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Book Giveaway: Dressmaking: 200 Q&A

Dressmaking: 200 Q&A by Mary McCarthy

Dressmaking: 200 Q&A by Mary McCarthy

Learn everything you need to know from adjusting patterns to marking pleats with the book Dressmaking: 200 Q&A (Barron's, 2012) by Mary McCarthy. This book is filled with questions, all ranging from stitching seams to setting in sleeves. This book has all the answers to solve your dressmaking problems.

This books also includes questions that are designed for beginners and experienced sewers. Inside are chapters that cover measurements and fitting, cutting out fabric, hand sewing, sewing pleats, collars and sleeves, and much more! The pages a illustrated with clear, detailed photos that will make your sewing experience even easier!

Do you have any tips and tricks to dressmaking? If so, share it with us by leaving a comment below and you will be entered to win this amazing book! The deadline for your comments is on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET and the winner will be randomly chosen and annouced on or around August 5. Good luck to everyone!

Comments (220)

iris68 iris68 writes: I won? I won! Yay! Thank you, Threads!
Posted: 3:38 pm on August 16th

MsHem MsHem writes: Test drive a new pattern by making a muslin first. You can adjust the fit and lines AND decide if the pattern is right for you before you put you valuable time into the garment.

Posted: 1:43 pm on August 14th

ArtemisKeane ArtemisKeane writes: I always pre-wash/pre-shrink my fabric, usually soon after purchase, no matter when I plan on using it. I also spend about a week reading through the pattern instructions and visualize each step, especially if it involves a technique I'm not as familiar with. Being new to the game, only a year since I started sewing, I want to make sure I understand what the processes completely, before I even start making a single cut.
Posted: 4:19 pm on August 2nd

Marpiz Marpiz writes: Although being a dressmaker for many years there is always something to learn. recently i made a princes dress for a friend it was with one shoulder and i added more panels into the seams(as when u do a colutte skirt). the material was rayon/polister and although the material is light, on the off shoulder side the lenght was always hanging down. so to stop from cutting that little extra lenght on that side i attached a string on the off shoulder side(temporary) to keep the lenght evenly and added a couple of boning at the arm pit on the same side. this helped me to get the hem straight because of the fullnes at the edge. i finished it with a roll hem.this book will be great because i'm sure i learn more from it.
Posted: 6:47 am on August 1st

emilynd06 emilynd06 writes: Check the actual finished garment measurements on the pattern tissue, rather than just going with the suggested size for your measurements. They usually give way more ease than anyone would want!
Posted: 5:52 pm on July 31st

manigoldgirl manigoldgirl writes: After all these years ( I'm 75) I still get a thrill when making the first cut into a new fabric. The only one I had second thoughts about was when I cut into a $70 piece of material from Scotland. It was to make a Kilt. I made a small boys kilt out of a piece of silk, (expensive) and had second thoughts. Now I say, it's only material, it won't bite! Just finished 1 wedding dress, flower girls dress, and maid of honors dress. Deadlines give me the willies. Would love to have this book, so here's my entry!
Posted: 3:18 am on July 31st

Sophie101 Sophie101 writes: If it's worth your time to make it, then take the time to do it right. Quality fabric and workmanship win out every time.
Posted: 8:45 pm on July 30th

grnthumb30 grnthumb30 writes: Measure twice... nope three times. Make a muslin. Then measure a few more times and finally... cut! Remember, the number of times you should measure is directly proportional to the price of the fabric!
Posted: 8:29 pm on July 30th

LeeWells LeeWells writes: Make notes of any changes to pattern or construction, with the date. I have used some patterns for many years (like 30 or so), and have re-drawn the pattern over the years. Since I put the date on the pattern paper, I generally avoid using an older version. Don't skimp on ease, especially at the waist line of a dress (learned from experience!) Not dressmaking, but for the pattern I use for my husband's trousers, I made the pattern from firmly woven fabric so it wouldn't fall apart with years of use. I also keep basic supplies on hand: extra thread, zippers, bobbins, lining fabric, marking pencils, tape measures, the items I don't want to have to run to the store for. When we lived a mile from FabricLand in New Jersey, getting supplies was easy, but now we live 10 miles from any store that would have sewing items. I also keep a tape measure in the pocket of each coat so I can check fabric widths or the size of boards at the hardware store (my husband appreciates my foresight). I hope some of this helps someone. Lee
Posted: 8:48 am on July 30th

ctdamsel ctdamsel writes: Iron! Press those seams. I have been sewing for 40 years. I cringe when I remember my first project. I did not own an iron at the time. Needless to say it was tragic!
Posted: 2:47 pm on July 29th

dianajanssen dianajanssen writes: If you feel like you don't have much time to sew, break whatever you are doing into its smallest units. It will make the project feel more manageable. For example, pick the fabric the first day, pick the pattern the next, cut out the pattern after that and so on. Once you have completed all of your pattern prep, cutting the fabric and marking (it saves time if you mark your fabric when you cut it out), resolve to sew just one seam per day. If that one seam goes well and you have a few more minutes in that day, sew another seam. If you sew one seam per day, you will complete the garment in one to two weeks depending on complexity. You'll feel like you've accomplished something with very little time and you'll get your sewing project done.
Posted: 2:13 am on July 29th

LeandaM LeandaM writes: Spend as much time on your planning and designing as you need. It is very important to have everything worked out BEFORE you cut and sew. Most of all, though, ENJOY the process of creating...there is nothing like it.
Posted: 10:13 pm on July 28th

Elizam Elizam writes: Always test sew the fabric. Sometimes the sewing machine needs some manual adjustments to eliminate puckers. Read the sewing machine manual for great tips!

Posted: 5:04 pm on July 28th

user-1050845 user-1050845 writes: Don't stress. You are worth the time to relax and think things trough.
Posted: 3:34 pm on July 28th

Mariesainte Mariesainte writes: Tip 1---sew deliberately and until a garment is properly finished, not to a deadline. I learned this after sewing a beautiful dress all night for a party the following night and I fell asleep at the party!
Tip 2---instead of sewing separate lining and facing, sew the facing onto the lining and then join both to the outside piece of a dress or jacket. The facing doesn't flop around. This is for lightweight fabrics; make a test piece for heavier fabrics.
Tip 3---evaluate the balance of your clothes life. If you are working full time you probably wear work clothes more than special occasion clothes, and it makes sense to focus on your work wardrobe. Special occasions--one-time events--in my opinion, don't often deserve the time and effort to make a garment that will be worn only once. I was so thrilled to have well tailored clothes to wear to work, that fitted me well and lasted a long time.
Posted: 11:33 am on July 28th

user-1109649 user-1109649 writes: Preshrink everything! If a garment can't go into the washer, I'm probably not going to be happy with it, so I buy very little that isn't washable. I use zippered mesh bags (from a dollar store) to prewash zippers or any trim. Zig-zag or just straight stitch alowg both cut edges of new fabric before washing and drying it. Then when it is added to my fabric stash, if I see the stitching along the edges, I know it is ready to cut out. No guessing about how it will look when washed!
Posted: 10:38 am on July 28th

NikkiHuff NikkiHuff writes: The main tip I have is this: Even though it's a pain in the butt, it's almost always worth it to make muslin beforehand. If you work out all the glitches and fitting problems in the muslin, when you start on the real thing you can relax and focus on construction.
Posted: 6:26 am on July 28th

cweetgal cweetgal writes: Dressmaking is all about making getting the perfect look from the fabric. So I feel the first and very important step would be to visualize the fabric(s) and their combinations as per the pattern before beginning the project. I use photoshop to visualize it usually.Thanks for the opportunity to win this knowledge bank.
Posted: 5:07 am on July 28th

Jen_NYC Jen_NYC writes: Here's a simple one...When using a pattern, which I usually am, I read through the directions thoroughly and then make my own decisions about the order of construction. For example, some things, like invisible zippers, are so much easier to install first, rather than after side seams are sewn.
Posted: 12:37 am on July 28th

sewaugust sewaugust writes: It's only fabric, go ahead and use it!
Posted: 6:50 pm on July 27th

Maydge Maydge writes: To prevent a project to go from the sewing machine to the garbage can, I've found that adhering to old standards of measurements vs draping. Both are great techniques but using both made my garments look very professional. I also learned that there is merit to hand sew certain parts vs using a sewing machine. It is very easy to control the look that I was achieving.
Posted: 10:48 am on July 27th

Cheriezel Cheriezel writes: when using a commercial pattern, iron it w/ no steam and re-trace it onto different paper if you've made alterations.
Posted: 12:13 am on July 27th

Willi44 Willi44 writes: If it isn't perfect FIX it. You want your garment to look hand crafted, not homemade!
Posted: 9:55 pm on July 26th

Micky1 Micky1 writes: If you're prone to fudging measuments to make them come out "even", try using metric rather than inches (or vice versa.) The unfamiliarity of the alternate system may help you to be more accurate.
Posted: 9:02 pm on July 26th

StitchesByJeni StitchesByJeni writes: When sewing a delicate hem sew a straight stitch on the hem line. Fold fabric over at the stitch, it will keep it from stretching.
Posted: 5:20 pm on July 26th

user-2377366 user-2377366 writes: In returning to sewing this past year, the one procedure I've used twice now that works every time is using Louise Cutting's tip for sheer to lightweight fabric hems. Mark hem (I found that a running hand stitch did the best. It doesn't disappear. Then cut the hem 3/4" from hemline. (I found that I had to cut one a little wider as fabric was heavier but still light weight. Fold hem in 1/4" and sew as close to fold line as you can, trim the hem as close to the stitching line as you can, turn hem and pin, stitch directly over the first stitching, turn hem and stitch again, directly over the stitching. It makes a beautiful hem. It has weight to keep the light fabric down and looks so much better that the serger rolled hem that was on the dress. I was asked to shorten a very light weight fabric dress which fabric was horrible to work with, but this hem was beautiful when finished.
Posted: 4:51 pm on July 26th

Arted1 Arted1 writes: I am just starting to sew again. Take your time and don't compare yourself to others. I am taking classes for fitting properly. I would love to win this book. Thanks for reading.
Posted: 1:36 pm on July 26th

Arted1 Arted1 writes: I am just starting to sew again. Take your time and don't compare yourself to others. I am taking classes for fitting properly. I would love to win this book. Thanks for reading.
Posted: 1:36 pm on July 26th

ragbagsandgladrags ragbagsandgladrags writes: When gathering fabric I use dental floss (tape) and zig zag over it. it doesn't break as easily as thread does and its easy to remove when you've completed the gather.
Posted: 11:15 am on July 26th

idosew idosew writes: Tips are good if they come from experts in Threads. I need to read this book
Posted: 7:06 am on July 26th

BaggLady BaggLady writes: When I create a design and I want to make a sloper I often browse through my design book to locate a similar features so I don't have to recreate a pattern piece I have already done. I love to sew, and could always learn more.
Posted: 12:02 am on July 26th

fergus4 fergus4 writes: When you want to put a zipper into a garment, think about using your serger with the cording/piping foot. You will get a perfect result every time. You can even apply the zipper while inserting the lining at the same time. What a time saver that is!
Posted: 10:57 pm on July 25th

SewMyDreams SewMyDreams writes: When I am sewing a new pattern or trying a new technique I check various books for different ideas or instructions and then I make samples using either muslin or scrap fabric saved from other projects. This takes a little extra time to do but is valuable in the end. It gives you a chance to practice before sewing the actual garment or project and you get to learn optional ways of sewing construction. Sometimes I find something in a book and use in place of the original pattern's fun to try new things and learn.
Posted: 7:48 pm on July 25th

mabowles mabowles writes: We've formed a new neighborhood group for designing in our American Sewing Guild Chapter. while making our first muslins, I learned for fit, first try to make all the horizontal and vertical changes. Then look at other areas. This step has really helped.
Posted: 7:35 pm on July 25th

cactusflower44 cactusflower44 writes: Already so many good tips so I'll just comment on my storage system. I love to buy patterns as much as I love to sew. I keep the tissue and instructions in zip-lock bags (with the drawing & number showing) and file them numerically. I keep the pattern covers in sheet protectors in two different binders. I organize them like the pattern books; dresses, skirts, tops, etc. Then, when I want to sew or go fabric shopping, I pull out my binders and "shop" what I already have. I can sit in my living room with coffee and peruse my patterns. It is so much fun! I also keep a list of my patterns, numerically, on a spreadsheet with number, manufacturer & brief description. That way I can quickly make sure I don't buy something I already have. I need all the help I can get, so I'd love to have the book!
Posted: 6:00 pm on July 25th

BarbaraTW BarbaraTW writes: I have become a convert to making a muslin. The garments I make may not be perfect but they are now wearable. Each new version of the garment from the same pattern gets better and better.

Posted: 3:01 pm on July 25th

Serral Serral writes: I press my tissue patterns and then use Swedish Tracing paper to make a copy of the pattern with just the size I am going to use. I am left with a completely uncut tissue original should I need to use another size sometime in the future. It helps me to to get to know the pattern before I start the project as I copy markings, grain lines, etc. The Swedish paper copy is also more resilient than the tissue and is less apt to tear.
Posted: 2:49 pm on July 25th

k2exprt k2exprt writes: I find that pre-planning is the key to success. I read over the pattern directions, look at the pieces to see how they fit together, check for any unusual techniques, read about the suggested fabrics, check measurements of things like pants width, depth of neckline, etc. Time spent before cutting is well spent! I have much to learn and would love the book to help me do that!
Posted: 2:31 pm on July 25th

g_vanamberg g_vanamberg writes: I always take the actual measurements of the pattern and compare them to my measurements in order to get the best fit possible. It is also important to know the amount of ease you want in certain areas of your garment. Gail
Posted: 2:12 pm on July 25th

VanRudolf VanRudolf writes: I have just started sewing apparels and am reading to learn techniques. I need to learn how to adjust my patterns to fit my size. The only tip I have is to take it slow, be patient, persevere and you will improve each time.
Posted: 2:12 pm on July 25th

DFoss DFoss writes: Keep all the extra buttons - you never know when you'll need one! I would really love to win this book!
Posted: 10:58 am on July 25th

PerlenDiva PerlenDiva writes: Enjoy learning new techniques, no matter if they are speady industry inspired or super accurate couture ones, so you can chose the right one for the project at hand.
Posted: 8:37 am on July 25th

Musicat Musicat writes: I would love to win this book. One thing I like to do is buy really cheap gallon ziplock bags at the dollar store--the ones that don't work well for food. When I've cut out my pattern [you know they don't fold back up right to go back into the envelope], I put all the pieces, with the envelope and instruction sheets in the bag and seal it up. Great way to save the pattern for another use. And, on my favorite patterns, I like to fuse interfacing on the back so I can use them again and again and again. Then this bag becomes even more necessary, since there's no way to get interfaced pieces in the envelope nohow.
Posted: 8:18 am on July 25th

Kristi888 Kristi888 writes: Oooooo Treasure

Posted: 8:11 am on July 25th

user-1131749 user-1131749 writes: when it comes to dressmaking,i think the most important part of it is the fitting and so adding darts is the perfect way to fulfill that incomplete feeling in your dresss,here's my tip;first u mark your dart n make sure it's dark either with a carbon paper or a washable marker for no stains,while stitching the dart first pin or baste it,then start from the middle going towards the tail(end),backstitch and repeat the same for the other end and u'll remember me for this b'coz I've tried this and it brings out marvelous results and when ironing your dart place a paper in btn your garment and the dart to avoid any ironed lines that show on the right side of your dress especially when it's a solid color dress
I wish to have this book to enhance my sewing skills even more than now.thnx
Posted: 8:04 am on July 25th

SharonPicone SharonPicone writes: I've had the pleasure of sewing with Mary and I would love to win her book. TIP: To lengthen the life of your patterns, especially ones you've customized for you or that you use a lot, sew fusible interfacing to each piece. It will prevent the pattern pieces from tearing through many uses and over time.
Posted: 7:28 am on July 25th

littlefriz littlefriz writes: My Tip: sew a little each day! you'd be surprised at how fast a project or garment is completed! I would love to receive this informative book! I am always looking for was to improve my sewing with good reference material.
Posted: 6:15 am on July 25th

sewingbelle sewingbelle writes: I have always learned alot about sewing by reading from many sources and giving it a try. This book would be an excellent resource for continuing my education.
Posted: 8:46 pm on July 24th

user-312247 user-312247 writes: Would love to win this informative book. Tip: dry-press pattern pieces, use weights to hold pattern down & use rotary cutter. Mark notches, dots, etc. before removing pattern. Try on garment frequently.
Posted: 8:42 pm on July 24th

ASGSEWS ASGSEWS writes: My tip is to always check a reference book like "More Sewing Savvy" by Sandra Betzina before starting a project. Find the fabric you plan to use and learn how to pretreat to avoid shrinkage as well as which needle, stitch, presser foot, stitch length and seam finish to use. And always test, test, test!
Posted: 8:19 pm on July 24th

Weena Weena writes: My tips are just basic, but important. First, stay away from cheap thread, and second, change your machine needle for each project. (Don't throw out any cheap thread, just use it for non-construction purposes, such as zigzagging yardage raw edges prior to washing to avoid excessive fraying.)
Posted: 7:58 pm on July 24th

LanternandShadows LanternandShadows writes: My tip: Don't be afraid to practice the physical skills of hand sewing and machine sewing when you're in between projects. There's a lot of sewing that can best be improved by honing the basic movements that make up larger skills. Remember to breathe, relax your shoulders and sit up straight. Hope I win the book.
Posted: 7:52 pm on July 24th

jojostitch jojostitch writes: My 'tip': Even if you have been sewing apparel for years, if you have not yet, treat yourself to a set of lessons on couture sewing. Yes, this sewing style and approach is more detailed and takes longer, however, you learn how a garment is constructed and WHY it is constructed that way. You learn how to fit garments to yourself so that they are flattering, where your body differs from standard patterns. You learn more about fabric - why some fabrics fit you better than others and go with what type of garment. You come to learn how to cut and sew it, what needle and thread to use, where hand-sewing is preferable to machine sewing to result in a better garment fit or to add style touches. Do I ever sew fast and dirty? Sure, when time is not on my side, but even then I've got to do something unique with it-make it mine. But if I want to construct a garment that has staying power, that will look good for a long time, that is not a cookie cutter version of everything else out there, I recommend the couture approach every time. Caution - if you follow-up on this tip, there is a high probability that you'll get hooked on couture, too!
Posted: 7:18 pm on July 24th

machinemaven machinemaven writes: I find that keeping things well pressed as I sew helps me determine correct fit better. It lets you see the true drape and hang of the fabric and seams. I also am hand basting and stitching far more than I used to.
Posted: 7:11 pm on July 24th

pssews pssews writes: I need any help I can get for fitting! Tips: Save your thread ends to make Thread Bowls for gifts. Save your fabric scraps and batting in an old pillowcase. When full, sew the pillowcase up and donate to your local Animal Shelter for "pet beds".
Posted: 6:50 pm on July 24th

zaftig1 zaftig1 writes: My 'sewing room' is my breakfast nook, a very small space. In an attempt to be organized I tape a small paper bag to the table for thread bits and other trash. I have also attached a strong magnet to the right side of my sewing machine. It not only holds my pins conveniently but also helps me locate the pin or needle I dropped on the table or floor.
Posted: 5:56 pm on July 24th

user-2635900 user-2635900 writes: I am just really tapping into my creativity and passion for sewing. But I believe in the 3 R's - repurpose, recycle and reimagine. So, I send all my scraps of fiber, thread and materials to my mom who is a weaver.
Posted: 5:00 pm on July 24th

CONNIE2346 CONNIE2346 writes: I'm just getting back into sewing...have a "girly" grand daughter and I need to be ready when she wants a new dress.

Hopefully, a book like this would help me start over and
learn new ways to deal with the new fabrics.
Posted: 4:43 pm on July 24th

organdy organdy writes: i like to use fabric, from my stash or even a bedsheet, when making up my fitting muslin--i can often wear the 'muslin' too.
Posted: 4:37 pm on July 24th

msgerritz msgerritz writes: Baste fit as you go. It is much easier and quicker to baste things together and try it on and then rip out where it's to tight and adjust then to use pins.
Posted: 3:18 pm on July 24th

Debbie Debbie writes: I always keep a small container or bowl on the table when sewing to throw all the bits of thread and trimmings into. Keeps the floor cleaner.
Posted: 3:00 pm on July 24th

Munchie66 Munchie66 writes: Don't be in such a rush that you won't hand sew or baste when needed. It really doesn't take much time and can give you better accuracy and beautiful results. It took me a long time to learn to appreciate hand sewing.
Posted: 2:30 pm on July 24th

Munchie66 Munchie66 writes: Don't be in such a rush that you won't hand sew or baste when needed. It really doesn't take much time and can give you better accuracy and beautiful results. It took me a long time to learn to appreciate hand sewing.
Posted: 2:30 pm on July 24th

416 416 writes: My tip is to make sure your table and your machine is sitting at the proper height for you to sew comfortablely. This will keep you from being too tired. I would like to have this month's give-away book because I know there are questions I have not thought to ask.
Posted: 2:21 pm on July 24th

user-2054650 user-2054650 writes: one of the best tips I have used, is to put newspaper under your fabric before you cut it. the fabric "clings" to the newspaper and it is much easier to cut accurately. Use a tall kitchen waste basket in your sewing room, next to the cutting table. Keep it covered so your sewing notions don't fall into it. SewnBev
Posted: 2:07 pm on July 24th

reynalay reynalay writes: Ooh I hope I am lucky enough to win this book! My tip is to write notes as you work on a new pattern. Every time I make an adjustment I write it down so I know what adjustments I made last and so I don't accidentally repeat them. Also, I know what I did last and I can try to reverse it if it did not work.
Posted: 1:25 pm on July 24th

user-2615069 user-2615069 writes: Muslin, muslin, muslin. Did I mention you should always make a muslin?
Posted: 1:16 pm on July 24th

jp32 jp32 writes: After taking the time to press out a pattern or draft one I hang the pattern from skirt hangers on a garment rack in my sewing room. I hang the pattern package with it so i can easily identify my pattern. This is really helpful for patterns i use often.
Posted: 1:15 pm on July 24th

UmeNoHana UmeNoHana writes: I can't remember where I picked up this tip (maybe on this site!): Place needles in used prescription bottle before discarding to prevent accidental sticks. This book looks great and I would love a copy!
Posted: 1:10 pm on July 24th

Marty_Marie Marty_Marie writes: I am still new to sewing and learning so much. I think so far the best thing ive done is to make a muslin and take it easy! when i first started i was always sewing wayyy too fast and not double checking before i sewed up a seam. Id finish and then id realize id sewn a piece backwards. This book looks like a great help for someone learning like me.
Posted: 1:00 pm on July 24th

SewKrazy505 SewKrazy505 writes: I work with a lot of "white" working on items for weddings and christening gowns. The kiss of death is to prick yourself with a pin or needle and get some blood on whatever is being created. The easiest way to remove the blood is to use your own saliva. But, only your saliva will work on your blood. Gets the stain out, spot free every time.
Posted: 12:41 pm on July 24th

SWoerner SWoerner writes: I have been receiving Threads newsletters for a couple of years and I love all the information they provide for a person that hasn't been sewing that much in the past 20 plus years. I finally subscribed to the magazine, but I always am eager to learn more and more. This book would be a huge help as I attempt to get back into the flow.
Posted: 11:35 am on July 24th

tgwgws tgwgws writes: Use every opportunity you have to pass on your sewing knowledge to your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Posted: 11:25 am on July 24th

user-896582 user-896582 writes: it is my goal in life to sew at least 80 % of my wardrobe. The more I learn , the closer I get to accomplish my goal.
I always wear what I have made , especially when going someplace where other sewists are.
Be proud of what you created ! It will inspire others !
Posted: 11:24 am on July 24th

Centime_Tara Centime_Tara writes: Great idea! I often have a question and I'm sure someone else has already asked it.
Posted: 11:18 am on July 24th

JANECJ JANECJ writes: I make costumes for the theatre and often have to make my own patterns. I am always working to a tight deadline but it pays to write down notes as you make the pattern up. I then attach the the notes to the pattern or write them on the pattern pieces after the show goes up (tidy up time!!). I also write all the info on the pattern pieces at the time I make them as I am usually making several patterns and it saves time trying to work out which pattern piece belongs to which costume.
This book looks like it can be well used in my sewing room!
Posted: 10:54 am on July 24th

mary_sews mary_sews writes: I'm teaching my granddaughter to sew and this book would be really helpful. My tip - get the next generation interested while they're young. Make sewing look like something we enjoy and they'll want to learn.
Posted: 10:39 am on July 24th

hazelspi hazelspi writes: I have been involved with quilt making for the past several years and would like to get back to garment making. I would love to win this book to help me get started.
Posted: 10:26 am on July 24th

PinkFrog PinkFrog writes: This sounds like lots of experience packaged in a convenient form!
Posted: 10:26 am on July 24th

Artsy_sewer Artsy_sewer writes: I'm so glas that dresses are back. Much of my sewing is focused on enjoying the process - exploring new techniques and accomplishing them.
Posted: 10:15 am on July 24th

user-2479228 user-2479228 writes: I've returned to sewing after many years and have a new attitude -- just do it! I used to be so impatient and such a perfectionist and now I whip out my fabric, turn on the machine, watch videos and practice, practice, practice. I've even gone back to the sewing center for lessons! Time has healed my impatience and impractical perfection and I've worn several of my garments to work, purposely showing off! It's lovely to be creative again.
Posted: 9:48 am on July 24th

lacewonda lacewonda writes: An alternative for muslin and much cheaper is to use garden fleece. 35gsm is the best weight.
Posted: 9:46 am on July 24th

kpmarcks kpmarcks writes: I have a file folder on my iPad with tutorials for things that intimidate me; bound buttonholes, plackets, pleats & tucks, etc.,and of course the worst of all...fitting. Right now my issue is putting a zipper in a lined dress; Craftsy has a free zipper tutorial that covers it, so that was a big help.

I have a small library of sewing books. I usually look things up in several books to get different takes on the problem at hand.

I only have a few things that I'm proud of, but I have a fantasy of having closet full of garments that I made.
Posted: 9:35 am on July 24th

jamama jamama writes: Go clothing shopping! Try on lots of different styles to see what you look best in then find patterns to match or if you can, draft your own. There's nothing like spending hours sewing a garment not to mention the cost of fabric to see that the pattern just doesn't suit you.
Posted: 9:31 am on July 24th

CatharinaB CatharinaB writes: The best way to get a great fit is to use a dressform. It not only helps to get a great fit, but you can see how it looks from all angles, and it makes it easier to make any alterations.
Posted: 9:16 am on July 24th

deathofme deathofme writes: After sewing for nearly 40+ years,I always drafted my own patterns & refer back to my notes from my sewing classes from way back when. My notes are encased in plastic protective sleeves that fit in a 3 hole binder. Till today they are in excellent condition. It pays to make a muslin when testing a new pattern &/or style.
Posted: 9:12 am on July 24th

user-2613251 user-2613251 writes: Organization is key to a smooth completion of the dressmaking process. I try to visualize what I will need and have it ready. The only thing I don't have enough of, is knowledge. My mother is 90 and I know I'm glad to see your book addresses beginners - not all do.
Posted: 9:10 am on July 24th

jlady jlady writes: If you are serious about making your own clothes and get a good fit, make a muslin pattern with the help of a friend, get all the key measurements, date it to weight( changes occur with time). From there you can do you own designs. have spent a fortune trying different patterns( so called easy to designer). Never true to sizing! Save yourself $, be happy with the fit, and do your own design elements( lots to choose from these days just look on the internet) and special tweeks to get a great garment fit and lots of compliments. Took me years to finally get the message - learn from those before you. Get your muslin pattern done and create and design unique garments!!!!
Posted: 9:08 am on July 24th

province8 province8 writes: I draft my own patterns. I thought I saved time by cutting 3-4 garments at the same time, but I didn't get around to sewing them until 3-4 months later. By then, I didn't like a particular pattern any more. I ended up converting one or more of them into something else or with a bag full of unfinished garments. My advice: FINISH WHAT YOU START! Cut, sew, complete one item before starting another.
Posted: 9:07 am on July 24th

user-679792 user-679792 writes: The most important thing to do before you start cutting or sewing is to read through the instructions, read them as many times as it takes for you to thoroughly understand them. I will even go so far as to highlight "unusual" instructions, such as where there is a variation in the seam allowance used.
Posted: 9:01 am on July 24th

Terf Terf writes: Take your time, rushing leads to more mistakes and ends up taking more of our valuable sewing time!
Posted: 8:57 am on July 24th

PattyKay021 PattyKay021 writes: My daughter just got married, and the groom's mom and I made the vintage (1940s) bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen's vests and bow-ties, and two-year-old ringbearers vests (my two grandsons). We sure learned a lot in the process, including how much more we need to learn! Thank God for the professional seamstress who altered the wedding dress - she turned out to be a wonderful advisor. The wedding party looked awesome so it was worth all the work. Fitting to a variety of shapes and sizes was the biggest challenge, so my tip would be to make sure you have a good understanding of how to alter patterns, and measure everything. One other tip - beware of vintage pattern instructions - they can be quite different than modern patterns, not nearly as consistent or complete.
Posted: 8:48 am on July 24th

user-1113767 user-1113767 writes: Education is the key to sewing. I have a lot to learn but taking Craftsy classes has been a big help and lots of fun.Also ask other sewers, they are always more than willing to give good advice and help.
Posted: 8:43 am on July 24th

tdigioia tdigioia writes: Organization is the key. Taking your time to get the pattern alteration just right will save your life, end forestall a lot of seam ripping.
Posted: 8:13 am on July 24th

stitch_n_time stitch_n_time writes: My biggest tip is for creating multiples of the same item at once. Line your pieces up on a table based on when you will need to address them AND keep each item's pieces in its own row. It will help you keep things straight, keep similar pattern pieces from mingling maddeningly, and help you make fewer errors.
Posted: 8:13 am on July 24th

jamaco jamaco writes: Would love to win this book - I have lots of question! - Janet
Posted: 8:07 am on July 24th

user-2334979 user-2334979 writes: My best tip is to stay organized - it saves tons of time. I would also love to have this book - as an intermediate sewist, I think it would help me move into the experienced sewist catagory.
Posted: 8:07 am on July 24th

mtmellick mtmellick writes: I go by the motto - Measure twice, cut once. In other words, spend valuable time preparing and taking measurements of your model and comparing to the pattern. Alter the pattern as required.

It is time well spent. Once a garment is cut out, you can't stretch the fabric to cover up any measuring mistakes you have made. You can make compensations here and there, but it is best to prepare properly and cut out according to the size. You will achieve a far better result. Good fitting always pays off.
Posted: 8:06 am on July 24th

Boosews Boosews writes: I would love to win this wonderful book Dressmaking 200 Q&A. Please add my name to enter. Ruth Bower
Posted: 8:03 am on July 24th

LanaKin101 LanaKin101 writes: The type of needle matched to the type of fabric is oh so important. I learned the hard way!
Posted: 7:57 am on July 24th

sewa2z sewa2z writes: I have to say that taking the craftsy classes have really helped me. I'm learning things I couldn't on my own.
Posted: 7:48 am on July 24th

AndiBrown AndiBrown writes: I am new at this and don't have any tricks or tips, but I do know that a sharp, new needle (and one the correct size/type) is very important!
Posted: 7:43 am on July 24th

mizlester mizlester writes: I need help fitting my short but plus-size figure, so I try garments on constantly. If you sew in your underwear, the process is so much easier :)
Posted: 7:41 am on July 24th

Carmela Carmela writes: My advice is; each someone else to sew. I've taught tailoring for years and am now teaching my granddaughter to sew. It regenerates your love for sewing and her short attention span has made me realize I don't have to finish a suit in a weekend, if it takes two weekends no big deal. My granddaughter wants to sew in spurts so whenever she brings it up, we sew, I don't push it so she will always associate it with doing it when she wants to. My hope is she will learn to love sewing as much as I do. I've always called sewing my therapy.
Posted: 7:19 am on July 24th

user-2399805 user-2399805 writes: Clean your machine---often! And keep reading great books and talking to other people who sew to get new ideas for improving your sewing.
Posted: 7:11 am on July 24th

GYD GYD writes: Join a Sewing Guild. You'll be able to share ideas, get inspired by others, learn about great places to shop for fabric and notions, learn about sewing magazines & books, and best of all make lasting friendships with those that share your passion for sewing.
Posted: 6:58 am on July 24th

sewandsocreations sewandsocreations writes: I would love to have this new book.
Posted: 6:55 am on July 24th

Annemorr001 Annemorr001 writes: My tip is something I only tried after sewing for many years - try new notions! My two recent, new favorites are a magnetic pin cushion. I had used the same one for 20 years but tried the magnetic one and I will never go back. The second notion is the dritz ezy-hem which is a big time saver.
Posted: 6:20 am on July 24th

nancyc nancyc writes: I have a number of sewing tips. First one of the simplest ways to improve your sewing is to use the right foot for the right job. My favorite feet include the edging foot, the joining or stitch in the ditch foot, the overcast foot, and the adjustable zipper foot. These feet help you sew straight and precise. My second tip is to that if you trim curves very narrow you usually do not need to clip. This results in smoother curves. If when you do need to clip (on very tight curves or some heavy fabrics or ones with little give) you stagger the clips between the layers, instead of clipping through all layers at once, it results in a smoother curve.Also if you have trouble sewing curves accurately it is easier if you mark the seams line and sew on it, rather than using the distance of the seam allowance to sew the curve.

Nancy C
Posted: 4:28 am on July 24th

paranaomi paranaomi writes: I always had trouble with fitting, even with a dress form. But recently I discovered how to create my own custom dress form by wrapping myself in wet-and-stick brown paper packaging tape. About 3 layers creates a hard shell to be cut off. It's just my size and posture, so now my fitting is so easy!
Posted: 4:27 am on July 24th

jansid jansid writes: I have been sewing since I was 8 and have made many mistakes along the way. My tips are: always read the whole of the pattern instructions before cutting out to familiarise yourself with the process. Always press after stitching every seam. Always make a muslin if using an expensive fabric. Be patient!! and don't rush you will get there in the end. When gathering long pieces of fabric eg dance dresses/wedding gowns zig zag over fishing line and then pull up to gather but wind the line around an empty thread reel as you go. If you get tired you can clip the line into the thread reel end and the gathers won't unravel.

Happy sewing
Posted: 3:34 am on July 24th

nonna_mahoo nonna_mahoo writes: My tip? Don't be so hard on yourself! We always see the "huge" mistakes we've made,,when no one else does. That "mistake" is just a lesson learned for next time. Thanks for the chance to win such a great book!
Posted: 3:15 am on July 24th

Clodi Clodi writes: I've just learned some tips by reading the comments above, thank you! I like to make my sewing space enjoyable, creative and keep it organized in order to have fun while sewing. It makes me want to spend more time in there.
Posted: 2:05 am on July 24th

sewerdownunder sewerdownunder writes: I use baking paper as a press cloth, I can see through it and it doest'n stick to anything ( especially handy when fusing iron on interfacing) and its easy to reposition. Looking forward to learning more and more tips and hints to give me a confidence boost with sewing.
Posted: 12:36 am on July 24th

Andysmom Andysmom writes: Press, press, press, not iron. Once I got the hang of pressing the seams as I sewed, my sewing hit the professional level. 35 years later I am still asked to sew for people even though I haven't done it for a very long time.
Posted: 12:12 am on July 24th

hsenkler hsenkler writes: My tip? Jump in! Get some bargain bin fabric, pick up patterns at a thrift shop and dive in deep. You learn by doing. You learning by making mistakes. You learn by un-picking. And you learn by getting it gloriously intuitively right the first time around.

Dive right on in.
Posted: 11:07 pm on July 23rd

phillykitty phillykitty writes: Put your vanity aside and wear your reading glasses. Heh-heh.
Posted: 10:50 pm on July 23rd

Countessa Countessa writes: Use good thread and sharp needles. They both make all the difference. Go for a walk, or a shower, when you are stumped on your project; they both clear your head and create a sense of a 'fresh pair of eyes'. Lovely sounding book. :-)
Posted: 10:46 pm on July 23rd

Gaeta Gaeta writes: Something I've done just recently I can pass on as a tip: I needed a third hand so I just put the fabric under the presser foot and put the presser foot down and it held the fabric just perfectly.

Posted: 10:06 pm on July 23rd

pjwhite530 pjwhite530 writes: This looks like just the book I've been looking for!
Posted: 10:06 pm on July 23rd

diamondmom diamondmom writes: This book looks like a great resource that I would be able to use as I continue to learn how to make some great dresses. There are always questions that come up and this resource might just have the answer.
Posted: 10:01 pm on July 23rd

user-2071816 user-2071816 writes: Wonderful idea to promote a book--my tip is to always press while sewing. Press the seams, the darts, pre-press the hem. Not 'iron', press. If you don't know the difference find someone who does and will teach you. It makes all the difference in a garment you've spent hours sewing.
Posted: 9:59 pm on July 23rd

user-580227 user-580227 writes: My only tip is to take your time and do it right the first time. So much faster than having to rip it out and do it over again!
Posted: 9:52 pm on July 23rd

Cyrill Cyrill writes: I sooooooo need this resource!!! Sounds like a great book
Posted: 9:49 pm on July 23rd

organza organza writes: My moto is that if my name is attached to a garment, I want it to look good. So if ever you have a minor error that needs to be fixed, don't let it pass, MAKE THE CHANGE. This can be as simple as a crooked stitch line on a zipper, or a backstitch in the middle of a garment seam. In the end you will have a great looking garment and one that you will be proud of!
Posted: 9:43 pm on July 23rd

user-1126089 user-1126089 writes: I would love to win this book. My tip is when you are sewing, take your time and make the inside of your garment look as good as the outside (cut threads, finish seams, etc).
Posted: 9:27 pm on July 23rd

user-2291610 user-2291610 writes: Take advantage of classes online and free YouTube videos on sewing techniques. You can view them anywhere, anytime. I've even pulled a few up while I'm in the middle of a project to refresh my memory!
Posted: 9:23 pm on July 23rd

agapantha agapantha writes: Silk organza is a favorite sewing aid. I use it for a press cloth, bindings, underlining, and more.
Posted: 9:17 pm on July 23rd

Buttonscreates Buttonscreates writes: Question and answer format for a book is great idea! I would love to win.
Posted: 9:14 pm on July 23rd

user-125980 user-125980 writes: What a great idea! 200 questions answered on any and all sewing related topics. I would love to have this book.
Posted: 9:11 pm on July 23rd

SomeStitch SomeStitch writes: Sew slow!! Don't rush a project, give yourself plenty of time to finish it and enjoy the process. Otherwise you will find yourself spending more time correcting the mistakes- like sewing your front pant legs together; clipping a hole in the middle of your dress; sewing sleeves in backwards; throwing out pattern pieces with the scrap tissue. . . I could go on!
Posted: 9:11 pm on July 23rd

jzzl jzzl writes: Make your muslin out of light weight fabric that can be used as the interlining. So easy to go straight to the fashion fabric.

Posted: 9:07 pm on July 23rd

Mengar Mengar writes: Oh, oh, oh, pleeease let this book appear in my post box!

Posted: 9:04 pm on July 23rd

user-2204100 user-2204100 writes: I would love to get a hold of this book. I work full time and have two small children so I don't get an opportunity to sew much, so when I do it needs to be productive in a small amount of time. Thanks :)
Posted: 8:59 pm on July 23rd

user-2204100 user-2204100 writes: I would love to get a hold of this book. I work full time and have two small children so I don't get an opportunity to sew much, so when I do it needs to be productive in a small amount of time. Thanks :)
Posted: 8:59 pm on July 23rd

Shirley57 Shirley57 writes: I have been sewing clothes for years, but never have had a source to answer my questions. This book would be very useful
Posted: 8:54 pm on July 23rd

sewinggalinaz sewinggalinaz writes: I am a sewing instructor in Tucson and this will be a great addition to my classroom.
Posted: 8:44 pm on July 23rd

smfsprout smfsprout writes: Measure twice, cut once. Pin and baste.
Posted: 8:43 pm on July 23rd

2370 2370 writes: Would love to win this book! Keeping my fingers crossed.
Posted: 8:39 pm on July 23rd

KristyLChan KristyLChan writes: Have a few seam rippers handy - they always seem to go missing and are a necessity in sewing!
Posted: 8:35 pm on July 23rd

tinarathbone tinarathbone writes: My favorite tip is to always try to make a wearable muslin, noting any changes or ideas for improvement on a notepad.

Also, don't be afraid to make samples if you're encountering new techniques.
Posted: 8:32 pm on July 23rd

GTully GTully writes: Just like carpentry measure twice, cut once!
Posted: 8:19 pm on July 23rd

Almis Almis writes: for me sewing by hand it's better instead of save time.

Posted: 8:13 pm on July 23rd

Changmom Changmom writes: Muslins are my new best friend, I don't use them for everything, though; I definitely need them for pants, and for my daughter I need them for tops. Don't be afraid to slice and dice the muslin- That's where all your adjustments and most of your tweaking should be done.
Posted: 8:00 pm on July 23rd

MPurnell MPurnell writes: It is worth the extra time to baste when matching up pieces (ie: plaids)is important to the look. Also, I love my walking foot to keep my pieces together...the bottom piece stays put and doesn't slide around.
Posted: 7:50 pm on July 23rd

tzivia tzivia writes: Baste it. Try it on.
Baste it. Try it on.
Baste it. Try it on.

Posted: 7:49 pm on July 23rd

SharonBall SharonBall writes: My tip is to get organized before trying to actually start your sewing project. Read the directions, make notes about any possible changes or ideas you have along the way. Gather all the necessary supplies, make sure the sewing machine is in good working order with appropriate needle & thread for the project. Making a muslin of the pattern to fit my dress form is a must for me as I can't measure and fit a pattern on myself. Don't rush & you will enjoy the creative process as well as the results.
Posted: 7:45 pm on July 23rd

jannetfranz jannetfranz writes: The best advise that I can give a sewer is to always wash your fabric; press your pattern pieces and measure straight of grains. Also press every seam after sewing and if you have a serger, finish every seam...
Posted: 7:42 pm on July 23rd

rxxanne rxxanne writes: Sometimes I find that store fashions have slight flaws that I would have beat myself up over. Perfect is perfect but don't let it take all the pleasure out of it.
Posted: 7:37 pm on July 23rd

user-2701816 user-2701816 writes: Always press as you sew and,very important, don't let the cat sleep on your sewing project!
Posted: 7:37 pm on July 23rd

Ingiepops Ingiepops writes: I would say always take your time and do a muslin first in fabric as close as possible to the final fabric you will use. And don't sew when you are tired; you are more prone to make silly mistakes. Also it is important to always PRESS as you sew to get a professional result.
Posted: 7:31 pm on July 23rd

mesew2 mesew2 writes: Take a photo of the finished garment. Better yet have someone take a photo of you wearing your creation.
Posted: 7:31 pm on July 23rd

Delores10550 Delores10550 writes: I have been sewing since I was very small. It is a relaxing time for me. Sewing should not be stressful, or you will make mistakes. Read books on sewing to find new ideas and different ways to do things. We can always learn something new from others.
Posted: 7:16 pm on July 23rd

TiaJah TiaJah writes: Get the best machine you can will save a lot of time and frustration, and time is money, isn't it?
Posted: 7:14 pm on July 23rd

SewcietyMaven SewcietyMaven writes: My best tip to anyone is to only use shortcuts that do not compromise quality. A shortcut's value is only as good as the finished product.
Posted: 7:11 pm on July 23rd

SewMusic SewMusic writes: I've been itching to sew but I'm also frustrated with getting the right fit. To satisfy my sewing itch without the frustration, I started sewing doll clothes. I can be creative, I don't have to worry about fit, and I can experiment with various techniques and fabric combinations. I'm creating a "collection" to donate to a silent auction fundraiser for my mission choir.
Posted: 7:08 pm on July 23rd

memarston memarston writes: Always start out with a pattern style that you adore and fabric you love, and create a finished garment that will make you feel beautiful!

Also ask someone you trust for help when you are frustrated or stuck.
Posted: 6:56 pm on July 23rd

DorisVP DorisVP writes: Checking my measurements against the pattern would be my first step and then I would make a muslin of the garment, jacket, shell, etc. And, if you have a nice shell that fits well, I would lay it atop the pattern pieces just to see if it was compatible.
Posted: 6:49 pm on July 23rd

mag48 mag48 writes: My mother taught me Never to say "no one will notice" if something was not quite right on a garment I was attempting to make. A few puckers, stitching not straight etc... Unpick it straight away and do it again. You will always notice! Your finished garments will not have that home made look. You will be so much happier with yourself if you do.
Posted: 6:48 pm on July 23rd

NanaLu NanaLu writes: Sewing fills me with energy so that I skip meals and even sew all night. However, I have learned that energy is not the same as alertness and I now stop at 2 a.m. no matter what because after that I am more likely to make mistakes.
Posted: 6:42 pm on July 23rd

Sewaholic56 Sewaholic56 writes: 1.Read the instructions thoroughly before starting.
2.Use a cutting table at a comfortable height (34-36"), otherwise it will be hard on your back. Same for the chair.
3.Use bright lighting
4.Don't start when you are tired.

Posted: 6:37 pm on July 23rd

KarylC KarylC writes: If you need to gather something very full or very long (a bedskirt, for example) zigzag over a length of fishline along the gathering line. This makes it easy to pull up the gathers evenly, never breaks like sewing thread does.
Posted: 6:35 pm on July 23rd

courtneybrown12 courtneybrown12 writes: Take your time!! Being rushed leads to frustration and mistakes!
Posted: 6:35 pm on July 23rd

user-2058214 user-2058214 writes: My tip is this: It is very easy to have the most wonderful library of books and magazines, hard copy and e-copy, and we can learn so much and become immersed in all the tips and tricks and good ideas. But at the end of the day you have to just do it! Get out the material and machine and just have a go. We are so fortunate to be able to access this information so lets all use it.
Posted: 6:33 pm on July 23rd

Cherlyn Cherlyn writes: Know your tools: a good seam ripper and a good pair of sharp pointed scissors are very useful. Pair that with tons of patience and a clear mind. Add in a little of your creative instinct, but remember to edit.
Posted: 6:31 pm on July 23rd

user-1146583 user-1146583 writes: It's not brain surgery, if you mess up, nobody dies. Don't take it too seriously and have fun.
Posted: 6:29 pm on July 23rd

upnseams2u upnseams2u writes: Take your measurements often because as we age they change on a regular basis it seems. I have learned as I have gotten older what might have fit 3 months ago may not be the case now.
Posted: 6:26 pm on July 23rd

wendy_ware wendy_ware writes: When in doubt, baste!
Posted: 6:24 pm on July 23rd

Jan140 Jan140 writes: Trust your measurements!
Don't assume that a pattern will fit if it doesn't add up and the geometry you learned in school will come in handy!

Posted: 6:23 pm on July 23rd

user-1045889 user-1045889 writes: I'm interested in the book because I'm still learning how to sew properly!
Posted: 6:17 pm on July 23rd

user-2436517 user-2436517 writes: Practice thread, needle and bobbin to make certain that you have the tension and stitch balance as well as color that makes you happy. Use the real fabric for this part. Check your machine instructions to get best stitches. Poor seams can ruin an otherwise beautifully fitting pattern.
Posted: 6:17 pm on July 23rd

VanRudolf VanRudolf writes: I am not sure i have any thing that will help a sewer except go slow, be patient, if not satisfied keep trying, learn from your mistakes and keep sewing.
Posted: 6:13 pm on July 23rd

Ljedwards2 Ljedwards2 writes: Don't sew when you are frustrated! If things aren't going right and you are getting upset and frustrated WALK AWAY. My mom taught me that and it was the hardest thing I had to learn but she was right. If you just walk away and come back later things will go better. It allows you get a fresh perspective on your project.
Posted: 6:08 pm on July 23rd

skywater skywater writes: Never try to work on something fussy when you are stressed or rushed. Something will always go wrong!
Posted: 6:02 pm on July 23rd

user-264812 user-264812 writes: Make a muslin. There is nothing more disappointing than to get far enough along in your project so that you can try in on for the first time and find that the fit is wrong and can't be fixed without recutting one or more pieces. That's my tip. I'd love to read this book.
Posted: 6:01 pm on July 23rd

LeslieD LeslieD writes: I always try to make a muslin after my initial fitting changes. I hate wasting up fabric, expensive or not. Recycle your scraps.
Posted: 5:56 pm on July 23rd

Tiffinjames Tiffinjames writes: My tip is to use sticky notes to mark your place in reading the directions. It is easy to peel it off and replace as you go along. I used to waste so much time trying to find my place in the middle of a project before using this tip. I also use Threads reference books as well as Craftsy classes and Threads Insider videos. To learn from the experts is awesome!
Posted: 5:54 pm on July 23rd

Ashford Ashford writes: My favorite fitting advice was #1-Most wrinkles above the bust can be fixed by changing the shoulder slope angle; and, #2-Make the circumference large enough for the fabric to drape from your body and do not fixate on the size number.
Posted: 5:53 pm on July 23rd

designs designs writes: Enjoy your project and let your creativity get into the process. I've learned more from experiments and mistakes.
Posted: 5:53 pm on July 23rd

MessyVirgo MessyVirgo writes: If you've fitted the pattern carefully, measured extra, extra carefully, and laid out the pattern carefully before you cut and mark the fabric carefully, sewing the garment will (almost) be a piece of cake.
Posted: 5:46 pm on July 23rd

Daryl_Lancaster Daryl_Lancaster writes: Always always always make a test garment from an old sheet or junk fabric.
Posted: 5:45 pm on July 23rd

olechka olechka writes: My best advice: be patient! If you feel tired and want to rush to finish the project, stop! Put your project away, and wait until you are in the mood to finish it. It can be a day, week or a month, but the final result is a garment you're proud of!
Posted: 5:43 pm on July 23rd

PatHersl PatHersl writes: Sew nothing past a child size 8. When fitting is a problem, bail out! Do I need the education or what?!!!
Posted: 5:40 pm on July 23rd

tusche tusche writes: Looking forward to reading this book. Hope the index is comprehensive so look up is logical.
Posted: 5:40 pm on July 23rd

Bicyclekitty Bicyclekitty writes: "Just Do It!". I should listen to my own advice more. Often, I get bogged down on all of the details of the "how to" of making a dress or for that matter, any garment, that I intimidate myself even before I start! Yes, I know it's important to have a sense of what you're getting into, but don't let the details overwhelm you to not even get started on that garment. so like I said, "Just Do It"
Posted: 5:35 pm on July 23rd

slmendes slmendes writes: I have been sewing since I was young and have learned a great deal about dressmaking from making mistakes. My advice to any new dressmaker out there would be to take the time to read through and try your best to understand all the directions. Start with a simple design in an easy fabric to work with with not a lot of details to worry about, then progress to more difficult patterns and fabrics from there. Do a trial run on scraps of fabric or inexpensive fabric of any technique that is unfamiliar. Also, take your time, don't rush, do fittings as you sew if needed, don't be afraid to make mistakes, ask questions at your local sewing store or do research from a book such as this one or online or ask someone who sews. Most of all, enjoy the experience!
Posted: 5:32 pm on July 23rd

fiberthyme fiberthyme writes: My alltime mantra tip is to "measure twice...cut once". If only I could take back the times I cut before I had measured the second time.

If the pattern fits, and the garment is cut properly...the sewing will usually be a success.
Posted: 5:31 pm on July 23rd

G_Fox G_Fox writes: Measure twice; cut once. This is a rule from expert carpenters which should be adopted be all who sew. Also, read every book and sewing magazine you can get your hands on as you will find pointers and ideas from many expert sources. Take classes as you will learn something from each instructor that will contribute to your own volume of knowledge and expertise.
Posted: 5:31 pm on July 23rd

Lady_D Lady_D writes: If, like myself, you have not sewn in many years, making a copy of your garment from inexpensive muslin can be a big help. This is especially true when you need to make adjustments to the garment to allow better fitting, as these adjustments can be made first in the muslin, then in your pattern before you construct the final garment.

This book would be a great addition to my reference library.
Posted: 5:29 pm on July 23rd

coochmom coochmom writes: I don't have any big tips, but I have found that tossing out pins and replacing them periodically keeps them from pulling the fabric when I use them. This looks like a great book!
Posted: 5:28 pm on July 23rd

Maydge Maydge writes: Dress making can be easy and difficult due to fabric types but also fitting. One can never have too many fitting books, but a dress fitting book sets you up for success!
Posted: 5:25 pm on July 23rd

iris68 iris68 writes: sometimes when I read the written instruction they make no sense to me. The trick - read them aloud. Slowly. Pretending you are trying to explain them to somebody else. Works for me. Thank you for the chance!
! Iryna
Posted: 5:21 pm on July 23rd

kewhitman kewhitman writes: Use the right pins for the right fabric. Make sure they are sharp so as not to nick the fabric. I buy new pins often. If you do not like using pins then small weights are effective, little magnets work quite nice.

Posted: 5:16 pm on July 23rd

peej2 peej2 writes: I don't have any tips or tricks to share, I haven't made clothes for myself in many years.
This would be a wonderful addition to my library...especially since I have to make new clothes since I've lost 60 pounds. I have the material...lots and lots of material.
Pick me! Pick me!
Posted: 5:09 pm on July 23rd

mandree mandree writes: If you are a beginner, don't bought the most expensive fabric.You won't stress when you will cut it.

Thank you
Have a nice day
Posted: 5:05 pm on July 23rd

2tango 2tango writes: My trick is to assemble the garment in my mind first, usually right before going to sleep and then write out the steps
Posted: 5:05 pm on July 23rd

user-338955 user-338955 writes: One of the sections of the sewing world that is overlooked by most dressmakers is the quilt section. One of the most useful tools is the Hera marker. It comes in two sizes, the long, skinny surfaced one is fantastic for turning edges/corners without poking through (like point turners do). You can run it under a facing to flush out the fashion fabric. Thanks for great information.
Posted: 5:04 pm on July 23rd

srdodd srdodd writes: It sounds so old-school to baste before you sew, but some times you really need to. It can really save you lots of time in the long run. Plus, basting is much easier to remove should you to, and it's much easier on the fabric. I need this book! Thank you, Threads!
Posted: 5:03 pm on July 23rd

KSchewe KSchewe writes: Invest in a blind hem foot. Practice your hemming. Always iron your seams. Make a muslin if you are using expensive fabric. Most important tip, enjoy the process : D
Posted: 5:02 pm on July 23rd

SewingSadie SewingSadie writes: I just went back to sewing after 40 + years and got a great tip from the teacher of the sewing class I'm taking: ALWAYS STOP AND READ ALL THE DIRECTIONS BEFORE GOING TO THE NEXT STEP OF ANY PROJECT! That is the best advise I have ever heard, and I believe it applies to life, in general, as well as to sewing! Good luck to all who have entered...........!
Posted: 4:58 pm on July 23rd

doglove doglove writes: I've been sewing for many years, off and on, but still don't feel confident. Hoping that your book will finally help me.
Posted: 4:58 pm on July 23rd

Slaaga Slaaga writes: I have no tips or tricks to offer at all, but oh, I would love to have the book!
Posted: 4:54 pm on July 23rd

Ckiser Ckiser writes: My tip is the read through the directions before layout and pinning.
Posted: 4:53 pm on July 23rd

BetsyV BetsyV writes: Tip: Think through the process before you commit! This can save time and fabric.
Posted: 4:50 pm on July 23rd

suesewing suesewing writes: It is not necessary to buy a lot of different patterns. If you have a good basic pattern that fits well, all you need are some basic flat pattern drafting techniques to make it more contemporary and different. This applies to skirts and dresses alike.
Posted: 4:50 pm on July 23rd

johnsonb johnsonb writes: I'm working on repairing a dress right now for my cousin. There was no pressing; there was no parallel lines for even easing; there was no pride in the work for this seamstress. It's a pity and I just hope I can get it all looking smooth again. The book would be a big inspiration after a disheartening experience.
Posted: 4:49 pm on July 23rd

EasilyAmewsed EasilyAmewsed writes: Always love a new book and still have plenty of questions even after the few years I've been sewing. Here's hoping.
Posted: 4:45 pm on July 23rd

user-2687746 user-2687746 writes: I will attending The Fashion Institute the fall and this book would be an amazing addition to my already owned books and I know it would be of great assistance in my schooling.
Posted: 4:41 pm on July 23rd

cheryldctn cheryldctn writes: My only 'tip' is: Be fearless! Sometimes, I'll wonder: 'What would happen if I did _____? Yes, I've ruined some projects, but I've also had some revelations and I always feel more creative when I try my wings with imaginative forays into new territory!

Thanks so much for sponsoring this giveaway. Looks like a great book!

Good luck to all!
Posted: 4:38 pm on July 23rd

kathy222 kathy222 writes: I will always vote for the parallel stitching lines to gather a project.

Posted: 4:37 pm on July 23rd

Laisi Laisi writes: My most useful tip to share is: Press as you sew. This is crucial in creating a garment that looks professionally made (even by the home sewer).
Posted: 3:29 pm on July 23rd

jennieMB jennieMB writes: My tip is to use a dress form and keep checking the fit.
Posted: 3:03 pm on July 23rd

FrancesKSews FrancesKSews writes: This would be a huge help as I'm trying to teach myself dressmaking. Any tips always gratefully received!
Posted: 2:19 pm on July 23rd

idosew idosew writes: OK this would be great for my collection! I need all the help I can get. Wish I did have a tip to give.
Posted: 8:17 am on July 23rd

cecine cecine writes: No special tips but this book will help answer lot of question. Thanks
Posted: 8:07 am on July 23rd

MsMadisson MsMadisson writes: Good Day,
This 200-Questions on dressmaking would be a useful tool for any sewer. I would definitely love to WIN this giveaway.

Thank you for sponsoring. Good luck everyone.

Ms. Madisson

Posted: 4:16 am on July 23rd

SewReel SewReel writes: No matter how long one has been sewing or how experienced, we all have a question now and then or perhaps need refresher before tackling a technique we haven't used in years! This looks like a very informative resource for any sewist!
Posted: 9:26 pm on July 22nd

user-2698071 user-2698071 writes: When I start a dart at the tip, I put a pin where the point will be in the fabric. The pin is perpendicular to the sewing line. I position the fabric so the pin will be behind then needle but the needle won't lower into the fabric just yet. I lower my needle to the right of the fabric (not into it) then I snug the pin that is in the fabric up to the needle, making sure that the folded dart is also snugged up to the needle with the thread tails positioned to the right. I lower the presser foot, pull out the pin and when I start sewing, I gently pull to the right on both the thread tails. This also pulls the fabric fold for the dart under the needle so that my first stitches are just barely catching the fabric. After that I sew the dart legs to the edge of the fabric as usual.
Posted: 7:38 pm on July 22nd

user-2003399 user-2003399 writes: No tips but this book should be able to give me lots!
Posted: 5:12 pm on July 22nd

LuvThreadsMagazine LuvThreadsMagazine writes: No tips or tricks, just questions.
Posted: 4:34 pm on July 22nd

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