Pattern making: best books

Do you want to make your own patterns, modify existing ones, or just hone your existing skills?  Learning clothing design takes patience and effort and there is always more to learn.  Check out some of my favorite pattern making books:

little-black-dress-pattern-making-bookThe Little Black Dress: How to Make the Perfect One for You

You’re going to make one of these anyway – so why not get a book that teaches you sewing basics in a conversational tone with straightforward step-by-step instructions that build as they go.  The book covers everything from materials to sewing zippers.

By the end of the book you’ll have the ability to draft the blocks to create 3 different types of LBD’s.  It’s a great intro book to pattern making that doesn’t cover too much, but is a good start to get the basics, and won’t overwhelm newbies.

how-to-use-adapt-and-design-sewing-patternsHow to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns

Instead of jumping right into pattern making, this book walks you through how to modify a store-bought pattern to individual style / fit.   You’ll learn how to modify sleeves, collars, neck lines, and armholes – some of the more complicated aspects of fashion design.

After conquering alterations, the book covers designing patterns from scratch.  The pictures are clear and there are tons of them.  Not only will you learn from reading it, but you’ll keep it around as a reference book for modifications.

how-to-make-sewing-patterns-bookHow to Make Sewing Patterns

My personal favorite and the first book on pattern making that I read when beginning my journey.  It’s not the easiest read, and I wish it had more illustrations, but you can’t be the money at less than $20 for a paperback copy and it will teach you the essentials.

When I first got this book, I read it – drafted some patterns and then read it again.  I’d recommend it for both the beginner who’s not afraid to dig in deep, or more knowledgeable sewers who want to gain more insight into pattern drafting.


fashion-design-constructionFashion Design Construction

This book is highly technical and not an easy read.  However, if you have progressed past the point of beginner and are looking to broaden your skills then this is a great book.

It’s organized in such a way that you can skip around and read the chapters that are relevant to you.  EG: structure, draping, dart manipulation, etc.

I found the book a bit tedious to read, but worth the effort.  You’ll come away with new insights and advanced concepts.

Those are some of my favorite books related to pattern design.  Do you have a list of great books you’d love to share?  Drop me a line in the comments below!

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