway to win Matt's book. Shared on twitter. �� Sewing is my go to place when life's storms rage and rock. I practically sew and also have a fantastic imagined sewing life that one day is like to see happen in my reality! Thanks for your blog and this opportunity!

  10. Thanks for the giveaway! For me, sewing is a hobby. I love puzzling out how to make a garment come together. And if everything works out well, it's a hobby with a nice productive ending 😀

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