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Dressmaking for Real Women: How to Adapt Your Store-bought Patterns to Flatter the Curves You Want to Keep and Drape the Ones You Don't Paperback – September 1, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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  • Dressmaking for Real Women: How to Adapt Your Store-bought Patterns to Flatter the Curves You Want to Keep and Drape the Ones You Don't
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lorna Knight designs and produces lingerie and runs workshops in the U.K., where she teaches a wide range of sewing skills, passing on tips and techniques from both the couture and the High Street fashion worlds. She also writes regularly for Sewing World magazine, and has contributed to many other books and publications on sewing topics.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1438000952
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438000954
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,107,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By NuJoi VINE VOICE on October 22, 2012
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Let me start by saying I don't think this book lives up to it's title. It's a strong promise and I'm not sure what I'd need to see in a book to live up to "Flatter the Curves You Want To Keep and Drape the Ones You Don't." Perhaps I'd like more suggestions and how-to for design elements that would help achieve the promise.

This book starts at the beginning - seriously with Essential Sewing Equipment and a Fabric Glossary. Because of the title, I was expecting more intermediate info.

Next is a very nice section on the body shapes: hourglass, triangle, inverted triangle, round and oval. For each figure type, you get an illustration, description of the body type, flattering styles, looks to avoid and appropriate fabrics. The styles and fabrics are summarized in a check list. There's nothing new here, but it's nice to see it included in a sewing book. It has examples of sewing patterns that work for each shape. To live up to the "flatter and drape" part of the title, more examples here would have been helpful.

Next up is choosing and reading patterns, transferring markings, measurements and layouts. There are a couple of pages on seam allowance and ease. Meh.

The Adapting Patterns section is pretty good. I really like how this part of the book has a mini table of contents. For each subchapter listed (Shoulder, Neckline, Bust, Hollow Back, Sleeve Length, Armhole, Waist, Hip, Stomach, Bottom, Crotch Depth and Height), there is a brief summary of potential fit issues. A very brief Dos and Don'ts for jacket sleeves, pants length and skirts follows; it's mostly about proportion. The alterations are photographed clearly (think
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The technical information about how to alter commercial patterns to make a garment fit the individual is thorough and well presented in the text and line drawings. BUT the photographs of the alteration process with pattern tissue and muslin fitting toile are very difficult to decipher. Both tissue and muslin are light ecru. There has been to effort to provide contrast to bring out the details. The line markings on the patterns have not been enhanced for greater visibility (even the text on the pattern pieces is out-of-focus.) The photographs of the toiles are even worse -- muslin on a muslin-covered dress form on a pale background. Sometimes the edge of the toile is even indistinguishable from the dress form and the tell-tale wrinkles barely visible. It's simply frustrating. In addition, there is no information about altering patterns to fit those who fall well outside the normal commercial pattern size range such as Palmer and Pletsch's Real Fit provides.
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This is a great book for addressing figure problems. The book goes into detail on the pattern adjustments needed to fit the specific area. I would recommend this book.
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I thought there would be a lot more patterns and styles in there to choose from.
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By Beth on January 30, 2016
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Wonderful for women who are not standard pattern size.
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