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Unread 05-03-2008, 02:51 PM   #31
Evil Bishounen
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More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina -
It's basically a guidebook and glossary for a crapload of different textiles, with suggestions on needle size and seam type. The back has illustration examples of a lot of different seams and finishes, and an extensive appendix on how to wash out different types of stains.

And to balance things out (as most pattern/sewing books focus heavily on women's garments):

Fundamentals of Men's Fashion Design: A Guide to Casual Clothes by Edmund B. Roberts and Gary Onishenko
Fundamentals of Men's Fashion Design: A Guide to Tailored Clothes by Masaaki Kawashima -
These two books are specifically patterning, pattern alteration and styling for men's garments. The tailored clothes one is the superior book in my opinion, but I've gotten use out of the casual clothes book as well. (These do NOT give any sort of sewing instruction. They are strictly for patterning. That said, they are good at what they're intended for.)

Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men's Wear by Roberto Cabrera -
This book specifically focuses on the components of a man's suit: trousers, vest and coat. It does not instruct you on how to draft a pattern from scratch, but it has a very long, invaluable section that discusses a wide variety of fitting issues and how to correct these in your pattern. In addition to pattern alteration for fit, it guides the reader in detail through the construction of a professional tailored suit from start to finish. Very technique heavy.

For Japanese garments, I practically live on the Kyoto Costume Museum website and Sengoku Daimyou. These are reference sites, but there are a handful of walkthroughs on Sengoku Daimyou if you look around.

Baby Lock, the sewing machine company, also makes some really cool sewing technique reference books - how to use different types of sewing machine or serger feet, techniques you can do with particular feet, etc. I've learned some really cool stuff from these, and even though it's got the Baby Lock brand on it, the content is 95% universal. However, you can only get these reference guides from a sewing machine dealer that carries the Baby Lock brand.
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Last edited by Evil Bishounen : 05-03-2008 at 02:53 PM.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 03:41 AM   #32
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Two more sources

The Costume Techincian's Handbook by Rosemary Ingham and Liz Covey is amazing. It covers nearly every aspect of construction including pattern alteration. It also has detailed explinations of running a theater workshop. Scaled down it gives a great deal of info for someone that turns out quite a few costumes per year.

The book I now swear by is called The art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff. Basically it details every method for manipulating fabric from gathering methods to smocking to creating a basket style pattern with defination. I have adapted quite a few methods into working parts for cosplay. Particually the sections on gathering, flouncing and pleating. After this book I can now control high volume of fabric in waist bands or sleeves like a pro. The instructions are easy to follow and understand. Also I must mention how inspiring this book is if you are serious about the art of sewing. It turnes awe inspiring construction methods into easy to understand methods of construction. The pictures are black and white but numerous and detailed.
It's all details... sometimes those details take way longer then planned.
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Unread 05-11-2008, 06:17 PM   #33
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I second and third The Costume Technician's Guide. This book is a gem and has great hints on how to achieve certain costumes.

Also - for uniforms, non-traditional kimono, and Lolita clothing, I live by my Gosu Rori Mooks. It is 100% in Japanese and I think they are on issue 11 by now. They include patterns and pictured step by step instruction. You won't find them at the bookstore, but they are on Ebay and a few Japanese Online Bookstores.

I wouldn't recommend them for beginners though - since you need to know what you are doing or read Japanese (both is perfect) in order to accomplish the costume you want.
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Unread 05-18-2008, 10:59 PM   #34
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Not necessarily a book, but I was just directed to the BurdaStyle "how to"s section:

Lots of how-tos from other individuals who like sewing, about a variety of things, so there might be something there to assist with others, as there's even a "learn to sew" topic section as well.
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Unread 05-19-2008, 12:49 AM   #35
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OMG! Me recommend books? I've died and gone to heaven! I own a private library with more than 10,000 books in it, and so many oodles of them are for sewing and embroidery! I'll see if I can keep this list short.

First off, I must answer this post:

Originally Posted by Fangirl_moments View Post
does anyone know any books that are good for patterns?
or at least pattern help when you're doing it from scratch?
I make my patterns from scratch, and these 2 books are where I usually go to get help for that:

Make Your Own Patterns by Rene Bergh

Patterns From Finished Cloths by Tracy Doyle
Now moving on to this post:

Originally Posted by Parasaurolophus View Post
For kimono-related information, The Book of Kimono by Norio Yamanaka is invaluabe. Not only is the information about the history behind japanese clothing fascinating, it has a ton of practical information on obis (types, knots, instructions on how to tie, plus tons of color pictures), the kimono types themselves, and complete step-by-step instructions (with photos) on how to correctly wear the kimono + undergarments. It also talks about the accessories that you'll need, which some websites gloss over.
Isn't that book just amazing though! I love it! I also think these 2 are a great help if you are doing historic kimono (which are alarmingly different from modern kimono):
Japanese Costume and the Makers of Its Elegant Tradition by Helen Benton Minnich

Kimono: Fashioning Culture by Liza Dalby
plus this one too:
Make Your Own Japanese Clothes: Patterns and Ideas for Modern Wear by John Marshall
and if you are going to embroider your kimono than you can not be without these:
The Fine Art of Kimono Embroidery by Shizuka Kusano

The Art of Oriental Embroidery by Young Yang Chung

Painting with a Needle: Learning the Art of Silk Embroidery with Young Yang Chung by Young Yang Chung

Long and Short Stitch Embroidery: A Collection of Flowers by Trish Burr

Goldwork by Valerie Campbell-Harding, Jane Lemon, Kit Pyman

The Techniques of Japanese Embroidery by Shuji Tamura

Beginner's Guide to Goldwork by Ruth Chamberlin

Beginner's Guide to Traditional Japanese Embroidery by Julia D. Gray

pheuw! that was a list! LOL!

For traditional (non-kimono-style) embroidery, I'd recommend these:
The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden

and these, all by Helen Stevens:

Myth & Magic Of Embroidery

The Timeless Art of Embroidery

Helen M. Stevens' Embroidered Birds

The Embroiderer's Countryside
Okay, moving out of embroidery now and on to sewing. First off, I'd recommend some books on getting to know your fabric and some basic sewing skills and for that, I'd say to check out these:

Fabric Savvy: The Essential Guide for Every Sewer by Sandra Betzina

Power Sewing Step-by-Step by Sandra Betzina

Make Your Own Clothes: 20 Custom Fit Patterns to Sew by Marie Clayton

New Complete Guide to Sewing by Reader's Digest

Sewing for Plus Sizes: Creating Clothes that Fit and Flatter by Barbara Deckert

The Complete Book of Sewing New Edition by DK Publishing

Sew With Confidence: A Beginner's Guide to Basic Sewing Nancy Luedtke Zieman
For those seeking more advanced books (books for those who have already been sewing a while and are looking to move on to learning more professional methods), than I would recommend these books, keeping in mind that these books assume you are already and expert sewer. If you are new to sewing, go ahead and get these, but get some with sewing how to stuff in addition to these:

High Fashion Sewing Secrets from the World's Best Designers by Claire B. Shaeffer

Historic Costumes and How to Make Them by Mary Fernald, Eileen Shenton

Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry by Susan Huxley

Couture: The Art of Fine Sewing by Roberta C. Carr

Tudor Tailor: reconstructing sixteenth- century dress by Ninya Mikhaila

Costume Craftwork on a Budget by Tan Huaixiang

Stage Costume Step-By-Step by Mary T. Kidd

Patterns for Theatrical Costumes by Katherine Strand Holkeboer

Eyewitness: Costume by DK Publishing (not a sewing book but very helpful)
Originally Posted by Hanyaan View Post
Originally Posted by Parasaurolophus View Post
... I also tend to collect sewing books from used book stores. Although some of the information is the same, a lot of the older books will have historic techniques which aren't as popular today, but might help with a particular technique.
Seconding this. You can never pick up too many ancient sewing books, IMO. I have a sewing instruction/fashion dictionary book from 1939 and strangely enough it's been amazingly helpful for some of my costumes.
Thirding this! LOL OMG! This is how I got so many books! Library book sales, yard sales, picking through trash cans on clean up week, Salvation Army Thrift shops, Goodwill Thrift shops, and hitting every single used book store and antique shop in the area .... and those shops are always filled with boxes of books just waiting for me to snatch them up and give them a new home. I bring home 30 or 40 new (used) books every time I leave the house... it's a really bad habit of mine, a major addiction. I just can not pass up a book!

No book is too old or too outdated, esp when you are sewing costumes.
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Last edited by EelKat : 05-19-2008 at 01:03 AM.
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Unread 07-09-2008, 02:53 PM   #36
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Having technical theatre as a major in school doesn't hurt either.
Nothing interesting to put here, I have retired from cosplay.
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Unread 07-25-2008, 07:24 AM   #37
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I wish books could help me but im more of a hands on kinda guy need a master of the niddle!!!!!
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Unread 08-31-2008, 09:24 PM   #38
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I am yet another person who has just gone through this whole topic and reserved any and all books that my library carries :3 Thanks to all you wonderful people recommending books. I'm sure it's going to help me out a lot! ^-^
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Unread 10-05-2008, 02:34 AM   #39
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A few months ago COSMODE released a magazine/book compiled with all the basic costume patterns such as chinese dresses, school uniforms, pants, etc. Unfortunately when I wanted to go and by the last issue someone got a hold of it before i did. >< I think it's a really useful book to have around though. Especially for beginners.
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Unread 10-20-2008, 05:57 PM   #40
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These are my recommendations:

Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong

New Complete Guide to Sewing (Readers Digest)

Sewing 101: A Beginner's Guide to Sewing

Basic Sewing for Costume Construction: A Handbook by Rebecca Cunningham (Author)

Patterns for Theatrical Costumes: Garments, Trims, and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915 by Katherine Strand Holkeboer
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Unread 10-20-2008, 06:58 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Zeat Project View Post
These are my recommendations:

Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong
.. That's the required text book for my pattern drafting class.. .. It's also what I use to draft patterns from scratch for cosplay purposes.. It's pretty good.. Has instructions on drafting patterns based on measurements... It's an expensive book though.. Even the paperback is over $100
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Unread 12-18-2008, 02:06 PM   #42
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Books that have come in handy for me:

Easy Tatting by Rozella Linden (her instructions SUCK for left handed people, but if you have a costume with a lacey design, tatting is a good way to get it made accurately)

Lace and Lace Making by Marian Powys (identifying lace types and more in depth approaches to making your own lace)

The Corset and the Crinoline by WB Lord (moreso historical, but good if you want accuracy in your design)

Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns by Kristina Harris

Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques by Kristina Harris (this is a GREAT book even if you're not into Restoration design. It has many techniques from basic stitches to alterations to tailoring, and all of it can be done without machinery, since it is literally a compilation of written pieces from the eaarly 1900s, meant for lower middle class women. I learned techniques for in case I'm in a pinch along with alternate approaches to things such as eyelets from it.)

Cosmode USA Issue 01 (while the pictorial isn't so helpful, they have some great wig tips and simple patterns, along with airbrush techniques for crossplayers and modest cosplayers who don't want to show skin)

Books I really want, and hopefully will get soon:

Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh (the bible for historical costume)

**Dammit, I had a text document with all of them written, but can't find it! There were so many on there! I'll get back to you on that**
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Unread 12-21-2008, 12:08 AM   #43
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Your sewing machine's instruction booklet

Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women C1560-1620: by Janet Arnold

For crochet, knitting, embroidery, and lacemaking, especially helpful for steampunk designs: On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics
This is an archive of mostly 1840-1910 publications now in the public domain.

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Unread 12-23-2008, 12:04 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Honey Usagi-chi View Post
Well, I'm suggesting The Complete Idiot's guide to sewing. It's got a handy index in the back for quick look ups too. The only thing I dislike about it is that some things are on making weird stuff, but other than that it's my trusty sidekick on my adventure x3
I just bought that only it's the Illustrated version where they have many pics and illustrations to help visualize and guide you through the instructions. It shall definitely help me especially since I learn best seeing what's supposed to look like when finished.
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Unread 12-27-2008, 08:50 PM   #45
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Thank you all for the tips and recommendations! I shall use most of them. I'm a beginner and just got my sewing machine for christmas so I'll use these to help with cosplays!
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