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Made To Measure Book - FAQs

I wrote a book! This has been a decades-long dream of mine, and I'm so proud of the final result. Made To Measure is a sewing book, but not like the ones you might already know. Instead of providing you with sewing patterns for the 16 dressmaking projects in the book, each one is a draft-it-yourself, meaning that you will learn how to draft the pattern from scratch, to your own body measurements. No size charts, no limits, and hopefully less fitting! As well as the projects, the book also includes extensive chapters on essential sewing techniques, fabric types and care, pattern hacking, how to take a pattern from an existing garment, and pattern fitting and alteration (just in case!).

Made To Measure is now available worldwide! You can get exclusively signed copies direct from us, or purchase from your local or preferred book retailer. 


Will the book be available in different languages? I hope so! If this initial post-publication period goes well and there seems to be a demand for additional languages, then that is certainly something my publishers will be looking into. Watch this space!

My local bookstore / haberdashery doesn't have any copies of your book, and I would prefer to buy it from an independent business :( I would be thrilled to have my book in more small, independent businesses! Please express a desire to buy my book from your local independent and give them our contact email ( should they wish to place a wholesale order from the publisher. We can then put them in touch :)


Can I order a signed copy of the book from the BHL website if I'm not in the UK? Totally! We can ship anywhere in the world :)

I'd like to order a signed copy for a friend. Can you make out the dedication to someone else? No worries at all - just include the person's name and anything you'd like me to write in the notes box when you get to checkout.


I'm new to sewing, and would consider myself a complete beginner - is this book right for me? In all honesty, I would say not yet. If you have never sewn a garment before, then you will need to get a little more experience and confidence under your belt before attempting the projects in this book. I wouldn't want you to get excited and then feel overwhelmed as you read through for the first time! When you get to a more 'confident beginner' stage, when you've made a few simple garments like skirts and tops and had a go working from a commercial sewing pattern, then you'll be in a much better position to try out the projects in this book!

I've never drafted a pattern before - is this book right for me? Definitely :) The projects in the book vary in difficulty, so you'll be able to start with very simple, beginner friendly self-draft projects (like the Panelled Wrap Skirt, or the Patchwork Gathered Skirt) and work your way up to the more advanced garments as your skills develop and your confidence grows. I'm a huge believer in learning as you go, not worrying about "perfection", and just getting stuck right into a project that will challenge you, and hopefully leave you with new abilities and something you'll be proud to wear!

I'm already very confident drafting my own patterns - is this book right for me? Absolutely! As well the the more beginner friendly projects, there are harder and more advanced projects in there too, such as a pair of high waisted wide leg trousers and a slinky bias cut halter neck gown, complete with centre back godet...! As well as the 16 draft-it-yourself projects, there are sections on pattern alteration, how to take a pattern from an existing garment, sleeve hacks and so much more. I've poured as much of what I've learned over the last 20 years I've been sewing into this book, so I hope that everyone will get something juicy out of it!

I can never find sewing patterns to fit my body - does this book offer size inclusive sewing patterns? What makes this book different is that there are no patterns - each project takes you through how to draft the pattern to your own measurements -no matter your size or shape- and then sew it altogether. When you're starting with your own measurements from the very beginning, you don't have to worry about where you sit on a size chart, the amount of fitting you'll have to do should be much less than with a standard sewing pattern, plus you can also tweak the design to your own taste as you go!

I don't have anyone to help me take measurements or make alterations - will I still be able to draft and fit the projects in the book? Yes! Having a happy helper (who knows how to take accurate measurements and can genuinely assist in fit diagnosis) is a luxury that most of us don't have access to. We've got a video on YouTube that shows you how to take your own body measurements solo - check it out here. However, if you have limited mobility, especially in your arms, some of the measurements will be difficult to take by yourself so you will need to get someone to help you out.


If I get stuck on one of the projects in the book, where do I go for help? If you get stuck and need some advice, please send an email to - please include any photos of what you're working on (if relevant) so we can see where you're at and how best to support you :) Equally, if you have any questions that are not answered here, please send us an email and we will get back to you, and add your question to the FAQs here as well.

  • Post author
    Elisalex de Castro Peake

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