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Book Giveaway: “The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction”

Leave a comment explaining what you would love to make with the help from Christine Haynes' new book The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction for a chance to win a copy.

SewStylish author Christine Haynes recently published a new book: The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction (Creative Publishing International, 2014) containing all you need to know about sewing clothes for yourself and others. 

Christine Haynes's new book The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction

It is filled with detailed steps, each illustrated with full-color photos, making it easy to understand for all sewing levels.

I had the opportunity to interview Christine, and her answers provided background information about every aspect of her book:

Threads Magazine (TM): What were your thoughts behind choosing the wide array of topics you cover in this book?
Christine Haynes (CH): The publishers approached me with the original idea, and then I was able to add or omit things as I saw fit. Because my book is part of an encyclopedia series, there were things that we both wanted to be sure to cover in the book, but there were also other things that I could skip, like fitting and pattern alterations, because there’s another book in the same series for those topics.

TM: Your book illustrates every single step along the way. Why did you decide so many photos were important for your book?
CH: That is the whole idea behind the Photo Guide series, and I find that it is also the best way for visual people to learn. One can speak about the steps over and over, but to see them clearly in photographs is really a huge help when trying to learn something new.

TM: What makes your book stand out from other sewing references?
CH: My book covers more basic and intermediate topics than most other sewing references because many of those books are more focused on projects. The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction is a guide to all those techniques that pattern companies assume you know and omit from their project instructions. My book will guide you through the project of your choice, not the projects in the book.  

TM: What skill/tip in your book would you say is the most helpful?
CH: That depends on your skill, but I do know that even experienced sewers need to brush up on zippers and seam finishes every time they do a variation they only use every now and then–like fly zippers or Hong Kong seams. For beginners, I think walking through all the basics is really great because not many other books do that.

TM: What inspired you to publish a book in the first place?
CM: When the publishers approached me, I was super excited to have another go at writing a sewing book. My first book, Chic & Simple Sewing, came out in 2009, so I was ready to cover more topics and get to the nitty gritty of what it takes to complete a whole garment.

TM: How did you learn all of the techniques demonstrated in your book?
CH: I’ve been sewing since I was 10 years old, so I have picked up things along the way. Books, other teachers, my mom, and friends have all contributed to my pool of knowledge along with years of trial and error of my own!

TM: What type of sewer do you think would best benefit from reading your book?
CH: I think it’s ideal for a beginner and an intermediate sewer, but there might be information in the book that advanced sewers would like to reference in a clear and well illustrated way, too. I am an advanced sewer, and I still buy books that are geared for a more novice sewer than myself all the time.

TM: What was the best experience you gained from publishing this book?
CH: The fact that my book is out in the world, and people are enjoying and benefiting from it is truly the best thing ever! I’m so happy the book is being well received, and that makes all the hard work completely worth it! 

Here are a few page excerpts from the book. As you can see, The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction features large, full-color images, clear labels, and easy-to-follow instructions.

Page from Christine's book

Page Excerpt

Page Excerpt

Win a copy of The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction by commenting about what you would love to make with the help from Christine’s book! You must comment by 11:59 p.m. on April 4, 2014, to be eligible to win. The winner will be announced during the week of April 7. 


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  1. user-3254116 | | #1

    I am just returning to garment sewing after my 45 year hiatus from my high school apron project. I can use all the help I can get!

  2. Marty_Marie | | #2

    I recently purchased a lot of vintage sewing patterns that dont have all the instructions. It would be helpful to use a book like this to figure out some of the construction aspects.

  3. cnuland | | #3

    I'm a beginner and can use all the tips I can find!

  4. User avater
    Snowlady4715 | | #4

    I'd like to have this book for up to date information of the latest and/or proven techniques of sewing.

  5. user-2239640 | | #5

    Be nice to have a book that's visual. Wired How I have that wired user number when I'm logged in...., maybe i need visual instructions for that to go away too :-)

  6. guidance4u | | #6

    I would love to learn how to create my own patterns or alter commercial patterns.

  7. Carly_Sue | | #7

    No matter how much you know about sewing and how many books you have, there is always room for one more...and most of the time, we can pick up ideas, techniques and brush up on new ways to accomplish it.

  8. Paula_Beron5 | | #8

    Im crazy about jackets, I would love to learn more about them.

  9. User avater
    2tango | | #9

    There is always something new to learn and also its just a beautiful looking book that I would love to put in my library.

  10. user-3245912 | | #10

    I logged in so not sure why I come up as user no.....anyway I used to make all my clothes but haven't for 15 years. As I return I think a resource like this would be invaluable for all those techniques that give that professional finish.

  11. janice201 | | #11

    Blindhemming pants and lining clothing

  12. MamaLusco3 | | #12

    I would love to get better at zippers!

  13. animegirlie | | #13

    I never formally learned how to sew! my dad gave me the basics and I learned the rest from trial and error (but more recently the internet). I would love to have something to keep at my sewing table just for a quick glance instead of dragging out the computer!

  14. animegirlie | | #14

    I never formally learned how to sew! my dad gave me the basics and I learned the rest from trial and error (but more recently the internet). I would love to have something to keep at my sewing table just for a quick glance instead of dragging out the computer!

  15. animegirlie | | #15

    I never formally learned how to sew! my dad gave me the basics and I learned the rest from trial and error (but more recently the internet). I would love to have something to keep at my sewing table just for a quick glance instead of dragging out the computer!

  16. animegirlie | | #16

    I never formally learned how to sew! my dad gave me the basics and I learned the rest from trial and error (but more recently the internet). I would love to have something to keep at my sewing table just for a quick glance instead of dragging out the computer!

  17. Isabelsdaughter | | #17

    Sewing is an art, but also a skill. Improving my skills will improve my art.

  18. whitering | | #18

    I would love some refresher training and this book looks like a good book to help me do that. I'd also like to learn how to do a garment in full french seams.

  19. beadembroiderer | | #19

    I would like to make a nice brocade jacket and I think I need more skills than I have gotten away with all along with blouses and skirts. I need some guidance here...

  20. melwyk | | #20

    I'd love to learn more professional finishes and details, like zippers and seam finishes, as Christine mentions. I've taken her online class and like how she is very particular about details, which is something I've really got to get in the habit of, as well.

  21. [email protected] | | #21

    I would like to see the best way to construct a lined blazer and also the best way to get crisp lapels.

  22. RiaAndTiggy | | #22

    I would love to learn how to do a lapped zipper and also help with fit. Christine's book looks beautiful and the pictures are fantastic! I'm sure there's a ton of things it could teach me :o)

  23. User avater
    sewhappybjm | | #23

    I would love to see jacket construction techniques.

  24. Carol0516 | | #24

    I need a whole new wardrobe so, I'd love help with shirts, casual tops, skirts, pants, and dresses. Also underthings. Need help understanding fit and techniques. Basically I'm a newbie that needs help with everything. lol

  25. User avater
    ReneeDj | | #25

    I'd love to get better at setting sleeves. Also constructing flies has been a challenge.

  26. fabricjunkie416 | | #26

    Would love to be able to fit a pair of pants through the crotch correctly and fit the bust & shoulder area of blouses/dresses correctly. There is just so much still to learn.

  27. virb | | #27

    I'd like tips on creating a jean-style skirt

  28. User avater
    cjwdobermom | | #28

    I originally learned to sew in 4-H WAAAAY back in middle school, and I stopped after 4 years. My skills are very rusty, and what I would consider basic. However, my sewing dreams are not. After a nearly 30 year break in sewing, I decided to pull out my sewing machine again, and I've found my sewing dreams (fueled by the many sewing-related blogs I read!) far exceed my skill level. I'm looking forward to expanding my skill set so maybe my sewing dreams can become reality (instead of just another item in the DNF pile).

  29. narekkm | | #29

    I really just would like to improve my clothes making skills from inserting zippers to doing pattern adjustments. Thanks!

  30. User avater
    harikleia | | #30

    I'd like to make a dancing dress for my ballroom dancing club. I'd love to have this book. Thanks

  31. User avater
    MsMadisson | | #31

    Good Day,
    I would really like to get more information and working knowledge of sewing blazers. My mother made few but did not dabble in sewing blazer herself. A definite must for me.

    Thanks for having this giveaway.

    MsMadisson ([email protected])

  32. NomadicSeamstress | | #32

    I dream of having a small sewing studio where I make and alter clothing for real-sized women. Being a big girl myself, I know the struggle of trying to find clothes that fit well off the rack, let alone be cute and stylish.

    Women come in different shapes even though they are technically the same size. So making clothes that fit well and flatter the unique shape of each woman is one of my goals and having a reference book such as this would be a tremendous help.

  33. AmberMaeP | | #33

    A new winter coat. I'm rather tall and have never owned a coat that was long enough in the sleeves or fell in just the right place over my hips.

  34. User avater
    iris68 | | #34

    Beautiful and so needed book!
    With Christine's book I would like to get brave and make a blouse and a baser for myself. So far I sew clothes for my 6 years old daughter.
    Thank you for the chance!

  35. mgrant7209 | | #35

    I wear certain types of clothes for my religion. Besides making myself some tunics, my secret dream is to make a morning jacket and pants for my husband (first I need to get a husband I guess). I love a man in a well-fitting suit!

  36. User avater
    ShiningStar | | #36

    I would like to learn tailoring.

  37. nicknackynoo | | #37

    It would be so good to find all you need in one place, rather than having to log on and search, or trail through numerous different books to find the bit you need.

  38. nicknackynoo | | #38

    I so need this book, I haven't made any clothes as such, and have just started having a go, and found its not as easy as it looks. Pattens appear to be written for those that know what they are doing. I don't, and have bought some beautiful fabric and pattern to follow, though I'm trying,info in one place only would be a real bonus.

  39. User avater
    bluestar | | #39

    I would like to learn how to sew a zipper fly! I'm working on my first pair of jeans.

  40. User avater
    melissah | | #40

    I would so love to make a fitted bodice!

  41. CarmenW | | #41

    I would like help in making darts on pants that lay flat.

  42. User avater
    Maydge | | #42

    I would like to get over my fear of gussets and fair necklines!

  43. jmreid | | #43

    I have broad shoulders and an athletic build. I have sooo much trouble fitting myself. I would LOVE to know how to make myself appropriate fitting shirts and jeans.. Help!

  44. User avater
    Stoeffchen | | #44

    I would love to make a stylish fleece jacket. Not sporty but with collar & cuffs like a regular jacket.

  45. Lisa6 | | #45

    This year I decided to get back to sewing. Since I don't sew for about 10 years, I need a book just like this to freshen up my skills and also to learn some new techniques.

  46. User avater
    pbeesley | | #46

    I need major help with slacks!

  47. sewgramms | | #47

    I would like to have a real sewing book after struggling with pattern instructions all these years.

  48. maryfc | | #48

    when young and thin, I made most of my clothing. It was so easy - all patterns fit with only adjustments for length. now I am old and lumpy and no patterns fit. help!

  49. clamor | | #49

    It looks like a great book. So many photographs will really help with understanding the concepts. I hope I win!

  50. Imakebags | | #50

    I recently started making my own clothes. I still have loads to learn and the book would be extremely helpful to the visual learner that I am.

  51. User avater
    Beckys_CSA | | #51

    My nephew is getting married and his fiance has asked me to make her wedding dress. This book would help me to ensure a professional finish she can be proud to wear.

  52. annem54 | | #52

    I would love to make a well fitting jacket with beautifully sewn details and excellent construction. This book looks great.

  53. sewbeautiful | | #53

    Hi I would like to make a lined jacket along with a lined sleeveless dress. I have tried putting a lining in a jacket before, however, I did not do well when came to hemming the bottom of the jacket or the sleeve. I would really appreciate a good reference book to keep handy and help me with all aspects of my sewing.

  54. Imakebags | | #54

    Thank you for the giveaway.
    This book sounds like the perfect sewing companion for all sorts of fun projects!

  55. user-2003399 | | #55

    I have it on hold at the library but would love my own copy.

  56. Imakebags | | #56

    Thanks for the giveaway. Great book for beginners like me.

  57. JessWerner | | #57

    I would love to be able to make a lined jacket with frog closures.

  58. vane55a | | #58

    I'd like to enter the giveaway please. I'd like to see how Christine explains how to sew a fly front.

  59. jemima1 | | #59

    Just starting to sew again after many years away from it - raising children. Would love to win.

  60. THLRowena | | #60

    I would love to dare to make pants - a photos all the way guide might give me the confidence

  61. birdsews | | #61

    I always have trouble understanding the pattern directions, so I think this book would help me because it has photos, and I am a visual learner! Sounds like a great book!

  62. sewknit32 | | #62

    This sounds like a great book. Even though I've been sewing for over 70 years there is always new way to do something and learning never ends.

  63. Cjtscrap53 | | #63

    I have been looking for a book that will help return to sewing which gave me the most joy growing up.

  64. Sewzy | | #64

    I would like to learn fit and how to sew with lightweight fabrics.

  65. zzz123 | | #65

    I would love to learn to make the basics--a pair of pants, a skirt and tops--that fit! Sounds like this book is just what I need. And I love books with lots of photos!

  66. scrubble4 | | #66

    I checked this book out in various reviews. It sounds like it has all the bits and pieces, in one spot, with pictures. Sounds perfect to me. I have been sewing for decades, but, I do it in fits and spurts. So each time back at it, I seem to have forgotten a lot of the tips and tricks that make the difference between frustration and enjoyment and between a professional garment and one that looks home grown. I would love a copy of this book.

  67. lilhav | | #67

    This book looks like contains lots of good tips and techniques I could use to improve my sewing. Choose me!

  68. User avater
    Uglybeat | | #68

    I would love to learn how to do a nice buttonhole! I enjoy the visual aspect, so this book would be a perfect teacher! Thanks for the opportunity.

  69. TinaFitz | | #69

    I am an extremely visual learner and a book like this would be exactly what I need to assist in my clothing construction from step to step. It seems as though the book is laid out in a way that would be very easy for me to follow and also enjoy! I bet this book would help me out with an array of knowledge needed to advance me to being a better constructor all around! I could use all of the info for ALL of my upcoming projects and dreams that I aspire to accomplish! Blessings!

  70. SharonPicone | | #70

    I am a dressmaker and own a custom clothing and alterations business. This book will be absolutely invaluable in all aspects of the sewing I do in running my business. I would find the visual information on pattern drafting especially helpful.

  71. user-2443803 | | #71

    One can always use a good reference in sewing. I have gone to the internet with questions. But, the source on a blog may not be reliable. I have always said that you don't have to know it all, just where you can find the information. This book has that information and the pictures are such a great help! I plan on expanding my sewing skills after returning to sewing after many years. I have been making children's clothes. I would like to expand my projects to clothes for myself which involves some fitting issues.

    Thanks to Christine for putting her excellent sewing knowledge and skill into a resource for all of us!

  72. User avater
    user-933140 | | #72

    I would LOVE this book! I could use it for myself, but also to help me teach my 3 granddaughters how to sew. They are at the age where they can do more than make a pillow cover. This would be an absolutely amazing tool for them to learn to sew a t-shirt, dress or even pants. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this fabulous book.

  73. Clodi | | #73

    It is said that a picture replaces 1000 words and I agree with this. I love to follow image instructions, it's faster and more pleasant when I can see the intermediate phases. I estimate that this book is offering me what I need to learn in the most pleasant way to sew better garments for me and my beloved husband. Thank you!

  74. user-3136551 | | #74

    I'm a person who learns 10x faster with pictures than words.
    I do alot of sewing for mysself and my children,and grandchildren with a wedding coming up and time short Im sure such a book will save alot of time.!!!!!!

  75. User avater
    ToniWI | | #75

    I would love to make a jacket. Jackets look complicated and I want to learn to make it look well put together. I think this book could help.

  76. Klaudia | | #76

    I can always use a new sewing book for new and improved techniques.

  77. User avater
    sewold | | #77

    I've always found something helpful in any sewing book I've had. I'm sure this would be a good one to add to my library.

  78. dsantil71 | | #78

    I need help with everything! So I know I would love this book!

  79. user-824140 | | #79

    I would like a fully illustrated book that I can use as a reference when I make the European patterns that have no instructions. This book is needed! Thank you

  80. furballs | | #80

    I have always found good pictures to be the most useful tool when trying to figure out some new technique or one that I haven't used in a long time. Any new book is likely to contain at least a few tips that are new to me too. Make a great addition to my reference library.

  81. BevP | | #81

    Like Christine, I also started sewing as a 10 year old, learning from my mother and have picked up further knowledge across the years through trial and error. Now have 2 precious granddaughters who are showing an interest in sewing. Would love to have this book as a useful reference book to help me with their instructions.

  82. sewerdownunder | | #82

    I would love to make a jacket with zipper inserts in the pockets and sleeve plackets, with the help of this bookI think that I could do it!

  83. Onyx147 | | #83

    Good day! I find myself in an unique position. Fifteen years ago (15) my dear husband came home to announce that we had to move because of his job. So, the only person available to pack up our place was yours truly. It took me 2 years, to pack including my sewing machines and sewing things, but, I finally finished. I'm still waiting to unpack all of the sewing things. Since then, of course, sewing accessories have gone way up in price and book prices are out of this world. Back then I was a different person, but, I've used a lot of patience and as I pass the boxes, I dream of the day when I can start sewing again. So, along the way, I feel that I've been left behind.

    A book like this would really brighten my spirits. Thank you in advance whether I'm chosen or not.

  84. User avater
    shreya_l | | #84

    Entering the giveaway for exploring the new book!

  85. User avater
    tobygal | | #85

    After learning on my own for past few years- I ready to up in to making my first Chanel inspired Jacket. I know this book would be very useful in making my very first Jacket- maybe even a skirt to match.

  86. carojo | | #86

    I would like to make a jacket that would fit me properly - this book would be a great help.

  87. user-537631 | | #87

    I would love to make a sheer summer jacket. Seam finishes will be very important in this project.

  88. aspiretodesign | | #88

    I would love to have a go-to book for helping me design/make garments and improve my sewing skills. It would make me more confident to have a guide to doing things correctly.

  89. user-2565019 | | #89

    I like to win this book so I can give it to a dar friend who wants to learn to sew.

  90. zaftig1 | | #90

    Like so many others I have returned to sewing after à very long hiatus. It's frustrating to find out how much I've forgotten! Since I am a visual learner this book would be a blessing. I'm certain whoever wins this book will make great use of it.

  91. User avater
    andysmom | | #91

    I have been sewing since I was 3 years old sitting at my grandmothers knee. She would have me sew on buttons to keep my busy so she could get her mending done. I was sewing for classmates by time I was 12 years old and now that I am of a certain age, I still sew for myself, family and others. I have many sewing books and some may be similar, however everyone has something to teach me. I believe no one knows everything and I love learning something new like a helpful hint, a new product, new pattern companies, classes and the list goes on. Would love to win the book.

  92. skiss | | #92

    I haven't added a newly published sewing book to my collection n a long time. I too like the idea of so many photographs. It is a great learning tool for me. Knowing I can just take a look at a photo to remind me of the technique wold be so helpful.

  93. sewmydreams | | #93

    I am helping a couple of other people with learning the basics of sewing and clothing construction and this book would be a great aid to me and them. I am always trying to learn new things and techniques. Thanks for the offer!

  94. User avater
    user-2471903 | | #94

    I would like to make pants that fit well...

  95. User avater
    wendy_ware | | #95

    Photos are the key! I admit
    I sometimes don't even read
    if there's a good picture...

  96. Wednesdey | | #96

    I dream of creating my own clothes and deigning for others. I feel like creating patterns is a skill that I really need to learn the details of. Thank you!

  97. vestis3 | | #97

    I have been wanting to make my own clothes for a long time. My body has changed over the years and nothing I purchase seems to fit correctly. I retired in June, 2013 and ready to get started.

  98. User avater
    ctdamsel | | #98

    A new Spring/Summer wardrobe!

  99. User avater
    JulieInAZ | | #99

    Wow what a great book! I am in love with sewing and have only a couple years of experience, so I guess that would make me a beginner moving toward intermediate. I have so much more to learn and have all the time in the world to do it. My projects so far have been a quilt, a duvet, pillow cases, baby clothes, placemats, and a few easy pieces of clothing. Clothing is more difficult to do. The patterns are not very good at showing you what to do and I am unsure how to adjust them to fit properly, let alone try a zipper or button yet!!!! I realize I need a good reference book to learn and this opportunity to possibly win this book is awesome. Thanks :) Julie

  100. User avater
    Katiat325 | | #100

    I'd love to move from beginner/novice, to intermediate. I've taken a year's hiatus from sewing (with only about a year of experience beforehand), and am now getting back to it. This would really help me with adjustments for wider sleeves, armholes, and hopefully a better adjustment on my back. I'm a visual person, so I need to see what are my options, not just listen to them.

  101. Jecroisendieu | | #101

    I would love to be able to win the book, "The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction." by Christine Haynes. I am a beginner and aspire to construct patterns from vintage Lutterloh books. Without the knowledge that can be gleaned from this book, it will be quite daunting. The vintage pattern books are for a more knowledgeable seamstress, but with Christine's book I feel that I will be able to create garments that look beautiful and finished. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win such a valuable book.


  102. sewmydreams | | #102

    aaah - Photographs. I have a couple of sewing reference books but they usually have hand drawn diagrams with only an occasional photo. But to have detailed photos showing you what and how to do it, this I like. It would be like standing over someone's shoulder and watching them sew. I have to check this book out.

  103. SewWhatLilly | | #103

    Oh this is what I need. I am a beginner-intermediate sewer and I am always looking for things to learn and sew. This looks like a great instructional book.

  104. User avater
    sewhappydj | | #104

    I would LOVE to own this book. I have been looking all over the internet for this information! I am a 46 yr. old mother of 2 young children and my husband had a stroke a few yrs. ago. I want so much to earn money by sewing at home so I can still be with my children. I have been teaching myself to sew by watching you tube videos and reading everything I can. I am on such a budget. I am so glad I found this site.

  105. user-3183659 | | #105

    As a visual learner, this book would be the greatest! Although I have sewn for years, there are so many tips and tricks this old dog would love to learn! I am currently sewing for my Etsy shop and anything I can learn to make my products look more professional would be a great selling point. I am also anxious to see what techniques in the book would save time! Time IS money! Can't wait to win a copy!!!!!!!!

  106. user-3387873 | | #106

    I learned to sew almost 40 years ago with six years of 4-H projects as a teen and have attempted everything from my graduation gown to my own design wedding dress, bathing suits to three piece suits, outdoor coats to T-shirts, and baby clothes to teen blue jeans as my family has grown. I would like to learn more about clothing construction as my family continues to grow to include daughters-in-law and I bless them with the ability to create custom fit and design clothing for them.

  107. Onyx147 | | #107

    I know you don't sell this book, but, I 'd like to find out where I could purchase this particular book. This book is WOW!! Thank you in advance.

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