Author: Christine Haynes
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts.
Published: January 2015
Pages: 144 pages
Dressmaking is a craft that I have been toying with the idea of for a long time. I desperately want to make my own clothes and dream of having a wardrobe packed full of my own creations, but the idea of it also terrifies me. I imagine there is nothing more satisfying than replying to someone who comments on your outfit, “Thanks, I made it myself!” however, the realm of darts and invisible zips is a pretty frightening one. Recently, I took the plunge and dipped my toe into the murky waters of dressmaking and discovered that it is actually more accommodating than it first appears. If you’re a first time sewer just beginning to explore the craft or a more established dressmaker, this book is an ideal resource for everyone!
The book starts with a breakdown on how to use the resources within the book to get the most out of the projects. It is a really useful introduction to help you get started on using the book and the PDF patterns. It directs you to everything you need so that you can make a confident start on the projects without any questions.
The book is broken down into 4 chapters, ‘The Basics,’ ‘The Projects,’ ‘Trims and Embellishments,’ and ‘Resources.’ The first chapter is a really detailed overview of everything a beginner will need to know about sewing clothes including all of the tools and techniques you will need.
This book really caters for the beginner, covering the really basic things you will need to know before you start sewing, starting right at the beginning with the basic sewing machine components.
Not only does it give an introduction to basic sewing skills, it also gives you an introduction into dressmaking skills starting from measuring to inserting darts and zips.
The book contains 15 projects based on the staple skirt and dress shapes such as A-line, wrap and circle skirts, to baby doll and sheath dresses, giving you the details you need to create all of the basic skirt shapes.
Each project in the book shows a variety of image variations of the project, as well as giving you the key characteristics of the garment so you are able to identify it. It also gives you advice on who it suits and what kind of fabrics to use, holding your hand through all of the decisions you will have to make in the sewing process.
Each project in the book comes with some ideas on how to adapt the basic patterns to vary the styles or to try some more complex skills. I love this idea as it triples the number of projects in the book and offers great inspiration on how you can adapt the projects to match your style and expand your skills.
My favourite project in the book has to be this pleated skirt. I love the full page version, the fabric is just gorgeous! I have a fabric quite similar to this that I want to make the skirt in, it will definitely be my first project from the book!
Alongside the projects in the book, it has instructions on some of the basic sewing skills you will need to make the skirts. All of these instructions are really simple and clear to follow, as well as being accompanied by really clear illustrations.
As well as all of the projects, the book also contains a tonne of additional resources such as a glossary of useful terms and a list of useful websites for you to explore further.
Overall, I haven’t seen such a comprehensive sewing guide that is specifically designed for the novice sewer anywhere else before. Packed into its pages is a complete handbook of everything you will ever need when it comes to sewing dresses and skirts, and you can take away from it a detailed knowledge of different skirt shapes and how to adapt them. Not only that, but someone who has never even used a sewing machine before will find a wealth of information that will guide them through everything they need to know to make a wearable garment. No matter what your stage of sewing, this book is full of tips that you will find invaluable when designing and sewing skirts or dresses that you really can’t afford to go without!
Skirts & Dresses First Time Sewers is available right now and you can get your copy here: Skirts/Dresses First Time Sewers
With thanks to Search Press for the copy that they sent me for review purposes.