Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Bundana Summer and REVIEW "The Dressmakers Bible"

Just thought that I would add a bit of bumpf and filler to my blog as I am taking sooo long to complete my next project!! Was anyone else a slow starter?! Well.. I was also waiting for my payday and deliveries to arrive of the:

Colette 'Clover' Trouser Pattern


Jamie Christina Summer Day Dress Pattern

I purchased both through the fabulous Backstitch Shop. Great patterns, fabric and information carefully selected for the discerning and fashion conscious dressmaker AND Alice is a dream, your parcels come so beautifully packaged- you feel a villain opening them up. That didn't last long, that feeling, as I knew that I had my two 'Summer Staples' inside and three shades of Bundana Summer in 2.5m lengths....


'Iced Frappe'


OK, so be prepared for.... first is the dress and then the trousers. Watch this space for them... I think that the dress will take me about a week to do and I am hoping I will have it complete by Sunday for a blog to read with your tea, white pudding and of course whilst waiting for Antiques Roadshow to come on, spot on... no?!

Also, I am awaiting the delivery of The Burda Sewing Handbook and The Colette Sewing Handbook: 5 Fundamentals for a Great Sewing Experience. I think that they will keep me going for a while.... or probably not! Along with Burda Dressmaking Paper, Tracing Wheel and Prym Carbon Paper.

OK already, to the review section of this blog... I am an obsessive person by nature. I have had umpteen phases in my life.... Kayaking, playing the guitar, playing the flute, collecting Animal World magazine, collecting National Geographic magazine, making my own jewelry, being a goth, being an indie girl, being a rocker, I've wanted to be a journalist, a UN worker, being a hippy, being studious, being twee...... but Dressmaking has really, really, REALLY stuck... finally I can be artistic and not be frustrated when it doesn't go the way I want it to like drawing and playing an instrument (rubbish at both). But I am actually not bad at it. Not that I am bragging, but I seem to be flying with it. I love clothes and I have always dressed anything but normally... ask my long suffering parents.

Now, with this obsessive nature I QUICKLY start to channel all available time and cash into things! So I have gained a fair few books on sewing, already. I thought that any new dressmaker out there, or an expert or a teacher or anyone might just appreciate my view on books and patterns that are out there.

So, I begin.....

The Dressmaker's Technique Bible: A Complete Guide to Fashion Sewing Techniques by Lorna Knight

I bought mine (and actually all of my books) from

  • Spiral-bound and A5(ish) size, opens nice and flat so you can be manipulating your fabric, machine or self whilst you know that the page that you are looking at is staying put.
  • Usual sewing starters help stuff to begin with... what you'll need to buy, what you might want to buy (which I obviously do), reading a pattern. Very nice and clear... maybe missing a few bits and bobs here and there.
  • Fabric Manipulation section is excellent and my first self-taught sewing lesson I got myself to do was go through and do all the seams, the hems, darts and tucks. I love the visuals of the book. The stages are usually drawn rather than photos which is better for my to see it 2D but the finished product is a photo. This section is the best of the book in what it teaches you and how it explains.  
  • Techniques section is also good. Sleeves and necklines are particularly well explained but this book was not adequate enough to help me to insert and make good my first invisible zip. For someone who had never inserted one before the method goes against what you think you will be or should be doing and this is not so well executed and explained in this book.
  • Finally, Embellishment ideas.... good section that can give you some loose ideas to work with and personalise. Some rather antiquated but could be changed to suit according to your taste. Smocking just ain't my thing on sleeves, but hey ho... that's just my opinion.
  • Fabric glossary and general glossary.. very good and thorough index (I've never not been able to find something that I was looking for in it)


.... A damn good book. Easy to orientate around and with clear instructions from an obvious expert. Detail are often lacking, but that is not a fault of the writing of the book.... that is the whole idea of the book. Open, find and use... BAM. Want more info? Then find more info... atleast you know what you're looking for from the visuals given. Yep, it couldn't teach me how to insert an invisible zipper (YouTube did that) BUT next time I will be able to remind myself of how to do it through this book. If you buy this book, you will probably need a few more bigger ones to have a complete reference and explanation... but it will always be used by you.. novice, expert or just inquisitive. It fits on your sewing table, not in the way like other ones and its always there for you. It's the Bible for the seamstress, not the War and Peace.



1 comment:

  1. I LOVE those colours! Can't wait to see your finished items.

    I have several sewing books that just sit on the shelf. I'm used to figuring it out as I go along and making it up if I don't know how, probably why most of my stuff ends up as wadders. Perhaps I should be paying more attention to the books, so roll on your reviews so I know which ones to get! :)


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