When I first started sewing clothes from patterns, I ignored all the comprehensive sewing books like this one because I thought ‘the pattern will tell me everything.’ And wow, how I struggled. Patterns barely tell you anything! How can they? They have to squeeze everything into just a few pages.
Eventually (read: a long, long, time later) I was able to learn the skills necessary to glance through a pattern, take note of the needed techniques and the order of construction, and then make it. But it took so long to get there. And so many failed garments!
This week I picked up a copy of The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction by Christine Haynes and I can totally appreciate it. This book details every step in processes like gathering, pleating, inserting zippers, and sewing waistbands and pockets. There are things I can still learn from it too!
I wish I had read this book so so long ago. I could have saved myself so much frustration trying to understand complex techniques from sparsely detailed patterns. And my clothes would have looked and fit much better.
Another thing that I love about this book is the patterns used in it. This type of book never includes patterns, but they you know they are using patterns to explain the techniques. The ones they use are typically outdated or weird ones that I’d never use.
But Christine picked amazing patterns to use as examples in this book – patterns from indie companies you’ll recognize like Colette, Green Bee, and Sewaholic. And of course her own Christine Haynes Patterns. So you get to look at cute clothes (and cute modern fabrics) too!
So, I can whole-heartedly recommend The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction. Whether for yourself (if you haven’t mastered every sewing technique yet) or for a new sewer who struggles with patterns. Give her this book and tell her: you don’t have to struggle!
Find more of my book and product reviews here and free clothing patterns below..
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂