Generally, my favorite types of sewing books are those that have lots of patterns inside. However, all week I’ve found myself pouring over a book that tackles pattern making, draping, fitting, and fashion design – it’s like a sewing retreat that’s held in the comfort of your own home… and I love it!
Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop is the latest title from Joi Mahon (you might recognize the name from her popular Craftsy classes and the designer behind several McCall patterns) that tackles a bevy of topics that are essential in designing your own garments from start to finish. Not only will you learn how to illustrate you design, buy you’ll learn how to create a pattern, drape, and adjust your garment ideas for ‘real bodies’ (I really liked the section on ‘fitting the aging body’ because, boy is that true!). Best of all, after each section\topic there is a ‘challenge’ that helps practice the skills you just learned.
Even if you’re not wanting to make your own designs, there’s lots of fantastic information that can be applied to commercial patterns – from adjusting the design to fit your measurements, learning how to rotate and combine darts, and changing the bust curve, to altering clothing for children. There is also a nice section on using slopers (with samples in the back) as well as a great design inspiration section full of bodice, skirt, yoke ideas and more that will help get your creative juices flowing. One thing I should point out is that while there is some discussion of skirts mentioned in this book, there are no pants. I imagine that this is a topic that could take an entire book on how to create, sew, and adjust the fit which is why I figured it isn’t touched on in the Fashion Sewing Workshop…. maybe the next book!
Overall, I loved this book – I thought it had a lot of useful topics that I can refer to when drafting my own patterns or modifying existing ones. While I didn’t try out any of the design challenges, I’m anxious to give them a whirl this weekend. If you’re interested in looking more into Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop, you can get a preview of some of the chapters over at Amazon.