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The Complete Book of Sewing New Edition Hardcover – August 4, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DK; Revised edition (August 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789496585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789496584
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With step-by-step instructions and illustrations of everything from the different types of scissors to the method for facing a waistband, this sewing manual, revised from the 1996 original, offers beginner and intermediate sewers a wealth of information. Hosegood starts with equipment, moves on to working with patterns and covers threads and fabric types; she then moves into actual sewing: handstitching, making pleats, finishing sleeves and applying pockets, among numerous other topics. There aren't any actual patterns, but there are plenty of color drawings and photographs to guide sewers on their own projects. Each section contains brief introductory remarks, definitions (e.g., the difference between a knife pleat and a box pleat) as well as a sidebar of related techniques. For anyone who needs more guidance than a store-bought pattern provides, this should prove a useful resource.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Chris Jeffreys leads a team of expert sewing writers and contributors on The Complete Book of Sewing. She taught needlework and embroidery for a number of years; since then Chris has contributed as a writer, consultant and editor to many magazines and books, including Essentials, Sew Stylish, and Successful Sewing.

Customer Reviews

I think that is successfully joins that advanced sewer and beginner together nicely in this book.
JessicaLMould
The Reader's Digest book has single color illustrations throughout instead and I find photos much easier to follow.
Amazon Customer
I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn how to sew, or just wants to sew better.
Amalfi Coast Girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

262 of 264 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I chose this book after carefully examining it against the Reader's Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing. While the Reader's Digest book occasionally went into better detail about some techniques, I chose this book because it is far easier to see how something should be done. This is largely due to the ample-sized, crisp and clear color photos accompanying each technique. The Reader's Digest book has single color illustrations throughout instead and I find photos much easier to follow.
The fabrics in the photos are presented in basic colors and the fashions shown are timeless classics, so this book won't look out-of-date in a few years like many sewing books generally do. Everything you need to know about any sewing technique is covered is this guide so you won't be disappointed. As a reference, this book is great for beginners (like myself) and advanced sewer's alike (like my mother).
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150 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Angel on December 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've done a little bit of sewing--skirts with elastic waists, simple tops, small accessories--but everything I know about sewing I either learned in Junior High Home Ec class, or I figured out (read: muddled my way through) on my own. This book does a wonderful job of going from the very basic to the very advanced. I learned about several things that I was doing wrong, and also about techniques to further perfect what I've already been doing.

One of the most useful chapters for beginners is the chapter called "Tools for the Techniques." It has photographs and descriptions of dozens of tools for those who sew--from the absolute essentials to the things that cost a little extra but make things so much easier. I never would have thought about buying some of these time-saving tools were it not for this book.

The chapter on fabrics is one of my favorite parts. It explains characteristics of and differences between many of the most common cotton, woolen, linen/silk, and synthetic and special fabrics. I would have liked to have seen this section expanded a bit, with more fabrics and more information about each, but for the beginner it is definitely more useful than just walking into a fabric store and wondering which of the myriad fabrics in there might work for her project.

My biggest complaint about this book is that many of the techniques are not described or illustrated very well. When describing a technique, steps are often not illustrated clearly, or are not illustrated at all. Especially getting toward the middle and end of the book, many of the descriptions have me thinking "Huh? You lost me." This book is chock full of wonderful color photos, but they're not helpful if each step is not clearly described and illustrated.
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100 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Anna on October 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is so great! I just bought a nice sewing machine but have no idea how to use it. So I went to a bookstore and decided to buy this book for its colorful presentation. I learn how to use my sewing maching just by looking at the step-by-step pictures since they are all very helpful. The colors of the fabrics are presented in high contrast so that the difference is obvious. There are equipment section, pattern, basic technique and professional technique and some more. I recomend it!
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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on August 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have carefully compared this book with the New Reader's Digest Sewing Guide. Although some topics are covered in the Reader's Digest book (Patchwork & Quilting, Tailoring, & Projects) that are not in this book, most of the basic sewing topics (Tools, Patterns, Fabrics, Stitches, Seams, etc.)are covered in both books. What I like most about this book was the ease of finding what you need and side by side comparisons/lists, also the photos are easier to look at than the drawings of the Reader's Digest Guide. This book also has a section on mending, and separate chapters for Interfacings & Interlinings / Darts, Tucks, Pleats, & Gathers /and Edges which I did not find in the Reader's Digest Guide. It also shows you how to do things like make bows. And has a chart for fabric care. I would recommend this book for anyone, it is a great reference.
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Amalfi Coast Girl on July 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A sewing novice writes this review. Thus far my sewing has been limited to home decorating. I have made curtains, roman blinds, duvets, and most recently slipcovers. I purchased this book to help me get beyond the basic straight-line sewing that I have been doing. The book covers almost any sewing topic that you can imagine.

The book is subdivided as follows:

Introduction

Tools and Techniques

Patterns

Fabrics, Threads and Notions

Basic Stitches

Seams

Interfacings and Interlinings

Darts, Tucks, Pleats and Gathers

Necklines

Collars

Waistlines

Sleeves and Cuffs

Hems

Edges

Fastenings

Pockets

Professional Techniques

This book covers the entire topic of sewing from Sewing Machines to Couture Dressmaking and Custom Tailoring.

The book is written in a very easy to read style and format. The numbered step-by-step sequences explain how to accomplish all the various stages of each sewing technique that is covered in the book. The authors also include tip boxes that give additional tips or hints on the related topic that is being addressed.

The book does a great job explaining how to alter patterns. In this section alone they cover the following information:

1. How to take all the measurements you will need to know what to adjust

2. Lengthening and shortening patterns

3. Lengthening and shortening darts

4. Lengthening and shortening hem edge

5. Raising or lowering a bust dart

6. Increasing a bust dart

7. Shoulder alterations for square, sloping, broad or narrow shoulders

8.
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