Freehand Fashion: Book Blog Tour + Giveaway


When you learn to ride a bike it feels a bit scary. At the beginning instructions don’t seem to help with self doubt. You need a helping hand around. It is hard to let go of fear. As you progress; in no time you start shouting… “look mom, no hands”.

Now substitute the expression “ride a bike” for free hand cutting. Look peeps, no patterns! 

I already talked about my first experience with free hand cutting so I won’t delve too much on the methodology. The pattern that stood out for me was the Peplum Dress.frehand

The book is divided by two main areas: creating blocks and block manipulations. There are 15 ‘projects’ with accompanying sewing instructions. The whole styling of the book is very modern and the variety of projects will cater for everyone. The book approach is relax and jargon free. Previous sewing experiences is not required but I would say is preferable.  The best think about the book is that is not size-restricted. No need for fitting alterations either. Do get measured properly.


Returning to my project: It uses the dress block and the circle instructions. I did find the whole process a lot easier this time around and courageously went straight for the suiting fabric. A mix of viscose, spandex and poly. It has a lovely drape and I can ‘drop like it’s hot’ without busting my seams. Just the right combination of structure and give. You can adapt the blocks to suit you. The only thing I did adjust was not adding the front darts. The block includes seam allowances and each section of the pattern has its own fabric calculations that you must add.The dress block creates a very body contouring design even without adding the fisheye darts. It would add more shape and bust line definition however I felt a column effect would suit best because the dress is already fitted. I love the final result. 


I’m half way there on my winter plans. Not even sorry about the amount of black & solid colours projects over here. I had an unbalanced handmade wardrobe. Yes, I love colour and prints. They will return eventually. Shame Black is such a hard colour to photograph. Not even gonna mention how awful lighting is this time of the year.





That it. I was the last person on the blog tour but you can revisit all the previous projects.


I have a copy to give to a UK resident. ( Sorry international readers).

To win, you only need to comment over the blog. Say whatever you want. Favourite cocktail, last holiday, christmas plans, ask more about the book etc. Let me get to know you a bit better. (I won’t accept IG and Twitter comments).Deadline:21/11


  • Holly

    The book looks great a very different approach to sewing I’ve never tried before! And as for favourite cocktail… Its got to be a margarita or on these cold autumn nights a mulled wine!

  • Tara

    Your dress looks amazing. I’d love to sew the maxi-dress and the green draped dress as well.
    unfortunately I live in Japan, so chances are I won’t find that book easily. Maybe on amazon.

  • I like the look of the designs in Chinello’s book, fitted garments that I would be happy to be seen in.

    Your frock came out great, it’s a good look on you, congrats on mastering freehand cutting!

    Chinello has great skills, it’s fab that she has a book out. It seems a bit scary this freehand cutting, for sure I’ll be only trying it on the cheaper end of my fabric stash!

    All the best


  • Love the dress. Every girl need a Lbd(a little black dress)!

  • Ali

    Free hand cutting fills me with terror! but it’s good to scare yourself sometimes! I loved watching Chinelo on GBSB, she is an amazing dressmaker! Your dress looks great, just in time for party season!

  • This dress looks amazing

  • Jo Y

    The dress looks superb! I am very new to sewing (just over 6mths in) and I am terrified of trying clothing 😳. Strangely enough, it’s the formality of patterns that scares me. After watching Chinelo on GBSB, I did wonder if I could follow her with the freehand cutting method. I think I need to add her book to my Christmas list and make it my 2016 challenge!

  • Lovely! I thought of you when i saw the blazer pattern in the book – its very you. Don’t enter me in the draw as i already have the book!

  • sarah watkins

    interesting book and approach. i guess my favourite cocktail would be a dunebug but i have also had a lovely lycee cocktail but for the life of me can’t remember it’s name.

  • Nicola Bostock

    Gorgeous dress, I think the book looks really interesting. Favourite cocktail 🍸….anything with champagne in it.

  • Ann watts

    love your blog! It’s always on my must read list- you make such lovely things that you look fantastic in. I have wardrobe envy! Would love to win the book- follow GBSB and actually bumped into Chinello in London

  • Angela

    So glad that I read this blog! Sounds like a bold transformative way to see and can’t wait to try over Christmas. Thanks

  • Wow, Rachel! That dress is gorgeous, and I love the way you’ve styled it. It’s beautifully chic with a pinheiro twist. Gorgeous!

  • I flicked through this book at the Handmade Fair and it’s on my list of ‘things I will buy next year if I don’t get it for Christmas,’

  • this is me, commenting! I love the dress and can’t wait to see more.

  • I dint drink cocktails, in fact I don’t really drink but if I do its jack and coke!

  • Dress looks knock out on you. Love to give this method a try. Out of all the designs in the book, I like this one the best.

  • Amanda Black

    Stunning dress! I completed a pattern cutting course recently and am striving to create my own patterns from scratch. I would love to also try freehand. Thanks for the review and opportunity.

  • lindarumsey

    I love the dress, and so does my daughter!

  • Wow, love your make, looks perfect on you. Seems so scary to work without a pattern but would love to give it a try and see if I can make better fitting clothes.

  • I cannot believe the amazing pieces you and the other bloggers have made from this book – I totally need to try this! (For a small and rather asymmetrical person this could be the answer…) Congratulations on your gorgeous new dress!

  • Just moved house. Can’t wait to get my machine out again. This could be a good place to start!

  • Looking forward to this book. I do a lot of sewing with out traditional patterns and I think this process might just give me a bit more ‘structure’ that I need in my sewing.

    I’m looking forward to lots of snuggly evenings infront of the fire at my parents house this christmas…

  • You’re lookin kinda fierce
    in your peplum dress.
    You’re working it to a tee,
    can’t help but be impressed.
    The giveaway Chinello book
    is one I’d like to see.
    Am clicking my ruby slippers
    hoping it is me.

  • Liz

    Wow, this looks amazing on you! I’m really keen to try this book as I’m such an odd size (petite hourglass) that I end up making endless adjustments to all commercial and indie patterns – FBA, curvy bottom adjustment (CBA?), narrow shoulder, swayback – it would be great to try something that didn’t require such hassle prior to starting. I stick to tried and true patterns that I’ve already adjusted so I can sew up quickly enough for gin o’clock 😉 however it’s making my wardrobe look a wee bit boring, perhaps I should branch out!

  • Love the dress you made. Can’t wait to try Chinelo”s techniques

  • Oh that a gorgeous dress! Love your styling too. Hiw long would you say it took to draft the block? TFS.

    • Not sure but it wasn’t very long. The dress also sew quickly. I did took time to read all and triple check my measurements the day before.

  • You are so stinkin’ cute! What a hot dress you’ve made….I wish I lived int the UK, I’d love a chance to win this book, it looks like a lot of fun.

  • This book sounds amazing! I’m definitely into great clothes with out patterns.

  • Em

    I love your choice of fabric, so flattering and the spandex probably helps a lot with the definition. Not so sure peplum would work with my very rounded bum but really keen to give it a go – the whole look would be perfect for work AND social occasions. Jealous!

  • Mrs T

    Love your lbd. Loojs a great book.

  • Helen

    Definitely the maxi dress for Christmas parties…

  • Emma

    Adore your blog, recently discovered and devoured it! And I’d love to learn the methods in Chinelo’s book 🙂

  • Sarah

    No patterns?! Eeek! Out of my comfort zone but I’d love to give it a go! That dress is absolutely incredible by the way! x

  • Clare Bentley

    This book is on my wish list so I’d love a chance to win a copy! Your dress looks fantastic by the way!

  • Jenny Harrison

    This looks great on you! I think it will be a really versatile dress. My favourite is the lacy red dress, but I don’t feel like I have the skills to tackle it yet – I’ll have to work up to it!

  • Michele

    Funny, but from the sneak peaks that I’ve seen of the book, this is my favourite, which you certainly rock.

  • id love this, im not very good at anything crafty unless i have help!

  • Chris Andrews

    To win, you only need to comment over the blog. Say whatever you want.. . . . . it’s so long since l’ve done any sewing – if l were to win this l’m sure l’d be inspired

  • I love your dress! Amazing seeing what everyone has been making on this blog tour. It’s inspiring me to give free hand pattern cutting a go.

  • Natalie

    Too excited to give freehand fashion a go! Also never made a peplum dress so definitely will be making this one! I love your version and I adore your tights with the little hearts all over it! 🙂

  • This book looks really good, so many clever ideas

  • Anne

    Fabulous dress! I’d love to have a go at this…

  • That’s a super hot dress, I love it!

  • I love the dress you made. Sounds scary to go this route though! Maybe I need to win the book in your giveaway and decide! Thanks

  • At the risk of sounding creepy this dress makes your butt look amazing! Also my fave cocktail is an old fashioned. Would love to have a go at that lacy red dress in the book!

  • Clair McLaughlin

    Love the dress! And favourite cocktail is an Old Fashioned!

  • Dress looks fab. Free cutting would be definitely be on my to do list. Thanks for chance to win.

  • Jenny Askew

    Wow i would love to be able to freehand draft this dress, it looks amazing!

  • Lovely dress. I definitely agree about an overkill of pattern and colour in the handmade wardrobe. I have the same problem! Sometimes it’s good to rest your eyes…!

  • I’m intrigued by chinelo’s book, the thought of sewing without patterns both thrills and slightly terrifies me.
    I think your dress is fabulous!

  • Nic

    Oooh! I’d love to have a go at this – it sounds so scary! That dress looks HOT! 🙂

  • Hi Rachel, this looks like a great read.

    My favourite cocktail is a brandy Alexander. Perfect for winter!

  • Chinelo’s GBSB outfits were outstanding. I would love to know how she does it!

  • Clare

    Your whole outfit looks great – love those tights too!
    This looks like an interesting book, another side of dress making to explore….always so much to learn not enough time 🙂

  • Ooo! Looks great! Everything from the book tour has been lovely and I’m fascinated to see Chinelo’s methods

  • Lizzie

    Fab giveaway and great dress 🙂 Would love to learn to free sew but I’m too nervous! Not sure why as I made myself a snow white dress up costume when I was at University before I even really learned to sew!

  • FW

    This book has been on my Christmas list since I heard it was coming out! Was awed by Chinelo’s work on GBSB – the fit she achieved in woven fabric without a pattern – ever so slightly mind-blowing 😀

  • That’s a great skirt! I really want to try freehand cutting, sounds like it could be sewing-life changing. In other news, just got back from Prague which was beautiful, I’d definitely recommend!

  • Ann Marshall

    Loved watching Chinelo create her garments using this method on the GBSB and I would love to try it out for myself. Your dress looks great and suits your figure. There is always room for black in a girl’s wardrobe. Temporarily living in my campervan at the moment and missing my sewing. Regards Ann.

  • Bekki

    This book looks amazing. The dress you made is beautiful. I would be so nervous to freehand a dress but I would love the challenge.

  • Kay A

    It looks to be a really interesting and intuitive book to use.

  • Leanne Bell

    I’ve recently had shiny new sewing machine which I am keen to put through its paces! As for cocktails I love a good Mojito, but my ultimate fave drink is a nice HOT cup of tea, children permitting 🙂 x

  • I would picked that dress, infact yours please. I love it and it really suits you. I think you were right about the darts, they would have looked bulkier.

  • Kirsteen Mackay

    This dress is lovely and I’d love to have a go at doing this freehand approach to sewing myself some clothes. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • I love your dress, the idea of freehand cutting is so scarey to me – having spent my life following patterns. Must be so freeing, a little like the joy of freemotion quilting can be once it gets going! I’m planning on cutting out a wool jersey fabric, my second jersey since my disaster last year – so taking it one step at a time

  • Katya W

    Love your dress! Will put the book into my Christmas wish list 🙂

  • Naheema

    I’ve found comfort working with sewing patterns but also challenging when making major adjustments (I work in science so find it hard deviating from protocol!). Hence I’ve never tried freehand cutting as my perception is that it’s difficult so this book is quite interesting if aimed for beginners.

    I’m currently trying to stay motivated in sewing so challenged myself to sew something for my trip to Iceland next week. Don’t have much time left but I’ve managed to sew a grey Myrtle and knitting a snood. Will try to squeeze in a Plantain top.

    The dress is lovely!

  • lynn neal

    The dress looks fab! What an interesting approach the book takes, I would love to study it! I love a pina colada!

  • Leanne Rogers

    Amazing dress, my daughter would love to try something like that

  • My mind is just blown! The dress is gorgeous! Maybe I should have a look at the book. I found Chinelo’s methods absolutely fascinating when she was on the sewing bee.

  • Suzanne Elizabeth

    This sounds fascinating! A completely new form of sewing for me. I love your dress and would be really interested in her techniques.

  • Yassssss! you look hot!

  • Gem Cook

    I would love to win this amazing giveaway! This book is on my Christmas Book Wish list. Thank you for the chance. I really enjoyed this blog post. x

  • Alice


  • Lovely dress – very chic. I’ve been stalking the book since it’s come out, so glad to hear you think it’ll cater to a range of people. Be great to win.

    And… to answer your questions… favourite cocktail is the humble G&T, last holiday was to Italy, christmas plans cramming into my inlaws. 😉

    What about you?

  • I would love to be able to try out this method as I can never find patterns that fit me, so always have to adjust them. It would be so much better to be able to either follow this method to draft a pattern for my measurements, or to draft directly onto fabric to make something that actually fits. I think your dress came out very well, I like the peplum.

  • Natalie Crossan

    Cosmopolitan xx

  • Anica

    This looks really cool! It reminds me of the book by Cal Patch where you learn to draft your own patterns. I would love to try it out!

  • naush

    Ooh, I’d love to have at a book! Loved her on GBSB – my mum sewed without patterns and Chinelo’s approach suits my general impatience about patterns.

    You look fab btw!

  • Jan

    Ooh dear, looks like I’ve missed the boat for the giveaway! However, looks really interesting and I hope whoever won it enjoys it.