Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques for Sewing, Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing, plus 150 Inspired Projects from A to Z Hardcover – March 30, 2010
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The book has three sections. The first discusses in detail techniques, materials and tools. While it is a good introduction and is close to encyclopedic when it comes to machine sewing, it is only an introduction, not comprehensive, when it comes to any of the other techniques (embroidery, patchwork, applique, dyeing, and printing) it describes. There is enough there to get you started and to do the projects, but if you know or are interested in the technique, you will want more.
The second part of the book has the projects. Fabric projects from many years of Martha Stewart Living are grouped together by type, so coasters, for example, has oilcloth coasters, machine embroidery coasters, and ones made from bleached and overdyed fabric.
The final section gives additional details on materials needed and the resources in the included CD (not in the review copy).
This is a Martha Stewart book and has all the virutes and vices that go along with that. The projects are stylish, inventive, and beautiful. But if you read her magazine, you have seen them before. The technique information is accurate but not complete. For example in the dyeing section it doesn't bother to say that you should NEVER use pots you cook in to dye in because these chemicals are quite toxic. To my mind this is a glaring omission.
I always feel when reading one of her books that doing any of these projects or techniques is just so easy that I can whip it up in an afternoon and get lovely results without any prior experience. But the world isn't like that.Read more ›
The most basic projects include felt purses, handkerchiefs and potholders to more challenging projects such as dog jackets, patchwork/quilting and stuffed animals. Also of interest are projects that, as someone new to sewing, I never even thought of, such as notebooks and checkbook covers. For the most part the book is full of domestically useful projects: curtains, bed linens, napkins, placemats and upholstery. There are even several basic clothing projects: seersucker pants, wrap skirt, tube dress, sarong, etc.
It is a misnomer to lump this into Martha's "Encyclopedia of" series, as it's more of a basic sewing techniques coursebook with cd of templates and patterns (reviewers did not receive this cd).
This would be wasted on those advanced in the craft, but it would make a great gift for the beginner.
What you will get is a beautiful bound copy of sewing information that is readily available on her website and in many cases in her magazines. But here is the selling point, you get all in one place, in an easy to browse and use format. Everything is here - from the directions, tools to use to additional techniques and suppliers. So the second positive is you can recycle all those magazines you have laying around gathering dust because there is one project in each magazine you know you will get to one day. You can also stop searching the web for that project you remember from some show you saw long ago on cat play toys. It's all here in the book. To me, that alone might be the best reason to buy it.
Let me warn you this is more a crafter's book than a sewing book. It is not for the serious sewer who want to turn out Chanel inspired garments and probably a little boring for the experienced sewer. So why should you buy it? It depends on what you are looking for. I found the Encyclopedia of Crafts a great way to plan projects with my granddaughters who loved looking through the book at all the different projects. I'm planning to use the sewing book the same way. Seeing two little heads going throught a book and planning projects to do with Grandma, priceless.
The first part of the book is tools and techniques which explains the basic tools necessary for sewing and how to do the most essential techniques. This section covers machine sewing, seams, hand sewing and the 3 essential stitches you need to know how to do (running, back stitch and slip stitch), appliqué, fabric dye techniques like batiking and ombre shading, embroidery (including essential embroidery stitches), patchwork, and basic fabric printing using block printing methods.
After you get through that section comes the projects. The projects are mostly very simple projects that teach sewing basics in usable ways. The stuffed animals and hand sewn dolls will be my daughter's favorite. She does a lot of hand sewn dolls now.
The projects including clothing, dolls, pincushions, quilts and a great many other things. The techniques used to create the projects make it easy to customize them to suit your own aesthetics. Instead of a leaf sewing set, you could use an apple for your basic shape to make a sewing set for a favorite teacher.
Unlike a lot of other sewing books, this one has a lot of projects that are easily hand sewn which make perfect take along projects, and many of them use smaller amounts of fabric which means you could use old clothes and vintage remnants for the projects. I love machine sewing, but I'm trying to become a lot neater at hand sewing for it's portability.
My favorite project is probably the simplest one in the whole book. Rolled hem handkerchiefs. I can just see my daughter and I making these and hand embroidering them for friends.
There is also a wonderful section on aprons and I love aprons so much.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived timely and in excellent condition. Many clear and concise instructions.Published 8 months ago by gerald nutt
Way too much information to absorb in a short time. I have always been a Martha Stewart fan and she doesn't disappoint in this book. Lots of good stuff to try out.Published 11 months ago by Sandra E. Wright
This is a good all-around resource book for beginning sewers. Its also nice for people, like me, who used to sew but haven't for a long time. Read morePublished 16 months ago by maybaby21
I think Martha's "kingdom" has gotten to big for her to oversee properly.
for example: The felt baby shoes made from the pattern included in this book
are so... Read more