Sewing Books I Love: Part II ~ Advanced Sewing Books

Do you secretly dream of designing and making your own clothes?  If so, then I have a few advanced sewing books that you might be interested in reading.

Last month I introduced you to a few of my favorite beginner’s sewing books.  Today, I’m sharing my favorite advanced sewing books for those of you who want to expand skills or possibly try your hand at fashion design.

Sewing Pattern Design

I need to give you fair warning ~ some of these books are pretty detailed.  However, if you take your time and digest the information slowly, you will find yourself able to create any garment you can dream up.  Best of all, most of these books can be found for FREE at your local library.

1.  Make Your Own Dress Patterns

by Adele P. Margolis

How to Make a sewing Pattern

The first time I opened this book I wanted to weep.  At first glance this book seems difficult unless you’ve been to fashion design school.  But, dig a little deeper and you will find a real treasure of information about how to take a basic sloper (simplified pattern pieces) and turn it into any dress you desire.

The book uses drawings, not photos, to explain pattern-making.  Don’t be put off ~ it’s written by someone gifted at demystifying pattern design.

2. Shirtmaking-Developing Skills for Fine Sewing

By David P. Coffin

If you read my blog you know I have a slight obsession with making collared shirts.  Blame this book.  Reading it will make you want to learn how to make tailored shirts, too.  Mr. Coffin is a self-taught sewist and a gifted artist who did all of the illustrations for the book.   You will be inspired and entertained ~ I promise.

If you watch Project Runway, a recent episode had one of the contestants botching a men’s dress shirt ~ all I could think of was this book.

Fashion Design Shirtmaking

3.  The Colette Sewing Handbook

by Sarai Mitnick

Every sewist I know loves this book.  It sits right on the fence between novice and intermediate.  If you are new to sewing, you will learn a lot.  If you are more advanced, you will be inspired by the overall beauty found within book.  The instructions are thorough and the included patterns are timeless.  The first time I open this book I knew I had to have it ~ I purchased it with a 50% off coupon at JoAnn’s.

How to sew books

4.  The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting

by SarahVeblen

Do you dream of clothes that perfectly fit your body?  Then, this is the book to get.  Photo is the operative word here.  Lots of large, clear pictures showing how to take a commercial pattern and turn it into a garment that perfectly fits your body.   The comprehensive details of fitting are broken down into layman’s terms.  If you want to sew well-fitting garments, then look no further.

How to fit garment patterns

5. Fitting Finesse

by Nancy Zieman

This book has been around for a long time and is out of print.  However,it can be found at the library or easily purchased used.  What I like about it is its simplicity.  If you’ve never tried to alter a pattern before, this book will teach you a few simple techniques that help you understand fitting.  Granted, you won’t get an exquisitely fitted garment, but using these techniques you should be able to make minor adjustments for a nice fit ~ such as hemlines, waistlines, and sleeves.  Think of it as fitting with training wheels.

how to fit a pattern

For me, I continue to be inspired every time I open one of these books.  While I have not mastered the majority of skills that they teach, I can say that I learn something new each time I read one ~ and I’m betting the same will be true for you.

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  1. says

    These books look very helpful! It’s a great idea to read sewing books if you are learning how to sew. Thank you for the suggestions!!