Archive for the ‘sewing technique’ category

Books I have 2 copies of

December 4, 2017

I moved about 2 years ago, and for many reasons have not yet unpacked my many books.

Of course it has been a good excuse to buy some sewing books that I didn’t already have ! I’ve also felt the need to have access to several sewing books that I already owned.
I prefer print versions of reference books, but for a second copy have been getting Kindle versions where available.

I’ve found it interesting to pull together a list of what I already have, hidden in a pile of boxes, and felt a need to look at so got another copy. They turn out to be mostly simple books with a generous spirit. And I’ve mentioned a few videos which supplement the books.

Basic but not usually for complete beginners – I’m relieved to find I haven’t felt a need to refer to books that tell me how to use my machine, tools, and patterns 😀 And, although I do a lot of work on muslins, I haven’t bought any repeat copies of (or new) books on fit – these days I know enough to do-it-myself by ‘reading the wrinkles’. Though no doubt I will be continuing my fitting ‘rescue fantasy’ by trying yet more video classes on pant fit. . .

My choices make it obvious my main focus is not couture technique but simple techniques for sewing and pattern altering – though they do need to give quality results. Simple garments with much potential for variation. And I know, from my pleasure in my collection of 19c sewing books, that I have an almost infinite capacity for reading multiple instructions for the same technique.

Most of these books and classes include full size patterns, or have simple instructions for making your own. Most not for complete beginners – you do need to know a surprising amount to follow even the simplest garment sewing instructions. Although many of the books are simple, this isn’t a post on learning to sew.

The easiest of all, for both sewing and pattern alterations
See how much you can do by playing with the simplest of patterns.

Wiener & Rosenberg – Illustrated hassle-free make your own clothes book (don’t know how I got a kindle version, it doesn’t seem to be available now – perhaps too many people thought it’s in the boho spirit of the book to pirate copies). Draw simple patterns direct onto fabric.

Sonya Philip of 100 Acts of Sewing – video not book – shirt and pants classes at Creative Bug. The same sort of vision as the hassle-free book but with paper patterns (pdfs).

More sewing skills

Bolsover – Sewing machine basics (I do love the tunic pattern). Home dec and clothes, paper patterns. Does start with getting to know your machine, sewing straight lines, turning corners. . .

Aoi Koda – 12 lessons – all clothes (original in Japanese, now out of print – second copy in French). I love the very visual instructions in Japanese pattern books – a little easier to understand when annotated in a familiar language ! Overlapping traceable paper patterns.

Beyond beginner sewing, techniques only

The great Vogue Sewing Book – I already had the 1984 ‘new’ edition – bought when it first came out and was hugely expensive, to celebrate getting a new job ! Now I also have the 3rd. edition metric version.

Last Christmas I got the Threads magazine archive on DVD.

Simple pattern making

Cal Patch – Design It Yourself clothes (kindle version). Draft your own patterns. The book is not very visual and has minimal sewing instructions.
I prefer her Creative Bug classes.

Both sewing and simple pattern making / alterations, advanced beginner to intermediate techniques

Kerstin Martensson – Easy Sewing the Kwik Sew way.
Paper patterns not overlapping but on both sides of paper so need tracing. Not to worry, they’re multi-style patterns so would need tracing anyway.
Pattern proportions not very current, but easy replace with others such as : tee, blouse, skirt, pants.

Alison Smith – Dressmaking (2012).
2nd copy is the shorter edition (19 of the 32 styles in the big book) – Dressmaking step by step (2015). Classic styles, and the big book has them in drab fabrics, but the photo instructions are excellent. Download patterns.

Wiener & Rosenberg – Son of hassle free sewing. Draft your own patterns.

Looking at this list makes me feel happy.
I do know this is my taste. I’m not suggesting everyone should have these books ready to hand. But it can be an interesting exercise – what are the books or technique sites that you like to have easy access to ?

😀 Hurrah for sewing in all its forms 😀

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Links available December 2017

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Pant/ trouser sewalongs

November 9, 2013

Love the extra support from following a sew along ?
I like following detailed instructions with lots of illustrations and demos the first time I do something. I also like instructions from a friendly encouraging voice, even if written !

This is the last of my sewalong series, links to the others are listed on this page.
And no, I’m not planning to post on sewalongs for dresses or blouses 😀

If (like me !) you only ever wear one style of pants, here’s a couple of styling ideas :

If you wear casual pants, but want to get away from jeans, YouLookFab has a post full of suggestions.

Once you’ve got a good basic pants pattern, here’s a Craftsy class about altering a pants pattern to make many other pant styles.

I have a couple of posts with ideas on pant fit :
Pant patterns and body shape
Fabric wedges below the waist

In this post, I’ve put the sewalongs in 4 groups :
– pants/ trousers, in 2 sections – on written tutorials and videos/ DVDs,
– jeans,
– sweat pants,
– elastic waist pants – not mentioned here, there are links to several sewalongs in my post on making pyjamas.

– – –

Written tutorials with photos

Colette Clover

”coletteclover”

tissue pattern with side seam zip
sewalong

Sewaholic Thurlow

”thurlow”

tissue pattern
sew along from Ladybird (scroll down for links)

Burda Style 07/2010/ 127 vintage style pants

”burda127”

download pattern
sewalong by A Fashionable Stitch

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DVDs and on-line videos (not free)

Sandra Betzina
pattern Vogue 2948 is oop but supplied with class

”v2948”

Craftsy class (associated class on fitting pants)

The Sewing Guru
Ladies trousers with no pockets, invisible zip, faced waist.
The Sewing Guru course tells you how to draft your own facing pattern so you could adapt Butterick 5391, which is also used in The Sewing Guru skirt course.

”b5391”

pattern
sewalong on-line videos in Collection 10

The Sewing Guru
Men’s trousers with slant pockets, fly zip, waistband.

”v2836”

pattern Vogue 2836, also used by The Sewing Guru in his courses on men’s jackets.
sewalong on-line videos in Collection 5.

Palmer-Pletsch
The pattern they mention is oop.
Their current pants pattern, McCall’s 6567, has more difficult pockets.

”m6567”

There’s also a Palmer-Pletsch chinos pattern, McCall’s 6361 (includes skirt).

”m6361”

‘Pants for Real People – Sewing Techniques’ DVD (also a DVD on pants fit)

Those instructions suggest specific patterns, though they can be used with many other patterns.
These 2 are more general, just suggested style elements :

eSewing Workshop
self drafted pattern
sewalong – online videos, can be used with other patterns

You Can Make It
pattern : pants with side pockets, fly zip, fell and welt seams.
sewalong : teaching DVD. These DVDs are cumulative not stand-alone. Level 5 assumes you know the skills taught in Levels 1 to 4.
Level 5 DVD (scroll down page for information)

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Jeans

Kwik Sew 3504 men’s jeans

”k3504”

pattern
sewalong by Male Pattern Boldness (free online written instructions with photos and discussion)

Palmer-Pletsch McCall’s 5894 misses jeans

”m5894”

pattern

2 sewalongs for this pattern :

Palmer-Pletsch
‘Jeans for Real People’ DVD

The Sewing Guru
this is the current version of the jeans pattern used in his
Collection 12 (online videos)

Pattern Review class from Jennifer Stern
Blueprints to Blue Jeans
uses her own jeans pattern.
Includes videos, fitting, styling, sewing.

There are 2 Craftsy courses on making jeans, not linked to specific patterns.

Kenneth King Reverse engineer your favorite jeans

Angela Wolf Sewing Designer jeans
recommended patterns listed in class

I don’t usually mention ‘chat and encouragement’ boards, but there’s a huge amount of useful information about sewing jeans in this one :
Pattern Review Jeans Tips and Tricks

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Sweat pants

Hot Patterns Fast and Fabulous tailored trackpants

”hp-track”

tissue pattern (use drapey fabrics, knits not necessary)
YouTube demo

Silhouette patterns 3400 3-piece yoga pants

”sil3400”

tissue pattern
free webcast

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Whew there are a lot of these. Any of them right for you ?

Many thanks to all the people who post the free sewalongs – those do represent a huge amount of generosity and work. Isn’t the internet marvellous !

Hope you enjoy these 😀

No guarantee of completeness or quality. This is another use of the internet which is happily growing.

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Links and patterns available November 2013

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Shirt sewalongs

October 19, 2013

Many people feel making a shirt is a step too far beyond sewing a top or blouse.
But there’s a good variety of support available, so it can be worth going for !

These are sew alongs which give detailed extra guidance to supplement the shirt pattern instructions.
I’ve chosen to focus on ones which include a band collar. (The word ‘shirt’ is a bit ambiguous, and there are many shirt patterns which don’t have a 2-piece collar.)
Some of the sewalongs also include a classic ‘tower / steeple’ shirt sleeve placket.

The free written tutorials are linked to specific patterns.
But most of the on-line videos and DVDs are not pattern specific, though they make pattern recommendations.

The classic shirt has such standard features that the Big 4 pattern companies all have several basic shirt patterns for women.

Kwik Sew are particularly known for their men’s shirt patterns.
This is Kwik Sew 3883.

”ks3883”

As usual, I haven’t read or watched through all of these sewalongs, let alone worked through them – so no guarantee about quality !

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On-line free written tutorials with photos

Wiksten Tova

”wiksten-tova”

This isn’t a shirt, but it has a collar band, so I’ve included it here.
Easier than making a two piece collar – perhaps a good starter piece ?!

pattern download

sewalong from verykerryberry.

Grainline Archer

”grainline-archer”

(Those back gathers are optional !)

pattern download

sewalong
days 1-5
days 6-14

There’s even a ‘chat and encouragement’ group at Pattern Review, for people who promised to sew one of these a month for a year !

Colette Patterns Negroni for men

”colette-negroni”

pattern

Oh, this pattern doesn’t actually include a collar stand, ah well. . .

sew along from Peter Lappin of Male Pattern Boldness
page 1 of posts
page 2 of posts

This pattern was one of the challenges in the Super Online Sewing Match.
Here are the Entries, which all show creative options (one of them added a collar band, which is what confused me !).

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On-line videos (not free)

Craftsy

The Classic Tailored shirt class by Pam Howard

Suggested patterns for men and women in Lesson 2

class here

eSewing Workshop

They use their own pattern draft for the shirt, but you could use many other patterns.

bodice drafting
sleeve drafting

Shirt Sewing sewalong

The Sewing Guru

the Gent’s shirt video collection
Collection 9

[There isn’t much open access information at The Sewing Guru site, but you can sign on free for 2 days and have a look round. It’s easy to cancel from a PayPal account. Tailor’s methods.]

Instructions also apply to making a woman’s shirt.

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DVDs

Palmer-Pletsch

The latest version of the Palmer-Pletsch unisex shirt pattern is McCall’s 6613, with sleeve, hem, pocket options.

”m6613”

sewalong in ‘Learning to Sew a Shirt or Blouse‘ DVD

You Can Make It

Level 6 of their sewing course.
The course is cumulative, Level 6 is not stand-alone, it assumes you know all the skills taught in previous levels.

sewalong : Level 6 teaching DVD (scroll down).

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Would you like this sort of extra help with the instructions while you make any of these patterns 😀

Feel more confident that You Can Indeed Make A Shirt 😀

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Patterns and links available October 2013

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Favourite books – sewing

June 29, 2013

Chosen your style and lovingly crafted your pattern ? Now on to making the garment.
Here are some favourite books on sewing technique.

Previous favourite booklists were on the books I keep by me which are about :
Style and wardrobe
Pattern altering
Pattern drafting, Fit

Several limitations on my sewing book list :
– Many beginners sewing books have a lot on home dec. Square shapes, simple to sew and fit – easy cushions/ pillows and curtains/ drapes. But except for patchwork that doesn’t much interest me, so I don’t notice those books.
– I like learning by being guided through a specific sequence of projects, carefully chosen to introduce new skills. I know many people don’t like that. You have to be willing to make things that aren’t your ideal choice !
– I love wardrobe pattern books. But there are many with patterns for dresses, which I don’t wear. So I haven’t got those books.
– Books on tailoring – none of those either as I don’t wear structured clothes.
– There also are many more advanced books on embellishing clothes, sorry I’m not expert on them.
– And I’m no help when it comes to the best guidance on specialist techniques like sewing lingerie, or advanced and couture technique.

So this sewing booklist is like my other lists – very affected by personal preferences. There are many books which are much loved by other people and have good instructions, but which I don’t mention.

As we all have different styles of sewing and learning, there’s no guarantee these will work well for you too !
I like project based books for learning, though I also really like videos demos for the practical aspects of sewing, to feel secure that I know what to do (see right hand menu). I can learn from good books, and like to keep them by me for a speedy easy-access reminder.

There are several other books I like, but these are the ones I return to more often.

– – –

Complete beginner

Little Course in Sewing
Gentle lead-in with project sequence for hand then machine sewing (not much on clothes)

Kate Haxell Me and My Sewing Machine
Basic sewing machine processes, For reference, not project based.

Jane Eayre Fryer The Mary Frances Sewing Book
This is the 100th anniversary edition with patterns included for 18 inch dolls – hand sew a sequence of early 20c styles.

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Advanced beginner, project based instructions

Kerstin Martensson Easy Sewing the Kwik Sew Way
Simple basic wardrobe – full size traceable patterns included for tee, dartless blouse, 2 skirts and pants with elastic waist, with simple instructions for pattern alterations.

îks-wardrobeî

Kay Whitt Sew Serendipity
3 basic full-size tissue patterns included. Variations with ideas for fabric combinations and added trims. Instructions have hand drawings in the style of this illustration. A bit more advanced than the Kwik Sew book (includes zips, trims).

”kay-outfit”

The next book is full of embellishment ideas. There must be hundreds of books with little crafty projects, most of which don’t appeal. This town has good libraries and bookstores so I can check out many of them (sadly no full-scope fabric shop !). So I know only a very small number of these books are to my taste. This must be a very individual matter, so there’s no guarantee the ones I like will suit other people.
For some reason I do return to Get the most from your sewing machine by Marion Elliot, inspires me to have fun with my sewing. Being inconsistent, I don’t actually use the projects in this book. But there are so many suggestions for other things to do with the techniques.

out of print

Garments for beginners
An alternative to the Kwik Sew book. Project sequence of similar garments, though no patterns included (and these days there’s no simple wardrobe pattern for wovens). Simple jacket and vest but no basic blouse. A bit easier than the Kwik Sew book as it doesn’t include collars or pattern alterations. The advantage is this has photos of technique, which I prefer.

Patricia Moyes Sewing Basics
A technique book but organised by type of garment, e.g. all the techniques you can choose between to make pants. No jacket linings or notch collars. More advanced than the Kwik Sew and Kay Whitt books, photos and line drawings.

– – –

Intermediate – wardrobe pattern books

Alison Smith Dressmaking
12 basic patterns supplied for classic styles, with 19 simple pattern variations, excellent detailed technique photos. Could be used as a project sequence. Patterns have to be enlarged from squared diagrams, or downloaded.

”tops”

”skirts”

”pants”

”dresses”

(P.S. There can probably never be one sewing book that’s ideal for everyone, as we all have different clothing and learning styles.
The patterns in The Great British Sewing Bee book by Tessa Eveleigh are prettier, and it includes beginner projects and home dec.
But the technical instruction in Alison Smith’s Dressmaking book is very much better. And it goes 3 sizes bigger.)

I also enjoy the style of Japanese sewing books, available from Simply Pretty.
Slouchy crafter casual.
Very visual presentation of technique. Full size traceable patterns included, though usually only small sizes (Extra Large has 38 in. hips !) I have several of these but none stands out as ‘the’ one. Several have been translated into English but none of my favourites.

– – –

Intermediate – Pockets

A specialist little group. Apart from changing fabric or trim, changing pockets is the easiest way to make the same pattern again and make it look different. There are several out-of-print books on sewing them.

Patricia Moyes Just Pockets
Claire Shaeffer Sew any patch pocket
Claire Shaeffer Sew any set-in pocket

– – –

Intermediate – reference books on general technique

Cole & Czachor Professional sewing techniques for designers
High-end RTW boutique sewing. Mainly written instructions, so not for beginners.

Sandra Betzina More Fabric Savvy
Practical details of needle sizes, stitches, threads, technique. for sewing many fabrics.

out of print

Threads magazine Easy Guides (Sewing Companion Library)
Full of information and inspiration.

Vogue Sewing Book 1970 edition
Vogue Sewing Book 1982 edition
Famous tomes.

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Other media for advice on sewing ?
There are a lot of suggestions for on-line videos and DVDs in my posts on learning, if you prefer demos to books (see Index page 8). And many links in the right-hand menu.

I also collect 19C sewing books so yes, I’ve got many sewing books I like !

Hope you find pleasure, supportive guidance, inspiration that is right for you 😀

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Links available June 2013

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