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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BB Hardback With fold-out sheets of pattern templates
  • Publication: 30 June 2023
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782218913
  • Stock: Not Yet Published
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 500
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: £19.99

Dressmaking: The Easy Guide


Mix and match skirts, sleeves and necklines for over 80 stylish variations by Helen Rhiannon

Book Description

Create bespoke garments that fit and flatter!

In this comprehensive, informative book, Helen explains how to create beautiful, customised dresses for every shape and size. Choose the exact size that fits and flatters you from a bespoke sizing chart that takes into account differences in body size across bust, waist and hips. 

Trace off your pattern pieces, then create a sample (toile) in calico which you can then adapt to create the dress of your dreams, in your own choice of fabulous fabric. 

There are four style options each for sleeves and necklines, including a flared sleeve, a capped sleeve, a sweetheart neckline or a boatneck; and five skirt options, including a fitted pencil-style skirt, a zhuzhy circle skirt, and an A-Line, with or without pleats. 

You can also choose to add a sweet, classic Peter Pan collar, or inseam pockets, to your garment.

Alternatively, you can even create a skirt as a separate, simply by adding a waistband or facing.

The language of sewing and dressmaking is demystified at the beginning of the book, as well as the equipment you need to get started.

Nothing is left unexplained; and stunning images of the finished dresses, on a mannequin and on a model, are interspersed throughout the book to inspire your own finished pieces.

Table of Contents

Introduction  6

Tools  10

Your sewing machine  14

Sewing know-how  18

Fabrics  24

Sewing language  32



  1. Sizing 40
  2. Pattern cutting 48
  3. Adjusting your blocks 52
  4. Making your sample 60
  5. Altering your sample 74


  1. Adapting the pattern 92

- Necklines  92

- Sleeves  104

- Skirts  122

- Drafting a collar  136

- Drafting pockets  139

  1. Finishing your dress 142

- Constructing your garment  142

- Zip closures  146

  1. Separates 154

- Tops  154

- Skirts: adding a waistband or facing  156

  1. Taking it further 159

 Index  160

About the Author

About Helen Rhiannon

As a fully qualified teacher and lecturer, Helen Rhiannon set up the All Sewn Up sewing workshops in October 2010, designed to help people learn and develop new skills, and to be creative. She runs sewing workshops regularly, teaching people how to make items such as bags, cushions, toys and garments. Her expert tuition has attracted students from as far afield as Spain and Saudi Arabia. For more information on Helen’s work, visit www.allsewnupwales.co.uk where you can also find a wide range of tutorials and Helen’s YouTube channel.

Helen is also an award-winning fashion designer specializing in bespoke wedding dresses. She creates beautiful, timeless, handmade gowns from her home in Swansea, Wales. Helen has gained a solid reputation for her superlative dressmaking skills and her bespoke bridal wear website can be viewed here: www.helenrhiannon.com

Helen's first book for Search Press, Sew Perfect Pets, has sold almost 9,500 copies to date.

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