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Would you recommend any of these books?

I just got an e-mail from Amazon suggesting a bunch of sewing books, and I thought I'd ask for recommendations. I've been wanting to look at tailoring and so the titles are absolutely intriguing, but I don't want to spend money on useless books or ones that don't give accurate information.

Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket
by Editors of CPi

Shirtmaking: Developing Skills For Fine Sewing
by David Page Coffin

Making Trousers for Men & Women: A Multimedia Sewing Workshop
by David Page Coffin

Couture Sewing Techniques, Revised and Updated
by Claire Shaeffer

The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques: Essential Step-by-Step Techniques for Professional Results
by Lynda Maynard

The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns
by Editors of Creative Publishing

Also, I don't have a dress form and I am a size 14/16. Any recommendations for that? Either tutorials for making your own or brands that people have had good results with!


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 11th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
anything by david coffin or clarie shaeffer is going to be a good bet as far as accurate information is concerned. i wouldn't recommend buying the books on couture sewing or shirtmaking, however, unless you are actually interested in those techniques. tailoring - i.e., doing all the dirty work on the inside of a coat - is a totally different beast. the tailoring book you have listed first is actually a really wonderful resource that i can vouch for personally. and the perfect fit is a great book for fitting. i'd buy the shaeffer book over the maynard book, personally.
Apr. 12th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm going to get the tailoring book and The Perfect Fit for sure; I always need to alter patterns since I'm not a straight size 16 all over (hourglass figure, anyone?) and I definitely want to learn how to make jackets.
Apr. 12th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
if you have a full bust (i.e. bigger than a B cup), make sure you familiarize yourself with full bust adjustments. once i figured that out, it did WONDERS for how well my clothes fit my upper body.
Apr. 11th, 2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
The only one I've read is "Couture Sewing Techniques", which I think is fine, but maybe over detailed unless you're really, really interested in them. (i.e. in doing perfect, handmade buttonholes, etc.) For most, I think it's a bit too much.
Apr. 12th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think so, too. I decided not to get that one this time around. If I need it at some point, I'll get it then, but I almost never need really fancy clothes and the kinds of detail that goes into couture clothing (even non-fancy) is definitely beyond my level of interest right now.
Apr. 11th, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
I do not personally own it, but while I was at FIT, one of my professors recommended that we all buy the Couture Sewing Techniques book by Claire Shaeffer.
Apr. 11th, 2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
I bought this dress form from Amazon because I couldn't find one that was my size (12-14) at a reasonable price. When I got it, I used quilt batting to pad it out to my size, wrapped that with duct tape, then pinned an old white dress over that to make it look neater. (I have since discovered that new dress form covers are available online at a very reasonable cost.) Hope that helps.

Apr. 11th, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
the perfect fit and anything by claire shaeffer are worth having in your sewing library.
Apr. 11th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
I just got the Tailoring book. I love it. It's complicated, but not over my head. I'll have to fart with it a bit before I totally understand everything.

For a duct tape dress form, make sure you stuff it with something stiff. My buddy stuffed hers with cotton, it went all schmoopy. Mine's stuffed with plastic grocery bags and it's still going strong.
Apr. 12th, 2012 02:02 am (UTC)
whoa! plastic grocery bags?? ! mine has gone schmoopy, but I tried to shove it into a pair of jeans... (do not attempt that at home or anywhere if you want to preserve your dummy) plastic bags,huh? well. guess I'll have to start collecting
Apr. 12th, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
I know, I read that and thought, "Hey! Now I have a use for all those plastic grocery bags I keep getting cuz I forget my cloth ones at home all the time!"
Apr. 11th, 2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
Here's instructions to make a duct tape dummy


If I (were to) do this again, I'd extend the thighs (I did each leg separately) down to at least mid-thigh, and I'd keep the arms only as long as the sleeve cap.

Edited at 2012-04-11 11:03 pm (UTC)
Apr. 12th, 2012 02:49 am (UTC)
Thanks for the link and the advice - I will definitely go with the longer legs (makes sense if I'm making pants anyway). What's the reason for the shorter arms? Just easier to get things on and off, or something else?
Apr. 13th, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
Sorry for going off-topic, but I've always wondered - is it possible to pin fabric to a duct tape dummy? I imagine the adheisive would just gunk up all your pins?
Aug. 5th, 2012 04:31 am (UTC)
I realize this is months old, but thanks so much for the resource! I'm a big fan of Threads, though I don't sew as often as I would like. My boyfriend has been wanting to buy me a dress form, but I was worried about quality and expense so I kept holding him off. I just showed him the article and asked if instead of buying, he would -make- me a dress form, and he said yes. I'm excited about how it'll turn out, since I'm more interested in making clothes for myself and him than for other people.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )