I am so happy to announce my newest book, Skirts & Dresses for First Time Sewers! This project-based book is full of classic shapes for beginner-level sewers to get you excited about making your own handmade wardrobe. Though of course, experienced sewers can make them up too!
There are 15 projects in the book, all with downloadable PDF patterns that you access via a website link or QR Code printed on the project's page. The projects included are:
- A-line skirt
- Tiered maxi skirt
- Tunic dress
- Smocked sundress
- Baby doll dress
- Upcycled T-shirt dress
- Sleeveless sheath dress
- Circle skirt
- Slip dress
- Wrap dress
- Shift dress (this dress you've seen on me a million times!)
- Pleated skirt
- Pencil skirt
- Upcycled men's shirt skirt
- Wrap skirt
Also included in the book are quick lessons on basic techniques, like an invisible zipper, darts, gathering, and pleats. There are also sections on adding embellishments and pockets, lists of resources, pattern layout guides, and a tutorial on how to use the book and choose your correct size.
Each project opens with photos of finished ready to wear versions of the shape for inspiration (so a range of tunic dresses or pleated skirts, not just the one you're going to make), and a break down of the hows and whys of that shape, what kind of body it's best suited for, the type of fabric to use, and more.
After the project opening, there is an illustration of my pattern for that style, a few helpful tips, the link to the pattern and a list of the pattern pieces to use, followed by illustrated steps to complete the garment. At the end of each project are two alternate examples of how to change up the original design with embellishment, or simple alterations so customize it for your own personal style.
The book is currently available in the United States, in the UK, in France, and in Germany. There might be more versions along the way, but so far these are the only ones I know of.
Because we knew the book was going to be released in multiple languages around the world, that proved a real challenge for the patternmaking and pattern downloading side of things. I wasn't allowed to include any letters or words on the PDFs so that they can be universally downloaded from the same hub from anywhere in the world.
The sizing is just like my regular line of patterns, though two sizes are grouped together into one. For example, the patterns in the book come in sizes 1–5. Size 1 in the book is equal to sizes 0 and 2 in my patterns; size 2 is the range of sizes 4 and 6, and so on. In case there are any questions, below is a breakdown of the sizing:
- Size 1– Bust: 31–32" Waist: 23–24" Hip: 33–34"
- Size 2– Bust: 33–34.5" Waist: 25–26.5" Hip: 35–36.5"
- Size 3– Bust: 36–37.5" Waist: 28–29.5" Hip: 38–39.5"
- Size 4– Bust: 39–41" Waist: 31–33" Hip: 41–43"
- Size 5– Bust: 43–45" Waist: 35–37" Hip: 45–47"
From there the patterns are made just exactly the same way my line of PDF patterns are designed, and they can just be downloaded, printed, assembled, and cut out like any other PDF pattern.
Because there is only one review on the US Amazon site so far and it is an angry all caps 1-star review, I would like to address it here, and how it pertains to the links in the book. The book features a link that you must type into your toolbar. Once you type it in, there is an image of the first page of the PDF pattern that allows you to download the whole PDF pattern locally to your computer. It won't say much on the image because again, I wasn't allowed to include any letters or words so that everyone can use them anywhere in the world.
The download links are written clearly, however, there are some capital letters and some numbers in each link, so they need to be typed into the toolbar exactly as they are written in the book. It can be very easy to confuse a capital letter I with a lower case letter L, or a number 9 with a lower case letter G. So if you enter it incorrectly, it will take you to the link that corresponds with the link you actually typed in, and not the pattern.
Both I and the publishers have checked each and every link multiple times, and yes, they do work just fine if you type the link in correctly. If you find you are having troubles, please contact me! Both the publishers and I have tried to contact Amazon user "All things sewing" who left this negative review and have had no luck. If this is you, please email me so I can actually help you! That is more productive than an angry all-caps comment. But that's just me.
So long story short, type the links in right, or they won't work! I think this is common sense, but clearly it's worth saying.
Still with me? Awesome! I am super excited about this book and it's been years since I've written a project-based book, so that was a fun challenge. And watching it pop up in other countries is pretty incredible. I am making it my mission to find the French version on the streets of Paris on our upcoming trip. And thanks to my French lessons, I might actually be able to read it! Ha!
Love you guys and I hope you love the new book!!!