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More Fabric Savvy: A Quick Resource Guide to Selecting and Sewing Fabric Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 1, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sandra Betzina is the star of the TV series "Sew Perfect" and author of "Power Sewing,"
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; Revised edition (September 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561586625
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561586622
  • ASIN: B0047GNCZ8
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,014,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am a sewing professional, and I also own Clare Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide, which is excellent and does cover more fabrics. However More Fabric Savvy is really the indispensible guide that should be right by your sewing machine. MFS is not as big, so one is more inclined to open it up and take a look at the suggestions. Also, the spiral binding on MFS lets it lie open flat so you can refer to it easily. MFS is a re-issue of the original Fabric Savvy, and it addresses all the shortcomings of the original - far more fabrics are covered. There is also an extensive list of alternative fabric names, so you can really find the details for any fabric one needs. The size of MFS means you can put it in your bag and take it with you to the fabric store, and I'd recommend doing this, as it will make you more aware of interlining needs, or fastening limitations, BEFORE you spend all your heard-earned money on the fabric of your dreams, only to find out you really need to spend an extra $40 (which you don't have) on silk organza to interline the garment. All the review for the original Fabric Savvy spell out the great features of this book - this edition really just fixes the few criticisms people had.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great resource that answers basic questions about working with different fabrics. I don't know about the person who can't find things in the book; fabric types are discussed alphabetically and almost every fabric I've looked up, I've found in this book.

Fancy fabrics can be intimidating even for the experienced sewer. You spend all this money on the fabric, only to run into problems because it slips when you cut out the pattern or the tension won't accept the fabric or the needle is the wrong size. How do you reduce your losses before you begin? You get this book, that's how.

In the "Search Inside" feature, we see African Mudcloth (exotic), Alpaca (expensive) and Batik (exotic and expensive). But there are entries for more commonly used fabrics such as denim, crepe de chine, lace, and double knits to name just a few.

And there's a ton of info on each fabric: sewing tips, how or whether to preshrink, how to lay out the fabric, how to mark it, what size needle to use, how to finish your seams...there's more after that.

I love this book. I love the spiral binding that allows it to lay flat without any effort on my part, the excellent use of color and page layout that makes the information jump off the page, and the wealth of information presented. There's a 6-page section on seam how-to's, 2 pages on details, 4 pages on closures, 6 pages on hem how-to's, and lots more info on linings, stain removal, a glossary AND a thorough index. There is a lot of useful info in this 234-page volume!

This book rocks. If you're brand new to sewing or you've been at it for 40 years, your bookshelf should include this volume.

Save yourself time, money, and grief and get this book before starting that wedding dress project or that ripstop windbreaker. You'll be glad you did.

More Fabric Savvy gets an A+ from this seamstress.
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone else has already said it so well... don't spend another moment's hesitation on whether to buy it or not... just buy it! It is absolutely the sewer's bible! And I loved the comment about bringing it with you to the fabric store. I do a lot of fabric and pattern buying online and I have found that I don't complete the purchase without first referring to this book! Okay, 'nuff said!
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of my 3 main sewing references. (All 3 by Betzina! The other two are Power Sewing and Fast Fit.) I learned to sew when I was 8. Twenty years later, I've taken it up again, and am very appreciative of these books. This book teaches you which needles, interfacing, seam finishes, threads, hems, presser feet (and more) to use with each type of fabric. This knowledge has greatly reduced my frustration with sewing. (Who knew that the wrong needle could cause so many problems! Not my 8 year old self, that's for sure.)

I haven't read Schaeffer's guide on this subject (though her book Couture Sewing Techniques absolutely blew me away!), so I can't compare the two. But I do really like this guide. Thank you, Sandra Betzina!

-a big fan
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't owned this book long enough to really put it to use, though I've read it from cover to cover and can see there's a lot of really useful information. Not only has Betzina described the characteristics of the fabric, but she provides lots of helpful information for working with the fabric, including information on presser feet, hemming and thread and needle suggestions. Being relatively new to sewing, I can see finding this information invaluable when working with an unfamiliar fabric.

In terms of the written information, I have only two minor quibbles. First, many of the finishing suggestions specify using a serger with no alternative options. While I appreciate that a serger may be the best option in some cases, I think it would have been helpful to know what alternate methods could be used by those of us with only a standard sewing machine. Second, there were several cases where Betzina specified that natural fibers were an ideal alternative to manmade, and indicated that manmade fibers would have puckered seams. I was hoping, for those of us who might end up wanting or needing to work with a synthetic fiber on occasion, that she might, instead, offer tips for avoiding or controlling puckers in the fabric. Again, I'm hard pressed to believe there's no option at all. Both these quibbles may be a product of limited space and I wouldn't discourage anyone from buying the book on those grounds. The information is really helpful and should be an asset to anyone who isn't already an expert in fabric characteristics.

The reason I'm not giving this book a solid 4 or 5 stars is because the photos are confusing and in several cases, I think they are simply wrong. Garments are shown laid flat on the ground, often as complete outfits that are clearly made with multiple fabrics.
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