THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

February 16, 2009

Isabel & Ruben Toledo Speak

Filed under: Designer,Videos — phyllisc @ 12:15 pm

February 10, 2009

Sewing Diva Book Reviews

Filed under: Sewing Diva Book Reviews,The Sewing Diva Library — phyllisc @ 12:40 pm

SINGER Perfect Plus, By Kathleen Cheetham

Creative Publishing International

Spiral bound, 144 pages, 150 color photos/illusations

ISBN 978-1-58923-394-8 , $25.00


097aKathleen Cheetham owns Petite Plus Patterns and in this handy book she distills her expertise for the benefit of petite-plus and plus size sewers.  I don’t need to remind anyone that the Big 4 does not address the style and fitting needs of this group of sewers.  Just go onto Pattern Review or Stitchers Guild and you’ll get sense of how big and underserved this market really is. 060b

SINGER has added its imprint to Kathleen’s new book Perfect Plus, Sew a Mix-and-Match Wardobe for Plus and Petite-Plus Sizes; and Jennifer Sauer, who many of us know from her sojourn at Threads, served as technical editor; her expertise is clearly evident in the high quality technical drawings and detailed photography.   But I’m getting ahead of myself here, this book is not just a sewing instruction book; the first 30 pages are devoted to wardrobe planning.  There is a useful questionnaire that helps to establish exactly what kind of wardrobe you need for your lifestyle based on how you spend your time and what types of clothes makes you feel good.  I have to say that the design aspect of fashion sewing is to me the most challenging; that is, how to really avoid that “happy hands and home” look and really make garments that qualify as fashion.  Kathleen provides a framework for a sewer that really de-mystifies the color and fabric selection process.

036The actual process of sewing  starts in chapter three, and included with the book is a set of tissue patterns for four garments, a blouse with cap sleeves, long sleeves and two collar variations, tailored pants, a flared skirt and a princess seam jacket.  The size range in the patterns runs from petite-plus to full plus size 14 to 24.  Kathleen’s sloper for these patterns is a D cup with a fuller tummy, but if your measurements differ she also includes excellent instructions for all types of alterations, including a full bust adjustment.  The draft of the blouse and jacket sleeve is really impressive; its a two piece sleeve drafted for full upper arms. 

My only quibble with this wonderful book is the style of the patters; it’s on the conservative side and not even close to being fashion forward, however, I think savvy sewers will use these patterns as a base for adding style and detail. 

If you’re an intermediate or ambitious beginner sewer looking for a basic petite-plus or plus size wardrobe this book is great sewing room resource.

February 8, 2009

Draping. Art and Craftsmanship in Fashion Design

Draping. Art and Craftsmanship in Fashion Design (English)















Moulage. Kunst en Vakmanschap in Modevormgeving (Dutch)


Author: Annette Duburg, Rixt van der Tol

Publisher:  d’JongeHond

ISBN number for the English book:   978-90-89100-87-0

ISBN number for the Dutch book:  978-90-89100-86-3

Type of binding: Paperback

Number of pages: 248 page with 1000 illustrations

Weight:  869 gramme

Price: Euro € 39,95


Take a look inside this book at:

Christian Dior 1952 Moulage

Christian Dior 1952 Moulage

This is THE most fantastic and thorough reference book about moulage and draping.  It is a new book published November 2008 and I bought this book in December 2008 .  I bought of course the Dutch version called Moulage Kunst en Vakmanschap in Modevormgeving.

But it is also translated into English as Draping  Art and Craftsmanship in Fashion Design.  This book is like having a private teacher on hand in moulage and draping technique.  It is chock full of very clear pictures and diagrams which will guide you through each step. It covers the history but also the present and will teach you how to make 3 dimensional patterns by using a dress form.

There are 1000 pictures which help you to achieve to moulage/draping patterns. It not only teaches you how to make a bodice, skirt, dress, jacket , coat and pants etc but also variations on those garments.

Additionally, the book shows you how to make a moulage pattern which mimics some famous designer outfits; on page 160-243 it covers 12 famous designer outfits and what to do to get a similar look.  The 12 designers outfits examples are from Charles Frederick Worth, Cristoff von Drecoll, Madeleine Vionnet, Madame Grès, Christian Dior ( 2), André Courèges, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Yohji Yamamoto .

This book is a must have for anyone who wants to know and learn more about  moulage.  I have several moulage/draping books both in Dutch as well as in English  but this is the most comprehensive and I can without question recommend this book to you as a valuable addition to your sewing library.

pleated skirt

pleated skirt


pictures source publisher DeJongeHond

I searched for a link where you can order this book in English and found a Belgium website where you can order this book. For international orders you can sent an email to inquire, click at the button “Enquiry” at the top of the above link.

Barbara added the  index for the English book see comment 21 below.



I contacted the publisher for some more information about translation on their website for this book in English and also for ordering this book.

You can order this book in English or Dutch via the  publisher  see below

email sent to 

For ordering they need the following information:

-the book title,

-how many books,

-your name and address,

– if your credit card has a different address please share this information too 

De Jonge Hond publisher can ship this book to you for € 10,00 to Europe and € 20,00 for outside Europe destinations.

 Or you can order this book from the US from center for pattern design  



February 7, 2009

Sewing Diva Book Reviews and The Sewing Diva Library

Filed under: Uncategorized — phyllisc @ 2:28 pm

We have been approached by some publishers (more…)

February 3, 2009

Your Closet at Your Fingertips

Filed under: Fashion,Technology — phyllisc @ 6:33 pm


Linda Grant at The Thoughtful Dresser  blogged about this today and I literally went to the iTunes store at 6:30 this morning to buy this app!  This is the best $2.99 I’ve ever spent.  Touch Closet is an iPhone/iTouch app that organizes your closet and lets you put together outfits for future reference.   And I think this will come in handy for fabric shopping too because I can look at my accessories while I’m shopping on-line; I can also use it to really plan my sewing projects because I can put together outfits of, say, a  fabric swatch, a photo or technical drawing from the pattern company web site, shoes, bags and jewelery.  It’s easy to sync photos of your sewing project photos to the device and I’ve also sync’d saved photos of  items I bought on-line.  This is so cool.

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