The Best Pattern Making Books For Sewing Your Own Clothes

“What are the best Pattern Making books?” We looked at 92 of the top sewing Patter Books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 21 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Pattern Making” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 50+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Also make sure to take a look at our Best Sewing Books List for additional information on the subject!

Happy Scrolling!



Top 21 Pattern Making Books



21 .) Built by Wendy Dresses: The Sew U Guide to Making a Girl’s Best Frock by Wendy Mullin

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Goodreads

“Dresses are as useful—and as crucial—to your wardrobe as your most beloved pair of jeans. You can throw one on in summer or winter, for a night out in heels or a day in beaten-up boots: It’s maximum style for minimum effort.

That’s why Wendy Mullin, designer of Built by Wendy—label of choice for fashion-forward actors, musicians, and artists—has created a book of DIY dress designs that are simple to sew but pack plenty of fashion punch.

All of the featured dress styles are based on three basic dress shapes: the sheath, the shift, and the dirndl. These three full-size patterns are included in the book, complete with step-by-step instructions for how to use them. From those basic dress shapes, Wendy offers multiple customizations, giving a total of 25 different dress options.”

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20 .) Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer

Lists It Appears On:

  • Megan Nielsen
  • Threads

“The world of haute couture is a place where only a privileged few can ever hope to reside, right? Wrong. Fashion historian Claire B. Shaeffer opened the door to this exclusive realm in her authoritative guide to the techniques that define couture sewing. And now, the industry bible, Couture Sewing Techniques, has been revised and updated throughout ― with new photos and a chapter on specialty fabrics.

No one can unravel couture garment construction the way Shaeffer can, from the art of hand sewing to mastering edge finishes, from classic closures to shaping a garment for a perfect fit. Readers learn all the basics ― and more importantly: how to apply the techniques ― on skirts and sleeves, pockets and jackets, evening gowns, and more. Gorgeous photos, clear illustrations, and concise language combine to make this the most complete couture-sewing course available.”

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19 .) Fantastic Fit for Everybody by Gale Grigg Hazen

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Sewingplums

“Nationally known fit expert and educator Gale Griff Hazen shows you a no-fail way to evaluate your unique body shape, how to choose styles and fabrics that will look best on you, and how to alter patterns to fit your individual and three-dimensional body.

Her students have found consistent success using her fit process, and now, in Fantastic Fit for Every Body, Gale shares that process with sewers everywhere.

You will see real people with real fitting challenges. Gale Grigg Hazen helps each sewer analyze her body and manipulate her patterns to create garmetns that now only fit but also flatter her figure.”

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18 .) Fast Fit: Easy Pattern by Sandra Betzina

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Threads

Sandra Betzina’s tried and true–and easy to do–techniques for creating clothes that fit and flatter your unique shape.

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17 .) Fit for Real People by Pati Palmer, Marta Alto

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Megan Nielsen

Provides step-by-step instructions for fitting women’s patterns for all shapes and sizes, and presents techniques for sewing and creating personalized designs

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16 .) High Fashion Sewing Secrets from the World’s Best Designers by Claire Shaeffer

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Megan Nielsen

Step-by-step instructions reveal the secrets used by high-fashion designers and allow the reader to duplicate the design detail found in expensive designer clothes

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15 .) Metric Pattern Cutting For Menswear by Winifred Aldrich

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Melly Sews

Since the first edition was published in 1980, Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear has become established as the standard work on this subject and has proved invaluable as both a textbook for students and a reference source for the practising designer.

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14 .) Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Madalynne Intimates

Pattern Magic is the cult pattern-making book from Japan. Taking inspiration from nature, from geometric shapes, and from the street, this book harnesses the sheer joy of making and sculpting clothes. The book takes a creative approach to pattern making, with step-by- step projects for fashion designers and dressmakers to enjoy. Each project is beautifully illustrated with clear diagrams and photographs showing the stages of construction, the muslins, and the finished garments.

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13 .) Pattern Making for Kids’ Clothes: All You Need to Know About Designing, Adapting, and Customizing Sewing Patterns by Carla Hegeman Crim

Lists It Appears On:

  • Sanfoundry
  • Sew Some Stuff

“Sure, there is plenty of affordable children’s clothing to be found at retailers today, but the quality of those mass-produced garments can be questionable. Finding durable, well-made kids clothing can be expensive, especially when the kids are growing like weeds! No wonder more and more parents are opting to dress their children in high-quality, original pieces they’ve made themselves.

For those looking to get started sewing their own kid’s clothes, or who are expanding on their current skills, Pattern Making for Kids’ Clothes is the place to begin.”

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12 .) Patternmaking in Practice: A Step by Step Guide by Lucia Mors de Castro

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Goodreads

This authoritative and user-friendly book provides the essential know-how for anyone taking their first steps in fashion design and provides indispensable tips and tools for more experienced practitioners. A fully illustrated step-by step guide with simple text explains the basic foundations to putting together key fashion pieces from scratch.

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11 .) Practical Guide to Patternmaking by Lori Knowles

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Sewingplums

The Practical Guide to Patternmaking for Fashion Designers: Juniors, Misses, and Women offers an in-depth look into the techniques and theories of pattern drafting for women’s garments. Covering a wide variety of styles, textiles, and sizes, this book is useful for a wide range of pattern courses from introductory to advanced. It provides a sound introduction to the concepts and the processes of patternmaking, as well as a more advanced analysis of style and design. The author offers helpful techniques on taking measurements and adjusting the fit of garments for all body sizes, patterns, and types of fabrics.

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10 .) How Patterns Work: The Fundamental Principles of Pattern Making and Sewing in Fashion Design by Assembil Books

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Sanfoundry
  • Sew Some Stuff

“When you are trying to learn something new, the best teachers are often the ones who will walk you slowly through all of the basics in a way that is straightforward and easy to understand. It is this approach to learning that has led us to create “”How Patterns Work””, so that those who wish to learn pattern making can have a simplified and streamlined introduction to all of the fundamental principles that lie at the core of pattern making.

If you have tried to learn pattern making in the past and felt daunted by the complex drawings and measurements, or are a sewer who has felt ill equipped to make even the simplest changes to patterns, then this is the ideal book for you. We believe that by having a solid understanding of the basic terms and processes of pattern making then you will be able to make simple pattern changes yourself, and be able to apply the same ideas to more complex pattern changes in the future. No previous knowledge of pattern making is required. Chapters start from zero assumed knowledge and build slowly in complexity with step-by-step examples and clear diagrams. “

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9 .) Make Your Own Patterns: An Easy Step-By-Step Guide To Making Over 60 Patterns by Rene Bergh

Lists It Appears On:

  • Burda Style
  • Sew Some Stuff
  • Sewingplums

With this guide to patternmaking, it’s easier than ever to design a pleasing wardrobe, replace worn-out garments, and adapt clothing to changes in body shape. Expert instructions and fully illustrated techniques, show how to take measurements from clothes that already look and feel great, and transfer them to hand-drawn patterns, either full-size or to scale. There are patterns for any attire—skirts and dresses, jackets and trousers, blouses, shirts and tees—and they can be adapted for a variety of necklines, collars, and sleeves. The result is a wardrobe that’s original, fashionable, affordable, and comfortable for years to come.

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8 .) Pattern Making by Dennic Chunman Lo

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Goodreads
  • Sanfoundry

An introduction to the basic principles of pattern cutting, this practical book shows students how to interpret the human form and look at clothing through the eyes of a designer rather than a consumer. As well as explaining the proportions of human anatomy, the book introduces key tools and then takes the reader from simple pattern-cutting ideas to more advanced creative methods. Finally, the book looks at the work of fashion designers who are masters of pattern cutting, such as Comme des GarCons, John Galliano, Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake. With photographs of final and dissected garments, along with CAD/CAM diagrams to explain how those pieces were cut, the book will gradually build an understanding of pattern cutting, and enable students to experiment and create exciting patterns for their own designs.

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7 .) Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach by Elizabeth Liechty, Della Pottbert, Judith Rasband

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Alibris
  • Sewingplums
  • Threads

This book is the answer for professionals and students who want beautifully fitted and comfortable clothing. The multi-method approach is logical and easy-to-follow. Each alteration procedure is accompanied by identification of the figure variation for the hips, legs, upper-torso, mid-torso or arms causing the fitting problem.

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6 .) Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear by Winifred Aldrich

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Megan Nielsen
  • Melly Sews
  • Sewingplums

“Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear provides a straightforward introduction to the principles of form pattern cutting for garments to fit the body shape, and flat pattern cutting for casual garments and jersey wear.

This sixth edition remains true to the original concept: it offers a range of good basic blocks, an introduction to the basic principles of pattern cutting and examples of their application into garments. “

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5 .) Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit: Using the Rub-off Technique to Re-create and Redesign Your Favorite Fashions by Steffani Lincecum

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Megan Nielsen
  • Sanfoundry
  • Sew Some Stuff

“Do you love to sew your own clothes but find it difficult to make commercial patterns fit? Has your favorite blouse seen better days but is no longer available in stores? Have you gained or lost weight so that your most flattering skirt doesn’t fit quite right, or would you like to update it by remaking it in a new fabric or adding new details? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’ll find the solution right in your own closet—by creating customized sewing patterns using garments you already own and love to wear.

In Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit, Hollywood and theater costume designer Steffani Lincecum demonstrates the rub-off, a method of pattern drafting used by fashion and costume industry professionals that traces an existing garment or accessory without deconstructing or damaging it. Steffani starts with the basics, outlining two rub-off methods—tracing onto paper or draping with fabric—and explaining essential tools, materials, and sewing techniques. She then shows how to duplicate a skirt, a dress, a blouse, and a handbag, from rubbing-off the original, to creating the pattern, to cutting and sewing the new version, to making adjustments and incorporating a variety of other elements and details—not only refreshing your favorite fashions but replenishing your whole wardrobe with brand-new looks.”

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4 .) Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified by Cal Patch

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Burda Style
  • Clothes Press
  • Goodreads
  • Sew Some Stuff

“If you’ve ever watched Project Runway and wished you were a contestant, or you’re simply ready to take your sewing to a new level, Design-It-Yourself Clothes teaches you the fundamentals of modern patternmaking so that you, too, can create your own inspired clothing.

Until now, the aspiring DIY fashionista has been hard-pressed to find self-teaching tools other than dry textbooks or books with outdated looks. Finally, in Design-It-Yourself Clothes, former Urban Outfitters designer Cal Patch brings her youthful aesthetic to a how-to book. If you want to wear something you can’t find on store racks and make clothes that express your individual style, or if you’ve reached a sewing plateau and want to add pattern drafting to your repertoire, Design-It-Yourself Clothes is the book you have been waiting for.”

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3 .) How to Make Sewing Patterns by Donald H. McCunn

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Goodreads
  • Megan Nielsen
  • Melly Sews
  • Sew Some Stuff

Solve the mysteries of pattern drafting with this instructional book. Simple and easy step-by-step instructions with clear understandable line drawings.

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2 .) How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns by Lee Hollahan

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Clothes Press
  • Goodreads
  • Megan Nielsen
  • Sew Some Stuff

An accomplished fashion designer shows women who make their own garments how to improve on store-bought sewing patterns by adjusting the clothing item’s length and other details to reflect personal taste and create a custom fit. The book’s opening chapters present an illustrated guide to the tools, equipment, and fabrics needed for making garments, while also serving as a miniature textbook to teach basic sewing techniques. Chapters that follow offer detailed instruction in adapting and altering a store-bought pattern to suit individual tastes. Alterations include adding flare, and modifying the shapes of bodices, arm holes, neck lines, sleeves, and skirts. The book’s concluding chapters instruct on designing one’s own patterns from scratch. Author Lee Hollahan demonstrates to her readers that once they understand how to adapt a store-bought pattern, they are well on their way to custom designing their own wardrobe. More than 500 instructive illustrations.

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1 .) Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph-Armstrong

Lists It Appears On:

  • Alibris
  • Burda Style
  • Goodreads
  • Madalynne Intimates
  • Megan Nielsen
  • Melly Sews
  • Sanfoundry
  • Threads

Renowned for its comprehensive coverage, exceptional illustrations, and clear instructions, “Patternmaking for Fashion Design” offers detailed yet easy-to-understand explanations of the essence of patternmaking. Hinging on a recurring theme that all designs are based on one or more of the three major patternmaking and design principles-dart manipulation, added fullness, and contouring-it provides students with all the relevant information necessary to create design patterns with accuracy regardless of their complexity.

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The 50+ Additional Pattern Making Books



 

# Book Author Lists
(Titles Appear On 1 List Each)
22 All About Cotton Julie Parker Threads
23 All About Silk Julie Parker Threads
24 All About Wool Julie Parker Threads
25 Basic Pattern Skills for Fashion Design Bernard Zamkoff Goodreads
26 Basic Patternmaking in Fashion Lucia Mors Goodreads
27 Blueprints of Fashion
Fashion-Incubator
28 Bodymapping: The Step-By-Step Guide to Fitting Real Bodies Kathy Illian Burda Style
29 Bridal Couture Susan Khalje Threads
30 BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern Nora Abousteit Goodreads
31 Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide Claire Shaeffer Threads
32
Complete Guide to Size Specification and Technical Design: Spiral
Madalynne Intimates
33 Complete photo guide to perfect fitting Sarah Veblen
Sewingplums
34 Concepts of Pattern Grading:… Kathy K Mullet Alibris
35 Custom Pattern Making with PatternMaker Software: A Step-by-Step Manual for the Professional Studio With an Introduction to Macro Generator Jennifer K. Smith Goodreads
36 Designing Clothes with the… Sara Alm Alibris
37 Designing Patterns – A Fresh Approach to Pattern Cutting Hilary Campbell Goodreads
38 Draping and Pattern Making for Fashion Design Kamal Khurana Sanfoundry
39 Draping for Apparel Design Helen Joseph-Armstrong Alibris
40 Draping for Fashion Design Hilde Jaffe Goodreads
41 Dress Design Hillhouse & Mansfield
Fashion-Incubator
42 Dress Pattern Designing Natalie Bray Goodreads
43 Einfuhrung in die Schnittlehre Jaumann
Fashion-Incubator
44 Fabric, Form and Flat Pattern Cutting Aldrich
Fashion-Incubator
45 Finally It Fits; The No Scare Home Patternmaking System For Everyone, Every Size Ruth Amiel Goodreads
46 Fitting Finesse Nancy Zieman Alibris
47 Hartog Sew What Skirts Francesca Den
Sewingplums
48 Haute Couture Harold Koda and Richard Martin Threads
49 Ladies Garment Cutting and Making Morris
Fashion-Incubator
50 Little Green Dresses: 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts, and More Tina Sparkles Goodreads
51 Make Your Own Patterns: A Primer in Patternmaking for Those Who Like to Sew Adele P. Margolis Goodreads
52 Master Patterns And Grading For Women’s Outsizes Gerry Cooklin Goodreads
53
Metric pattern Cutting for Children’s Wear and Babywear
Melly Sews
54 Modern Pattern Design Pepin
Fashion-Incubator
55 More Dress Pattern Designing Bray
Fashion-Incubator
56 Pattern Cutting and Making Up Janet Martin Sanfoundry
57 Pattern Cutting made easy Gillian Holman
Sewingplums
58 Pattern Fitting with… Nancy Zieman Alibris
59
Pattern Grading Women’s Misses Garment Design Junior Petite Teen Sizes Rohr 1965
Madalynne Intimates
60 Pattern Magic 2 Tomoko Nakamichi Alibris
61 Pattern Magic 3 Tomoko Nakamichi Alibris
62 Pattern Magic: Stretch Fabrics Tomoko Nakamichi Alibris
63 Pattern Making: Instruction Paper (Classic Reprint) American School of Correspondence Sanfoundry
64 Patternmaking for Menswear
Sew Some Stuff
65 Patternmaking for Underwear Design Kristina Shin Goodreads
66 Patternmaking Made Easy Connie Amaden-Crawford Goodreads
67 Patternmaking: A Comprehensive Reference for Fashion Design Sylvia Rosen Goodreads
68 Patterns for Theatrical Costumes Melly Sews
69 Perfectly Fitted: Creating Personalized Patterns for a Limitless Wardrobe Lynne Garner Goodreads
70 Period Costume for Stage &… Jean Hunnisett Alibris
71 Practical Dress Design Erwin
Fashion-Incubator
72 Practical Pattern Making: A Step-by-Step Guide Isabel Sanchez Hernandez and Lucia Mors de Castro Sanfoundry
73 Principles of Flat Pattern… Nora M MacDonald Alibris
74
Professional Pattern Grading for Women’s, Men’s, and Children’s Apparel
Melly Sews
75 Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers
Megan Nielsen
76 Publish Your Patterns! How to Write, Print, and Market Your Designs Nancy Restuccia Goodreads
77 Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist Meg McElwee Burda Style
78 Sew What Fleece Jessop & Sekora
Sewingplums
79 Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics Francesca DenHartog Goodreads
80 Shirtmaking David Page Coffin Threads
81 Stretch Fashion: Design and Patternmaking for Stretch and Knit Fabrics Keith Richardson Goodreads
82 Tailoring Suits the Professional Way and Designing Men’s Poulin and Simon
Fashion-Incubator
83 The Art of Fashion Draping Connie Amaden-Crawford Alibris
84 The Art of Manipulating Fabric
Megan Nielsen
85 The Little Black Dress: How to Make the Perfect One for You Simon Henry Burda Style
86 The New Complete Guide to Sewing Melly Sews
87
The Pattern Making Primer: All You Need to Know About Designing, Adapting, and Customizing Sewing Patterns
Sew Some Stuff
88 The Perfect Fit
Madalynne Intimates
89
The Shirtmaking Workbook: Pattern, Design, and Construction Resources – More than 100 Pattern Downloads for Collars, Cuffs & Plackets
Sew Some Stuff
90 The Theory of Garment-Pattern Making – A Textbook for Clothing Designers, Teachers of Clothing Technology W H Hulme Sanfoundry
91 Vogue Sewing Editors of Vogue Knitting Threads
92 Young Men’s Overcoats Poulin and Simon
Fashion-Incubator


12 Best Patternmaking Book Sources/Lists



Source Article
Alibris Best Selling Dressmaking Pattern design Books
Burda Style 6 Essential Patternmaking Sewing Books For Your Library
Clothes Press Dressmaking for beginners – books and courses to help you learn how to sew
Fashion-Incubator My favorite pattern drafting books
Goodreads Popular Patternmaking Books
Madalynne Intimates DEAR MADDIE: PATTERN MAKING BOOKS + TOOLS
Megan Nielsen RECOMMENDED READING: ADVANCED SEWING & PATTERN DRAFTING
Melly Sews 5+ Great Books For Sewing and Patternmaking
Sanfoundry Best Reference Books – Advance Pattern Making
Sew Some Stuff Ultimate List of Online Sewing Pattern Making Classes & Books
Sewingplums Favourite books – pattern drafting and fit
Threads Top 10 Sewing Books

 

A.M. Anderson:
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