Monthly Archives: May 2013

Book Review: “How To Make Sewing Patterns”, by Donald H. McCunn


Update 2016-08-28: The author, Don McCunn, has let me know there’s a new link to the author’s updates page; I’ve updated the link below to reflect that.  Also, there is a second edition of the book now available, and the author provides a list of what is new in the second edition.

Update 2016-11-06: Please see my review for the second edition.

I discovered this book after posting to the “Men Who Sew” forum at Frustrated by modern men’s patterns that fit like parachutes and tents, I asked for good books about pattern fitting aimed at men.

Previously, I had checked out Fit for Real People (FFRP) from the library. This book is frequently mentioned as the “gold standard” on fitting by many sewists, but I found it didn’t speak to me at all. 85 pages into the book, I realized FFRP hadn’t presented one thing that was useful to me, as a man of fairly average build who wanted to alter patterns to fit.

While many fit issues and principles are the same between men and women, FFRP was very far away from me on the fit continuum – mostly aimed at issues faced by plus-size, often busty women. That’s good and important. But it was too much effort to try to put that discussion through a mental filter to glean the ideas and principles that are meaningful to me, while trying to digest the material at the same time.

And so I was looking for a book that treats men on an equal basis with women. How to Make Sewing Patterns was one of the recommendations. Continue reading

McCall’s 6044 Sleeve Adjustment

The Springtime Seersucker Shirt project continues.

If you recall, last time I made a muslin of McCall’s 6044 in the Medium version, and determined I needed to take some fabric out of the short sleeve because it was a bit too large.

Today I modified the pattern. The alteration doesn’t change the size of the armscye on either the bodice or the sleeve, which is good; it merely takes in the seam on the sleeve.

Before we get started, I just wanted to remind everyone that this blog is a notebook of my adventures learning various sewing techniques.  You might have a better approach than the one I’m taking here; if so, I’d appreciate it if you let us know, either privately or in the comments.

I started by using the Fashion Design Ruler to trace out a curve on the fabric. It matches the line established by the pins used to take out the offending fabric. (Click/tap on photos for larger versions).


IMG_1128 Continue reading

Sewing with Seersucker

For my springtime shirt made with McCall’s 6044, I’m using some pink seersucker fabric I picked up at Joann Fabrics, during one of their many sales.


This fabric is challenging to me in two ways:

  • It’s a plaid, so it will require careful matching to get everything to line up nicely
  • It’s seersucker, which presents challenges in cutting, interfacing and pressing.

This is my first time sewing with seersucker, so I consulted the Great Google for advice.  Here’s a summary of what I found: Continue reading