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The Sewists: My Versions

When putting together The Sewists, there was much sewing to be done. Every project was carefully considered and worked through, some I even managed to complete entirely right down to the final tiny details; like painting a face or neatly snipping ribbon ends.  Here you can see Curious Pip’s Mermaid, Kate Bowles’ Hand Bound Notebook, plus glimpses of Anna Alicia’s Bargello Embroidery Collar and Sophie Strong’s Cameo Brooch, all of which I made in my workroom, when the book was yet to reach completion.


For me, the project that presented the biggest challenge was Kate Bowles’ Notebook. I had never attempted bookbinding before but was keen to include the craft in the book and to have a go myself. Kate’s instruction and encouragement was excellent, and on my visit to meet her I was brave enough to reveal my endeavours. For a first attempt my stitching wasn’t that tight, so next time I’ll watch out for that. Working with paper and thread made a nice difference to my usual sewing which is usually cloth based.

I learned so much from working through all the techniques featured in the book, and know I will return to the projects again. I do hope you’re enjoying making with The Sewists.

The Sewists: Thank You.

A big thank you to everyone who has purchased The Sewists over the last few days (and weeks for you early birds). I really appreciate your support and hope you’re enjoying the book.

Today I wanted to take a moment to share with you all the Sewists featured in the book. I warmly encourage you to look them up, read all about them and support their creative work.

Jessica Hayes-Gill
Anna Alicia
Kate Bowles
Abigail Brown
Katie Wagstaff  (Oh Squirrel)
Kirsty Southam (Me Plus Molly)
Leanne Sarah Smith (Bobbin and Bumble)
Hannah Kopacz  (Made with Love by Hannah)
Louise Evans (Felt Mistress)
Donna Bramhall (Spinster’s Emporium/Haberdasher Me)
Sophie Strong 
Kim Davis (Oh, Sweet Joy!)
Sarah Burford (Curious Pip)
Rachelle Francis
Megan Hunt (Princess Lasertron)
Julie Jackson (Subversive Cross Stitch)
Jaime Jennings and Amber Corcoran (Fancy Tiger Crafts)
Andrea Tong-Tucker (Roxypop)
Sarai Mitnick (Colette Patterns)

Do keep sharing the book and let me know what you think – reviews welcome too!

The Sewists: Out Now!

Today is a wonderful day! My book The Sewists is now out there for you, dear reader to purchase and enjoy. It’s the kind of book you can have a little flip through when you need some inspiration. The type of read that makes you want to get sewing and share in the wonderful world of handmade. I am so proud of The Sewists and thankful to all the designer-makers who took part in the project. It was a big undertaking, but it was a totally worthwhile one.

One of my fondest memories was the time spent at Fringe, styling the projects for the photo shoots. I spent several joyous hours plotting the images and sourcing props and backdrops to show off the work of the designer-makers who had entrusted me with their beautifully crafted samples. Seeing Sam Walton’s photographs for the first time was a great feeling. We took so many snaps on the day, I thought I’d share some of them with you here, they may not have made the cut book-wise, but they are smashing all the same.

The Sewists is available from Laurence King, my splendid publisher. See if you can spot the book out in the wild and do let me know where you find it.  I’m going to be book hunting in bricks and mortar shops- why not order a copy from your local independent bookshop?

Happy sewing folks!

The Sewists: An Inside Look

With The Sewists on its way this week, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into the book with a few splendid pages. Even though I’ve been in possession of the book for a fair while, I still really enjoy looking at it – I hope you will too.

Oh Sweet Joy P

Cross Stitch
Megan Hunt

Simple Zip Pouch

The Sewists Apron P

The Sewists: Sort Your Sewing Space

When researching The Sewists I saw many a workroom, studio and sewing nook, so when The Sewing Directory asked for my thoughts on how to sort your sewing space – I couldn’t resist.


I have always been the tidy sort, taking great pleasure in organising and putting things away. My workspace is always changing as I move between tasks or need some fresh inspiration, but I always love working in it and having a place to indulge my creativity. You can have a little peek at my sewing space in the introduction to The Sewists.

The Sewists Josephine Perry Blog

My Makes: The Zipped Purse

I have made many a zipped purse in different shapes and sizes, in fact there is a great tutorial for one in The Sewists if you fancy giving it a whirl.

Josephine Perry Zipped Purse

This is one of my favourites, it is made from a vintage fabric I spotted at the Country Living Fair from Calon Company a couple of years ago. The Calon stand is actually one of the best at the show and I always find something great to add to my stash.

I am very fond of the bright orange zip and the print never bores me. When I was working out sizes I made it long enough to accommodate a hairbrush in case of emergency preening. It’s great how versatile these purses are, plus they make a lovely handmade gift that you can personalise to your heart’s content.

My Makes: English Paper Piecing

Whenever anyone asks me about starting to patchwork, I always say that if you don’t start, you won’t finish. I spent years looking at patchwork quilts, touching the different prints, wondering if I’d ever get round to sewing one. Then one fateful day I just did it.

Patchwork Collage

The fabrics come from a variety of sources, some are precious old ones that would have been left languishing in a cupboard if I hadn’t embarked on this project. I think a quilt is a good way to preserve and appreciate the treasured pieces in my stash; enabling them to be useful as well as beautiful.

This patchwork only comes out sporadically (thanks Clueless) and every time I marvel at the colours and the patterns. I love the crinkle sound of the paper and the tiny stitches I have to pop my glasses on to achieve. I have no idea when this project will be completed- but it will, in time and then I will probably start another one because as Mary Poppins said “Well begun is half done.”

Fantastic Finds: The Second-Hand Frock

Frock Collage

I found this frock at Finders Keepers; a glorious floor of handmade and vintage wares located in the tea, cake and shopping emporium Lollyrocket in Kettering.

I was drawn to the print at first, there is something old about it, but kind of eighties/nineties too- in short I really have no idea which era it’s from, but by the look of the slightly sleepy seams it is clearly handmade and well loved.

It was a snip at £10 and just needed a little seam reinforcement to make it like new again. I heartily recommend a little bit of mending, it always makes me feel great.

My Makes: Piped Cushion

There is something about the look of a piped cushion that makes it appear more complete than any other kind. This was my first attempt at piping so I spent a good while thinking about how it would work.
Such Dotty Piping
You may recognise the fabrics from my drop in seat post, they are for our living/dining space where print on print reigns. I made one piped cushion and the other tucked behind is a straightforward zipped version, it has a bit of a barkcloth like texture which is very tactile.

If you fancy having a go at piping, I found the best guidance in my old seventies sewing books, not only is the advice straightforward but the matchy-matchy styling is something to be seen. There always seems to be great old sewing books in charity shops so do have a look next time you’re out for a mooch.

Adventures in Upholstery: The Drop-In Seat

I was raised in a haven for abandoned junk shop treasures. Mum and dad were always doing something, fixing things up – making do and mending. So it only makes sense that I like to do the same because at home we were doing it before it was trendy, in the days before it was on the telly box.

Not that I mind that everyone seems to be at it these days, it does mean that the internet is packed with great tutorials, courses are plentiful and Pinterest is the best place to discover what’s what.


So, when these beautiful chairs were passed on to me I knew I had to give them a little respect and a touch of my style. In the past I would have just covered over the existing fabric and been entirely satisfied, but this time I stripped it all off (including the ancient stuffing which required me to don some fetching goggles and a mask) and saw the glory of the construction underneath.

I used vintage fabrics and some bamboo cotton batting from my stash. I purchased the foam from a seller on eBay who cut it to the right size. Then I employed a staple gun to get the whole thing to hold together.

If you want to know how to cover a drop-in seat yourself I found this blog especially helpful when I needed to clarify my knowledge.

It took about 90 minutes to do two chairs, and now I want to reupholster every other chair I own.