Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing Paperback – 20 May 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
Whilst it focuses on shirts a lot of the techniques apply to everything you make. It covers why a shirt looks right when you wear it, how to make a shirt fit you the way you want, and changes to the basic shirt design that will allow you to make a truly unique garment. At the back of the book there is a reference section of posible design details.
Whilst I haven't made a shirt for a few months I refer to this book often for techniques and information on how to use pieces of sewing equipment better. I got so much more from this book that I could have expected.
I really wanted something that would help me draft my own block so that I could tailor shirts to my own fit, but there is no such information. Instead, the reader is invited to trace around a shirt he likes the fit of, and use that as a pattern.
There is, however, a lot of information on collars... a LOT of information. So much that I really feel the book should be called "Collar Making"!
As others have said, there is a dearth of photos which add to the disappointment.
The book is somewhat American, and David Page Coffin is very opinionated. He talks at length about what the ideal dress shirt should look like, yet only makes a cursory mention of the European placket (aka French Placket) on page 22, and there is no real discussion of how to make one. Be aware that what is referred to as muslin is likely to be calico in the UK/Europe.
If you are interested in making your own shirts, including drafting a pattern unique to your shape, don't waste your money on this book. Just download the free pdf tutorials from Burda Style (do a google search for "burda style mens shirt block" and "burda style mens collar block".)
I had struggled with commercial patterns for several months as a beginning sewer. They are pretty useless, IMHO.Fixing collars and arms onto the tunic seemed impossible.
David Coffin makes it a lot simpler. His techniques are straightforward. That doesn't mean I didn't scratch my head a few times before things sank in. But I succeeded the other day in sewing my first really successful collar.
My advice is to start with the dvd. When you've digested that, go to the book to fill in the detail.
It's a great shame, but this isn't the book it could have been. There's too much fluff about different styles and shapes of collar, etc, and not enough on basic sewing techniques. I had high hopes for this book after reading the introduction, but the further you get into it the worse it gets. The final chapters are just a pure annoyance.
Both publisher and author would do well to look at "Vintage Couture Tailoring" by Thomas von Nordheim. That is an exemplary "how to" instruction manual about tailoring techniques. Clear photographs, helpful descriptions and warnings. Minimal fluff about fashion. If only Coffin's book were half as good.
I'm still looking for a good book on shirt making.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought as a present for my Dad, he has used this book very successfully to learn how make shirts and has multiple shirts that he has spent a long time making and now wears with... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Emma Brown
Great book. Some good tips on shirt making and choosing the right fabric and equipment.Published 16 months ago by Doglatin
I bought this book to learn how to make a professional looking shirt for my son who has difficulty finding shirts to fit him in the body when he has a big neck. Read morePublished on 13 April 2014 by Susan Milford
Had already got the DVD so I bought this book to complete the package. Gave the book a four star rating because it's written as though you're new to sewing, which I like. Read morePublished on 1 Mar. 2014 by lindylou
This was helpful in understanding most parts of shirt make-up. It is a good reference book for a student and anyone who is making shirts for the first time.Published on 26 Feb. 2014 by Buzz Read