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Sew Everything Workshop: The Complete Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide with 25 Fabulous Original Designs, Including 10 Patterns Spiral-bound – November 8, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 324 customer reviews

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  • Sew Everything Workshop: The Complete Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide with 25 Fabulous Original Designs, Including 10 Patterns
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  • The Sewing Machine Classroom: Learn the Ins & Outs of Your Machine
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is the sewing book I've been waiting for! Like the hippest home-ec teacher on the planet, Diana Rupp guides readers through every step of the process. It's fun, it's inspiration, it's everything you need to know."
—Debbie Stoller, author of Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

It's hip (think Project Runway), it's hot (with a potential audience of 45 million), and it's coming from exactly the right publisher (remember Stitch 'N Bitch and Generation T). Introducing S.E.W, the beginning sewer's bible.

A reinvention of the postwar sewing how-to, here is a hold-your-hand guide that marries attitude and instruction, that speaks the language of today's crafters while teaching them everything they need to know from winding a bobbin to sewing a dart to customizing a pattern. Diana Rupp, the author, comes from a long line of crafters, and parlayed her passion into a career as the founder of Make Workshop, a unique DIY school that's been written about in Elle, Budget Living, BUST, Real Simple, Time Out, Vogue Patterns, and more. In S.E.W, Rupp brings the workshop home: buying the right machine; setting up a space and furnishing it with the right tools; introducing fabrics—manmade vs. natural fibers, wovens vs. knits, color theory, buying vintage fabric on eBay; the art of laying out a pattern and cutting; and becoming one with your machine, from best posture to seam allowances, buttonholes, zippers, and the finer points of hand-sewing.

Then comes the fun: 25 amazing projects, 8 with patterns included, all handled with clear, step-by-step instructions—gingham wrap skirt, gauchos, drawstring pants, silky top, downtown hobo/laptop bag, patchwork throw, dog sweater, unisex boxers, vintage apron, more. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; Spi edition (November 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761139737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761139737
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This is a thorough introduction for the complete beginner, with a hip feel and nice photography. This would be a great book for a teenager, or for someone who wants to start sewing Etsy-like craft items. People who already sew, but are largely self-taught, might also benefit from her overview of the basics, from the properties of different fabrics to the correct use of common tools. She also teaches good habits like caring for your machine and proper pattern cutting. The text is chatty (reminiscent of Stitch n' Bitch), and her instructions are clear, linear, and non-threatening. For example, I looked in three books to learn how to insert an invisible zipper, but her explanation was the winner.

She includes a dozen-odd patterns and leads you by the hand through each project. The projects are functional and done in cute fabrics and colors, such as hobo bags, a pencil skirt, and a scarf. That said, as a curvy 36 year old woman, I didn't want to actually make any of the garments. Since they're beginner styles, they're mostly boxy (the kimono wrap) or trendy (the juniors tank top); they don't include any curved darts for fitting difficult shapes. The oilcloth sewing machine cover was darling, but after glancing at the photo I was able to figure out how to make one on my own.

I ended up returning mine after reading the front part, because I just wasn't going to use the patterns and I've moved beyond the absolute basics. Still, I would definitely recommend it for the right audience!

BEST FOR: Teens and 20s, total beginners, craft sewing, project ideas, group sew-alongs.
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Format: Spiral-bound
I am an experienced veteran sewer and am teaching my daughter (13) and my niece (11) how to sew. This is their manual, I bought it for both of them. After years of complaining about there being NO good books that teach you to sew, finally Diana Rupp has written a fantastic book that sounds like a real person (who is hip and funny) is teaching you one on one. The projects are great and her lesson progression is brilliant...you just want to keep reading. The book is geared to adults who want to learn how to sew, I will need to work with my girls on some of the stuff, but I consider this THE HOW TO SEW BOOK for the world. Don't waste your money on any other sewing book--this is the one.
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Format: Spiral-bound
I can't recall ever having written an Amazon review. I have to for this book because it really is worth purchasing.

I've been sewing about 1.5 years. I've done reconstructions, baby quilt tops, and tote bags. From easy patterns I've done a couple of skirts and baby/little girl dresses. My goal is quality, of course, but also speed. The minute I saw S.E.W. I knew I had to have it. I happened to be in a bookstore with a friend and we agreed to exchange books, on the spot, as early Christmas gifts. I got S.E.W. and am glad I did. Not only are the projects cute and fashionable, but they're the kinds of things that leave room for the maker to add his or her own personal flourishes. They're stylish, yet classic pieces. Very interpretable.

I made the wrap skirt (in one night!) in brown corduroy. It turned out so well that I'm planning 2 more. My friend, who bought the book for me, is going to make one too.

No beginning pattern book is going to teach couture sewing, that's for an expanded skill set. The magic of Diana Rupp's approach is that someone with limited sewing experience can comfortably and confidently complete a great looking piece of clothing, a household item, a toy, etc. in a reasonable amount of time and while actually enjoying, rather than becoming frustrated by, the process.

Buy this book. You should.
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Format: Spiral-bound
I just started sewing a month ago and, as an adult male, I've found it impossible to find sewing books that focus on making men's clothes. Sew Everything Workshop is no exception, but it's a great book nonetheless. It's beautifully illustrated and has an urban (as opposed to suburban) sensibility, which as a New Yorker, I can really relate to. The clothes look like something you'd actually see a stylish person wear, rather than items you'd see on the racks in Walmart. I've made the "foxy boxers" pattern three times already and only wish there were a few more patterns in the book for men -- a bathing suit or a tee shirt, for example. I find myself buying my patterns on Etsy and Ebay -- vintage 70s stuff, which are the only things I can find that have silhouettes that look contemporary (to me) and hip.

Rupp is great for the beginner. She explained exactly what I needed to get started, how to organize a sewing area, and demystified the whole sewing process. She's very straightforward and has a great sense of humor along with a whole lot of style. I also bought the classic Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, but that's really a reference book -- I can't imagine teaching myself to sew with only that. S.E.W. you can actually read from cover to cover -- in fact, I recommend it. Every time I finish a project or think about a new one, I go back and re-read a chapter, now with a better understanding of how things work.

I highly recommend this book for the beginning sewer, male or female.
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