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102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Book For New Sewers
For the beginning sewer, I would rate this book 5/5, but for more advanced sewers I would probably rate it 4/5.

I think this book is clearly laid out - the book starts by discussing important tools, how to read and trace patterns, grainlines and fabric, and basic sewing techniques. It then goes on to give very detailed instructions for a skirt, a blouse, a...
Published on November 9, 2011 by T. Sedai

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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good for DIY, not for beginners
Patterns for blouse, skirt, dress, lined coat, bag. Shorten coat for a jacket. Sized up to 41 inch bust, 43-1/2 inch hip.

Described as aimed at beginners, and I think that's misleading so I give a low rating. I wouldn't recommend this to a beginner, even the most adventurous. Silk charmeuse and lace for a first ever project - what a recipe for misery and...
Published on December 20, 2011 by A Reader


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102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Book For New Sewers, November 9, 2011
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This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
For the beginning sewer, I would rate this book 5/5, but for more advanced sewers I would probably rate it 4/5.

I think this book is clearly laid out - the book starts by discussing important tools, how to read and trace patterns, grainlines and fabric, and basic sewing techniques. It then goes on to give very detailed instructions for a skirt, a blouse, a dress, a coat, and a bag. It includes three variations with instructions for each pattern, as well as photographs of lots of creative ideas for each of the five designs. The pattern pieces are included with the book, which is great. I really love the blouse, and I like elements of the coat, so I may make use of these patterns in the future.

My overall impression is that this is the perfect book for someone who is interested in learning to sew clothes but doesn't have a lot of experience. The book outlines the essentials of sewing without getting too bogged down in the details. It emphasizes creativity while still highlighting the importance of technique (pressing seams, etc.). Most of the other "learn to sew" type books tend to give "patterns" for aprons or toys or crafty items, which never held much interest for me, and I am sure aren't of much interest for others who want to learn to sew garments. This, of course, is not an issue with BurdaStyle, which emphasizes the different garment patterns they have included. The instructions seem to be quite detailed, so they could be great for newer sewers. Also, these patterns do not have seam allowances (like the BurdaStyle magazine patterns), and it gives some good advice about how to add seam allowances and why it is better to make pattern alterations without them. I have always had great experiences with the drafting of the Burda patterns, so I would expect new sewers might be really pleased with the results they get from the patterns included with this book. I really think this book would be especially good for teens or young adults who are interested in sewing trendy clothes and want to learn some of the basics.

As much as I think this book is great for beginners, I don't think it is the best book for an advanced home sewer. I know this isn't going to be one of my go-to books for sewing techniques, but I do like the inspiration and advice it gives for altering patterns to get totally different styles. I don't ususally feel very confident making drastic pattern alterations with most garment patterns and I think this book may give me more ideas for making major pattern alterations, although it doesn't discuss much technique. For the advanced sewer this book is more useful in terms of inspiration and ideas, as well as use of the patterns included in the book.

Overall I would say this is a great book and fills a niche in the current sewing book market. I think it may be just a bit below my skill level at this point, but it is exactly the book I was looking for when I first started sewing. The inclusions of the patterns are great and make the purchase worth it for advanced sewers, and I really like that this book included inspirational designs from the BurdaStyle community members. However, I think where this book really excels is as a first sewing book for new sewers who want a guidebook for garment construction, but want to be able to exercise their own creativity in making clothes.
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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burda Has The Best Patterns, November 10, 2011
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This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
Fantastic value...5 Burda patterns are included, for that reason alone purchase this gem.
The patterns are for a blouse, skirt, dress, coat and handbag. With different fabric choices you could conceivably create a beautiful and versatile modest-sized wardrobe from these patterns alone. The clothing shapes chosen are ingeniously universally flattering. The coat is fabulous and 'Audrey Hepburn' inspired. The skirt is A-line and can be easily modified to suit your height and preference of length. The blouse is pretty and feminine.
The pattern variations offered are creative and inspiring. The lie flat binder design should be de rigueur for all craft books.
With all the sewing basics and instructions included, this would make an excellent gift for a beginner seamstress as well.
NOTE: The patterns are Euro sizes 32-46, which are US sizes 0-14.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a modern, fashionable + easy-to-follow sewing book!, November 8, 2011
This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
Finally! Sewing is no longer a thing of the past! I am new to sewing and saw this book online and ordered it right away because it stood out as being one of the only books with a refreshingly fashion-forward and modern take on sewing. Being a sewing novice myself, I was wary about learning to sew from a book-- but this one is special because it guides you all the way from setting up a sewing area, to threading a sewing machine, to sewing your first seam. The photos are awesome, the mood boards are beautiful and the illustrations are clean and sophisticated-- and Project Runway alum Alison Kelly designed the patterns!

PLUSES: Clear and concise instructions, beautiful photography, packed with tips + tutorials, and the 5 paper patterns (included in the back of the book) are actually really cute!

MINUSES: You have to trace the paper patterns onto new paper so you can add seam allowance and preserve the original pattern to use in later variations. This is time consuming but it makes sense-- you can reuse and trace the original patterns over and over again, apparently creating countless variations.

Overall score: A+
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good for DIY, not for beginners, December 20, 2011
This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
Patterns for blouse, skirt, dress, lined coat, bag. Shorten coat for a jacket. Sized up to 41 inch bust, 43-1/2 inch hip.

Described as aimed at beginners, and I think that's misleading so I give a low rating. I wouldn't recommend this to a beginner, even the most adventurous. Silk charmeuse and lace for a first ever project - what a recipe for misery and disaster. When you look closely, actually only 3 of the 15 projects have the lowest skill level. And all those require pattern alterations and are not easy easy. Many construction steps with no illustrations. I'm disappointed in this as a book for beginners - I was expecting something more like an updated version of old Burda beginners books (not in English) which are realistic about what a beginner can do, and have many illustrations of technique.

On-line videos for some techniques. Traceable patterns overlapped like the patterns in Burda magazine (no seam allowances). Tell you how to make a muslin, but only a couple of sentences on adjusting it to fit.

The biggest emphasis is on making your own versions. Three projects for each pattern. Even more possibilities if you swap tops and bottoms around those waist seams. As a source of inspiration for variations the book is good. My guess is the book was only tested on an `inner circle' of Burda Style site users, who are already happy pattern alterers and devise-your-own-method sewers. "Yes" for do-it-yourselfers who know what they're doing. Definitely "no" for beginners. Lovers of the US Burda Style website are very enthusiastic !
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for sewing for young ladies up to size 14., November 29, 2011
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This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
I've always loved Burda patterns, so I was looking forward to this book. It's good for beginners in that all the basics are covered, with step-by-step instructions.

The patterns are very youth-oriented in my opinion. But I'm way past mini-skirts, so don't mind me. I did enjoy all the various interpretations of the patterns by sewists who took the sample pattern and went wild with it. Very fun, and I got a lot of inspiration along the way.

WARNING: if you wear larger than a size 14, the patterns won't fit you. And that disappointed me cause Burda patterns fit everyone in real life. The multi-multi-patterns are a bit confusing, but you can do that. AND, I would have rather had a pants pattern instead of or in addition to the bag, but since I'm larger than size 14, it doesn't matter, now does it?

Ummmm -- well, personally, if I had seen the book before I ordered it, I probably wouldn't have purchased it, but it's still worth the 4 stars, and it's a good book for many other sewists. You'll definitely get inspiration to take a basic pattern and have great fun with it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So informative, December 7, 2011
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This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
This book is great! I have always thought myself to be a fairly experienced sewer but there is a lot I didn't know about altering patterns. This book has already given me some really helpful information and more knowledge and introduced me to some tools I had never even heard of before. Highly recommended.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring projects, unclear instructions, not for beginners., August 17, 2012
By 
Jennifer (Blacksburg, Va.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
As a BurdaStyle fan, I was very excited to receive this book. But to be honest, now that I've reviewed it, I don't think this book or the patterns are very inspiring. The best variations on each project are not the ones discussed in detail in the book. They're the ones on the photo page at the end of each project that show you different project variations created by 12 or so BurdaStyle members. You don't get instructions on pattern alterations, etc., for those versions. Plus, the instructions for each project aren't always very clear. I'm not sure how much I'll actually use this book.

Also, this book is not for beginners. Only one of the projects included is at the novice level, which doesn't seem like a good way to build confidence. I understand that increasing skill levels are the whole point, but making one easy bag that isn't really that easy isn't going to prepare you to make a dress. Anyone who wants to begin sewing should just look for tutorials on the internet. Find out how to make your own skirts just by taking your measurements. Look at a YouTube video about installing an invisible zipper. Seriously, if I were a total beginner and someone gave me the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook as a guide, I would run away crying.

If anyone wants recommendations for a good beginner's sewing handbook, I would recommend Colette. I purchased that book and have already had tons of fun with it. The photos and instructions are clear, and for the first time ever I'm working with patterns and I don't feel afraid. It doesn't offer pattern variations, but after making a few projects I see my own variations that I'd like to try. I don't need someone to point them out to me! It's a much more clear and creative handbook than this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reawakened sewing passion., December 27, 2011
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This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
This book was given to me as a gift - I used to love sewing but life got in the way (kids, job, etc). I am inspired to dust off the old machine and reawaken my creativity. Love how the book is laid out and the idea of 5 basic pieces that I can add to or rework to suit my style. This is a step-by-step for people who have never sewn but it's also full of useful info for more seasoned sewers. If you're wondering about all the different possibilities in materials & incorporating different types of stitches & notions, this book seems to cover them all. I have already purchased copies for both my daughter-in-law who is a very talented seamstress and for my retired friend who is always talking about getting started.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up to date - modern, January 5, 2012
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This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
Bought my daughter for Christmas - she loved it. A lot of sewing books even though good - give an air of antiquity in the clothing styles, this book is more modern in design and shows the reader how to adapt included patterns to suit the younger, modern sewer.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for new sewers!, November 2, 2011
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This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
This book is very comprehensive. It covers everything from stitches, sewing machines and how to select fabric. I love the different variations for each of the clothing items. I can't wait to begin using this book. A lot of information in this book would be old news to experienced sewers, but it's really nice having the information all in one place. I recommend this book to sewers who are newer to the craft.
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The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook
The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook by Nora Abousteit (Hardcover-spiral - November 1, 2011)
$29.99 $20.06
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