Sew Your Own
The true story of one manâ€™s attempt to survive economic meltdown, tackle climate change and find the meaning of life â€“ by making his clothes
Photo: Dwayne Senior
INCLUDING: why his wife wonâ€™t always allow him to wear his home-made clothes in public.
FEATURING: film stars Richard Gere and Daryl Hannah, politicians and campaigners, criminals and priests, the Victorian essayist John Ruskin, injured New York-based sweatshop operatives, British TVâ€™s celebrated petrol-head Jeremy Clarkson and the anti-road protestor who stuck a pie in his face, members of the ancient guild of spinners, dyers and weavers, the Quaker philanthropist Elizabeth Fry, call-centre workers in Bangalore, the authorâ€™s wifeâ€™s 98-year-old great aunt Peggy Parker, a â€śnaked yogaâ€ť teacher, prince Charlesâ€™s own Savile Row tailor, a â€śpersonal shopperâ€ť, the German army of the First World War, Mahatma Gandhi, the Buddha, Jesus Christ and Vivienne Westwood.
Iâ€™m sitting on the Northern Line, on the City branch, in the middle of rush hour, on a carriage crowded with people dressed in smart clothes, with expensive accessories.
I used to be just like these pâ€¦
Fashion Revolution Day
Do watch this film, about a fantastically important campaign I helped to launch:
Ever wondered where the clothes you’re wearing come from?Read John Paul Flintoff’s ‘Through the eye of a needle’ http://bit.ly/5GTfmu— Brigit Strawbridge (@BeeStrawbridge) December 23, 2009
As a keen book maker, I have become increasingly interested in how physical books are different from ebooks, and one of the best examples of that is the pop-up.
Exponents of origami will share my enthuâ€¦
John-Paul Flintoff has just been in – he makes ALL his own clothes… I mean all http://yfrog.com/0buvkfj What do you think?— BBC London Travel (@BBCTravelAlert) October 17, 2009
Today is Fashion Revolution Day – and we’re asking you to think / post pictures asking #whomademyclothes – in hope that a stronger connection between makers and consumers might prevent abuses of theâ€¦
Sew Your Own: What is it?
BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour
Listen to me explain myself to Jane Garvey.
Can a journalist who makes his own clothes teach us something about style?Meet John-Paul Flintoff â€“ bravuracoaching.com/2012/08/16/my-â€¦ via
<a href="https://twitter.com/mandylehto">mandylehto</a></p>— Mandy Lehto (mandylehto) August 16, 2012
Cor, look at this fine bit of sewing
For a long time, I have taken the view that it would not be a good idea to sew anything for Harriet. She might not like it, and then sheâ€™d feel bad, and Iâ€™d feel bad and it would generally be bad allâ€¦
“Look what you’ve done to me!” wrote Joe McAllister, of north east London. After finishing Sew Your Own, he went out at once to buy a hand-powered sewing machine.
“I bought it off eBay for 99p, pickedâ€¦
When I wrote Sew Your Own, I tried to make it clear that sewing and knitting aren’t the only craft skills I wanted to learn – and that others could enjoy. I also built a bookcase, and wrote about thatâ€¦
Some time ago, I came across some fascinating academic research suggesting that people reported higher levels of happiness in an area where somebody had put up signs reading: “10 smiles an hour zone”.
A few years ago, I made a decision: I would never again buy anything â€ścheapâ€ť if I could help it. In other words, I would buy less than I had bought in the past, but it would all be good quality.
Sew Your Own : Reviews
â€śWhat a great read!â€ť â€“ Blue Peter
â€śVery funny, I hope it does wellâ€ť â€“ Jane Garvey, Womanâ€™s Hour
â€śMeet the man who made his underpants from nettlesâ€ť â€“ Mary Ann Sieghart, BBC World Service
I couldnâ€™t put it down. It was moving and utterly brilliantâ€ť â€“ Rachael Matthews, Cast Off
â€śWonderful, amazing, funny and warm! And inspiring!â€ť Tom Hodgkinson, author of How To Be Free
â€śAccessible, funny, well researched, and an inspiring pleasure to readâ€ť â€“ The Ecologist
â€śJohn-Paul Flintoff can do things with a sewing machine other men could only dream ofâ€ť â€“ Daisy Green magazine
â€śCharmingâ€¦ As an intellectual might say, it works on lots of different levels. There is a spiritual journey here, but also lots of hi-jinks and good jokesâ€ť â€“ Molly Scott Cato, author of Green Economics
â€śHe makes yarn from plastic bags and sews his clothes on a Twenties treadle-powered Singer machine. Now he wants to take on climate change and anti-social behaviour with crochet hooksâ€ť â€“ Evening Standard
â€śExcellent account of making his own outfit (even down to woollen underpants)â€ť â€“ Susie Forbes, Easy Living magazine
â€śI laughed loud and wonderfullyâ€¦ utterly delicious!â€ť â€“ Camila Batmanghelidjh, Kids Company
â€śI love the book. Itâ€™s a really thoughtful read and [Flintoff] turns a lovely phraseâ€ť â€“ Anne Caborn, Make It And Mend It
â€śHis sometimes oddball thirst for self-reliance is by turns funny and touchingâ€ť â€“ Tony Rollinson, Permaculture magazine
â€śTake my advice and read this book â€“ youâ€™ll feel all the better for itâ€ť â€“ Richard Barnett, Ethical Pulse
â€śI really enjoyed itâ€ť â€“ AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
â€śThis is one hell of a book and I did not want to put it downâ€ť â€“ Michael Smith, Green Review
â€śCompellingâ€¦ For Flintoff, enlightenment comes neither through religion nor political affiliation â€“ but in making clothesâ€¦ an inspiring eulogy to DIYâ€ť â€“ Emmanuelle Smith, Financial Times
â€śBrilliantly heart-warming, laugh-out-loud storyâ€¦ the kind of book that word of mouth canâ€™t spread fast enoughâ€ť â€“ Katy Evans, Knitting magazine
â€śPeople are changing the world by small actions, but Flintoff finds that thatâ€™s the only way to make effective changeâ€ť â€“ Dan Thompson, Artistsandmakers.com
â€śVery honest and human and movingâ€ť â€“ Nick Rosen, author of Off-Grid
â€śI think it is chic to have darned your own clothesâ€ť â€“ India Knight, author and journalist
â€śDonâ€™t expect to finish it in a hurry â€“ your head will be filling up with Things You Can Do, and youâ€™ll be jumping up to get on with themâ€ť â€“ Emma Cooper, Eco Crafts
â€śI donâ€™t really understand what you are doing, but I wish you every successâ€ť â€“ Vivienne Westwood
â€śIt seems, and Iâ€™m grinding my jaws as I type this, that his time has comeâ€ť â€“ Harriet Green (the authorâ€™s wife) quoted in The Observer
Sew Your Own – John-Paul Flintoff http://lovereading.co.uk/book/4629 – A Great and fun education in how to change our approach to life.— Lovereading (@lovereadinguk) July 20, 2010
<a href="https://twitter.com/jpflintoff">jpflintoff</a> new class for you to teachtheschooloflife? RT
<a href="https://twitter.com/libertylondon">libertylondon</a>: Be a superhero 'Design your own cape' kit <a href="http://t.co/iSjHa3Wz" title="http://bit.ly/KnTlGL">bit.ly/KnTlGL</a></p>— Zoe Robinson (zoerobinson1) June 8, 2012