One of my favorite hobbies is costume making. I especially enjoy working on historical costumes and corsets. More recently I've sewn and altered modern clothing because I don't have the space and time for big historic projects.
Over the time that I've been making clothes I've had to learn a variety of interesting techniques. I never appreciated how much sewing a french seam or making one's own facing can transport a piece of clothing from crappy to professional looking before I started actually doing things like that. Those little details can make for much nicer and much more durable clothes.
I found the following books very helpful in learning to make generally higher quality clothes:
- Coats & Clark's Sewing Book: Newest Methods from A to Z
- Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques edited by Kristina Harris
- Shirtmaking : developing skills for fine sewing by David Page Coffin
- High-fashion sewing secrets from the world's best designers : a step-by-step guide to sewing stylish seams, buttonholes by Claire B. Shaeffer
- Bridal Couture: Fine Sewing Techniques for Wedding Gowns and Evening Wear by Susan Khalje
- Make your own Japanese clothes : patterns and ideas for modern wear by John Marshall