Customer Reviews: DIY Couture: Create Your Own Fashion Collection
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars17
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on September 25, 2012
I don't understand the reviewsabout how this book is bad because a buyer didn't like any of the projects and wouldn't wear any of these styles--I check book reviews and find out what's in a book before I buy it! If I didn't and then found the projects "aren't me" how does that make the book bad for everyone??? Weird. Also, why are the clothes in this book for 25 or younger people as another reviewer put it? I'm well over that age and saw ideas for things I could have fun making.

But as to the book, the idea of creating clothes without formal sewing patterns but using existing clothing that fits well and some strategic lines and curves drawn on fabric with tailor's chalk is a fun break from the norm. The projects are good for beginning seamstresses, but I also found them an enjoyable way to break through a creative block--a quick to sew, easy to alter and personalize clothing idea is just what I need to loosen up and get my own sewing ideas flowing.

The "Couture" word in the title may throw some and lead them to think this is an advanced level sewing book featuring truly couture techniques but reading the complete title "DIY Couture" and seeing the photos on the front of the book should make one quickly realize that "couture" is being used a little tongue-in-cheek here.

I've probably overused the word fun in this review but that's the one word that keeps coming to mind when I think about this book. If you are uncertain about buying it, do what I did and check it out from the library first (or look through a copy at a bookstore or, at least, look at the sample pages Amazon includes in this listing). It may not be for everyone, but it is still a good book (plenty of projects with ways to change them around, clear instructions, lots of photos and illustrations--that's what I want in a sewing book).
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on May 10, 2012
This book is an extension of the DIYcouture website. It's creator, Rosie Martin, has take the idea of modifiying simple silhouettes, like a straight skirt and basic trousers, and expanded on it. If you are a fan of the DIYcouture website and philosophy, you'll love this book!

The book has a nice layout. There is a section at the beginning illustrating sewing techniques used for the garments. Then, there's an overview of the 10 different garments, with a section of photos showing eight variations of the garments. The following 10 sections are by garment, with instructions on how to make them in the different variations. The book has no patterns to trace, but rather step-by-step illustrations on how to lay out your fabric, adjust for sizing (most based on tracing or measueing garments that already fit you well), cutting and sewing. Most garments use basic sewing techniques, such as binding, hemming and zipper placement.

I think this book would be great for seamstresses of all skill levels. Beginners, especially, could learn handling fabrics, practicing stitches and just getting a feel for garment sewing in general.

Overall, a great addition to my sewing library. I can't wait to try the hoodie and Grecian dress! The Grecian dress, especially, could easily become a wardrobe staple for the summer.
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on May 16, 2012
DIY Couture is a book for female beginners who want to just plunge into sewing, without learning anything about fitting and the minimum about sewing. (Meaning, this book is about sewing but *not* about couture sewing.) The styles are for the teen and college sets--no one over 25 would wear most of these clothes. The emphasis on "collections" seems designed to appeal to people who were drawn to sewing by watching Project Runway. So, probably, is the emphasis on drawing your own patterns, which is actually harder than using a commercial pattern; and plenty of good commercial patterns are available for simple styles like these. Most of the patterns in this book are derived from drawing partly around a garment that fits and pretty much winging the rest of the pattern. Some, such as the circle skirt, depend entirely on measurements--but just a few of them. The reader is urged to be creative by making minor, suggested variations on the patterns, and not to worry about how well it all turns out. (Almost) instant gratification! The tone is breezy and even the line drawings are cheerfully colored.

I'm not the audience for this book--I'm too old and experienced. I prefer my books with much more advanced techniques and more sophisticated patterns. OK, I like the circle skirt, but I already have plenty of instructions for drafting circle skirts and these instructions are no better and no more creative. Still, many young beginners will probably love this book. But hey, girls: Once this book gives you enough confidence would you please go on to learn something about fitting, fabrics, and finishing?
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on December 7, 2015
Based on some of the reviews that I've read, people don't get this book.

This is a book for any sewer who wants to learn how to design simple women's clothing pieces without a pattern.

No, this book is not only for people under 25. The collections she photographed in the book are her collections. The only one I would wear is the black and white collection with modifications.

But that's not the point, nor is that the magic in this book. The magic is that you pick your own fabric choices, accessories, and modifications that you like best. This is how you create a wardrobe that you would actually wear.

For instance, I plan to make the straight skirt in a maxi length, the trousers with a wider leg, various versions of the cloak and hoodie, the jumper with wide straps, the skater skirt in a longer version and both as a circle and a square, and the goddess dress in a maxi length. And I'm in my 40's and wear modest clothing.

I'm especially looking forward to adding my own embellishments, like piping, linings, color blocking, etc. just to see what I can come up with!

My only complaint is that the clothing would have looked a lot better in the photos if the pieces had been ironed, and better models were used.
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on June 18, 2014
I am an intermediate sewer and I really enjoyed this book because although I am quite comfortable sewing, I generally rely on commercial and independent patterns. This book gives you the tools to make basic clothing items without patterns and after making the garments with the book's guidance it becomes easy to make the items from memory and customize them.

Yes, some of the styles cater to hipsters, but if you look past the photos you will be able to see that you can make basic garments for everyday wear. My greatest criticism is that the book doesn't explain the variations very well. The Acid Candy collection is the main one and the instructions cater to that collection. There is some guidance to the other collections, but not the the extent of Acid Candy. Nevertheless, I recommend this book.
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on May 30, 2015
A good book for a beginners sewer (like myself). The styles are easy to make and the directions easy to follow. A lot of fun. Looking back I wished I had bought the digital copy on the kindle. There are directions with pictures for many styles of a type of skirt or dress to show how a design can be made unique by changing the cloth or pattern style slightly.
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on May 7, 2016
Despite having gone to fashion school and drafting my patterns in the professional way for years, summer rolls around and all I want is a super simple, slouchy, easy to wear thing and I go right back to this book. Granted, I don't follow every method as presented (mine work better for my purposes) but if you have only ever sewn a straight line they work plenty ok.

If you haven't sewn much but want to start right away with fun creative stuff, this is a great way to develop an appetite for sewing and designing.
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on November 29, 2012
Very clear pics and instructions. Fun for beginners. It could have used more info on cutting out pieces to conserve fabric and prevent warping. Also, showing an alternative side zipper for the straight skirt would be nice.
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on October 30, 2014
Simplistic patterns, after all, it is for the beginning sewer. As an advanced sewer, what I love is the clothing collections. It's great to see a handful of patterns done with slight alterations and lots of different colorways. Even if I never use the patterns, the wardrobes offered have already sparked ideas in my sewing.
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on September 28, 2015
I saw tis book today and picked it up. As a professional couturier making in the area of $100 per hour, I was curious to see what DIY couture would be recommended to a novice, especially without patterns. When I flipped to a design with an elastic waist, I was horrified. I looked through a few more, and slammed the book closed and shoved it back onto the shelf in disgust. If this was a book called DIY Fashion, then I would feel different, but the title promises couture, which is something it certainly doesn't deliver. Couture isn't DIY crafts novices make. The methods take years to learn and longer to master. Your average etsy seamstress may make something that is pretty and she gets paid for it, but if they, people who earn money with their skills, are rarely up to the level of couture, then a book promising couture so easily that "no patterns [are] needed" will fall short of the mark.

Speaking of patters, it's "no patterns INCLUDED." Big difference. When you draw out something to cut, you're making a pattern.
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