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Customer Review

126 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Book For New Sewers, November 9, 2011
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This review is from: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook (Hardcover-spiral)
For the beginning sewer, I would rate this book 5/5, but for more advanced sewers I would probably rate it 4/5.

I think this book is clearly laid out - the book starts by discussing important tools, how to read and trace patterns, grainlines and fabric, and basic sewing techniques. It then goes on to give very detailed instructions for a skirt, a blouse, a dress, a coat, and a bag. It includes three variations with instructions for each pattern, as well as photographs of lots of creative ideas for each of the five designs. The pattern pieces are included with the book, which is great. I really love the blouse, and I like elements of the coat, so I may make use of these patterns in the future.

My overall impression is that this is the perfect book for someone who is interested in learning to sew clothes but doesn't have a lot of experience. The book outlines the essentials of sewing without getting too bogged down in the details. It emphasizes creativity while still highlighting the importance of technique (pressing seams, etc.). Most of the other "learn to sew" type books tend to give "patterns" for aprons or toys or crafty items, which never held much interest for me, and I am sure aren't of much interest for others who want to learn to sew garments. This, of course, is not an issue with BurdaStyle, which emphasizes the different garment patterns they have included. The instructions seem to be quite detailed, so they could be great for newer sewers. Also, these patterns do not have seam allowances (like the BurdaStyle magazine patterns), and it gives some good advice about how to add seam allowances and why it is better to make pattern alterations without them. I have always had great experiences with the drafting of the Burda patterns, so I would expect new sewers might be really pleased with the results they get from the patterns included with this book. I really think this book would be especially good for teens or young adults who are interested in sewing trendy clothes and want to learn some of the basics.

As much as I think this book is great for beginners, I don't think it is the best book for an advanced home sewer. I know this isn't going to be one of my go-to books for sewing techniques, but I do like the inspiration and advice it gives for altering patterns to get totally different styles. I don't ususally feel very confident making drastic pattern alterations with most garment patterns and I think this book may give me more ideas for making major pattern alterations, although it doesn't discuss much technique. For the advanced sewer this book is more useful in terms of inspiration and ideas, as well as use of the patterns included in the book.

Overall I would say this is a great book and fills a niche in the current sewing book market. I think it may be just a bit below my skill level at this point, but it is exactly the book I was looking for when I first started sewing. The inclusions of the patterns are great and make the purchase worth it for advanced sewers, and I really like that this book included inspirational designs from the BurdaStyle community members. However, I think where this book really excels is as a first sewing book for new sewers who want a guidebook for garment construction, but want to be able to exercise their own creativity in making clothes.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 21, 2011 5:43:51 PM PST
Great review-will definitely get this book! THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 5:54:37 AM PDT
S. Wozniak says:
Your review filled me with the confidence to trust your opinion. You were very thorough! I'm inbetween several categories. I began sewing when my now 34-year-old daughter was an infant because my an elderly relative sent me $5 to buy something for her for Easter. She was too young for chocolate but this woman loved to sew, so I thought I would buy a pattern and the tag end of a bolt of cloth to make a dress. It took me two weeks to sew a baby's sleeveless dress because I was a newbie in the "discourse community" of seamstresses but I was hooked! I sewed clothes for her throughout up until her wedding. I took lessons to help me learn what I needed to know, but I haven't touched my machine in years. I was too involved in other aspects of my life. I'd love to get back to sewing but might need some help. This book might be perfect for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 6:20:34 AM PDT
Woody says:
S.ozniak, the same for me I have not sewed for almost 20 years after many years of sewing for my three children.
I love the new passion I am feeling in making clothing for me this time and finally. Good luck to you
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