Monday, June 13, 2011

CD Books. Not a Bargain

A few months ago, after I took KK's moulage class I needed to learn how to use the resulting slopers.  I wanted to use them to adjust commercial patterns so I bought Lynda Maynards cd book De-Mystifying Fit for $27.95.  Not too expensive right?  At first I used it on my computer monitor, but this is just not convenient.  When I am fitting a pattern with a new method I want it right next to me on my table.  I don't have a laptop just a netbook and a desktop across the room.  As I said not convenient.  So I bit the bullet and had it printed at Staples.  It cost me $47 to get it printed and spiral bound.  There are places that print on demand or do small runs. It's got to be less than this!  That's $74.95 by the way.  Kenneth King has a lot of cd books, several of which I have.  They are about the same price and again, you really need it printed out if you want to use them.  If you have a laptop at least you can use it on your cutting table or sit with it and read it.   On top of that, it's not all that inclusive.  In 195 pages she doesn't go past a set in sleeve.  Only after sitting with it in my lap was I really able to read it through.  It was not all that helpful with the jacket I'm making now, which has raglan sleeves, and I made an fba based on my sloper that was bigger than my usual method.  Of course, now that I've read the book I learned that I should make a muslin for each of my slopers, the blouse dress and the jacket.    Woops.  Maybe that's why the front of my jacket was too big and the back high hip not big enough.  The bottom line is that you still need another fitting book to cover what this book doesn't.

Sewing update.  Saturday was a disaster as far as sewing is concerned.  All I did was errands and try to get my phone fixed.  Bottom line is that I am getting a new one sometime this week.  Fun.
Sunday we cleaned in the morning and then I got in a couple of hours of sewing and realized that the cuff was just not working. It was just too bulky.  So, I cut it off, making the sleeve a bit shorter and after cutting down the facing, sewed it back on as a hem facing.  Not really  a lot of sewing accomplished.  Sleeves are finished and the next thing is to baste them into my jacket.  By hand and to check the fit of my shoulder pads, which I  made this weekend,  raglan shoulder pads which took some time too.  I have an old McCalls pattern dating from 1987 and boy  can you tell. Those are some big shoulder pads!  I cut them down a bit and thinned them out.  I really don't need or want 1" shoulder pads in this jacket.  I molded them to my shoulder by pinning them to  my ham and steaming and starching them into shape.  I really find it impossible to get good raglan shoulder pads.  The petal pads that I have from the Sewing Workshop were just too small for this jacket.  I like them but they are also expensive at $7.50 a pair.  A lot for shoulder pads.  If I want set in pads I make them to size from my pattern and then they actually fit my narrow shoulders.  The instructions are in an old Threads btw.  Since I have to add depth to the right pad anyway I might as well make my own to begin with.

edited to add that yes, this is the book that Kenneth King offers on his website.  I bought it from Pattern Review and got 10% off for being a member.  The book is 295 pages long.  The thing about having a book as I think Gwen mentioned, is the ability to make notes and to highlight which is just not possible with a cd book. I have 3 of Kenneth Kings cd books, including the moulage book and they are much shorter so they didn't cost so much to print.  But, honestly they are just not usable if you don't print them. There is a big difference between cd books and DVD's.  The best is to have a book like David Page Coffin's trouser book that has a printable cd in it.  


  1. I have been tempted by these CD-books when browsing the web and have not succumbed thus far. So, I wonder how well it would compare re: the cost of printing all the pages from these types of CD-books at home and then taking them in to get bound in a print shop would be? Perhaps if you have a friend who could take the sheets into work to use on the company's binder that might work out too. We have an old fashioned hand-operated "comb-binding" machine at my work, and so long as we bring in our own "combs" and cardboard covers/plastic front sheet then they don't mind us using it :)!

    Hmmm... I think I might look up binders on eBay now LOL!

  2. Threads recently had a big sale on DVDs. Now I can see why. The idea of DVDs has not appealed to me for the reasons you mentioned, at least so far it hasn't. Sorry you are out money that could have been spent on glorious fabric!

  3. Thank you for the review of the DVD book. I can't see the advantage of DVD books. I need a technical book to be paper, where I can highlight, make notes, sketches, etc, and open by the machine.

  4. I bought a Threads DVD two years ago and have yet to play it. Gimme books any day!!

  5. First of all, we need to distinguish between a CD or DVD book and a DVD. I like the Claire Shaeffer Couture Basics Workshop DVD. I also bought the new edition of "Couture Sewing."

    I own David Page Coffin's book on Shirtmaking and I've read that the DVD is good. I've considered buying it, but the library has it.

    Now we come to CD books. They are a pain. A woman who took fashion design evening classes with me took a class with Kenneth King and I don't know if they got the CD as part of the class or if she bought it. Anyway, unsolicited by me, she printed out the entire book and presented it to me in a binder.

    Normally, I'd feel guilty, but she and I have spent a lot of money on classes and books related to KK and I'm sure I'll spend more in the future.

    If I had my druthers, a book and DVD combo would be the best. But frankly, fitting is not something that I think I could learn to do well from either a book or a video.

    Has anyone bought the book King offers on his website about how to use a sloper to adjust commercial patterns? He didn't write it.

  6. As much as I love reading books on my iphone...I always prefer to own something with paper.

  7. Give me a book any day.......printing those CD books are costly, and invariably heavy to lug around, never feeling as secure as an old fashioned hard cover book.........

  8. Nancy, have you thought about getting a spiral binding machine? They are easy to find on Ebay and run from about $50 to $130. The machine punches the holes and also inserts the spiral. The spirals comes in several sizes. For a cover there are clear plastic sheets that are pre-punched. The electric ones are easier to use and can do thicker stacks of paper. Here is a link to some:

  9. well its not a hard to be safe your CD jackets, there is lot of options to be cover your Cd's & DVDs very safely, i used to Cardboard cd sleeve printing to safe my university projects and course which i have in Cd's, its also looking interesting because of printing on cardboard :D