Most helpful critical review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
If only! Design flaw makes this 4.5 a bare 2. Too bad...
on August 1, 2013
If you are a beginning seamstress, or are looking to expand your skills and understanding, the contents of this book are at least a "4", maybe even a "5". It is logically organized, the illustrations are clear, the instructions straightforward. I've been sewing more than 20 years, so I'm no newbie. But I'm self-taught and I want to expand my skills. I've given myself a new machine and am taking lessons. I bought this book to augment what I'm re-learning, and if it were only about the content, this would be a 4.5 star rating. Unfortunately, the book has a design flaw in it's construction and layout that's a deal-breaker for me.
'Simple Sewing' is a LARGE, almost square book with a spiral binding encased in a hard cover. The pages are laid out so that the binding is at the top of the forward facing pages and the bottom of the back-facing pages. The book flips pages rather than turns them. Ideally, you could lay this book flat (which it is designed to do) and sew-sew-sew. But I could not find a way to make this work. If you angle the book to make it easier to see, it gets in the way of the machine's needle side. Placed on the other side, perpendicular to the machine it's hard to see the whole page. I placed it next to the machine at different angles, but could not get it to a position where I could comfortably see it and use it to sew. I tried to stand it up, but the rigidity of the hardcover made that impossible. It slid flat or the pages flopped up and slid forward or... well, it just wouldn't stay up in a way that pages were visible to be instructive.
I'm disappointed, but in the execution, not the content. However, that construction makes it impossible for me to use it. You may just be able to finagle a placement or a prop that'll make it a '5' for you. Me? I'm already packing it up for return and headed to a brick-and-mortar store, where I'll audition the book before I buy next time.
Finally, the DVD included with this book is the one Singer includes with some of it's machines. It's a very, VERY basic DVD, and not a reason to choose this book over some of the others.