As a woman who has a terrible time finding clothes to fit, I've tried sewing some of my own, with less than satisfactory results. Even after learning to regrade commercial patterns to fit, the finished garments never looked right--they all screamed "Hi there! I'm like, totally homemade!" As basic a garment as a shirt was an exercise in frustration; after struggling to get collars and cuffs to look "right" I was about to give up entirely.
In _Shirtmaking_, David Page Coffin addressed every single problem I have faced, and now I can actually turn out tailored shirts that both fit me *and* look like they were made by a professional. All the questions left unanswered by the instruction sheets included with commercial patterns were addressed in this book, and along the way Coffin also answers a lot of general questions I had about sewing that are ignored in most books aimed at home sewers. _Shirtmaking_ is clearly written, and with a bit of patience and the ability to follow directions an intermediate-level sewer can turn out a successful garment. While the specific focus of the book is sewing men's shirts, the exact same sewing techniques can be used on women's shirts and blouses, and Coffin provides plenty of illustrations and examples.
Coffin covers his subject so thoroughly and precisely that he comes across as a bit fussy, but this sort of fussiness is a virtue and a godsend. There is an embarrassing number of sewing books gathering dust on my shelves, but I still refer to _Shirtmaking_ frequently. It is *by far* the single most useful sewing book I've ever bought, and is well worth the money.