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Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  262 ratings  ·  49 reviews
If you’ve ever watched Project Runway and wished you were a contestant, or you’re simply ready to take your sewing to a new level, Design-It-Yourself Clothes teaches you the fundamentals of modern patternmaking so that you, too, can create your own inspired clothing.

Until now, the aspiring DIY fashionista has been hard-pressed to find self-teaching tools other than dry tex
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Potter Craft
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(showing 1-30 of 967)
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Alethea A
It's really, really hard for me not to go online and order this book immediately. The clothes are very casual--just the kind of thing I'd wear--but also structured. No sloppy Walmart shoppers here. The best thing is no patterns to figure out--at least, not any that come with the book. The book actually teaches you how to come up with your own pattern from your own measurements, using basic exercises and clear instructions you can actually make these clothes fit you perfectly. The book only shows ...more
Indiana Jayne
If you have some sewing experience (eg know the basics) and are interested in learning how to draft your own patterns, I can't recommend this book highly enough.

I've been sewing for 28 years and have made all sorts of garments, but I've never really taken the time to learn about fit and tailoring in any detail. I wanted to start at the beginning and go back and really learn the basic garment shapes, how to properly measure the body, how to draft slopers, etc. Most books I came across were very g
I need to test it more seriously, but so far, very disappointing:

- the tone is too cutesy ( "ah, brownies". And let Laura Ingalls Wilde be the judge of what she would like. And the word stylizing, urgh) or too trendy ( "it is no secret sewing is the new hot craft") in a way that gets on my nerves. And instructions to make muslin versions time and again anytime one wants to make alterations make my teeth grind. Uh, no, generations of thrifty grandmothers in my blood would basically kill me for wa
First off, this book is not for people who don't already know how to sew. You should have already sewn a few garments (so that you know what the general steps are when constructing them, because even though it's included here, it's done in a huge paragraph that you're better off not trying to follow) and have a working knowledge of sewing terms (which is weird when the author goes on to differentiate between muslin the cloth and muslin the garment you use to try on for fitting purposes).

This lo
You know how you find the perfect dress--except maybe it would look better if it were a little longer, and the color doesn't really work with your complexion, and the you don't quite fill out the bodice or you fill it just a little too well? You find yourself thinking about what would truly make it perfect, yet none of these big time fashion designers seem to be in step and you can't really just go and make it yourself, right? I mean, pattern making is like the Holy Trinity and why hot dogs come ...more
Not for me. In the introduction, she writes, "The clothing we currently wear tends to be relatively simple from a patternmaker's point of view. We don't wear finely tailored suits or dresses with princess seams, darts, and gussets. We wear simple knit tops, skirts, loose dresses, basic woven shirts, and pants. Their style tends to come from details, as opposed to dramatic or complicated cut and construction. Thus, it's quite possible to teach today's sewers how to make their own patterns. And th ...more
When I read the beginning pages, the first think I can think of is how warm is the author's tone toward the reader. She gives good encouragement for the reader to make their own clothes pattern. I knew and I know that patternmaking is not an easy task (actually, I'm still struggling to make one until now), but she talked and ensured me that patternmaking is an enjoyable learning, and it ease my tense about drafting my first pattern.

Second of all, I felt that she really did the effort to make the
Andrea McDowell
This is, first of all, about a million times better than Improv Sewing. You can click through and read my review of that title if you'd like; or you can satisfy yourself with the knowledge that Improv Sewing is the first, last and only book on sewing that I have actually been offended by. I can't understand why anyone would want to go to all the trouble of sewing their own clothes from their own patterns and not also want to take the steps of making sure it does not look like crap.

In the case of
I'm always watching for good books on pattern design. This one is very practical. Cal Patch starts at the beginning of flat pattern design, which is the technique I often use. She guides the reader step-by-step to create a custom-fit skirt, T-shirt, woven shirt, and pants and then shows how to add different design elements and vary the basic patterns for a wider variety of styles. For someone who already knows all the basics of sewing, this is a great book to use to develop pattern design skills ...more
I would give this book 3.5 stars. It was really easy to understand her drafting process. Her writing is easy to follow. Good thing because there are not very many illustrations for the process. I would have liked it better if there had been some mention of darts in the basic shirt pattern. I have a feeling it may be pretty big on a large-busted woman. I can get that info from other sources, though. Overall, I am really excited to work on some of these projects, and I will most likely end up buyi ...more
This is a great introductory text and makes pattern drafting seem entirely possible. I did encounter some troubles though in adjusting my muslin when I came to the t-shirt, and perhaps more could have been included to help resolve some common fitting problems. I really liked the idea of five basic patterns with several variations on each, and the styling and fabrics were all really attractive and motivating. Other people have commented they didn't like Cal Patch's writing style but in the circum ...more
I read this book cover to cover after taking Cal Patch's Creativebug class on pattern drafting. I got this book from the library, but after reading it, I now must own it so I can dig into drafting my own clothes patterns and making the clothing. Cal's instructions are straightforward and simple to understand how to get from one step to the next. Her teaching style is very calm and laid back, which is reassuring for newbies like me. I can't wait to play around with the variations she suggests to ...more
This book zings right over my head as a person with beginner sewing skills and zero drafting skills. It's not that I don't understand - it's that more instruction is given through written paragraphs than with diagrams or visual aides. It's a tough subject to teach to someone through the medium of a book, I suppose. Standing next to a teacher who can say "draw your line like This" would probably help me more.

It did help me understand the whys and hows of pattern drafting, but I need more books be
I just made my first skirt using the instructions in this book, and I'm so excited! For beginning sewists, I would recommend this book only in conjunction with another (like Sew U) that gives more detailed instructions on sewing and stuff like inserting zippers. But for patternmaking, I'm thrilled to have this as a resource.

I'm not rating the book yet because I haven't tried the more difficult patterns, and I'm very skeptical that Patch doesn't include any darts in her upper-body patterns. Her m
I've just started drafting a pattern for one of the skirts in the book, and am finding Cal Patch's instructions easy to follow. She is good at making the steps understandable and logical - why am I making this dart here, or how should I plan the sweep of the skirt?
I'm guessing this will be one of my most useful books on pattern-making and sewing, as the layout is good, the pictures look inviting, and the language is easy to follow.
I highly recommend this book to those who want to learn how to d
Oct 27, 2009 Marjanne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Melissa H.
I'm not completely finished with this but I think it's safe to say that this book will be at the top of my Christmas wish list. This book is awesome, especially for someone who would rather make their own patterns rather than buy them. The styles in this book are cute, but I love that the authors gives readers a lot of options on how to change things and make personalized patterns and styles. I have actually already used some of the instructions to make a skirt; they were pretty easy to follow, ...more
This is a great book to help understand pattern making. I have not yet made anything from this book and now realize that they don't include how to put together a garment, just how to create the patterns. Currently sewing clothes, this has helped me understand better how to adjust patterns for a better fit. This book, through a blog review of it, led me to The Perfect Fit, which goes through specifics of pattern modifications. This other book is very helpful not only because of the directions but ...more
I love to sew and did enjoy this book, however, I would not likely ever make these clothes so I didn't really find any use for it.
Melissa Ennis
I'm not exactly sure where this book is aimed. There's lots on basic sewing, which is helpful if you're a new seamstress. But IMHO, a new seamstress will get farther on commercial patterns than on custom-drafted ones.

OTOH, custom-drafted patterns are friendly to the non-standard figure, and 98% of the planet has some sort of non-standard figure. This could be very handy, since the basic garments are classic designs that are easily tweak-able.
I'm not a fan of sewing books that are to technical. I need something fun, easy and quick to follow. This book was perfect for that. It gives you the basics for designing your own patterns. Now I can understand sewing patterns better. Which will come in handy when I need to modify them. It's a good book to have on hand for reference.

I didn't care for the designs in the book (not my taste), but I didn't read this book for that. I read this book in hopes it would teach me to design my own pattern
Sowjanya Srimandapati
Jun 13, 2014 Sowjanya Srimandapati is currently reading it
want see this book
I am learning a lot about how to draft patterns and the geometry necessary for making your own patterns. However, most of the patterns are unflattering for most body types. Her instructions are limited and not well organized, and more garment construction visuals would make it a lot easier. This book is great for the intermediate Sewist who wants to learn more about drafting and doesn't mind being adventurous with changing the instructions given.
This seems to me (a beginner) a great introduction to pattern drafting. It gives you just enough rules of thumb paired with actual measurements to make you feel somewhat confident that you are learning something that you could carry on to making simple designs of your own. There is just enough hand holding to make your first few projects turn out really well (the basic "t" I have made so far did) and inspire a little branching out.
Aug 19, 2011 JayeL added it
Shelves: quilt
I saw a number of reviews, but one I thought old both sides of the story was Liesl's (from Oliver + Co) review. I put this book on my Amazon Wishlist and then I reserved it at the library so I could see if I really wanted to devote shelf space to this book.
I have been waiting for this book for SO long! As someone who makes up her own patterns for clothing but has absolutely NO formal training in patternmaking, I gobbled this one up as soon as I got it. I can't wait to start on some of these projects. For an amateur like me who wants to make patterns for themselves, this is a must-read!

I really enjoyed the projects in this book. I learned a lot about pattern drafting and can't wait to learn more. There are a few small errors/omissions so read the instructions carefully before you start. I wished there was a bit more about darts and techniques for fitting different bodies.
I've drafted both pants and a tee from this book with only marginal success. If you are REALLY interested in drafting your own patterns, this book is not for you. The information presented about altering patterns is helpful however.
Some good ideas for beginner sewers (including non-ugly, actually CUTE clothing, which seems to be a rarity in sewing, esp beginning sewing books); I'd like to try some of these patterns, so we'll see how it works!
I got this book from the library but I think I'm going to buy a copy of it. It's step-by-step reference for drafting your own patterns. I'm sure I will use what is taught in this book over and over.
Aug 01, 2011 pathic rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: DIY Sewers
Great beginning patternmaking/sewing book. The author walks you through each step of the process in a very conversational way. If you ever get a chance to take a class from Cal Patch, I recommend you do so.
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