Girl with a Sewing Machine Jenniffer Taylor

61uMC1RQJoL._AC_US218_Pub; Search Press Books

This beautiful, instructive book from The Great British Sewing Bee‘s Jenniffer Taylor shows you how to make and adapt your own clothes without the need for shop-bought patterns. Using Jenniffer’s fun and imaginative ideas, this book will teach you how to get started transforming unloved items of clothing into new and exciting outfits; how to customise clothes with doilies, tassels, tie-dyeing and block printing; and finally how to measure yourself, create patterns and make clothes from scratch, including dresses, skirts, tops, trousers and a coat.

The book is packed with all the tricks of the trade that Jenniffer has learned along her sewing journey, and it will get you started on your own #sewingrevolution!

Before you even begin to sew from this fabulous book it’s worth just watching Jenniffer’s book launch on the show Sewing Quarter where she is a much loved guest designer and sewist.

I was so excited to get my hands on Jenniffer Taylor’s book and couldn’t wait to make a project.

Besides being a book full of inspiration, sewing ideas as well as hints and tips, it is a jolly good read. I had heard of Jenniffer from the Great British Sewing Bee but I didn’t know she was also in a band, or that her path to ‘sewing fame’ was because her husband entered her for the Sewing Bee without her knowledge.

Girl with a Sewing Machine, is a glossy book, with three sections. Getting started..Customising clothes and Making clothes from scratch.  Jenniffer also lets you know what notions you will need to make up your sewing kit, fabric ideas and the book is littered with ‘Top tips’ that will help with our progress.  I just adored her fabric diary idea and is one I am going to adopt.

What I especially liked about this book, is that Jenniffer doesn’t suggest we go out and buy expensive items. Jenniffer is all about upcycling and reusing what we already have. She even made the most gorgeous skirt using a tablecloth.. genius.

So do as Jenniffer suggests, grab a cuppa and dive in.


I decided to make the Wrap Trousers. 


I used 3 metres of cotton fabric which I cut in half.. one for each ‘side’ of the trousers.  ( I think this pattern would work with a heavier fabric as well, which would be great for a winter look to wear with thick tights)


Then using Jenniffer’s excellent tip, I did my measurements and wrote them down in my new ‘fabric diary’ with a swatch of fabric for future use.

3. The curve of the crotch needs a slow hand if you are not a confident stitcher, but I managed, and I even finished my seams by using my overlocker for the first time :)4

This is a project of ‘firsts’ for me…. my first ever buttonhole ..perfect


I also added small pleats to the front.. this isn’t in the book, but isn’t that Jenniffer’s point??? adapt and sew for what suits you


And here is my finished result. One very cute pair of wrap trousers. They took me just over one day to do, and I loved the process of making them.  They are simple in design but the techniques you have to do will be good practice for a seasoned sewist and a learning curve for newbies.

I think these would lovely with a patterned front and contrasting plain back.. they can be customised for your style in so many ways and I adore them.


The instructions are very easy to understand, but I do recommend reading through a couple of times just to get it right in your head. I didn’t face any complications, even though I did try new things. I am not a professional and I only sew for a hobby. I am self taught and with books such as this one, I think that most of us will be able to make something wearable in no time at all.

Happy sewing.

Buy the book,


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