The Beginners Guide to Dressmaking

The Beginners Guide to Dressmaking : Sewing techniques and patterns to make your own clothes

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Fed up of fast fashion and fancy making your own clothes? This is the ultimate guide to dressmaking for absolute beginners.

As well as step-by-step instructions for all the basic dressmaking techniques, there are instructions for six garments to choose from. These include classic styles that will never go out of fashion such as a maxi dress/skirt; jersey top; simple jacket; trousers; fishtail skirt and shift dress. There are fully graded paper patterns for all the garments so you can get started immediately.

Once you have learnt the basics you can extend your skills with a section on more advanced techniques. Author, Wendy Ward, explains how to add details to your designs with pockets and collars which you can choose to add to the basic patterns as your skills improve to create a truly unique capsule collection.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 210 x 276 x 12.7mm | 612.35g
  • Newton Abbot, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1446304949
  • 9781446304945
  • 64,127

Table of contents


1. The Projects (building in complexity, each project to have made-up
samples photographed in different fabrics to aid in fabric choice and
using the different modular elements to personalise style and increase
skill level):

Fishtail skirt - Techniques covered: centred zip, bias binding, gathering. Modular elements: patch pockets.
Jersey maxi skirt / dress - Techniques covered: sewing knit fabrics,
gathering. Modular elements: length options, adding extra seams.
Jersey top - Techniques covered: sewing knits - finishing edges. Modular elements: adding extra seams.
Simple boxy biker style jacket - Techniques covered: sleeves,
exposed open-end zip, bias binding. Modular elements: collar, patch
pockets, additional seams.
Loose trouser (jersey fold over waistband / woven legs) - Techniques
covered: sewing knit fabrics, pleats. Modular elements: side seam
pockets, length options.
Shift dress - Techniques covered: centred zip, pleats, darts,
understitching. Modular elements: optional sleeve, collar, side seam
pocket, adding extra seams.

2. Basic Techniques (a section to refer to when working on the projects, this section needs a comprehensive contents page):

Seams - ways to neaten edges - how to get accurate, straight seams, including sewing and neatening curved seams.
Simple centred zip.
Exposed / open-ended zip.
Bias binding - used as a trim / used as a facing.
Setting in sleeves.
Understitching (facings).
Cutting - to include explanations of straight grain, selvedges, bias, etc (including knit fabrics).
Taking measurements and how to relate to size charts for patterns in
book, include body measurement size chart in this section, each project
has its own finished garment measurement chart. Include an explanation
of ease here.
Sewing knit fabrics - seams / hems / edges / cutting.

3. Modular Elements (optional techniques that could be applied to the
projects to personalise and customise and increase skill level):

Adding additional seams to the patterns in order to mix fabrics.
Flat collar.
Standing collar.
Side seam pockets.
Patch pockets.

4. Resources - where to buy fabrics and haberdashery suitable for the projects described.

5. Glossary - a list of the different kinds of fabrics, their best uses
(i.e. Simple styles, draped styles, will it be warm fabric to wear, how
would you care for the finished garment - would it be washable, etc) and
their advantages and disadvantages.
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About Wendy Ward

Wendy Ward has her own business based in Brighton: MIY Workshop, where she teaches sewing, dressmaking and pattern cutting to adults. She also designs and sells her own range of sewing patterns: MIY Collection.
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Rating details

35 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 31% (11)
4 40% (14)
3 20% (7)
2 6% (2)
1 3% (1)
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