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Which book to buy?

Becky-book | Posted in Fitting on

If I can only buy one book on the subject of fitting, which is the best book and why?

I have seen several titles mentioned here:

Fantastic Fit for Everybody – Gale Grigg Hazen

Fit for Any Body (?)  Fit for Real People – Palmer / Pletsch

The Perfect Fit – Singer Reference Library (found this one at the library, seems too small to cover everything I might need to fit anyone)

Can y’all help me decide?  Thanks



  1. mem | | #1

    I like the Palmer Pletcsh book because iit is very easy to understand . Uses reall people and they are people who represent alost every body challenge type .I have not had a problem which i havent been able to work out using this book. and I can read at bed time and therefore absorb information which will come in handy later.

    1. User avater
      Becky-book | | #3

      Thanks!  I will start with Fit for Real People and see how that works, wish I could get my hands on a copy before I buy, but since two of you agree on this book I'll risk it.


  2. mygaley | | #2

    I own both books, but anything Palmer/Pletsch gets my attention first, just based on a long history of learning from them.  Galey

    1. User avater
      Becky-book | | #4

      Thanks!  Maybe I can buy one book this year and another next year!


  3. SewNancy | | #5

    I have all 3 and definitely the Palmer Pletsch book is by far the best.

    1. User avater
      Becky-book | | #6

      Thank you so much!  I wanted to see each of the books mentioned here but could only find one at the library.  I hate to buy something on-line that I have never seen in real life! The book store didn't even have a copy... "We could order that for you"!!

      Since you have all three books, please let me ask if you actually use all three? Or could you get along just fine without one or the other?



      1. SewNancy | | #7

        I only use the Palmer Pletsch book. I use Fitting and Pattern Alteration A mUlti Method Approiach, by E Liechty, D. Pottbert and Judith Rasband. Some people on Pattern Review have not like this book primarily because it doesnt have more seam method alteration solutions. But, I used it extensively before the Palmer Pletsch book and I still use it and would reccomend it as a second book. I also sometimes use Sandra Betzina's book Fast Fit. As you can see I have a lot of fitting books as well as a very big collection of Threads articles. If you are getting only one definitely get the Palmer Pletsch book. Also, they have book just on pants and that is good too. Their books are well written and well illustrated and I highly reccomend anything from them.

  4. jocelyne | | #8

    I don't know if this is what you are looking for, but for alterations to adjust fit (on pattern or clothes), I love "Fitting Finess" by Nancy Zimmerman. I have used it many times and always liked the result. The instructions are clear, in part because they are diagrammed, and the selection of adjustments large. If I had to keep only one sewing book, that would be the one.

    1. lilah | | #9

      Has anyone seen the book The Zapp Method of Couture Sewing?  What's the opinions on it? 

      1. user-172042 | | #10

        I have this book. I could look at it for hours. She is amazing. I think it is well written.

        1. SewNancy | | #11

          could you give the full name on this book please?
          I've never seen it before.

          1. user-172042 | | #12

            Hi Nancy,I can't find the start of this discussion, so I'm not sure which book of which you are talking. I'm hoping it's this one: Zapp Method of Couture Sewing by Anna Zapp. She sewed all of John Denver's clothes and some other famous people. She has some very cute clothes in this book. You may check this out at Books A Million website. I hope this is the book.

          2. lilah | | #14

            The book is called The Zapp Method of Couture Sewing.  It has a subtitle: Tailor Garments Easily Using Any Pattern.  The author is Anna Zapp.  Sorry I didn't answer sooner. 

            I bought this book after I first posted a asking other's opinions of it.  Besides tailoring information, it has step-by-step from taking measurements, choosing a pattern, determining ease, preparing the pattern, cut, baste, fit, etc.  It seems pretty thorough but I haven't walked through the steps.  

            What I like about it is that she describes these steps that, many times, inexperienced sewists don't know about.  A lot more people would stick with sewing if they knew that some time will have to be spent personalizing the pattern before they are turned loose with scissors and a sewing machine.  

            In the intro, Anna Zapp says, "This book addresses the aspects of garment sewing that often cause difficulty for student sewers in my class.  I offer common-sense techniques for pattern-fitting, construction, and tailoring."  So it is probably aimed at the sewist who isn't sewing for the very first time, but is relatively new.         

      2. JeanEsther | | #13

        I have Zapp's book and like it, but don't think it would be good as a first book. It covers only four garment types (classic slacks, blouse, vest and jacket, I think). I particularly like her explanations of interfacing jackets.

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