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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars66
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on August 16, 2000
Being a Sandra Betzina fan with two of her books already, I had to have this one . The book is fabulous - hard-back, spiral bound, multiple clear color pictures, easy to read print, and the book size is very comfortable to handle. Instructions are clear and pictures are referenced by step-number to the project instuctions. Full of tips and sewing alternatives for vests, pants, skirts, dresses and jackets...some are simple...some more complex and challenging, but with the understandable directions given, anyone who sews can have their finished project look so professional! Have read the entire book through once - just like a novel - and continue to spot read certain areas...have already learned many new techniques. If you love to sew and want to improve your skill level, learn new techniques, and make clothes that fit, this is the book to buy.
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on August 15, 2000
If you could hire a personal sewing trainer, I think the coach would be like this book. It is inspiring, clear in its direction and entertaining. The photographs are beautiful and the garments are elegant. I think anyone from a novice to an expert will find this book useful. I especially liked the ideas for details that will make a garment special without being overly fussy and crafty. Sandra Betzina also covers wardrobing, fabric selection, fitting and interestingly, how to tell when a garment is not working and to leave it behind without guilt. I was glued to this book till I'd read it cover to cover.
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VINE VOICEon January 3, 2005
This is NOT a book for beginning sewers - the writer assumes you know the basics of sewing and garment construction. I love all of the ways she shows how to make clothing special - Sandra's examples are classy, but not fussy. There are a lot of useful things like different ways to improve your zipper installation, classier facings, linings (Like WHY to line pants, for instance), easy bound buttonholes, nicer hems, when you should take the time to hand sew, when you can cheat... Basically she is teaching the reader how to make ordinary home-sewn clothing extraordinary using the best techniques. Good section on improving fit, pretty much all useful info.
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on April 3, 2004
Having sewn since I was an 8-year-old 4-H-er, (more than half a century ago!) but now experiencing arthritic hands and much less time to sew, I find Sandra's tips and descriptions are extremely helpful. She recommends interfacings and linings by brand name and suggests, in great detail, ways to prepare and use current fibers. Though experienced in classic tailoring, I find her tips most useful and am expanding my library with her books just to improve my techniques. Thank you, Sandra, for permitting me to continue to show creativity - more easily!
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on April 25, 2002
This is a wonderful resource for sewers of all levels who want to learn professional sewing techniques for garments. Clearly written, well-illustrated and thorough in detail, the book will spend many hours as your "mentor" on sewing projects. The language is plain and easy, and takes care to explain technical terms. In addition to some up-front info on interfacings and fabric selection, each chapter is devoted to a clothing piece -- jackets, pants, vests, dresses, etc., and is chock-full of specific walk-me-through-the-steps instructions on how to do this or that part of a garment in a better, faster, or more specialized way. Lots of great tips for customizing pieces, too, and lots of examples of pieces that Sandra has made, with a "how I made this" explanation. Also, she occasionally deconstructs ready-to-wear and couture pieces as a way of showing different options for different effects. The only critique I have is that Betzina's self-promotion is a little heavy-handed, though not offensive.
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on November 17, 2000
This book is a must for sewers of all levels. I wish this would have been available when I was teaching sewing to adults. Ms. Betzina is clear on all instructions, and has obviously put in an extrodinary amount of time sharing her expertise with us. Along with Fabric Savvy, all sewers would benefit from the tips and wonderful photos.
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on March 22, 2006
Power Sewing Step by Step is one of my favorite new books for sewing. It has many guidelines to organize your wardrobe and what suits your style and figure. The cutting, fitting and sewing instructions can be used for many garments. The ring type binding makes it lie flat for easy reading -- no flipping pages. The classic basics of any wardrobe are clearly addressed, and wonderful ideas for detailing that sets a garment apart. Her presentation inspires the reader to tackle a project and enjoy professional results every time. I love her tips for dealing with real figures-- for those of us over the hill.

She also creates her own patterns for Vogue Patterns, and these have a different sizing than the usual styles, for real sizes!

Your money will be wisely spent on this book.
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on October 24, 2003
This book is worth it for the tip boxes alone. The photos are well-considered (although the styles and fabrics don't appeal to me personally, at least they are less dowdy than some other books out there), the written descriptions are short and sweet, and the production value of the book is tip-top. My only complaint is that I wish I had bought the spiral-bound edition; I have to weight the pages open if my hands are full of sewing. I own a lot of sewing manuals, but this is the one I go back to again and again. As has been mentioned in some reviews, it's not quite for beginners, but if you have basic construction knowledge, this book will improve your work.
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on September 21, 2001
This book is fabulous for sewers. She even explains how to alter ready-to-wear clothes you already have. If there is a crease under the waistband in the back iof your jeans..here is the problem, and here is what you doDo you have "smile" lines in the front or the back of your pants..here is the problem and how to correct it forever.I got out my jeans and fixed the problem immediately and this information..on all kinds of clothes I already own and am about to make has proved to be so useful..you cannot begin to imagine
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on July 20, 2003
I was an absolute beginner when I purchased this book. I sewed my first real skirt based on her construction techniques--including the zipper, which when I followed her technique, was a breeze! Zippers seem easy to me now. I love her ideas, and her vision of how things should flow on the body. It is a fountain of useful information, but also it offers great inspiration. Most of all this text enabled me to let go of my fear about sewing and embellishing patterns to make clothes that are truly your own.
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