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Sew Your Own Activewear: Make a unique sportswear wardrobe from four basic sewing blocks Paperback – Illustrated, March 20, 2018
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About the Author
Melissa relocated from the US to UK where she now lives in a houseboat on the Thames. She recently completed the London marathon in 3.5 hours!
- Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
- Paperback : 128 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1446306704
- ISBN-13 : 978-1446306703
- Dimensions : 8.25 x 0.5 x 10.75 inches
- Publisher : David & Charles; Illustrated edition (March 20, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #380,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The beginning of the book provides some very basic information and tells you to make the patterns using the pattern blocks provided. Pattern blocks are foundation pattern pieces used to create very other pattern imaginable. Each designer or home sewer who has learned pattern drafting knows these blocks are unique to the designer or the individual. They are based on dress form or body measurements. So unless you are exactly the same size and shape her blocks are based on you will not get a good fitting garment. The models in the book didn’t.
The sewing is sloppy in places. I just can’t understand how bad sewing gets into a book on sewing.
Most of the book is instruction on how to make the garments she designed. First you draft her pattern which is what should be in the book to begin with. Then the sewing instructions.
At the end of the book there is a chapter on alterations. It’s really hard to alter activewear because it’s surged and cover stitched. But really, if you were using a block based on your measurements there would be little or no alterations needed.
Is some good information in the book that can be found elsewhere on the internet or in other books. The draft your own patterns are nothing special. The book is a sad mash of methods. Either teach how to make blocks and style them OR provide the patterns you show in the book. Sloppy sewing is never acceptable!
Top reviews from other countries
Working from blocks is new to me. Melissa makes it far less daunting and the clear drawings make each step seem straight forward.
I did struggle getting my head around making the seams the same length but once I had done one the rest were easier.
Now I've used blocks I'm not sure I'll buy any ready made patterns. It's made me realise how easily you can adapt and change a pattern and add features to it.
At some point I'll learn how to make a basic block as my husband would love some home made activewear. For now though I need to make nearly everything for me.
Melissa knows her stuff and you can tell she is an athlete herself. The designs are practical, well-thought through and fun. It is clear that Melissa’s patterns are developed based on her years of personal experience of being an athlete. I feel that the sportswear patterns from large commercial pattern companies and some indie designers aren’t necessarily developed by designers who are athletes themselves and therefore don’t have the inside knowledge that Melissa has. She understands what is needed.
As with any pattern you need to measure yourself and make the necessary alterations to the pattern to ensure it fits you. I made a few minor alterations, for eg. I have a large waist and I’m short (5’ 1”) so I altered the pattern to accommodate my waist and shortened the pattern across the lengthen/shorten lines that Melissa includes.
The instructions are clear and the book includes good information about the type of fabric you need. I found this very helpful. Melissa also has a list of fabric suppliers on her website and in fact these were where I purchased my fabric and elastics from.
The patterns themselves are great, because Melissa provides basic blocks for both close fitting and loose fitting sportswear. So you could make basic, no frills garments or follow Melissa’s directions for sewing them with interesting and functional construction lines. This lets you be creative with how you mix and match your fabrics. Go wild!
Get this book, you won’t regret it. Highly recommended.