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The Essential A-line: Make 17 Flirty Skirts from 1 Basic Pattern Paperback – April 1, 2013
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From a single pattern (included) learn how to create seventeen versions of the flattering A-line skirt - in sizes 0 to 20. The Essential A-Line describes how a no-waistband silhouette can create everything from a lace skirt to a double-pleated skirt. (Stitch With Style, May 2013)
The title really says it all. Jona teaches you to make your first basic A-line and then branch out into a wide range of styles. Beginning with a basic guide to sewing accessories, she takes you step-by-step through skirt construction. The rest of the book shows how to make 17 easy variations on this simple design in styles that range from folksy Bohemian, urban hipster, retro, all the way to an elegant skirt suitable for a bridesmaid. There are even instructions for a maternity A-line skirt (would that make it an H-line?). Jona's basic A-line paper pattern, which is included, is by itself worth the price of the book. Plus, it's adjustable from size 0 to size 20. (www.sew4home.com, 8/12/13)
Jona Giammalva's The Essential A-Line comes from a seamstress who tells how to make an A-Line skirt from a single pattern using 17 variations to make skirts in a range of sizes. Color photos throughout accompany step-by-step instructions in a fine guide packed with keys to producing A-Line skirts with a range of 'tweaks' so they all look differently appealing. It's extraordinary to see some seventeen variations created from one simple pattern. It comes printed on both sides so one will need to trace the pattern to use it, but the clear photos and directions leave nothing to wonder. Any sewer who likes skirts in general and the basic A-Line in particular will love this book. (The Needlecraft Shelf, 9/6/13)
Here's how to take one basic skirt shape, add some creativity, and end up with 17 fashionable variations. The pattern, a simple no-waistband A-line in sizes 0 to 20, is included. (American Sewing Guild Notions Magazine, Spring 2013)
For those who love variation and creativity, but who need the how-to as well as the inspiration, this book shows you how to make 17 different skirts from one basic sewing pattern. (Burda Style, Spring 2014)
About the Author
Jona Giammalva has been an avid seamstress for more than 25 years. Her sewing adventures and tutorials can be found on her popular blog. She also produces sewing patterns of her original designs under the name Jona G. Pattern Co. She lives in Arizona. www.jonag.typepad.com
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Top Customer Reviews
I will be perfectly honest in that I didn't buy this book for the pattern. I bought it for the techniques and that is what I'm reviewing. Because this book contains a pattern, I'll use The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress and Sew Serendipity: Fresh and Pretty Designs to Make and Wear for comparison. Both are wonderful books that not just help you construct the included patterns, they teach you how to sew. The same is true for this book. The Colette Sewing Handbook is the best of the three because of breadth and depth. Sew Serendipity and this book are more similar because both really whet your creative appetite with embellishment and customization.
Here are my specific love notes about this book:
1. The reason I bought the book was because it teaches you how to line the skirt. I am so frustrated about the lack of linings in ready-to-wear fashion and the how-to in most skirt patterns.
2. The information is presented clearly. The photos are great!
3. The skirt variations are cute
I do think the book lacks in some areas. The first is fit. Although the pattern is sized to 20, there are no instructions for how to alter the pattern if you need a bigger size. What if you find that either the front or back hem is longer than the other? There's no info on how to resolve the issue. I know that's a problem I will have, but I know how to fix it.
The book doesn't have any information about fabric choices or preparation. The technique I wish the book included is how to use hem lace. The book has four options for hems: turned and stitched, rolled, bias and ruffled. I realize I'm being extremely picky.
This book is for the beginner stitcher. She or he will be able to get a quick win with this book.
This book is excellent for teaching you the basics of creating a pattern specific to your body type. (Round down to lower size if you are between sizes like I am!) The instructions beyond the muslin practice skirt are all just guided suggestions for different looks. The final skirt I made was simply an eyelet fabric with a matching liner using the instructions for the muslin one that I did first. I love it so much and even had teen girls comment on it and couldn't believe it was "homemade". Lol. If you are at all competent with sewing, get this book. If you've never sewn a stitch or even turned on sewing machine, you might not be quite ready for this, but even a pillowcase or two would prep you for it.
All instructions are easy to follow and patterns are simple. The photographs show you the end results and also provide inspiration when choosing fabrics. Highly recommended.