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Making Trousers for Men & Women: A Multimedia Sewing Workshop Paperback – August 1, 2009
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About the Author
David Page Coffin’s career as a sewing expert, teacher, and writer began with a self-published how-to book about making custom shirts, which became a bestseller and led to an 18-year editor’s post at Threads magazine, where both his sewing and publishing skills found a worldwide audience. Coffin is also the author/creator of the authoritative and bestselling sewing books Making Trousers for Men & Women and The Shirtmaking Workbook, hundreds of sewing articles, two Craftsy classes, and YouTube videos with hundreds of thousands of views. He has taught workshops throughout the United States and Canada and in the UK, appeared on nationally syndicated sewing shows, and been a featured host on various sewing bulletin boards and websites. He lives in Brookings, Oregon, with his wife Ellen. www.shirtmakingwithdpc.com
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Top customer reviews
Well, Coffin has done it again. Making Trousers is loaded with ideas for variations on pockets, better ways to make and reinforce waistbands, fly construction, fabric selection, working order... it's amazing.
What it's NOT, however, is a beginner's book. The book starts with an examination of several pairs of pants, from RTW jeans to couture women's trousers, and the language he uses to describe them assumes that you know your way around. For instance, the fly front: Coffin debates the merits of cut-on versus separate fly shields and extensions, discusses bulk reduction, and doesn't overlook the effect of straight-grain vs. bias. There are two step-by-step demos of two different methods of inserting a fly zipper, then a comparison of the subtle differences between the techniques, tips on reducing bulk, topstitching, and binding... and THEN a demo for making a button fly. Be forewarned: if you haven't made at least one pair of trousers (and I do mean trousers--pull-on pants don't count), this book may be over your head.**
The other thing it's not is a fitting book. The front matter sets this straight--Coffin suggests drafting your own or having a patternmaker do it. If you have a pattern that fits you already, you're good to go (and if you don't, Burda is probably the best place to start). Pants for Real People, while probably about as far away from Coffin as you can get in terms of writing style and layout, is a decent resource for fitting.
The included DVD is a real bonus. I'm not a big fan of instructional DVDs for sewing (it's usually hard to tell what's going on, because people's hands get in the way of seeing what's going on with the sewing), but this DVD contains loads of illustrations and examples that couldn't be included in the book without doubling its size and cost. There are patterns for several pocket variations, sewing and finishing tips, and lots and lots of construction closeups of both handmade and RTW clothing. The DVD contains PDFs which have both photos and QuickTime videos. I had no problem viewing them.
I'm looking forward to trying out some of the waistband techniques right away. If you're interested in improving your trouser construction skills, I feel sure you'll benefit from this book.
** Third paragraph edited to correct a ridiculous misstatement on my part :-)
Welt pockets are not necessarily easy to construct and I wish David had paid a little more attention to showing how it is sewn.I think the few illustration were lacking clear direction on how to assemble the welt pocket. If you don't know how to sew welt pockets you won't learn it here.
The only thing that could have made this book better IMHO is a section dealing with fitting the crotch area :( Which can be a pain.I can see why he left it out though its such a tricky fit area and I prefer he leave it out then haphazardly explain how to get the correct fit. I also wish he had listed good fabrics for making trousers instead of writing a full section on it-That would have been helpful.
I did however take off a point because my book did not come with a CD-Rom it stated online access but when I went to the website it stated website suspended. Would I have purchased this book with out the extra content...Yes!
The DVD is full of helpful tips and the videos are very well done. You can clearly see exactly what is being discussed. He doesn't drone on and bore you to death, he gets to the point.
This book does not address drafting or sizing at all. It is not a step-by-step tutorial about construction either. It's more of a reference for learning about how the different elements fit together, what the options are and reasons why they may or may not be appropriate. It is not a beginner's book. You will need to understand basic sewing to get much from it.
I would highly recommend this to those of you who have sewn pants in the past and encountered problems or issues. His solutions are very well thought out and explained. The book is very high quality and the images are very clear.