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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 07 November 2020
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782215936
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 400
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £12.99
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Your Skirt, Your Way


Draft your block, choose your shape, customize your own design! by Jenniffer Taylor

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Book Description

Design and sew your own gorgeous, unique skirts, with no need for shop-bought patterns.

Start by creating your own block and toile using just four body measurements. Then select your skirt shape, add the fittings, fastenings and details you want, and put the whole thing together with ease.

With clear step-by-step photography and easy-to-follow instructions, Jenniffer Taylor (of The Great British Sewing Bee) will show you how to mix and match the design elements you really want to make your perfect garment; choose from A-line, flared, gathered, pencil and pleated shapes, and from pockets, zips, buttons and yokes.

The book contains 10 inspiring skirt options to get you started... but it’s your skirt, your way, so fill your wardrobe with an array of gorgeous skirts that fit you perfectly and suit your style!

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
How to use this book 8
Getting started 12
Basic sewing kit 12
Dressmaking essentials 15
Drafting tools 16
Fabricology 18
Your body, your block 22
What is a block? 24
What is a toile? 24
What details should I include? 25
Taking your own measurements 26
How to draw out your own block 28
Making a toile and checking the fit 32

Creating your skirt 37
Skirt shapes 38
Basic skirt 40
Pencil skirt 41
A-line skirt 42
Flared skirt 43
Boxpleated skirts 44
Gathered skirts 48

Fastenings & fixtures 52
Traditional waistband 54
Wrapped waistband 56
Facing 58
Zip fastenings 60
Button placket 64

Details & finishings 66
Patch pockets 68
Inseam pocket 70
Yoke 72
Yoke pocket 74
Back vent 78
Hems 80

Putting your skirt together 84
Skirt recipes 88
Monroe 88
Brodie 92
Pattie 96
Cecelia 100
Bobbie 104
Kate 108
Joni 112
Judy 116
Jasmine 120
Grace 124

About the Author

About Jenniffer Taylor

Jenniffer Taylor’s sewing journey began with her ultimate project: to design and make her own wedding dress. The experience unlocked her creativity and for the first time she found she was able to express her individual style; empowering her to create garments that she always wanted to wear. Jenni’s husband Kirk recognized her passion and after secretly submitting an application for her, she appeared as a contestant on the second series of The Great British Sewing Bee in 2014.

Jenni is now a prominent and popular sewing influencer and author, who teaches dressmaking both online and offline. As well as demonstrating on television and events, she also designs her own range of sewing patterns. Jenni’s first book, Girl with a Sewing Machine, was published in 2017. 

Find more dressmaking inspiration, tips and tutorials at www.jenniffertaylor.co.uk
Find her on Facebook: Tailor-Taylor 
Follow @jennibobtaylor on Twitter and Instagram



Draft your block, choose your shape, and customise your own design says Jenniffer Taylor! This brilliantly simple book teaches you exactly how to design and create your own gorgeous skirts, with no need for shopbought patterns. Start by creating your own block and toile using just four-body measurement and then select your skirt shape, add the fittings, fastenings and detailsyou want, and put the whole thing together with ease!

With clear step-by-step photography and easy-to-follow instructions, Jenniffer will show you how to mix and match the design elements you really want to make your perfect garment. Choose from A-line, flared, gathered, pencil and pleated shapes, and from pockets, zips, buttons and yokes. This book contains 10 inspiring skirt options, but
remember its your skirt, your way!

Amazon Customer Review

Although I have sewn since I was a teenager, Ive never drafted a pattern. Im not a conventional shape so always have to tweak patterns and skirts never quite work for me, hence my interest on this book. Skirts are the easiest patterns to draft, ideal for a first go at drafting. At the start of the book there are sections on fabrics, sewing tools and drafting tools. The author then splits the book into three main sections:

1. Constructing the basic skirt block then altering for six variations on shape. 2. Techniques and some extra details. 3. Skirt recipes, where you can mix up the techniques and details.

Taylor makes constructing the block (Americans call it a sloper) very understandable by breaking it down into bite sized steps. Correct body measurements are crucial and she explains how best to take them and where. (E.g. where do you measure for hips and waist? And how should you determine length?) Although I havent made a block yet, Ive read through the instructions, which are very detailed and are easy to understand. Take them slowly and make sure you read through before starting to carry them out. She includes making a toile (practice garment, Americans call this a muslin) and then checking the fit and how to fine tune it. The main reason for making your own blocks is to ensure a nicely fitting garment.

The next section shows how to alter the basic skirt shape to create a further five skirt shapes, such as a pencil skirt and a flared skirt. Taylor goes on to explain techniques such as a traditional waistband, facings and zips. Two zip insertions are shown, one is a centred zip. The other is a fly zip which is less common and ignored in many other sewing books. (Im looking forward to trying it her way.) Invisible/concealed zips are mentioned but not shown.

Techniques such as pockets, hems, a back vent and yokes were dealt with before the skirt recipes. There are ten suggested skirt styles, but many of the components can be swapped around, added, taken off etc. So you really have a multitude of variations to personalise your skirt for you.

I like Taylors approach of using a scaled down/mini mannequin to show the various component shapes and how they make up a skirt. Genius! Its much easier to understand than using full scale body sized mannequins.

The skirts shown have a definite retro vibe, helped perhaps by some unusual fabric combinations. Fabric choice is all important, and most of the fabrics used are mid to heavy weight woven. For me, although my favourites are too short, instructions are there to lengthen them.

Would I buy the book? Yes for the pattern drafting, and components styles, rather than the sewing techniques. Im excited to get my pattern paper and tackle the jeans style skirt, Bobbie (but longer!)

Amazon Customer Review

Clearly written and illustrated. I'm an experienced dressmaker but would usually only work from a pattern, this book has given me the confidence to make my own block and also inspired me experiment altering my existing patterns.

Amazon Customer Review

The opening parts of the book give a comprehensive overview of the equipment needed and terms used in dressmaking. Although I have many years of experience in dressmaking, I have never tried to draft my own pattern and it was this part of the book I was most interested in. I found the instructions for making the basic skirt block easy to follow and then went on to make a toile as the author recommends. I carried on and then made up the toile into a proper garment as the fabric I'd picked was suitable and was very satisfied with it. Although I haven't yet made any of the other styles I have read the instructions and I'm confident I could make them successfully. I particularly liked the suggestions on customising touches such as the pockets and will definitely use these in the future, definitely a worthwhile buy.

Machine Knitting Monthly

Mix and match design elements to make a perfect garment. The book contains ten skirt options to get you started and fill your wardrobe with gorgeous skirts that fit perfectly and suit your style!

Sew magazine - December 2020

Looking for a totally unique skirt? Well, you're in luck, as this must-have manual by author Jennifer Taylor, of The Great British Sewing Bee fame, shows you how to mix and match elements to create your ultimate garment. Whether you prefer a pleated mini or an A-line maxi, there's something for every style - plus a whole range of options for pockets, zips, buttons and yokes, too.

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