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Photo of the book cover of Joi Mahon's Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes

This review features Joi Mahon‘s Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes. The subtitle of her book A Complete Course on Making Clothing for Fit and Fashion promises a solution to the problem many of us have. Fit! Read to learn more about the book.


  1. What Does It Take to Design and Sew Your Own Wardrobe?
  2. A Chronological Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes
  3. How Does the Book Support the Learner on their Journey to Making Clothes for Fit and Fashion?
  4. My Take-Away from Joi Mahon‘s Book
  5. Who is Joi Mahon?
  6. Joi Mahon’s Big Giveaway


Disclosure: Ad. Joi Mahon’s Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes is a book of my choice from Landauer Publishing. The post is not endorsed by the author or publisher. I wrote it entirely myself, and it represents my own 100% honest opinion.


What Does It Take to Design and Sew Your Own Wardrobe?

Joi Mahon wrote the book to provide an ultimate guide to learn how to sew your own well-fitting clothes. Her argument is that today we have access to the technical equipment. When someone has a love for sewing and fashion, they can teach themselves with an illustrated complete course on making clothing. Therefore, her book encompasses

  • the basics of sewing,
  • the structure of garments, and fabrics needed for them, as well as
  • how to achieve fit.

In other words, she covers the techniques for your entire sewing journey. You need to practice to advance your skills, and remember that part of the journey is to learn from your mistakes. There are many reasons why you should learn how to sew!

When you begin to work on your goal, you are already halfway there. #selfmotivation #DIY Click To Tweet


A Chronological Illustrated Guide To Sewing Clothes

The author breaks each topic into its steps and describes them in detail. The illustrations well compliment the clearly articulated instructions. This concepts helps to avoid frustrations of both the more visual and abstract learner. In 6 chapters, she covers the sewing basics, selection and preparation of the fabric, achieving the right fit, sewing classic garments and pants, and discusses the details of garment construction. Each chapter is broken down into the various aspects of the topic.


The Presentation of the Material

Joi Mahon structured the book in such a way that you do not have to read it cover-to-cover to get started. The readers can easily find the relevant topics for their sewing project. For instance, when you have a balanced body shape, there is no need to adjust for a full or small breast, a short or long torso, or lengthen/shorten a high-low hem. In other words, you read what you need to learn to adjust the fit for your body only. Analogously, you won’t need to know how to sew in a zipper when you sew a garment with only buttons. Also when you only sew solid pieces, why reading how to match patterned fabrics?

In other words, the book let’s you determine the pace of your journey. You will not have to learn all skills before sewing and designing your first clothes. The author, namely, succeeded in breaking the clothes-making processes in bite-size chunks. Therefore, you can get advice at whatever point in your DIY you need it.


How Does the Book Support the Learner on their Journey to Making Clothes for Fit and Fashion?

The book presents the information is an efficient, and logical way by using both text and illustrations to provide the guidance. For instance, when you get stuck at sewing a sleeve in, you just read the respective section. Then you can work your way thru the instruction step-by-step. The written text is like a teacher telling you what to do. The illustrations are like a mentor showing you how to do it. All you have to do is try to do it for yourself.


example page showing and explaining the first steps of sewing in a sleeve
Photo of a page showing the written explanations of the first few steps to sew in a sleeve as well as how the sleeve show be handled in the the steps. There are two further pages that cover the further steps to sewing in the sleeves (not shown here). The photo above serves only to get an idea how the illustrations support the step-by-step information that is broken into small easy-to-understand chunks.


Let me also give you two personal examples.

  1. The book helped me to recycle an evening gown.
  2. Achieving fit was my sewing problem at which I got stuck ages ago. When I saw the illustrations in Joi Mahon‘s book, I immediately saw what I was doing wrong all these years!

I wish I had this book earlier!

photo of a page with explanation and illustration of how to alter fit
Example page of achieving fit for a bodice you want to design and sew. This photo serves to show that designing is covered as well.



My Take-Away from Joi Mahon‘s Book

The author thoroughly covered all kind of sewing know-how needed to sew and design your own well fitting clothes. Indeed with this book everyone who loves sewing can learn to sew. Beyond the beginner level, the book will be a real problem solver on the way to your own fashion design. Therefore, it is a Must-have for everyone who want to learn/advance their sewing skills.

The release date for Joi Mahon‘s Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes is May 23, 2022. However, you can already buy the Kindl version for $19.99, and pre-order a paperback or spiral-bounded version now on Amazon. You can also place your pre-order at Target. You can buy the e-book nook version at Barnes & Noble for $14.99.


Who is Joi Mahon?

author Joi Mahon holding a piece of fabricstanding in front of a sewing machine
Author Joi Mahon in her studio



Joi Mahon is a McCall Licensed Pattern Designer, an award-winning designer, an expert in fit, and a fashion entrepreneur. She founded the Dress Forms Design Studio, LLC, owns The Sewing Factory Design Studio, and created Designer Joi’s Perfect Pattern and Fit Club, a private membership program on Facebook. Furthermore, she is a brand ambassador, and the founding instructor for the 2021 Nancy’s Notions Wardrobe Builder Fashion Sewing Program on YouTube. Other books written by her are Create the Perfect Fit and Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop.


Joi Mahon‘s Big Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of her new book on March 1, Joi Mahon is hosting a big giveaway. You can find out more about her exciting sewing/retreat giveaway, and how to enter at the link.

© 2013-2022 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jodie

    I really kinda do this when I knit a sweater, so I ought to try it with material and clothing.