There are some books you come across in Fashion that make you think, just, wow. When you find them, they answer all your questions at once. Yes, even the ones you didn’t know you had. And you feel like you’ve just hit treasure island. Not only are they instantly amazing but they continue to be a cherished resource for many years after their discovery.
Those books that inspire you so much that, you dream of a time in your career where you will have the opportunity to create such a valuable resource of its kind. One that could stand alongside it and be as valuable.
You may be quietly reading this and following along. I, on the other hand, am writing this in slight inner-turmoil thinking. But Armstrong, my mind keeps repeating. Armstrong is my go-to phrase to refer to my copy of Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph-Armstrong. And I have to do it. I have to mention it. Because otherwise I will feel like I am doing Armstrong a disservice. And that would not sit right in my heart.
Although The Art of Manipulating Fabric is an invaluable resource on fabric manipulation, Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Armstrong is that in patternmaking. And if the category of Patternmaking was up and running and visible to you guys under the Fashion tab then this is the book that we would be celebrating. And although that time has not come yet, I can’t just ignore what’s happening inside. Not only is Patternmaking for Fashion Design, the best patternmaking book but it is my most favourite and cherished and used fashion book. Not only does it have a million coloured sticky notes to mark certain pages but it is falling apart at the seams. Ha! That’s funny.
So with that out of my system…
The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff is the only complete resource on the topic of fabric manipulation that I know of. And to be quite frank, I think it’s the only one of its kind that exists. Any which way you can think of to manipulate fabric, it has it.
Gathering Shirring Ruffles Flounces Godets Pleating Smocking Tucking Cording Quilting Stuffing Darts
Although you could spend hours and hours wondering through the pictures with its the extensive range of examples, the written content is actually insanely useful. For each type of fabric manipulation technique she explains what it is, the different methods that exist to achieve it, and variations of the base technique. It then goes on to show the amazing variety of effects and ways you can manipulate the fabric to achieve different designs.
Her approach and explanation of the area of fabric manipulation is quite methodical and instructional. Each part is well categorised and logical. It’s what I would consider to be well compartmentalised. If you need structure to understand things then she has definitely taken care of you. So if you are in charge of patternmaking and sewing, then you will definitely value this. It’s one thing to design something but to translate it to a pattern and sew it, is a whole another story.