Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I'm Reading: How to Start a Home-Based Fashion Design Business

There were a bunch of books on my Christmas list this year (see another one reviewed here) and one was Angela Wolf's first book.

I'm a big fan of Angela, who appears on PBS's It's Sew Easy. She also teaches classes on Craftsy and Pattern Review. I've taken her Craftsy class about alterations and found her to be a gret teacher. She knows her stuff, but she also communicates it in a very learnable way. I figured her book would do the same, and I was right!

Now I'm sure you're wondering: am I about to start a home-based fashion design business? Answer: no. Maybe. I don't know. All I know is that I'm a stay-at-home mom without employment, so it doesn't hurt to consider all the possibilities. Not many people have the opportunity to evaluate a career decision without the pressure of actually having to decide. Except for college students, maybe. And we all know youth is wasted on the young ;)

But back to the book. Even though the title implies an emphasis on fashion design, the book still covers other options, like alterations, costume design, and even personal shopping. You name it, Angela has at least dabbled, and has advice by the bucketful. More than once I found myself going "huh, I never would have thought of that". 

For example, Angela says that not paying yourself can be tempting in the beginning, but then what happens if you need to hire out your work? Your budget won't allow for it because you never "paid" for labor! Tips like these are scattered throughout the book, making it a great read from cover to cover. 

Angela Wolf actually went to college for business. She knows the importance of financial planning, billing, tax planning, and other legalities. You may be able to get this information in a business book, but the focus on fashion design keeps the book from being too dry for us creative types.

I would recommend this book for anyone who knows what they want to do (alterations, fashion design), but even more so for a person who isn't sure (like me). With an open mind, you can digest details and decide "hmmmm that's not really for me". 

As I flipped through this book and wrote this review, I remembered just how much great information it contained. As many of the reviews on Amazon state, it's worth the cost for the resources alone. From trade shows to sewing organizations to pattern-making software, you'll find everything you need to get started in fashion.

My only criticism is that the book assumes a business centered around women's fashion. There is no mention of all the laws that come with children's wear, for example. I know this is because Angela's background is womenswear, but it would have been a relevant piece of information in the legal section.

In closing, if a fashion career is something you're considering, then read this book! It's everything I hoped it would be, and more.


  1. Great review - I have her Craftsy classes on my wish list. Looks like this book will go on the Amazon list. :-)

    1. Which class?? The jeans class, the serger class, the alterations class? I want to take them all :)


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