Monday, 17 September 2012

Dressmaking To Flatter Your Shape

Now I don't profess to be a particularly talented dressmaker. Sure I can follow a simple pattern and take up a hem but that's about it. 
Part of the reason I have never really made more than a handful of dresses has been the difficulty in finding patterns which work with my quite considerable curves.
So I was delighted to receive Dressmaking To Flatter Your Shape by Lorna Knight. Promising to show me how to take a standard pattern and by a few smart adjustments end up with clothes which are flattering, this book is every plus sized dressmakers dream.
Turn standard patterns in to curvacious creations.

When I initially saw the book I was worried it would be too advanced for my rather basic skills but it actually takes you by the hand and guides you through the core principles of dressmaking so is totally idiot proof (which is handy in my case)
 Its written in such a beautifully straight forward way that even to the uninitiated the art of making simple changes to normal patterns becomes something quite achievable.How smart is that!

Easy tips on how to adjust patterns

The chapter on measuring is so helpful

What I particularly loved about this book was that before it even got to the nitty gritty of pattern cutting it featured a chapter on measuring and different body shapes  (hourglass,Bottom heavy, round oval) all of which makes it so much simpler to work out the kind of adjustments you need to make for your own clothes.

Bottom Heavy

Round Oval

Hour glass

Although Ive only has this book for a few weeks I think it will become a bit of  a dressmaking bible to go back to again and again. It includes chapters on adjusting necklines, shoulders, trousers as well as showing you how to make a toile (a test garment or prototype) which is such a smart thing to do if you plan to make something out of expensive fabric.

Plus sized dressmaking-made easy

If you struggle to find something to suit your shape on the high street, want to learn how to make basic adjustments to clothes you already own or fancy turning your hand to plus sized fashion design this book should definitely form part of your reference library.Its got nice clear photographs, easy to understand diagrams and some lovely illustrations. I'm already planning a Christmas frock!
Dressmaking to flatter your shape is available on Amazon for £14.78
For more book reviews check out my Booky Wook page

Win Your Own Copy

Bloomsbury the publishers of this fab book have one copy to giveaway.
To enter the prize draw you will need to:
  • Join Bloomsbury's Twitter feed
  • Join my blog if you don't already
  • Leave a comment on this post
The winner will be announced on Sunday the 23rd of September 2012

Lotty Blue-This months featured sponsor

This months featured sponsor is the wonderful Lotty Blue-the cutest on line boutique crammed to bursting point with the very best in vintage furniture and homewares, make up and aprons.

All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Betty Bee unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog.


  1. I need this in my life fingers crossed I win ! Xx

  2. That book sounds amazing. I imagine combining this with the "Sew Iconic" book you reviewed some time ago is a recipe for making all your friends gobsmacked upon seeing you in a gorgeous hand-made frock. I shall put it on my Christmas list. :) xx

  3. This book looks promising. Its hard finding books or tutorials for plus size adjustments. Good luck to everyone!

  4. Great review, although i make clothing i do not use guilds as in general i find them really hard to understand so its great to come across something that is written in simple terms, oow and it had pictures which is always great.
    Just added this to my amazon wish list :) X

  5. what a good idea. most plus size patterns are pretty naf so anything that improves them is good.

  6. This sounds a very useful book. I'm petite (aka 'short' when they're not flogging clothes) but due to a very short body and average length legs (so not small all over). My legs are also very sturdy. Hence I stick with about making 3 things I know I can make to fit... this book would be ideal for me to adjust patterns and widen my skills.

  7. Oooh, that looks like something that would be a very good addition to my sewing machine! xxx

  8. Well even if I don't win this I think it's going to be a purchase. Loving your (newly discovered) blog - spent hours reading through yesterday and only touched the surface!!

  9. What a lovely book! I'll keep my fingers crossed - but even if I can't win it, I will surely look for it online as it seems most useful in retro sewing ventures! x

    PS: Following as Miss Sailorette, and @Sailorettes on Twitter

  10. This will definitely be going on my christmas list, but I wouldn't complain if I won a free copy before that!

  11. Oooh!!! Me me me!!! If not is shall be on my Christmas list! Take note people!! :)

  12. I can never get dress patterns to fit round my boobs! What a great looking book, I'd love to win! :)

  13. Im still abit befuddled with dressmaking but Id love the book to give it a go! x

  14. Thanks for reviewing this book -it sounds really helpful for us women who are lucky enough to have curves.

  15. Would so love to win this! Am looking into making my own clothes, and this book would be awesome for me! Pick me so I can show of these curves without looking like I'm wearing a moo moo LOL

  16. Sounds good. I make my own clothes and do have a book about adjusting patterns but as a curvy gal the adjustments don't go far enough to fit my boobies, says if you are over a D cup (I'm a G) don't bother! Shall be checking this book out if I win or not. Plus - your previous post run fat girl run - genius! Read it after having just been for a jog (well a walk with a few faster bits) with a friend bemoaning diets and all their rubbishness and if we are fit, healthy and happy why should it matter! Sadly it does to the medial profession and because of some treatment I am having I have to loose 2 stone, that adjustment book may well come in handy as my boobs now start to disappear! Thanks for the laughs and the inspiration. xx

  17. Sounds like an interesting book. As a home dressmaker, I'm trying to figure out fitting at the moment. I think 99% of people would have to learn to adapt their sewing patterns as sewing patterns are made to fit standard body types just like RTW clothing. I'm about a size 12 but still have to adjust patterns for small shoulders, full bust, short waist and long legs!
    PS already following Bloomsbury on Twitter.

  18. This book looks really good. I'd like to give it a go!

  19. I love making my own clothes - mum taught me as a child. It is a pain that if you are 'real woman' shaped patterns usually need amending & adjusting. I'd love to see how to do it properly !!
    Think it needs to go on my Santa list!!

  20. If I don't win it, I'll buy it anyway. I've just taken up sewing!

  21. will definately buy this book as I'm a mixture of 3 different sizes !!!

  22. Entered the competition Betty, followed twitter as Femailjewelery and followed your blog as my self :)

  23. Done, done aaaaand........DONE! Book looks amazing xx

  24. I just need to learn how to sew lol xx

  25. The winner of this book chosen by random number generator us .x.Helen.x. please email me with your details and I can arrange for the book to be sent out


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