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on August 11, 2009
This book has a lot of information that should be helpful to those new to sewing, as well as those needing a refresher. It starts at the very beginning - how to read a pattern envelope - and goes from there. There is even a section with body types and the best sort of clothes for each. A chart that describes basic articles of clothing seems at first almost too basic; doesn't everyone know what an A-line skirt is? But on closer look, this chart notes ways to embellish and finish each garment, which is helpful no matter what your level of expertise. Most of the drawings demonstrating each technique are clear and easy to understand, and photos of the finished result are given, though a couple of the finished examples look a little sloppy. Sadly, it doesn't go as in depth as a more advanced seamstress or tailor might like. For example, the section on kimono sleeves mentions adding a gusset, and shows a small picture, but does not go into detail on how to do this other than to say it involves cutting a diagonal slash under the armpit and adding a piece of fabric. I've got some vintage patterns with kimono sleeves and I need more information than that to adjust them!

This is a good reference to have in the sewing room. The information is ell organized. Great spiral binding, though I do wish the book were larger; the print is a bit small.
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on April 21, 2009
Really found this book to be an inviting, encouraging, complete as well as easy-to-use reference. The spiral type binding allows the book to lie flat,too - so I'm not fighting holding the book open while handling fabric and pins! The drawings / illustrations are large and clear (to me with age 49+ eyes) and the layouts of each page make finding what I am looking for not so burdensome as my other older traditional text - type books (everyone knows that Vogue tailoring book from the 1970s - wonderful but try holding it open while you work!) I sewed during my junior high years, and off and on thereafter - never with the ease and ambition and skill my mother had (she made all my clothes in high school, and all my school uniforms in junior high - beautiful work). I found this book to be both factual and encouraging as I pick back up on a skill I always wanted to perfect.
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on July 11, 2009
Are you new to sewing or refreshing your skills after a long break? Then this book is ideal. I take this book off the shelf regularly to refer to methods or meanings. I think is a great resource and I only wish I had had a book like this when I starting out. It will also be a book that I will keep and pass on to my children in years to come. In my opinion a good investment.
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on September 27, 2010
I agree with the other reviewers who suggested that this is a good reference for a new or returning sewist. There are clearly better books for some topics covered in this book -- The guide to fabrics, for example, isn't in the same class as Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide.

It also isn't comprehensive in how it presents techniques. For example, in the discussion of making your own bias tape (easy, cheap, not hard), it only talks about the most basic technique (cutting it out and sewing it together). It doesn't talk about alternative techniques including a continuous bias tape technique, which I find to be much easier.

I find that I return to this when I need a refresher on how to do a technique that I've done before. Just the other day, I wanted to do a french seam on a blouse I was putting together. I haven't done one in a few months so I peeked at the helpful diagram on page 57 and away I went. It fits nicely on the small bookcase next to my sewing table, so I like to keep it handy when I'm working on projects. Please don't misunderstand, I like it really quite a lot, it just isn't the only book in the library.
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on September 11, 2009
The great thing about this book is that it has so many things pictured in it and gives people who sew good ideas for what to do with their projects. The bad thing about it is that the instructions aren't as comprehensive as the larger how to books. I HIGHLY recommend searching the singer sewing reference library books and finding the book with the topics you are looking for because these are very comprehensive. Since they are from the 80's, some of the designs are out of style, but the technique is timeless and most of these books are under $5.
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on September 14, 2010
I bought this book to replace a much more expensive textbook. For the price and size this is an excellent technique resource book. For an experienced sewer the book is a great reminder on how to sew various seams and finishes. It also has basic information. I bought three books--one for me and one for each daughter.
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If you are into sewing and want to learn how to make clothing, this is an excellent little book to help you on your way. I love that it is spiral bound. All art and craft books should be spiral bound in my opinion. This allows you to leave the book open and read while your working without having to hold the pages open.

The pages are chock full of techniques. For instance, it will teach you several different techniques just for sewing a hem, Serged hems, rolled hems and more. Then there is another chapter on Fasteners. From buttons to zippers, snaps, hook and eyes and more. The book is well illustrated showing how to do each technique. I'm new to sewing apparel, and this book is going to help me immensely. There's even a section on embroidery and other decorative techniques. Great book. I'm very happy with it.
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on July 25, 2010
I've been sewing for 40 years now and this book is wonderful, this book is a bible for those newbies and for the oldies in sewing. Dressmakers gives every detail for everything from tools to choosing fabrics: from felting to beads: from lining a jacket to sleeves, this Dressmakers Bible has it all. There were things I had forgotten and this book reminded me how easy they were. I recommend this book to every sewer out there.
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on November 19, 2009
Love this book! It has every technique and answers for every question I need to make my dressmaking business a success. It's very simple and straightforward. Easy to find any information needed.
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on June 9, 2014
The book covers everything a beginner needs as well as being a refresher to someone like me who did a lot of sewing 20 years ago and is getting back into again.
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