recommended reading: advanced sewing & pattern drafting

I’m so happy you all enjoyed my last post on beginner sewing books. I hope that if you’re just beginning to sew, or thinking about starting, that you found something to help you!

As promised,  I’ve compiled a list of intermediate/more advanced sewing books and books on pattern drafting together with my friend Casey, that I think you will find really helpful if you already know how to sew and are looking for more challenges, to up your skill or want to delve into more complex techniques.

Get it here:: Couture Sewing Techniques

Get it here:: High Fashion Sewing Secrets from the World’s Best Designers

Get it here:: The Art of Manipulating Fabric


Get it here:: Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers


Get it here:: Fit for Real People

Once you get really serious, you may want to learn how to draft your own patterns. In my opinion, this is where things get really exciting!

Get it here:: Patternmaking for Fashion Design

Get it here:: How to Make Sewing Patterns

Get it here:: Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear

Get it here:: How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns

Get it here:: Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit


Becoming a Designer series by Megan Nielsen

I really hope you’ve been enjoying my Becoming a Designer series!! Check out the rest of the posts so far here – and lasts weeks list of recommended beginner sewing books!

Also, thank you so much to Casey for helping me write this article – please make sure you visit her over at her amazing blog Elegant Musings!  XOXO

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  1. says

    Thank you again, Megan, for asking me to add my two cents in this series!!! :) I loved reading about your favorite books; of course now my Amazon wishlist is bulging… haha! (Good thing Christmas is less than 6 months away, right? rofl.)

  2. says

    What a great selection!
    another great book for pattern drafting is Cal Patch Design it Yourself Colthes, really helpful…

    I was wondering if you could write about the grading process on your line, how you determine the sizes, how was that process when you started your line..

    Love your blog!

  3. says

    Thanks Meg, this has been very informative. You have listed some great books here of which I own several and couldn’t agree more. I think I’ll have to go check out some of the pattern drafting ones.

  4. says

    Hi Megan
    great blog and awesome compilation of interesting books!
    Maybe you would like to know that the pattern system M.Mueller & Son from Germany has published one of their renowned pattern drafting books in English language. It is available on my website

    Thanks, Sabine

  5. says

    Hi Megan, just wanted to thank you (and the inestimable Casey) for this list, if I haven’t already! I’ve made good use of my library. I’m working through Claire Shaeffer and McCunn right now and hope to get Pattern Drafting for Fashion Design through ILL soon! It’s given me a huge confidence boost– it’ll be hard work, but I’m starting to believe that pattern drafting isn’t magic. It’s a skill I can learn.

    Thank you again and again!

  6. diya says

    Hi Megan nice to see this post.. very informative ..
    i stitch a lot from patterns and from existing dresses.
    I wanted to kick start of drafting patterns.the book ‘Pattern drafting for Fashion design’ , does it require a tutor to understand it? Does it help to draft patterns from scratch, like from taking body measurements and drafting the basic blocks ?

    Also among Pattern drafting for fashopn design and ‘How to make sewing patterns’ which one do you think would suit a beginner to draft from body measurements best ?

  7. meri says

    hey Megan
    I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m loving it by the way
    And I think this is a very intersting topic and I’m happy that I came acroos it, Actually I’m somewhat beginner but not that beginner to sewing and I’ve some of the books listed above but I don’t know how to use them because I get overwhelmed and distracted and i keep jumping between them so do you have some advice for me to begin a sturdy learning process because I kept postponing it for so long.

  8. says

    Hi Megan,

    I like you have a background in business but am a creative at heart. I’m attending my first sewing class tomorrow and while I was researching sewing machines and books, I came across your blog. My question for you is concerning pattern making. Do you draw your patterns out or do you use a software program like Pattern Maker? That program is quite pricey and I’m curious about how you design your patterns. Thanks in advance for your response!

    • MegMeg says

      Hi Keizra! I hope your sewing class goes well!

      To answer your question – i draft most of my patterns by hand, then they are digitized and graded on the computer. The program i use for grading was developed by my husband and myself for inhouse use. I have tried using pattern making software in the past, but to be honest i didn’t enjoy the process. I much prefer doing it by hand

      If you’re interested in learning to pattern grade – i’d highly recommend Pattern Making for Fashion Design – it’s really awesome, and i still refer back to it when i’m making something a little weird or unusual :)

      I hope that helps a bit!


  9. says

    Thanks Megan! We learned about sewing in a straight line-it was pretty exciting! :) I’ve been practicing on my own because on Sunday we’ll actually make something! Thanks for the information on pattern making. I will definitely look into that book! Take care!