Thursday, March 13, 2014

Garment Construction Guides

Do you ever refer to sewing books that show you how the order of construction for garments like coats and dresses? Several sewing blogs which I follow have featured a new sewing book, The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction, over the last week or so.

It looks like a pretty good sewing guide, offering to lead the reader through how to best sew a variety of garments. Super helpful when you're faced with the usual cryptic BurdaStyle magazine instructions, or non-existent Marfy pattern ones. There are a few blogs doing a blog tour for the book, with a giveaways, apparently- details are on the author's blog.

I took a look at it, but so far have decided to pass- mostly because I already own several books that cover this exact topic. I have Gertie's book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing:: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques, which has the advantage of not just being a wonderful garment construction reference, but having patterns to go with it. (Um, not that I've yet made any of the patterns up. But I have plans!) Gertie's book has really great illustrated step-by-step directions are very clear, so I've turned to it a number of times. I also own the aptly named Illustrated Guide to Garment Construction, subtitled the "Complete Course on Making Clothing for Fit and Fashion" -and it is pretty darn complete. The illustrations are mostly hand drawn, instead of photographs, but I think that allows them to be clearer at getting across what you need to do in each step. It's broken out into various garment types, such as dress shirts or pants, and the techniques you need to construct the garment are in each section. I've mostly used it as a quick reference when, for instance, I can't remember how I last dealt a coat hem that has a facing and a turned up hem.

Another great reference by the same author is the Tailoring book by the same author. Also has nicely drawn illustrations, but it's focused on just 4 garments: a men's tailored jacket and pants, and a woman's tailored jacket and pants. Again, I refer to it some times, although honestly it's not my favorite tailoring book of all time (and I haven't yet ever made a fully hand tailored jacket or coat- although again I have plans to do so someday!).

One of my favorite references is pretty old, but also not very expensive. I think my copy was about $3.00 or so -New Vogue Sewing Book from the 1960s. It has directions on making a skirt and jacket at the back of it, and an incredible wealth of techniques for pockets, collars, sleeves, etc.


SEWN said...

My reference books are my friends who I email incessantly. I never find the answers to my questions in my sewing books. :/

Sheila said...

I sporadically refer to my reference books, however they come in hand when I become befuddle on a particular garment construction.