Please enable javascript in your browser to view this site!

The ultimate guide to dressmaking books released in 2017

If like us you're hooked on sewing books and can't get enough of them – we've got the ultimate guide to dressmaking books, which were released in 2017
 

Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method
By Sara Alm
978-1589239340

Sewers learn a technique that opens up myriad possibilities for making one-of-a-kind garments with this book. By using basic pattern blocks called slopers, Sara shows you how to design new shapes, style lines, and fashion details - creating patterns for nearly any piece of clothing they want to sew. For example, taking  basic straight skirt pattern, and it can be converted into any other skirt design. Change the hemline or the basic skirt shape from straight to A-line to full swing with gores. Try adjusting the waistline placement or convert it from waistband to waistline facing, and change the style and placement of the closures. Once sewers understand the basics of flat-pattern designing, the options are endless. Divided into sections – skirts, tops, and trousers, the knowledge is easily transferred to designing other garment such as dresses, shorts, jumpsuits, and outerwear. 
Where to buy
Published by Creative International Publishing, and available for £15.18 from Amazon.

 

Singer: The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing
By Nancy Langdon
978-1589238978

This is such a good reference for every sewer and includes 352 jam-packed pages and 1,200 photographs covering every aspect of fashion and décor sewing. It will help you choose the right tools and notions, use conventional machines and sergers,
and perfect your fashion sewing and tailoring. With step-by-step instructions
for basic projects beginners and highly skilled sewers will turn to this book time
and time again. This is the third edition and has been updated with new photography and the latest innovations in sewing products and techniques. Learn how to get the most out of your sewing machine, take proper measurements , read and understand commercial sewing patterns, alter store-bought patterns for a perfect fit and achieve thoroughly professional results.
Where to buy
Published by Creative International Publishing, available for £16.99 from Amazon


The Maker's Atelier: The Essential Collection Sewing with Style
By Frances Tobin
978-1849499040

A career in fashion, a love of fabrics, a lifetime making clothes, a keen sense of style that works for women of all ages and shapes make Frances Tobin patterns for
The Maker's Atelier so successful.
Frances has designed eight essential patterns, with options to create a collection of 31 stylish pieces for your wardrobe. The collection is mix-and-match, offering garments for all kinds of occasions where key fashion trends have been improved to create versatile simple staple shapes, which translate well into dressmaking patterns to make easy-to-sew garments.
Patterns come in sizes 8-20 (UK) plus guides on measuring and fitting, and advice on fabrics.
Where to buy
Published by Quadrille, and available from Amazon for £19.82 (normally £30)

 

Sew Caroline Weekend Style
By Caroline Hulse
978-1440246494

Popular sewing blogger, Caroline Hulse’s new book is perfect for those learning to sew, and includes must-have-tools and materials, basic stitches and step-by-step finishing techniques. The book is full of pretty pastels, modern photography and wonderful easy-to-follow projects, making it a perfect title for your summer sewing and crammed full of wardrobe must-haves. A couple of our favourites are the afternoon skirt, Saturday morning shorts, date night skirt, and darling shift dress.
Where to buy
Published by Fons & Porter, distributed by F&W Media in the UK, priced at £18.99 and available on Amazon for £11.10.

The Skirt Emporium
By Madame Zsazsa
9781782214106

This is a fun, quirky book that’s packed with 25 gorgeous, colourful skirts for adults up to size 20 UK (16 US) as well as some for children. Using the clear explanation, useful sketches and beautiful pictures to guide you, choose from A-line, bell, circle, straight, gathered, wraparound and elasticated styles, and also learn how to add underskirts and create maternity wear. All the skirts can be easily customised using the full-size pullout patterns, and each is shown made from several different fabrics and trims to inspire you to follow your own personal tastes. With tips on stitching, advice on choosing fabric and a comprehensive guide to cutting and using the patterns, the book shows you exactly how to create your own fun and flattering designs!
Where to buy
Published by Search Press, and available for £9.78 from Amazon (normally priced at £12.99)

Stylish Wraps Sewing Book
Ponchos, Capes, Coats and More - Fashionable Warmers that are Easy to Sew

By Yoshiko Tsukiori
9780804846950

Popular Japanese fashion designer and author Yoshiko Tsukiori presents a fabulous new collection of lightweight wraps that are easy to sew and look fantastic.
The book provides five pull-out patterns, which can be used to create to create 22 timeless wraps to keep the chill off and look great in the process. Just a few of the pieces that can be made using the patterns are a casual-to-dressy hooded cape, flowing draped jacket or vest and a simple, feminine, lightweight poncho. 
Yoshiko Tsukiori is an icon of DIY fashion, garnering fans in France, Australia, the UK and the US, as well as in her native Japan. She is the author of the universally popular Stylish Dress Book series.
Where to buy
Published by Tuttle Publishing, and available for £9.55 from Amazon (normally priced at £11.99)

 

Stylish Remakes
Upcycle Your old T's, Sweats and Flannels into Trendy Street Fashion Pieces
By Violette Room
9780804849869

Now you can use Japanese fashion ingenuity to up-cycle and re-invent tired old clothes and charity shop finds into trendy new clothes. In this book, Violette Room - the Japanese clothing company known for relaxed, everyday styles - shows you how to give new attitude to clothes you've had hanging around for years. With just a little cutting and sewing you can create fun new pieces from flannel shirts, T'shirts, sweatshirts, bandanas and more. It's inexpensive and often free too. Add a fun and fancy bow or collar to your favourite T-shirt or sweatshirt. Make a dress or bag from a handful of old bandana scarves. Combine a skirt and top to create a unique new dress or tunic. Craft a fashionable new skirt or dress from a pair of flannel shirts. Embellish your old sweats and other odd bits-and-pieces to morph them into something new!
Where to buy
Published by Tuttle Publishing, and available for £6.66 from Amazon (normally priced at £7.99)

A Beginner's Guide to Overlockers, Sergers & Coverlockers
By Clémentine Lubin
9781782214908

Get the most from your machine whether its an overlocker or coverlocker with this comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide. Full of practical advice to help you master all the features and applications of your machine, you will learn how to handle your machine using its more complex features and will soon be finishing hems like a professional sewer. There are 50 beautifully photographed step-by-step lessons to guide you through all the skills you need to get started, and 15 lovely projects to make, to apply your knowledge and help you realise your sewing goals. This book includes full-size, foldout patterns and is the essential guide for all aspiring sewers. It’s a fab resource for those new to these machines and a great source of inspiration
and ideas.
Where to buy
Published by Search Press, and available for £9.55 from Amazon (normally priced at £12.99)

Sewing Machine Magic
By Steffani Lincecum
978-1589239500

Sewing machines are complicated machines, but with the instruction you'll find in Sewing Machine Magic, you can make even an old sewing machine work wonders.
With just a little know-how and the right accessories, you can get the most out of your sewing machine and give all your sewing projects a professional look. In this book, author and sewing expert Steffani Lincecum shares 30+ years of experience on how to handle a sewing machine with greater ease and confidence, and explains how to easily find and use the right presser feet and other accessories for your machine, whether you’ve purchased it at retail or found it at a yard sale!
You'll learn the logistics of managing thread, how to achieve the proper stitch formation for every project, and how to troubleshoot a variety of common sewing problems. Learn to use more than 30 presser feet and other accessories, from the basics to more specialized tools designed to maximize efficiency, precision, and creativity. The 10 fashion and home decor projects show inventive ways to use some of the feet and accessories.
Where to buy
Published by Creative Publishing international, and available for
£32.99 from Amazon

 

Pattern Cutting: The Architecture of Fashion
By Pat Parish
978-1474272384

Not available until the end of the year but well worth pre-ordering. Pattern cutting is an essential yet complex skill for every sewer/designer to master. Pattern Cutting: The Architecture of Fashion demystifies the pattern cutting process and clearly demonstrates pattern fundamentals, enabling you to construct in both 2D and 3D, and quickly get to grips with basic blocks, shape, sleeves, collars, trousers, pockets and finishes.
This popular and inspirational sourcebook has been updated to reflect new directions in construction design and techniques, and to include more advanced patterns, such as the Magyar sleeve and the jumpsuit. With handy tips, shortcuts and tricks of the trade, the second edition is a must-have sewing room resource.
Where to buy
Published by Bloomsbury Visual Arts, and available for £32.99 from Amazon

Sewing your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe
By Arianna Cadwaller & CathyMcKinnon
978-0857833938

This book is both inspiring and practical and seamstress Arianna Cadwallader and designer Cathy McKinnon present a set of sewing patterns and instructions for the five key pieces that will make up a capsule wardrobe.
The patterns include a great shift dress, well-fitting trousers, simple yet stylish skirt, light blouse, and jersey vest. Their focus is on quality and fit, and all patterns can be adapted to fit and suit you perfectly, whether you prefer long, short or cap sleeves, high or low waistbands, and slim, straight or wide legged trousers.
Once you've created the garments, you can then mix and match them to create a variety of looks and styles. Aimed at advanced beginners, the book guides you through how to measure yourself and all the techniques you will need.
Where to buy
Published by Kyle Books, and available for £13.59 from Amazon.

 

 

The Savvy Seamstress
By Nicole Claire Mallalieu
978-1617453113
Transform garment patterns, one small detail at a time with this book. Add or remove pockets, adjust the neckline, or swap a zipped back to a button front! With step-by-step instructions, clear illustrations and how-to photos, learn to make and sew endless variations on your favourite sewing patterns, which have a professional finish. Whether you have basic sewing skills or are a confident dressmaker, you can learn to how to make the most of your clothes.
Where to buy
Published by C&T Publishing – available for £22.49 from Amazon (normally priced at £24.99)

Sewing Supplies Handy Pocket Guide
By Carla Hegeman Crim
9781617455346

With tons of information in one tiny book, you’ll never be stumped by a sewing dilemma again. This mini book is packed with mega information on common sewing tools, supplies and materials. Carla Crim from the Scientific Seamstress shares 65 plus essential nuggets on everything from sewing machines and cutting tools to pins, elastic and thread.
Whether you're wondering how to use a particular interfacing or which sewing machine needle is best for each kind of fabric, you'll find yourself turning to these useful charts and infographics again and again.
Where to buy
Published by C&T Publishing, and available on Amazon for £4.46 (normally priced at £5.99)
 

A Maker’s Guide: Embroidery
In association with the V&A Museum

978 0 500 293270
Technically not dressmaking but a handy book to have if you love the embroidery trend. Thames & Hudson has a series of book in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum. The maker’s guides offer a fresh and contemporary approach to handmade traditions from around the world. A Maker’s Guide: Embroidery contains 15 beautiful step-by-step projects for sewers of all skill levels. Each one taking its cue from a tradition including Indian Kantha, English wholecloth quilting, Japanese boro patchwork, and the block- and strip- pieced quilts of North America, as well as appliqué traditions from Hawaii and Panama. The projects are both functional, and on-trend and include tips on how to create beyond the book, to develop individual and original designs. The book includes 15 projects based on sewing techniques such as English goldwork, Indian beetle-wing embellishment, Japanese Kogin, and Irish whitework, as well as contemporary machine embroidery. This modern maker’s handbook demonstrates decorative stitching traditions and will expand the readers’ sewing horizons and become an invaluable addition to every sewing shelf.
Where to buy
Published by Thames & Hudson, and available from Amazon for £11.30 (normally £16.95)



All New Fabric Savvy: How to Choose & Use Fabrics
By Sandra Betzina
978-1631868412
The essential guide for every sewer just got better! All New Fabric Savvy is updated to include detailed information 107 different fabrics; must-know information on determining fabric content, working with knits, working with different types of interfacing, removing stains, and choosing lining material; recommended tools and notions; illustrated reference sections on seams, details, closures, and hems; 476 photographs and 110 illustrations. Organized alphabetically, the 107 fabrics include old favourites - like cotton, wool, knits and silks - to new options, some of which you might never have heard of or sewn with synthetics; those that resist water, sun, stains, and wrinkles; those made from animal hides (and, of course, their faux cousins); those regenerated from wood pulp; and many more.
Where to buy
Published by Taunton Press, and available from Amazon for £19.60 (normally £23.99)

Complete Dressmaking – Essential skills and techniques for beginners
By Jules Fallon
978-0-85762-167-2
Complete Dressmaking has been written by Jules Fallon, who is the owner of the business Sew Me Something and well-known name in the dressmaking and sewing community. It’s a wonderful book for any sewer that loves dressmaking, and wants to familarise themselves with the terminology that’s associated with making your own clothes from learning about sewing patterns, understanding fabrics to sewing techniques such as inserting zips, creating the perfect pocket and decorative ideas including bias binding and topstitching.
The book is perfect for visual learners as each technique is explored with carefully curated step-by-step photographs and illustrated artworks. Jules addresses the most common problems that beginner dressmakers encounter and advises on how to tackle them in special ‘Help!’ panels throughout the book.
Where to buy
Published by Quarto Press and available on Amazon for £12.61 (normally £20)

 

 

The Gentleman's Wardrobe: Vintage-style projects to make for the modern man
By Vanessa Mooncie
978-1861087478

For men who have ditched the denim in favour of tweed, this wonderfully illustrated book features an extensive range of stylish garments and accessories to sew, and includes beautiful garments such as pyjamas, shirts, trousers and jackets, plus indispensable accessories such as a cravat tie, flat cap and wallet.
Where to buy
Published by GMC Distribution and available on Amazon for £9.73 (normally £16.99)

Girl with a Sewing Machine
By Jenniffer Taylor
ISBN: 9781782214564

Written by The Great British Sewing Bee, season two contestant, Jenniffer Taylor, this stylish book shows the reader how to up-cycle and adapt items of clothing, as well as creating one-of-a-kind clothes that will fit the sewers personality and shape.
Using Jenniffer’s fun and imaginative ideas, learn how to customise clothes with doilies, tassels, tie-dyeing and block printing. Jenniffer also covers some of the basics on how to measure yourself, create patterns and make clothes from scratch such as dresses, skirts, tops, trousers and a coat. This stylish no-fuss guide to making and adapting your own clothes is ideal for beginners.
Where to buy
Published by Search Press and available on Amazon for £8.82 (normally £12.99)

girl with sewing machine 9781782214564

 

Make it, Own it, Love it – The Essential Guide to Sewing, Altering and Customising
By Matt Chapple
978-1847808943

Matt Chapple was the first male winner of The Great British Sewing Bee in 2015 and brought out his first book in 2017. Make it, Own it, Love it shares his knowledge and takes sewers from the hand sewing techniques through to creating your own garments, as well as the all-important  repairs.
Where to buy
Published by Jacqui Small and available on Amazon for £16.89 (normally £20)

The Tunic Bible ­­– One Pattern, Interchangeable Pieces, Ready-to-Wear Results! 
By Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr
9781617453564

Well-known in the sewing industry for their pattern reviews and online garment challenges, Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr make the tunic top accessible to sewists of all levels. The Tunic Bible is an in-depth look at the tunic and how to sew the perfect one. The book features lots of ways to express your own tunic style from simple and modest to daring and chic. There are lots of style options with mix and match collars, neck plackets, sleeves variations. Stitch up a sharp bodice pattern, which has been designed to fit sizes XS to XXL in a wide range of lengths, styles, and trims.
Where to buy
Published by C&T Publishing and distributed by Search Press and available on Amazon for £14.14 (normally £21.99)