Thursday, September 3, 2009

Garment Sewing for Dummies

As mentioned before, I have a dress floating around in my head and I really want to attempt to write a pattern and actually create it. Problem is, I don't have any idea how to do this. I mean, Step One, I need a dress form with my measurements... yikes...that would be a big dose of reality I'm not sure I'm ready for. But I have a tutorial on how to make a mold of my body so I just need to do it. Then, a bolt of muslin to start draping....okay, I'm going to be honest now...the fact is, this happens to me every time Project Runway starts a new season. All of sudden, I'm certain that there is a jewel of a fashion designer deep down inside of me and all I need to do is get a big bolt of raw silk and my T-shirt/Duct Tape body form and POOF!.........The Most Fantastic Formal Dress You've Ever Seen! I'll be the talk of the Navy Ball..."Did you see Joy?" "Where did she get a gorgeous dress like that in this small town?" "Deb said she made it!" "No WAY! Seriously? That's AMAZING! She should be on that Project Runway show!"

Okay, so I'm a little on the crazy side. This is what happens when you suffer from two weeks of start having these scenes evolve in your head and visions of a gorgeous gown of your making...well, at least that's what happens to me. Fact is, not everyone can sew garments. It takes a special understanding of how clothing goes together to best flatter a body. A "garment engineer" if you will. The last thing I want to do is invest a ton of money into a bolt of a fine fabric only for the dress to be completely unwearable (like that sheer mess of a dress that went down the Project Runway runway a couple weeks ago~huh?) or I can see myself getting so frustrated that I can't even do the simplest thing like design and construct a formal dress that everyone will oo and ah over so it all gets scrapped and ends up in the bottom of my closet. Well, not the body form, I'll bet my husband would recycle that into some horrible and gruesome lawn ornament for Halloween.

So, what I have concluded is: I will, for the time being, soak in all the info I can on the subject...I've enlisted help from my sewing friends on Twitter who have already replied to my call for help, at 6:00 am (Twitter is the Land of Insomniacs...I'm certain!). I will get a few patterns and actually try to put together a full garment before making one of my own design. The dream hasn't been shelved. I will just execute it in a slow and meticulous manner. You never know, I may still be the next Project Runway star-in-hiding.

Which brings me to the reason for this random post...Does anyone know of a good Garment Sewing Tutorial book?


Kathy Sims said...

I just got a book in here at the shop called A to Z of Sewing, The Ultimate Guide for Beginning to Advanced Sewing. It is a hardbacked book with a spiral binding, so it lays flat (I like that). It has sections on different types of pockets, gathering, piping, facings, sleeves, ruffles, handstitching, linings, pleats, plackets, cuffs, casings, and a bunch more stuff. I'm not sure this is what you are looking for; however I like it just as a reference book.

Liz said...

Not quite a tutorial, but I bought Sandra Betzina's _Power Sewing_ about a year ago, and find myself referring back to it constantly.

It has a good section on understanding how commercial patterns fit (or don't!) your body, then sections full of sewing tips for many garment types. These include fitting and construction steps, as well as good methods for sewing details. All for garments only, not a home dec project in he book!