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How to Make Sewing Patterns Revised Edition

167 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0932538000
ISBN-10: 0932538002
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Editorial Reviews


...most readable pattern drafting book... simplest line drawings possible, but executed with concise purpose. -- Whole Earth Catalog (The Epilog)


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Feather Products; Revised edition (November 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932538002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932538000
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Don McCunn wrote his first book in 1973. The current edition of this book is "How to Make Sewing Patterns" which has been continuously in print since 1977.

He is a rabid do-it-yourselfer who has explored a variety of eclectic interests including theatre, personal computers, and website design which have resulted in original shows, costumes, books, and software development. (Not to mention house repair and remodeling.)

He loves sharing his interest in patternmaking through his Yahoo Group named after his book and through his online school. He is currently involved in researching and developing additional patternmaking techniques and sharing the results through his passion for photography and videography.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,007 of 1,014 people found the following review helpful By Barb on January 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Other books that allegedly enable you to draft your own patterns all turn out to be either how to BUY a commercial pattern & then alter it to make other designs, or else they only enable you to make clothing for the perfectly portioned body, which few of us have. A third alternative is that some books teach you to make shapeless "sack" clothing without much style. Almost all of these books require that you have a partner to help measure yourself and later to help fit the basic patterns to your body.

THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH MR. McCUNN'S WONDERFUL BOOK! He starts out by showing you how to measure yourself accurately without any helpers.

Then he takes you step-by-step through how to draft the basic patterns from your own measurements. He does NOT give tables of measurements for putting darts in, since the tables don't work for anyone without a "perfect" body. Instead, he explains how to custom fit the basic skirt, pants, bodice, & sleeve patterns to your own body, even if you don't have a "fitting buddy."

And if that isn't enough, he includes instructions on how to design your own clothing styles (or copy those you see in the stores) and then change your basic patterns to make those styles.

He expands on this to show how to make waistbands & cuffs, pockets & plackets, jackets & coats, and even how to make & fit a man's suit. (Yes, this book even has info on making basic patterns for MEN, not just women.)

There is also discussion of how to choose the correct fabric for your style.

As a bonus, he explains how to take your perfectly-fitted basic patterns and turn them into a "fitting dummy" that mirrors your own body perfectly!
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201 of 203 people found the following review helpful By Gina Miller on July 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is packed full of drawings so that you can visually compare them to the written content. It's very useful, just be aware that it is an older book so a lot of the styles are out of date, still the principles remain. No matter your style, the technical information is worth the purchase.
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294 of 302 people found the following review helpful By Karen Wood on March 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book was the answer to my dilemma. I've been trying to make a pattern for my mother who is severely deformed with osteoporsis. This book answered all my questions. It's a must for anyone trying to sew for someone without "perfect" proportions.
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134 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Rhonda Cook on August 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of the BEST sewing investments I've ever made!! This book is absolutely wonderful. It is soooo easy to follow!! I'm simply thrilled with what I have accomplished. I have bought so many pattern books, trying to understand how to alter the commercial patterns to fit my body--even bought those "BASIC" commercial design patterns to try to help with fit, etc...Never could get any of it to fit my body right, couldn't get the bodice to fit my stomach and breast area, couldn't get the skirt to fit the hips and thighs and on and on...but with this little treasure, I've been able to DRAFT my own BASIC pattern and it actually fits and I understand why I'm doing WHAT I'm doing. Granted, there is some study time involved, but it is relatively easy so far. If you're wanting to create patterns that fit your unique body, I would consider this a great buy. I've been sewing for years (and am self taught) and I would trade in a boatload of my other reference for this one. I'm thrilled and wonder why I've never seen it before now.

Rhonda --Atlanta, GA
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91 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Anthony L. Crawley on March 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Great Book. This book takes all of the guess work out of pattern drafting. It is also very easy to follow. It teaches you how to first draft the basic patterns, then it explains how to incorporate different designs into your patterns. This is a must-have for the person who is tired of buying commercials patterns that do not fit. You will gain a better understanding of commercial pattern design and how to alter them by reading this book.
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101 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Violet Smith on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I must have fifteen books on pattern making- I'm a fashion design student who is trying to make it through pattern drafting! Honestly, this is the only book I ever use. I take it to class and all of my classmates ask me where I got it, because it helps them as well. If you need a book that is extremely down to earth in it's approach, then this is for you. I applaud Donald McCunn for knowing that when you're doing something like pattern drafting, you want a book that is going to remind you how to do basic stuff like take measurements. Also- plenty of pictures (even though they're black and white, they are easy to see.) I love this book!
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96 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Atheen on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow, I'm impressed. I've been sewing since I was about eight--I won't tell you how long ago that was!--and even got into designing my own clothing as a teenager. Because of this experience I was already aware of the degree to which one can combine patterns or redesign parts of them to suit one's own design ideas. What I had not learned already was the wonderful principles of measurement--especially self measurement--provided by the author or of the methods by which a pattern piece could be altered easily and more precisely.

The chapters on altering patterns for the bodice and sleeves of blouses or of skirt darts and drapes, etc. were amazing and so easy. The word descriptions sometimes get a little confusing, but a quick look at the illustrations makes any issues clearer immediately.

I felt that the explanations especially of fitting the garment to the figure of the wearer were very informative and helpful--they were definitely worth the price of the book. Little that I had learned previously prepared me as well as this book did for fixing design flaws. One still has to recognize what looks well on the individual for whom the apparel is designed, but at last no one is expected to diet down to the figure of a hat-rack with a head to wear a nicely designed and fitted garment.

Those who like to buy commercially made clothing might also appreciate the information on tailoring garments to the figure, since from these instructions, problems areas in fitting might also be corrected with a little additional work.

One of the more interesting facets of the book is the set of instructions for putting together a posterboard designer's model for fitting clothing without the wearer's presence. The stiff material of the paper model of a blouse or dress, sans bust, is made from a pattern, and a padded bra placed over it to help with fitting. Ingeneous and very inexpensive!
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