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Power Sewing Step-by-Step Hardcover – August 19, 2000
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About the Author
Sandra Betzina is best known as the dynamic host of HGTV's Sew Perfect. She is also the author of Fast Fit, Power Sewing, and Sandra Betzina Sews for Your Home, all published by The Taunton Press. Sandra also creates a line of garment patterns for Vogue called Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina, teaches sewing workshops and retreats, offers online classes, and more. She lives in San Francisco, CA.
Top customer reviews
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The book doesn't waist any time getting to the good stuff. Chapter 1, Power Shopping gets right to the point. There's helpful info on interfacing, what to do if you run short on fabric and the sizing differences between the major brands. I'm a little confused here, because Fit for Real People: Sew Great Clothes Using ANY Pattern (Sewing for Real People series), makes some opposite claims. I haven't sewn with all the brands yet to figure out which book is correct.
The book is organized by garment type:
Even if you don't plan to make those particular garments, sometimes the tips will work for other clothing. For instance, I'm not a vest person, but the bias and piping information in the vest chapter can be used on sleeveless blouses or dresses. The "Anatomy of" section at the beginning of each chapter gives the construction order of the garment.
The pants chapter is my favorite. Sandra Betzina's zipper techniques are favored by many. I love the waistband options too.
This is the only place, aside from the Web, where I've seen info on how and why you should hang bias. The rest of the skirts chapter touches on wrap skirts, underlining (including couture), zippers, godets, yolks, waistbands and hems. But wait, there's more -- including how to line a knit skirt.
The dresses chapter will take away any fears about invisible zippers. Here is also where she covers necklines and collars. Easing sleeves is also in this chapter. (She prefers sewing with the sleeve on the bottom and letting the feed dogs help with the easing.)
Jackets is the longest chapter. It covers 29 topics related to jacket construction! My favorites are Better Buttonholes and Weighted Hems. (I'll work my way up to a Chanel jacket one day.)
This is a wonderful, but not complete general sewing reference book. It will not take the place of books like New Complete Guide to Sewing (Readers Digest) or The Complete Book of Sewing. Theres's a mix of beginner and advanced techniques, so there's something for everyone. Everything is broken down into easy-to-understand steps.
On the positive side, there are lots of clear photographs and detailed instructions, so if there is a particular technique you are interested in that is covered in this book, you will find it helpful. The discussion of pattern sizing and ease is also good.
Overall, I think this book could be useful, but it wouldn't be my first choice for someone getting started with the craft of sewing.