Review: Pattern Cutting Books

Hi lovely friends! I am here again and this time I’ve written a post about my favourite pattern cutting books. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about creating your own sewing patterns and blocks to make your own clothes, but it is a very interesting and different approach to sewing.

I attended a pattern cutting course at the London College of Fashion last year where I had the opportunity to learn the basics of garment construction plus which books could easily help you create your own blocks based on your measurements.

So here are some of my fav and I think some of the best!

Pattern cutting books post Coco Wawa Crafts

1. Design Patterns. A fresh approach to pattern cutting by Hillary Campbell. Although this book was first printed in the 80s it is still relevant and it is the perfect book for a “beginner” in pattern cutting as it is full of diagrams that explains everything in a more visual way, from how to move darts to how take measurements or create a certain style for a pattern (i.e. a circle skirt or a raglan sleeve). The “only” con I would say it has is that it doesn’t explain why you have to for example close a dart in order to give more flare to a design. It just shows you how to do it, but in a very clear and easy-to-follow way.

Pattern cutting books post Coco Wawa Crafts Hillary Campbell

Take a look inside…

Pattern cutting books post Coco Wawa Crafts Hillary Campbell inside

2. Pattern Cutting by Dennic Chunman Lo. This book was one of the first I bought and it is one of my favourites by far. Dennic is a pattern cutting teacher at the London College of Fashion and also a designer. What I like the most about this one is the fact that it actually explains what pattern cutting is about, why you do something when you do it, so it is perfect for those who hasn’t done any previous course. It is also packed with helpful diagrams, instructions, step-by-step exercises and a last more modern approach to design with some out of the box creations at the back of the book.

Pattern cutting books post Coco Wawa Crafts Dennic Chunman

In this video Dennic himself explains what you can find in the book…

And here you can see one of the first pages where he selects the main tools any pattern cutter needs at home…

Pattern cutting books post Coco Wawa Crafts Dennic Chunman inside

3. Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear by Winifred Aldrich. THE book, the one people into pattern cutting always talk about, the one you’ve got to have. So, I like it, it explains how to create blocks and patterns for almost everything, from shorts to blouses to pleated skirts to outwear. But as the first book (the Hilary one is much easier to follow) it doesn’t explain why, it mainly guides you through the process of creating a pattern or modifying a block so if you’ve got no clue about it, better go for the Dennic one. If you already know the basics, this one would prove useful.

Pattern cutting books post Coco Wawa Crafts Winnifred Aldrich women

And inside…

Pattern cutting books post Coco Wawa Crafts Winnifred Aldrich women inside

4. Metric Pattern Cutting for Children’s wear and Baby’s wear by Winifred Aldrich. Exactly like the previous one, good for someone who knows what pattern cutting is about and great to create a whole range of clothes for children and babies.

Pattern cutting books post Coco Wawa Crafts Winnifred Aldrich kids

The con? These super creepy drawings!! Don’t you think guys? Hahaha.

Pattern cutting books post Coco Wawa Crafts Winnifred Aldrich kids inside

Well guys. Hope you liked this post. I didn’t want to make it tiresome by going into a lot of detail but giving you the most important bits so that you can now choose the most appropriate pattern cutting book for you. Just remember that pattern cutting is like a sort of architecture (now it sounds super difficult!) but it is a good way of thinking about it 🙂

You can write any question you have on the box below.

See you again next week!



11 replies on “Review: Pattern Cutting Books

  • nurul from malaysia

    hi, i wanna ask something about winifred aldrich ( the jersey block formula for babies)

    i am trying to make the block, but dont understand why there is a bracket?

    eg : 1/4 chest + 3cm (5cm)

    so i have to plus 3cm or 5cm?

    pleaseeee help meeee.

    • Avallsgo

      Hi! I am really sorry, but I didn’t use the book to draft my patterns 🙁 I am sure you will find a tutorial online somewhere. I can just think that maybe it is regarding the sizes? Adding 3 cm for a specific size and 5 for another?

  • Angela

    Can you advise me which book to go for out of Dennic Chunman Lo & the latest edition of Winifred Aldrich please?? I’m a Garment Technologist in training.
    Thank you 🙂

      • Angela

        Ah brilliant, thank you!
        I need it mainly to make Pattern Amendments – what to do to correct a Garment & to understand why I would make the amendments.
        Thank you for your reply 🙂

  • Shakti

    Thank you Ana!
    I am looking at buying my first pattern cutting book and your reviews were very helpful,
    I am going to go for the Dennic Chunman Lo one, seems to fit better with what I need

  • Regina

    Hi Ana! So, at the London College of Fashion, were they using the Dennic text only? Thank you for your post. It’s so hard to know where to invest. Also, merging the specificity and attention to detail of the old approach with the wonderful technology of today in one book would be my dream! So thank you for your contribution 🙂

  • Jo Taylor

    Hi Ana

    I was watching your vlog and noticed you have the pattern cutting book by Helen Armstrong. I have been eyeing that one up for a while and was wondering what you think of that one


    Ps. Great vlog. I subscribed before I finished watching

    • CocoWawaCrafts

      Hi Jo! I am really glad you liked it 🙂 and thanks for subscribing!! About the book, I actually got it on Ebay and it is second hand although it looks like new! Check the ones they have there and I am sure you will find one for a good price 🙂

  • Hila @saturdaynightstitch

    Great informative post. I have Aldrich womens book but find it old fashioned and many annoying things in the latest edition like diagrams on a page before the instructions. Campbell is new to me. I am fascinated by Dennic book though. I like that it has pictures of actual garments and will definitely be checking it out.

    Another excellent modern drafting book is Building Patterns: the Architecture of Womens Clothing by Suzy Furrer. I have it and its got so many modern styles and very well written. It explains rules and reasons for things like dart manipulation and necklines. Its a pricey book but well worth it IMO.

    • CocoWawaCrafts

      Hi Hila! I am glad you liked the post 🙂 About the Aldrich book, yes… I think it is quite complete but it does look a bit old-fashioned. Regarding Dennic, he is veeeery good. Worth taking a look!

      I didn’t know about the one you say, will see what is about. Looks interesting!! 🙂

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