Saturday, 30 January 2010

Book Review - Make Your Own Clothes


Make Your Own Clothes

C&B Crafts
PatternMaker with Marie Clayton

The book contains 20 patterns and comes complete with software to customise these to your size. Before starting out on the projects, the book covers some basic knowledge like equipment, fabrics, using a sewing machine and also the techniques used in clothes-making. These sections are easy to understand with plenty of pictures for reference.

As you work through the book, it starts with the easier items, for example making a wrap-skirt or basic trousers. This assists you with gaining the knowledge you need to improve your confidence for the more challenging items later in the book. There are also some accessories and children’s clothes for projects. Each project is written out with clear step-by-step instructions.

I have found the pattern software to be quite confusing as there was no manual included with the book, so I searched the Internet for some advice on how to use it and came across Leena's Pattern-Maker site - the tutorials on this site helped to explain how to use the software. All of the patterns for the projects covered in this book are on the CD. To use the software simply fill in your own measurements and the patterns are automatically re-sized for printing on a standard A4 printer. These A4 sheets and will be number-referenced to help you stick them in the correct order.

If you want to purchase more patterns you can visit PatternMaker Software. There are also copies of the user manual on this site.

Overall I feel this book is good for understanding how to make clothes, but being a beginner I found a lot of the projects overwhelming to start with. I have yet to try any of these projects, but when I do you'll hear all about it on here.

Have you had any experience using 'Make Your Own Clothes'? What skill level were you when trying out the clothes in this book? Did you find the software easy to use? If you have any thoughts, please post in the comments.

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