John-Paul Flintoff

Sew Your Own

The true story of one man’s attempt to survive economic meltdown, tackle climate change and find the meaning of life – by making his clothes

John-Paul Flintoff sew in copyright Dwayne Senior

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE If you read about Sew Your Own in The Observer, I’m afraid it’s currently out of print.

But you can buy a copy (under the original title Through The Eye Of A Needle) HERE (the link takes you to

“Meet the man who made his underpants from nettles” – Mary Ann Sieghart, BBC World Service

“I couldn’t put it down. It was moving and utterly brilliant” – Rachael Matthews, Cast Off

“I think it is chic to have darned your own clothes”
– India Knight, The Sunday Times

“Charming… 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 jokes” – Molly Scott Cato, author of Green Economics

Sew Your Own: What is it?

BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour

Listen to me explain myself to Jane Garvey. She wasn’t easily impressed:

Cor, look at this fine bit of sewing

Nettle underpants

(NOTE: Sew Your Own was first published under the title Through The Eye Of A Needle by Permanent Publications)

Sew Your Own : Reviews

Sew Your Own book cover

More reviews

“What a great read!” – Blue Peter

“Brilliantly heart-warming, laugh-out-loud story… the kind of book that word of mouth can’t spread fast enough” – Knitting magazine

“He 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 hooks” – Evening Standard

“Excellent account of making his own outfit (even down to woollen underpants)” – Easy Living

“Compelling… For Flintoff, enlightenment comes neither through religion nor political affiliation – but in making clothes… an inspiring eulogy to DIY” – The Financial Times

“It seems, and I’m grinding my jaws as I type this, that his time has come” – Harriet Green (the author’s wife) quoted in The Observer

Buy the Kindle Edition here now