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One thing I’ve always wanted to be able to do is to design my own clothing – I love the idea of being able to sew a fabulous wardrobe without the need of a pattern. I know that there are several of books on the market that discuss how to do this, but honestly, I don’t want to read anything that looks like a text book. I recently stumbled across Design-It-Yourself Clothes and decided to take the plunge and buy it. Although the the designs are ‘simple’ (basic skirt, tee, button up shirt, dress, and pants), the author discusses ways that your can change the overall look to give some variety to your design. Speaking of the projects in the book, I did find that most of them have quite a bit of ease (as you can see from the front cover). If you go in expecting to come out with a pair of fitted pants, this book isn’t for you – it’s just a very basic introduction to pattern drafting. There is some information on how to fit, however, it’s not in depth and honestly with some of these styles, isn’t really needed (for example, I saw a lot of people on Amazon saying that there wasn’t any information on full bust adjustments and bust darts, but I just don’t see how bust darts would work with these designs). With that said I did find Design It Yourself Clothes to be a wealth of information and I do intend on making my own project sometime in the near future. I’m really hoping that Cal decides to write more of these books (perhaps a bit more in depth and with fitted designs) in the near future because I found this to be a fun, easy to read instruction book on how to draft your own clothing patterns. Overall, Design-It-Yourself Clothes makes a great beginner’s book for pattern drafting, especially if you’re looking for something that’s easy read with lots of illustrations. However, you may be disappointed in the styles if a fitted looks is what you’re after.


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    Jul 10, 2010, 12.00 PMby elaray

    I bought this book even though the designs are too young for me. I plan to use my daughter as a my model since she fits the demographic and body type. I like that the directions are easy to follow and the designs are simple, yet stylish.

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    Jul 7, 2010, 06.06 PMby emily-marie

    I was just flipping through this at a bookstore yesterday – weird! It looked like a great patternmaking book for people who want to have FUN sewing something really personalized (that’s what it’s all about, right?). Definitely not a tedious information overload like so many books out there that make me feel like I’m in class again, (although those can be wonderful in their own right)!

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    Jul 7, 2010, 04.26 PMby hstorm799

    @ Mitmit: Did a search on the Swedish and English titles and cannot find it translated. I DEFINITELY need the English version. Google Translate can only help so much : ) Thanks for the recommendation; I will add this to the list for the day I find it translated. Is that the reason all of the Scandinavian BurdaStylers projects are so good?!

    Am getting through Adele Margolis’ Make Your Own Dress Patterns, 1985 version between work projects and home projects, and it is very thorough, if not a little outdated.

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    Jul 7, 2010, 01.36 PMby elegantmusings

    I just used this book recently for a sewing project (and mentioned it on my blog, as hstorm799 mentioned), and love Cal’s no-fear attitude towards pattern drafting! I think there is such a plethora of hardcore, textbook type pattern books out there, it’s refreshing to see someone take an approach that is both fun and more geared towards the home seamstress. That being said, I do have to admit the one thing that I didn’t like is the lack of darts! Having read/used a lot of other drafting books, I find it helpful to at least have a basic overview of darts and dart manipulation, since the styling possibilities expand so much with those. Here’s hoping Cal does do another book eventually! ;)

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    Jul 7, 2010, 05.46 AMby hstorm799

    I saw this book recommended on Casey’s Elegant Musings blog just recently, I think and added it to my To Get Books list. I am trying to give myself a pattern drafting education, and there are so many books out there, that it is hard to know which are worth the money. I think there is demand for simply fitted garment instruction as well as for very fitted styles.

    @hodgepodgefarm: I hope to be getting this one soon and hope you write more in future :)

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      Jul 7, 2010, 08.32 AMby Anna Aasbjerg

      I have a really good book on pattern making. The original is in swedish, but I’m sure it must translated to english (Mine is in danish)

      The original title is: Mönster och konstruktioner för damkläder.

      It’s written by: Inger Öberg and Hervor Ersman.

      ISBN 87-21-01306-3

      It’s the best pattern making book in scandinavia, if not the whole world! :-)

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    Jul 7, 2010, 02.43 AMby hodgepodgefarm

    thanks for reviewing my book! i just want to add that the amount of ease is totally up to the designer; many of the styles are actually quite fitted, especially the pants! all of the sample were made to fit me actually, but they were a little big on the models. i hope i’ll get to write more books too that can focus on fit in a more in-depth way; this is just the beginning ;n) little did i know people were craving bust darts so badly…

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    Jul 6, 2010, 11.46 PMby stephiaffi

    Thanks for the review!

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