The Beginners Guide to Dressmaking- A book review

beginners guide to dressmakingI was asked by Wendy Ward, a sewing tutor from Brighton to take a look at her new book. She very kindly sent me a copy, but I had planned to grab one anyway. I ‘met’ Wendy via twitter ages ago, and had sneaky peeks at the projects and plans online. Wendy seems to share many of my own professional values and ethos, so we have become cyber pals, supporting each other and sharing experiences via ye olde internet..

Here’s what I feel makes Wendy’s book stand out from the crowd. First of all, Wendy has a professional training in fashion, and worked in the fashion industry for large brands as a pattern cutter. She really gets clothes and their construction. Secondly, Wendy didn’t just start teaching on a whim, she only went and got a proper Teaching qualification before she launched her school. All of her experience and passion come across in the book, she maintains a calming voice throughout, and explains all the techniques in easy to read language.

pattern variations


The projects- Wendy has created 6 basic projects, that layer skills, teaching you more about sewing as you progress through the book. For each project, she’s included several variations, so you can mix up your own versions and play about with the patterns. There’s enough techniques across the projects to satisfy even an intermediate sewer, and if you make all the projects, you’ll have a fabulous capsule wardrobe


wendy ward- equipment



There’s a fab section on tools and equipment, and I loved that Wendy also suggests having a set of three pairs of scissors in your kit (one for snipping and clipping, 1 for paper and 1 for cloth). This section is easy to read, and has great photos of all the products you need




IMG_0289The projects are all described well, and there are really clear illustration throughout the book to help you grasp tricky processes like my fav, the all in one facing. Some techniques or how to’s are shown with photo steps too. The patterns come on a few large sheets, and you’ll need to trace them as they’re overlaid. This is however a big step forward for a British craft books, who until very recently never provide full size patterns, and expected the reader to download or photocopy at 500%.

I’ve delayed my review whilst I tried to finish my tee shirt from the book, but as I’m so time poor at the mo, I’ll post that at a later date, as i wanted to let you know about this great book asap!


If you are a keen sewer looking to start dressmaking, then pop this book into your Christmas List!


Happy Stitching:)

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.