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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: christinasmith
Date: 03-18-2006, 04:13 PM (1 of 3)
Hi there everyone! I'm currently on maternity leave with my first child for a year, and during this time I thought I'd try and teach myself the craft of tailoring. I've sewn from ready-made patterns, and have made a lot of quilts, but that's about it. I have a Husqvarna Romeo sewing machine ;-)

So is it possible to teach yourself how to make custom clothing? I was thinking of buying some books on the subject but I'm getting bogged down. Should I buy a book on pattern making? Or on draping? Or both?

I'd really like to figure out how to make my own clothes from scratch, without an existing pattern. Will this be too much for a beginner?

I came across "European Cut" and it seems petty good from the reviews. Have any of you read this book? Is it ok for beginners?

Lots of questions, I know!

Thanks in advance,
User: christinasmith
Member since: 03-18-2006
Total posts: 1
From: MariLynntex
Date: 03-18-2006, 06:07 PM (2 of 3)
I did custom sewing for years and I have always made my own clothes and some of them were quite elaborate, as I was a professional singer. I now own only a half-dozen patterns. I use the same pants pattern for all pants, adjusting the width and/or length to suit the look I want. I use elastic in the waist line and eliminate zippers. I use the same shirt pattern for all shirts and blouses, just varying the sleeve style or length to suit whatever I want. I want a different shape to the yoke, I cut it differently. I want an over-the-head blouse I eliminate the facings, etc, in front; I want pockets or a collar, I add them, etc. etc. Skirts I make without patterns, varying the fullness, sometimes making tiered skirts or puttting in godets or a adding a flounce, and the length I make whatever I choose, with elastic in the waist. Of course I am almost 79, short, neither particularly fat or thin, just average, but people always tell me how nice I look. (Maybe they are just being kind!) I do try to pick colors that flatter me!! MariLynntex
User: MariLynntex
Member since: 01-05-2006
Total posts: 107
From: lynndieloo
Date: 03-24-2006, 07:35 PM (3 of 3)
Hi Christina,

I bought Elizabeth Allemong's book. It's become a reference book on patternmaking for me. I've learned so much from it. I must mention, however, that it is involved because you have to take 30+ measurements, and she really stresses accuracy. But, her book is so clearly written that with time and practice you should be able to create a nice set of basic patterns or slopers.

Another book I have in my library is a book by Donald McCunn. I can't for the life of me remember the title, but if you do a search on you can find it used. This book was written back in the 1970s and is out of print, but, in my opinion, it is very helpful.

User: lynndieloo
Member since: 02-28-2005
Total posts: 3
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