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Customer Review

71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly 'complete', 10 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting (Paperback)
This book certainly has a lot of photos, and plenty of pictures of good/poor fitting. The author does have a very particular style though - make muslins over and over again (she says she averages 3-5 per garment) until you get a good fit! I don't know about other home sewers, but this certainly isn't practical for me - I wanted a reference that explained how to get it right the first time, and this book doesn't cover that.

I was also disappointed that a number of subjects I would have expected in a 'complete' guide were entirely missing:
- Tips for making adjustments to already existing garments
- Any kind of fabric-related considerations (bias cut garments, stretch, etc), and how to modify patterns to suit fabrics they were not originally intended for
- Male clothing of any kind (despite several of the acknowledgements being for male sewers)
- Pointers for fitting yourself beyond 'ask a friend' (the book focuses almost exclusively on fitting 'customers')
- Using interfacing/boning/padding to add structure/definition (the only structural item mentioned was shoulder pads - lots of)
- Photos of finished garments showing the effect of particular decisions/recommendations (though there were line-drawings)
- Fitting considerations related to fastenings (zips, buttons, clasps)
- Drawing up patterns from a garment that you know fits well
- The explanation of the relationship between a muslin and a flat pattern could have done with more explaining than 'if you mark it up carefully, it works'

Instead, the book is structured in the form of a basic introductory section, followed by a number of 'case studies' where all of the steps and adjustments for fitting a particular garment to a particular body type are described. Credit - she does use 'real women' as models, complete with sloping shoulders, slouches, and not insignificant bellies. I would say the book might be useful for someone who finds it difficult to figure out why a garment pulls or has excess fabric in a given place. Personally though, I found the book was excessively based on a trial-and-error philosophy, and not enough on maths and materials.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Aug 2014 10:59:16 BDT
Joan says:
Thank you for your feedback.
No point buying a book based on trial-and-error, we can do
that our selves without a book.
I am looking for solid guidance, as you clearly said: "maths and material".

Posted on 9 Feb 2015 12:34:39 GMT
Jan H says:
Incomplete is a more suitable title. Agree with this review 100%

Posted on 12 May 2015 13:12:29 BDT
While I do agree 100% with your review, i keep this book so that I can show the pics of the 'case studies' to friends who don't know how or why something doesn't fit properly, so I can give them an idea whether or not it's alterable

If ever a book is published which offers a workable system for fitting *oneself* though, I will buy it like a shot, even if it's incomplete. 'Get a friend to help' does not do it for me.

Posted on 11 Aug 2015 16:45:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Aug 2015 23:09:45 BDT
Tech Gurl says:
So why has this book got so many good reviews?

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Aug 2015 21:08:28 BDT
Different people have different requirements, standards and expectations. In addition, not many people nowadays can recognise the difference between 'good fit' and 'good-enough fit'; we are inured to bad fit and so-so fit due to the cost-cutting practices of fast fashion and the plethora of stretch fabrics which enables f/f retailers to get away with all sorts of fitting horrors.
Anna, the writer of this review, clearly has high standards and expectations. She is also dead right - it is indeed incomplete by any standard as it doesn't even touch on the fitting problems of more than 50% of the population.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Aug 2015 23:09:22 BDT
Tech Gurl says:
Thanks Lizzie, fair points
What if you are new to pattern adjustment. Is this book a reasonable starting point? My only other alternative is the Palmer Pletsch book Fit for Real People: Sew Great Clothes Using Any Pattern

The complaint against that book is if you dont have someone to help fit you you are stuck. Would love to hear any opinions Thank you

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Aug 2015 14:10:01 BDT
Why not join one of the many excellent sewing forums which offer a great deal of help and advice eg or

Here is really not an appropriate place for sewing and fitting discussions, it's for book reviews.

I wish you luck on your sewing journey.
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