Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Review: Jackets For Real People

Of the Fit For Real People Series, this is the most difficult of the three books.  Perhaps rightfully so because a tailored jacket is a much a much more difficult garment. However, this book works hard to make the process more understandable. Early on, the book devotes a few pages to defining tailoring. Now, you know what you're in for! To increase your chances of success, the book suggests you divide the process of making a jacket into four blocks of time:

  • Planning and Fitting
  • Cutting Marking, Applying Interfacing and Pinning the Pieces into a ready-to-fit position
  • Sewing and Pressing
  • Finishing
The fabrics chapter is very informative. It's a fabric glossary with suggestions as to which fabrics are easiest and those that are not the fastest to sew. The section on appropriate seam finishes was helpful.

Chapter 4 is all about shaping fabrics. It defines lining, interfacing, underlining and interlining. It's mostly devoted to the discussion of interfacing. Surprise! There's a recommendation to use Perfect Fuse interfacing. 

Chapter 6 covers pressing. The fitting discussion starts happening in Chapter 7. The real how-to begins in Chapter 9, Cutting Marking and Interfacing.

The next few chapters break down fitting and construction according to the various pieces of the garment:
  • Jacket Front
  • Back and Under Collar
  • Sleeves, Shoulder Pads and Chest Shaping
  • Facing, Upper Collar, Lining and Hems
  • Bagging a Lining
  • Buttonholes
  • More Pockets
  • Mitered Back Vent
  • Finishing Touches

The remaining chapters are:
  • Tips That Will Improve All of Your Sewing
  • Plaids and Stripes
  • Men's Jackets
This book would be an excellent addition to any sewing library. It provides a wealth of information. There's an in-depth knowledge here that you won't get from the tailoring chapter in a general-reference sewing book. I'm glad I made the purchase.

1 comment:

Faye Lewis said...

I've been studying the first book (fit for real people) off and on for about two weeks to help me fit my Lady Grey coat. I've had the book for almost two years now I think, but have never really read it in detail. It is really helping me out. I ordered the Jacket fitting book last weekend and it arrived in the mail today. I just breezed through it. I'm sure I'll be picking up some useful tips from it as well. The Pant's for real people book also came in today.

I am having a little difficulty with the books because the index is not really set up as those of most books. It's a little hard finding exactly what I'm looking for sometimes, so I've starting using postit's with little notes on them.