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Fashion Patternmaking Techniques [vol. 2] by Antonio Donnano, How to make Shirts, Undergarments, Dresses and Suits, Waistcoats and Jackets for Woman and Men

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Another inspirational book by Antonio Donnanno

This is the second book from the series Fashion Patternmaking Techniques by Antonio Donnanno. I have to say, that it is as stunning as the first publication (click here to read my review). There is a small overlap with volume one, which makes the transition between the two books quite smooth. 

You will learn to construct a basic bodice, sleeve, T-shirt and dress sloper. And as the title suggests, the creation of shirts, undergarments, dresses, suits, waistcoats and jackets.

Again, as in the previous volume, the majority of the content is dedicated mainly to women’s fashion. Only about 30 pages of a total of 255 are committed to men’s design. Men’s jackets and suits, to be more specific. Nonetheless, if you are interested in women’s garments, this book is great pick.

Use this book, if you are already familiar with basic pattern manipulation techniques.

The style of the book is consistent with the previous publication. By that, I mean plain instructions with images. You won’t find wordy and lengthy descriptions in it. Nearly all of the patterns have a very brief description how a specific design can be achieved. Some of the designs are explained with just a pattern and a few labels.

Before you start making the patterns

Before you get straight into constructing a design that you fancy, check that you are familiar with alternations like shifting, closing and opening darts. Further slashing, spreading patterns and smoothing out curves and edges of the adjusted pattern pieces. After all, these are the fundamental steps you run into in any patternmaking book.

The author expects you to be well-acquainted with all of the techniques mentioned above and steps in which these modifications should be completed. We all know that one image is worth a thousand words, however, you have to be at least an intermediate sewist to understand them properly.

There are a lot of examples based on the technique of slashing and spreading pattern pieces.

To make pattern drafting easier for myself (and anyone else interested in pattern making and altering) I have created calculators that will help gain specific pattern dimensions based on your (or anyone else’s 🙂 body measurements.

Inspirational and unusual dress patterns

I particularly like the chapter dedicated to women’s dresses. I find some of them quite extravagant and unusual, even costume-like. From my point of view, they are an amazing way of showing the reader all the possibilities of playing with a pattern. You do not necessarily have to make the patterns exactly as they are in the book. You may take one particular part that catches your eye and make your very own unusual look. Even I myself would probably not sew some of them, however, they are still a great demonstration of astonishing fashion ideas. And I often like to browse through the book for inspiration. 

The Fashion Patternmaking Techniques [vol. 2] is full of elaborate and uncommon fashion design ideas.

In the photos below you can see a few of the garments based on the patterns in the book. Some of them apparently as work in progress :).

In the chapter about sleeve design, you will find construction instructions for drafting basic, kimono and raglan sleeves. These are accompanied by both elegant and sophisticated variations, which are achieved by dividing the sleeve, adding gathers, pleats or even a yoke. I hope I will find some time and sew some of them and show them to you.

Event the chapter about lingerie is quite diverse and captivating. You will come cross basic T-shirt block construction instructions with different sleeve types. Further bodysuits, bra, panties, swimsuits and slips. A you can see, there is quite a lot to learn.


If you are interested in women’s fashion and would like to take your pattern drafting knowledge to the next level, this book is worth having in your collection. Browsing through 180 fascinating fashion designs is surely a time well spent.

You can also test your patternmaking skills by completing about a dozen of creative exercises. Sometimes you won’t get the desired look on the first attempt, however, every time you will improve your artistic capabilities.

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