From Publishers Weekly
A very helpful reference
I've done a little bit of sewing--skirts with elastic waists, simple tops, small accessories--but everything I know about sewing I either learned in Junior High Home Ec class, or I figured out (read: muddled my way through) on my own. This book does a wonderful job of going from the very basic to the very advanced. I learned about several things that I was doing wrong, and also about techniques to further perfect what I've already been doing.
One of the most useful sections for beginners is the section called "Tools for the Techniques." It has photographs and descriptions of dozens of tools for those who sew--from the absolute essentials to the things that cost a little extra but make things so much easier. I never would have thought about buying some of these time-saving tools were it not for this guide.
The section on fabrics is one of my favorite parts. It explains characteristics of and differences between many of the most common cotton, woolen, linen/silk, and synthetic and special fabrics. I would have liked to have seen this section expanded a bit, with more fabrics and more information about each, but for the beginner it's definitely more useful than just walking into a fabric store and wondering which of the myriad fabrics in there might work for her project.
My biggest complaint about this guide is that many of the techniques are not described or illustrated very well. When describing a technique, steps are often not illustrated clearly, or are not illustrated at all. Especially getting toward the middle and end of the book, many of the descriptions have me thinking "Huh? You lost me." This book is chock full of wonderful color photos, but they're not helpful if each step isn't clearly described and illustrated. It's difficult to get from Point A to Point C when Point B isn't labeled. Also, the book says that contrasting fabrics and threads are used in the photos to better show what has been stitched, but in many of the illustrations, the contrast isn't great enough and the stitches can't be seen. That makes them pretty useless.
Despite this, I know a lot more about sewing than I did before this guide, and now I know I have a very good reference to which I can turn when I come across a new technique in my projects. This book will definitely get the novice sewer up to speed on all the basics. I would recommend this guide to anyone new to sewing, with the caveat that one shouldn't expect to be able to execute many of the techniques in this guide without assistance from other sewers or references.
Excellent Comprehensive Guide
I chose this guide after carefully examining it against the Reader's Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing. While the Reader's Digest book occasionally went into better detail about some techniques, I chose this guide because it's far easier to see how something should be done. This is largely due to the ample-sized, crisp and clear color photos accompanying each technique. The Reader's Digest book has single color illustrations throughout instead and I find photos much easier to follow.
The fabrics in the photos are presented in basic colors and the fashions shown are timeless classics, so this guide won't look out-of-date in a few years like many sewing books generally do. Everything you need to know about any sewing technique is covered is this guide so you won't be disappointed. As a reference, this guide is great for beginners (like myself) and advanced sewer's alike (like my mother).
A wish come true for newbies!
This book is so great! I just bought a nice sewing machine but have no idea how to use it. So I went to a bookstore and decided to buy this guide for its colorful presentation. I learn how to use my sewing maching just by looking at the step-by-step pictures since they are all very helpful. The colors of the fabrics are presented in high contrast so that the difference is obvious. There are equipment section, pattern, basic technique and professional technique and some more. I recomend it!
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Clothing Repair and How-To Tips home pageWednesday, 2005-04-27 19:49