Eager to learn how to make your own dress from scratch? Whether you’re a fashion designer in training or simply looking to pick up a new skill, dressmaking books are great guides to invest in. They teach you about the anatomy of dress styles as well as how to take measurements, create proper proportions and construct details like different hem and neckline silhouettes. They also typically list all the tools and supplies you’ll need to execute your design. If you’re a beginner, choose an option that explains technical jargon you may not be familiar with, like a sloper (a pattern with your custom measurements). For all skill levels, read on for some of the best sewing and pattern drafting books we found.
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1. Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time
This book includes 219 dress patterns with six skirts, eight bodices, four sleeves and four neckline guides for creating unique looks.
Pros: It teaches you how to make new garment patterns or alter elements on existing items.
Cons: It isn’t for beginners.
2. Make Your Own Patterns
With this book, you’ll learn how to measure bodices and sleeves and customize details like necklines, hems frills and collars.
Pros: It includes over 60 dressmaking patterns to help you create various styles.
Cons: This is fairly elementary.
3. The Beginner's Guide to Dressmaking
It has step-by-step instructions on design, hem and finishing techniques with tracing guides to make the process easier.
Pros: There’s no guesswork needed to create the included designs.
Cons: There’s little design variety.