DIY Couture Create Your Own Fashion Collection - Book Review

I just bought this book on Amazon. It looked like it was the book I was always looking for or perhaps the book I had wished I had written.

I was really looking forward to receiving it and looking forward to making clothing from it.
This illustration completely sold me on the book.

I loved the simple shapes that make visually complex clothing. I also loved how the same shape was shown in variations that show how just a bit of tweaking can create very different looks.

The book arrived last week. it's really beautiful.

I already made myself a nightgown based on the goddess dress.  It was quick to make and looks pretty wonderful.
I do have a couple of issues with the book. One is I know that I can be a bit idiosyncratic in my use of language. Despite this quirk, I do know that I can my my own quirky use of language and terms understandable to others.

I found many of the terms used by the author to be incomprehensible. Do you know what it means to cut a pattern piece a bit inland? I think that it may mean away from the selvage, but I'm not really sure.
my other issue is a bit more technical. While some of her methods are quick and easy, others are needlessly complicated. There is another page with more steps  showing how to draft the sleeve. things are broken down in ways that make simple concepts more difficult to understand.
Her method for drafting a simple extended kimono sleeve involves lots of complicated steps involving lots  pins and pivoting . Rather than just drafting a garment on a fold of fabric and cutting two layers at once, you mark the fabric and then flip your pattern piece over and trace it. I can't begin to tell you how much time is saved just by marking your garment pattern on a double layer of fabric by the fold and cutting both layers at once. 

So am I glad I bought the book? I am . I just wish that it had been edited better. Is the best way to fasten the cute orange ruffled skirt pictured above really with a safety pin? really?

So i think that this book is a good source of inspiration. I'm looking forward to trying some of the shapes, but i'm going to ignore the author's directions. 



  1. Hi Sarah I have found your review valuable. I am interested to know whether you feel this book is focussed on the younger age group or
    whether it is applicable to most groups. Roz Smith, Australia

  2. If you follow the directions to the letter, then the book is useful only for when designing for young bodies. However, I think that the book offers some good starting off points for making clothing. While I did find some of the directions needlessly complicated and hard to understand, there are a few quite brilliant ideas and methods in the book.

    I am not sorry that I bought this book despite the fact that I wish it were a better book.


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