Sewing Book Reviews

Book Review: Draping the Complete Course by Karolyn Kiisel

This week we are reviewing the fantastic re-release of ‘Draping the complete course’ by Karolyn Kissel which it out on Monday. For anyone seriously interested in pattern cutting then this book is for you. If covers everything from creating basic blocks through to an evening gown and everything in between, check out the video for a more in depth review.

Having spent a good chunk of time absorbed in this book I can definitely say it’s best I’ve seen of it’s type. The book is split into three sections, the first covers the foundations of draping, draping skills for a classic fit and dresses. The second section moves onto skirts, blouses, trousers and jersey. The final section covers coats and jackets, bias cutting and evening wear.  For me the thing that really made the book stand out is that there are QR codes, which you use your phone to scan and these take you to a video that corresponds to the project you are working on. So you have the book for reference and then you get to see many of the projects draped on the stand via video. For those of us that like to learn visually this is especially helpful.

The layout of the book is clean simple and really easy to follow, each section starts with a bit of history on the topic and them moves onto each project. You get a line drawing of what you are making, a visual on how to prepare your muslin, and then you start draping and adding your makings to your toile. From this toile you then cut your paper pattern.

Having gone to fashion school myself I think this book covers pretty much everything I was taught over my four years and I would have loved to have this a reference. Looking at this from a hobby dressmaking angle, I’m sure there are a few of you thinking it might be a bit too full on for you and why would you need it? As we progress in our making journey, we learn about shapes that suit us and most of us have a few standard tweaks that we make to the patterns to fit our body type. This book will help you understand how to change your tried and tested patterns, adding a new type of sleeve or adding a flounce for example.

It really us the ultimate reference book for draping on the stand. This is how I was taught to cut patterns and I’m sure that anyone who is interested will love this book. I will mention that the book is on the pricey side at £50 but having been through it I think it well deserves this price tag. You can pick up a copy of the book on Monday. Enjoy!

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