99% of orders dispatched within 24hrs, delivery times may vary.

Please note our warehouse and customer service department will be closed from Monday 29th June until Monday 6th July 2020.

During this time we will not be able to process any orders. To ensure you receive your books before we close please send in your order no later than Thursday 25th June.

Adding item to the basket

× Item added

This item has been added to your basket.

Proceed to checkout
US Flag Australian Flag
Search the site...

Look inside Click here for extra content on Bookmarked Hub
  • 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
Download jacket image

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, customized 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 garment, 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

Helen Rhiannon is an award-winning designer specializing in bespoke wedding dresses.

Helen was fortunate to grow up by the picturesque coastline of Gower in Swansea, Wales, where she still lives. She creates beautiful, timeless, handmade gowns from her studio. Helen has gained a solid reputation for her superlative dressmaking skills which has led her to naturally share her knowledge and passion through teaching.

As a fully qualified teacher and lecturer, Helen Rhiannon set up the ‘All Sewn Up Wales’ sewing workshops in 2010, designed to help people learn and develop new skills, whilst meeting like minded creative people.  She runs sewing workshops regularly, teaching people how to make items such as bags, toys and naturally garments. Helen enjoys being able to inspire others from aged 6 to 106!

Her expert tuition has attracted students from around the world and she regularly makes guest appearances on national television.

For more information on Helen’s work, visit www.allsewnupwales.co.uk where you can also find an extensive online sewing shop, a wide range of tutorials and Helen’s YouTube channel.

Her bespoke bridal wear website can be viewed here: www.helenrhiannon.com

Follow Helen on her social media channels: www.facebook.com/AllSewnUpWales and www.instagram.com/all_sewn_up_wales/

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

Pre-order Printer friendly version

Customers who bought Dressmaking: The Easy Guide, also bought...

All-New Twenty to Make: Sewing with Scraps

All-New Twenty to Make: Sewing with Scraps

By Debbie von Grabler-Crozier

Sew Maddie

Sew Maddie

By Debbie Shore

Half Yard Winter Collection

Half Yard Winter Collection

By Debbie Shore

Also by this author:

This site uses cookies, if you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies. Click here to learn how to change your cookie settings.