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Sew Everything Workshop: The Complete Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide with 25 Fabulous Original Designs, Including 10 Patterns Spiral-bound – November 8, 2007
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"This is the sewing book I've been waiting for! Like the hippest home-ec teacher on the planet, Diana Rupp guides readers through every step of the process. It's fun, it's inspiration, it's everything you need to know."
—Debbie Stoller, author of Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It's hip (think Project Runway), it's hot (with a potential audience of 45 million), and it's coming from exactly the right publisher (remember Stitch 'N Bitch and Generation T). Introducing S.E.W, the beginning sewer's bible.
A reinvention of the postwar sewing how-to, here is a hold-your-hand guide that marries attitude and instruction, that speaks the language of today's crafters while teaching them everything they need to know from winding a bobbin to sewing a dart to customizing a pattern. Diana Rupp, the author, comes from a long line of crafters, and parlayed her passion into a career as the founder of Make Workshop, a unique DIY school that's been written about in Elle, Budget Living, BUST, Real Simple, Time Out, Vogue Patterns, and more. In S.E.W, Rupp brings the workshop home: buying the right machine; setting up a space and furnishing it with the right tools; introducing fabrics—manmade vs. natural fibers, wovens vs. knits, color theory, buying vintage fabric on eBay; the art of laying out a pattern and cutting; and becoming one with your machine, from best posture to seam allowances, buttonholes, zippers, and the finer points of hand-sewing.
Then comes the fun: 25 amazing projects, 8 with patterns included, all handled with clear, step-by-step instructions—gingham wrap skirt, gauchos, drawstring pants, silky top, downtown hobo/laptop bag, patchwork throw, dog sweater, unisex boxers, vintage apron, more. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
She includes a dozen-odd patterns and leads you by the hand through each project. The projects are functional and done in cute fabrics and colors, such as hobo bags, a pencil skirt, and a scarf. That said, as a curvy 36 year old woman, I didn't want to actually make any of the garments. Since they're beginner styles, they're mostly boxy (the kimono wrap) or trendy (the juniors tank top); they don't include any curved darts for fitting difficult shapes. The oilcloth sewing machine cover was darling, but after glancing at the photo I was able to figure out how to make one on my own.
I ended up returning mine after reading the front part, because I just wasn't going to use the patterns and I've moved beyond the absolute basics. Still, I would definitely recommend it for the right audience!
BEST FOR: Teens and 20s, total beginners, craft sewing, project ideas, group sew-alongs.
I've been sewing about 1.5 years. I've done reconstructions, baby quilt tops, and tote bags. From easy patterns I've done a couple of skirts and baby/little girl dresses. My goal is quality, of course, but also speed. The minute I saw S.E.W. I knew I had to have it. I happened to be in a bookstore with a friend and we agreed to exchange books, on the spot, as early Christmas gifts. I got S.E.W. and am glad I did. Not only are the projects cute and fashionable, but they're the kinds of things that leave room for the maker to add his or her own personal flourishes. They're stylish, yet classic pieces. Very interpretable.
I made the wrap skirt (in one night!) in brown corduroy. It turned out so well that I'm planning 2 more. My friend, who bought the book for me, is going to make one too.
No beginning pattern book is going to teach couture sewing, that's for an expanded skill set. The magic of Diana Rupp's approach is that someone with limited sewing experience can comfortably and confidently complete a great looking piece of clothing, a household item, a toy, etc. in a reasonable amount of time and while actually enjoying, rather than becoming frustrated by, the process.
Buy this book. You should.
Rupp is great for the beginner. She explained exactly what I needed to get started, how to organize a sewing area, and demystified the whole sewing process. She's very straightforward and has a great sense of humor along with a whole lot of style. I also bought the classic Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, but that's really a reference book -- I can't imagine teaching myself to sew with only that. S.E.W. you can actually read from cover to cover -- in fact, I recommend it. Every time I finish a project or think about a new one, I go back and re-read a chapter, now with a better understanding of how things work.
I highly recommend this book for the beginning sewer, male or female.