This is my first look review of ESMOD’s pattern drafting book for lingerie design Women’s Underwear by Najah Ouahab Rassas. It is in both French and English which can cause some confusion while reading and also means you’re not getting nearly as much content as it would seem from the page count.
I need to first start out saying while this is a wonderful book that I’m glad to have in my collection if you are looking at buying this as your first intro to pattern drafting for bras then I would not recommend it for that purpose. The reason why has to do with the original intended purpose of this textbook which is to be an accompaniment to ESMOD courses in particular their 3rd year lingerie specialization option. So it is expected that the student using the text has both 2 years background in pattern making and the support of an instructor. This is not to say this text isn’t very useful but I think if you were new to drafting and bras in general then it would be difficult to follow. I would recommend Pattern Making for Underwear Design instead or Bare Essentials by Jennifer Lynn Fairbanks or Bra Makers Supply second bra making manual.
What does make this text worth it for me in the inclusion of some very technical details glossed over in the other books I’ve purchased including manufacturing and underwire theory. I’m very visual so I learn mostly from the diagrams rather than the text which being translated from French is less than clear at some points.
This page was worth the price of the book for me as it helped me classify some of the underwire styles I’d purchased from my new French underwire supplier. My new wires match the diagrams exactly which leads me to believe that ESMOD uses the same supplier. The letters in the diagram do not refer to cup size. All of the wires here are actually 36B wires
These wires are the same specifications as my regular shape R wires. The color coding is even the same which makes the book extra useful for me. The wire grade between sizes is 15mm which is standard.
This diagram shows the creation of a sports bra pattern using dart manipulation of a previously created block. What I do not like about this book is that the basic bra block is created from a bodice block which requires you to draft (or drape which is my preferred method of basic block creation when a dress form is available) which is an extra step you’re forced to take before you can jump into making bras. This makes sense when you understand that most students using this book already have a set of blocks which they have developed over a couple of years or so. This book does have a wide variety of styles so if you have a basic bra block you can jump straight into the section on pattern manipulation.
This page is particular interesting to me but might not mean anything to you. It’s the order of construction for a bra, the industrial machines used for that step and the amount of time taken for each step (in minutes I assume). The right is an example of the pattern pieces needed for a cut and sew foam bra.
Measurement charts for basic bra sizes and where to measure for creating a specification sheet for your bra. Both useful more for manufacturing than the how sewer.
I hope this rambling review was a little more than useless. It is based on my own first impressions of this book. All opinions are strictly my own. I paid $37 for this book I’ve noticed that the price fluctuates greatly on Amazon because it is only available via 3rd parties and sometimes the price shoots up based on the amount of interest. In the time between purchasing and writing this review I’ve seen it shoot up to $80 and is now at $42. So don’t overpay. This book is nice to have but in my opinion is not a MUST have.
I look forward to testing this method as part of my epic Project Patternmaking: Bra Edition journey.