7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahon’s Latest Book

I really love Joi Mahon’s books and videos and her fresh take on sewing. She takes difficult concepts and breaks them down in to manageable sizes. Sewing as we all know is easy. Making things fit? Like trying to sculpt wood with a plastic knife.

Joi has a new book out, Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop, is it as fantastic as Create the Perfect Fit? Let’s find out, chapter by chapter.U9383FP 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

T6854 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest BookChapter 1: Design and Inspiration

Joi discusses her unique designs style and skills. She offers plenty of tips and tells the reader how she has developed her style, how you can use storyboards in your sewing, how to cultivate inspiration in even the most mundane items and activities. She also talks about design elements, how to use them, color theory and more. Through out this chapter you can do assignments and activities to help reinforce a technique or idea.



Chapter 2: Fashion Sketching

By far my worst subject. I cannot draw my way out of paper bag. As I review this chapter I enjoy how she makes drawing and sketching seem doable for myself.  haven’t had time to do the activities in this chapter. However, she starts our slow with the first exercise all about practicing the basics. Perfect for someone like me. Don’t worry. For those that are more advanced you’ll be doing rendering, and making croquis.

joi sketch 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest BookChapter 3: Patternmaking by Flat Pattern.

This chapter is all about taking an idea in your head and putting them to paper. That is, learning how to make your own patterns. I cannot tell you how fun it is to start making your own sewing patterns. Once you learn how to do this you’ll never be the same. Joi has a lot of great information on pattern drafting, flat pattern, making your own pattern board, using slopers and making a fit sample. This book would be a great companion piece to video instruction. Just remember; you can’t learn patternmaking in a day. It does take practice.

Chapter 4: Draping, Drafting & Computer-generated Patterning.

See how we’re increasingly getting more advanced in our sewing? Draping is something that I have seen talented designers do, and it’s amazing to see in action. This is something I’d really like to learn. In Chapter 4 Joi goes step-by-step through the process of draping and with draping exercises as well. Again, this would be an excellent companion piece to video instruction. And, goes without saying: practice, practice, practice.

If you’ve been sewing for awhile, you might have noticed how difficult sleeves can be. Drafting sleeves is one of the harder areas to draft correctly. Notice how pattern companies put in a ton of ease into the sleeve? Not necessary at all (in most cases). Joi says that even a “novice patternmaker can master” sleeves. A wee bit skeptical but I am totally game for trying!

joi red blouse 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

Chapter 5: Designing for the Real Body

Pattern makers have a standard, they have to adhere to. And, one can argue that the standard is unrealistic or needs to be updated. But, no two bodies are going to be a like, so it’s helpful to view patterns simply as a guide. You are the master and can make it fit your body with proper alterations. This chapter is how to take accurate measurements, how to measure yourself and pattern. Plus, find out how to adjust a pattern and why you should sew a fit sample. Also included tips through out. Bonus: fitting and sewing for kids.

joi half scale 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

Chapter 6: Joi’s Sewing Workshop

This chapter is great for beginners or those new to sewing. It offers sewing machine know-how, fabric tips, what tools you should have and information on interfacing. Plus, activities and exercises good for all levels.jois blouse sketch 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

Chapter 7: Design Process: Start To Finish

Short chapter, filled with photos of the process from start to finish.


This has a catalog of garment styles that will give you ideas and you begin to make your own patterns, croquis,  plus a lengthy Resource List.

That is it in a nutshell. There is only one thing I would have like to have seen, spiral bound.

Thank you for reading! If you would like more reviews, or what you would like to see in a review, please let me know in the comments section and you’ll be entered to win 2 of Joi Mahon’s books!

All images courtesy of Fons & Porter and Joi Mahon.

signautre 200 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book


 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
This entry was posted in Fashion, Tips & Techniques and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahon’s Latest Book

  1. Sharon Collins says:

    Great review. I would like to see a review on Boundless Style. I enjoy reading current books & the older books from the 20th Century. The older books have great tips. I am always wanting to learn more. I also like to help people with sewing questions or problems. I’m with you on the spiral binding. I can bind my own books now, but with the cost of books now, it would be nice to have the spiral binding. I have been known to rip the book apart & put in a notebook with page protectors, especially if I’m using the book in a class! Now I can add another book to my long list of wants, best make it two since I want Boundless Style.

  2. Cherie says:

    That was an excellent and very detailed review of this book. Thank you!

  3. Janet Annand says:

    Loved the review!! Love collecting books so now I want both her books!!

  4. Kelly says:

    I truly enjoyed your review. The way you break it down by chapters, or a couple of chapters at a time. Letting us know what sort of techniques and info that those chapters delve into. This gives more info and for me personally would truly help me to decide whether or not to purchase a “techniques” or “how to” book.

  5. Susan says:

    THis is a fascinating book. I would love to know how patterns are drafted and how to do my own. I appreciate honest book reviews, but am not sure if this is an Interweave family/ Hoffman Media book and whether or not this is an unbiased review or whether the reviewer received a copy to review.

  6. Marie says:

    I loved the details of your review, and your breaking it down by chapter made it very thorough. My Spring sewing will include some of those billowy long tunics with ruffle and gather details, and a couple of handbags…one slouchy and one with a basket weave textured vinyl for the look of a straw bag. Thank you for the giveaway.

  7. Ginger says:

    I enjoyed your review and would love to read more. I am glad that you gave your honest opinion.

  8. Demaree says:

    Oops, I meant, “you CAN’T just pick up and scan like in person.”

  9. Demaree says:

    I love reviews on anything sewing, especially on books that are sold on line. You can just pick it up and scan it like in person. I love your review on Joi’s book. It was very thorough and clearly written.

  10. Sharon says:

    I love the chapter by chapter review – it really gives a great feel for what the book covers! I have taken Joi’s Craftsy classes on fitting and she is wonderful – would love to have the books to reinforce the learning. Thanks for the really helpful review.

  11. Karen says:

    Great review! I think my summer project might be to actually make clothing…it’s been a long time! Thanks for inspiring me! Both books seem great! Would love to read more book reviews and even see tutorial videos, especially on draping like you mentioned! Thanks!!!

  12. L Diane Melton says:

    Thank you so much for your reviews! Now there are 2 more books I “NEED”. The one thing I can think of right now is, maybe review some of the ways we can make our own sewing double, including ways to adjust it for losing and gaining weight, i.e. our ever changing bodies, ha-ha! I am ever thankful that sewing was taught at my elementary school. From sewing on paper, to making a summer dress with darts and a zipper. So Thankful!

  13. Sallyann says:

    Thank you for this review. As a former college instructor of design, drafting, flat pattern making, tailoring and apparel construction (in the 70s), I am always interested in learning about the newest ways to do things!

  14. Pamela Rieger says:

    Thank you for the very comprehensive book review. I would have been interested to read a little more detail on the individual patterns included in the book, as many of us judge the amount we are spending by what balances that amount (I.e. Cost of patterns we would find useful included in the book). Many thanks and I look forward to future book reviews :)

  15. Lisa Gilbertsen says:

    Love this review! Please do more – I love buying books! I picked Joi’s first book up while on vacation, and loved it. It would be amazing to win a copy of her new book!

  16. Cherie says:

    Love your review of Joi’s second book! Oh, and where’s the question for a chance at winning it?

  17. daisyesq says:

    I think book reviews are very helpful, especially since there are many sewing books on the market. You did an awesome job of highlighting Joi’s book.

  18. Colleen Bell says:

    Thank you “sew” much for this give-away. Personally, I love really detailed book reviews. I love learning from and using sewing books, but sometimes I’m disappointed. Specific reviews help not to be disappointed. This review was great.

  19. Renee says:

    Great review. Keep them coming. It helps to understand what would be useful to me & my sewing style before I buy a book.

  20. Tatiana says:

    Thank you for the review! I have been eyeing Joi Mahon’s books for a while. They look like a fantastic resource for fitting and patternmaking. I would like more reviews like this!

  21. Lynn Grate says:

    I love your reviews. You are my favorite source for new books relating to sewing topics. I think you should keep doing the amazing work you do!! Thank you.

  22. Karen says:

    Enjoy your book reviews! Please keep them coming!!

  23. Mindi Parsell says:

    I enjoyed this review and I would like to see more book reviews. Gives me a better idea of what I am getting before I buy.

    Thank you

  24. Debrah Hensley-The says:

    I really enjoyed this review! I would like more reviews, please! Thanks. :)

  25. Sherry J says:

    This is a really helpful and well-written review, and I say yes to more!