Tips & Advice / Tips & Tutorials

Recommended Reading: Advanced Sewing and 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

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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13 years ago

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.)

Trudy Callan
13 years ago

Great selection of books, Ladies. Thank you so much.

13 years ago

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!

13 years ago

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.

Sabine David
12 years ago

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

Rachel W.
12 years ago

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!


[…] in case, two resource lists I want to keep on hand: Recommended Reading for Beginner Sewing and Recommended Reading for Advanced Sewing & Pattern-Making In short, Grant realizes he wants a smart lady who’ll always challenge him. Give me this premise […]

12 years ago

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 ?

11 years ago

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.

Keizra @ luxestreetllc
11 years ago

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!

Keizra @ luxestreetllc
11 years ago

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!