Book Review – Make It Own It Love It by Matt Chapple


Matt Chapple, winner of last year’s Great British Sewing Bee, has written a new book. It is a mixture of alteration techniques, making clothes and how to look after what you’ve made.

The book starts with straightforward information on what types of kit you need, the items you might ‘grow’ into and basic fabric information. Which is all useful stuff to know.


It then goes into some simple sewing processes broken down into projects; hems – how to shorten jeans, seams – slimming trouser legs, for example. What I really like about this section is that it also encourages you to customise and alter an item of clothing, one of the features of the GBSB. Using a specific sewing technique you can transform a particular item of clothing, such as using gathering or pleats to change a dress or tunic. This is a great way of showing how to use an abstract technique and then make it relevant to everyday sewing.


Once the basic sewing techniques have been explained, the book then goes into creating items of clothing from scratch.  It includes simple and easily put together projects that are great for beginners but also act as a reminder for the more experienced sewer that just wants a short, sharp sewing fix.

The last sections of the book hark back to an almost forgotten age of ‘repair and maintain’. When we take so much trouble to sew and make something, surely it is worth looking after.  These sections describe how to fix a missing button or repair a fallen hem and how to launder and care for the things we make.

The photography is excellent, and all the ‘how to’ steps are shown as well drawn and clear images. A mixture of illustrations and photos is interesting visually.


I think this book will be of most use to beginner sewers, although those with a little more experience will greatly enjoy some of the projects. This is Matt’s first book, and I’m sure his next books will explore more advanced techniques and projects.

Matt and the team behind the book have done a fantastic job in putting this book together. As Matt says in his introduction – this book “showcases something extremely close to my heart, the fact that we can all create something unique, whether it be from scratch or as a part of a customisation.” A sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with.

This is a delightful book. More than just a beautifully photographed coffee-table book, it has relevant and interesting information about creating your own sewing projects and how to care for them, definitely worth buying.

Happy Reading


31 thoughts on “Book Review – Make It Own It Love It by Matt Chapple

  1. This book looks great, just right for beginners like me. The sewing bee has brought great advocates of this most noble art and in spreading the sewing love. Cant wait to read a copy, if I’ve been a good boy.

    1. Great idea to mix all those ideas in a book always learning and refreshing information would love to win a copy

  2. Really interesting review. Having attended more than one of your workshops I’m confident that the review is unbiased and will be adding this to a list of gifts for Christmas for a friend. Travelling overseas GBSB and the GBBO are the only 2 programmes I make sure I can watch somehow. I’m still making the zippy bags that I learned in your workshop on my tiny Janome 140m.

  3. I love it when people happily and generously share their passion and especially when it helps new people. It makes the world a little bit happier.

  4. I love the fact that he talks about customizing of already made garments! It’s one of my favorite things to do. This truly looks like a great book!

  5. I enjoyed Matt on the GBSB and the book is already on my Amazon wish list.
    Thanks for a great review

  6. Big hints to Santa – love the idea of customisation of existing garments. Enjoy watching someone who is so totally passionate about his work.

  7. After reading the review I will be adding this to my wish list. I loved watching Matt on the gbsb. I now have my fingers crossed and toes in the hope I win this.

  8. Excellent review detailing the content. The book sounds just what is needed at this time when more people are taking up the crafts of yesterday, altering clothes is a great skill to have. I would love it xx

  9. This book looks like just what I need. I’m beginner sewer and sewing clothes scares me! GBSB has inspired me and this book looks like the perfect guide. It’ll be going on my Christmas list

  10. I thought Matt did a wonderful job on sewing bee. So nice to see his passion for sewing made into this wonderful book.
    The book is very well put together with lots off advice and help.
    Well done.. ✂️✂️✂️✂️😘

  11. Loved him on Sewing Bee. Sounds from your review that this would be a great book for beginners.

  12. This would be an ideal book for my daughter…she loves to stalk charity shops and vintage fairs for her clothing!! Now she can make them fit!!

  13. I like your point about the applicability of abstract techniques to adapting garments and your review of the book made me think to “even if it’s not broken – mend (adapt) it!”

  14. Well done Matt on what looks like an excellent book – I love the idea of a ‘repair and maintain’ section….. I’m sure this will be a great addition to the bookshelf of any sewist however experienced they may be.

  15. Made my own wedding dress in 1972 & later children’s dresses’ not much till I bought the Helena pattern in Harrogate. Matt’s book looks like the next step for me, bought clothes have never fitted me properly but I don’t know where to start to alter them. Great Christmas present for both me and my daughter, good luck to everyone who wants one, a real treasure.

  16. Hurrah! We have a winner selected by our Random Number Generator (my daughter pulling a number out of a hat) and number 145 means that Josiekitten as the 14th person to comment is our Winner! Please email us Josie and we can send out your book. Congratulations and thank you everyone for commenting I hope you all get a copy of the book in your stockings. 🙂

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