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The Sewing Book: An Encyclopedic Resource of Step-by-Step Techniques Hardcover – March 30, 2009
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This detailed guide contains everything an aspiring seamstress could need Junior 20090301 This hefty hardback is the new book for stichers and no one who has an interest in sewing should be without it Cross Stich Gold 20090101 Loaded with everything you could need to know and clever quick fixes for all sewing dilemmas --Woman& Home 20090401 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
This is the only sewing book you'll ever need. Every tool and every technique you require for making your own home furnishings or clothing is closely and sharply photographed, carefully annotated, and clearly explained.
The Tools section begins with the basic toolkit, opening up into everything you could possibly need - every type of cutting tool and machine foot is shown. This section also includes information on patterns - how to measure, how to use, and how to adjust them. Gallery spreads appear throughout the substantial Techniques section and showcase darts, zips, pleats etc, as well as showing key stitches. Plus, you can bring your acquired and refined skills to fruition as you make some of the 25 home decor and clothing projects at the back of the book. WithThe Sewing Bookon your shelf, you've got every sewing question covered.
Written by a passionate stitcher and teacher, with her own sewing school, eager to produce a one-stop sewing bible for her students, this book leaves no hem unturned. You can dip in at any level - whether you're new to sewing or refining your art, whether you want to repair an old skirt or create a new one, whether you want to spruce up a curtain or design one from scratch. And with a Foreword by U.S. sewing teacher, Diana Rupp, this book has it all sewn up. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I feel like they went so far in an effort to make this about visual learning that there's not enough accompanying text left to give you a full understanding of a technique or make you feel like you're ready to proceed. The clearest parts are in the beginning, large photos of buttons and scissors that don't need a lot of explanation, but once you've passed the very first stage of sewing, you won't need to reference that. The sections I would have turned to time and again -- like making pattern alterations -- are so terse as to be barely an introduction. You get the basic steps in the fewest words possible with no alternate methods, extra tips, or common mistakes to watch out for.
Although I was initially drawn to the clean look, I spent too much time going online to find more details. And when I did, the sites would often cover what was in this book and then some.
The photos were also an issue for me. They didn't choose fabrics that had a clear right and wrong side. There's generally a text reference to which side you're working on, but it would have been better for me, and in keeping with the visual learning style, if the photos had made that obvious.
I went on to get the out of print 'The Encyclopedia of Sewing' by Adele Margolis (which is sometimes available cheaply), and what a world of difference it made. Take for example Understitching. 'The Sewing Book' has a photo and the following:
"Understitching is used to secure a seam that is on the edge of a piece of fabric. It helps to stop the seam from rolling to the right side. First make the seam, then layer, turn, and press onto the right side. Open the seam again and push the seam allowance over the layered seam allowance. Sew the seam allowances down."
Compare that to 'The Encyclopedia of Sewing', which has five line drawings and the following for Understitching:
"A line of machine or hand stitching that permanently positions the seam allowance of a garment section and its facing. There are several ways this may be done.
After the layers have been stitched and pressed open, the seam allowances trimmed clipped, notched and graded, turn the facing to the underside. Press the edges with the seam rolled to the underside. If steam pressing as in tailoring, allow the garment to dry thoroughly before handling.
In Dressmaking -- Open out the facing with the seam allowance directly under it.
Stitch the seam allowances to the facing close to the seam by machine (fig. a) or, in delicate fabrics, by tiny hand stitches (b).
In Tailoring -- Edge-baste firmly to hold the pressed seam in position (fig. a). Use either method below. Both are acceptable.
1 As an enclosed seam: lift the facing gently and fasten the wider seam allowance to the tape or interfacing with either permanent basting or catch stitching (b). This will automatically enclose the narrower seam allowance.
2 From the outside: hold the seam allowance in place with pickstitches (see Pickstitch) placed 1/8" from the edge of an undersurface. Work along the underside of the collar and lapel to the break of the collar. Work along the facing edge to the hem (c)."
In some pictures it's difficult to pick out which side of the fabric is being worked on, which is my biggest problem with the book. That being said, it's not a huge issue and a quick test with some scrap fabric usually clears up any lingering doubts. I'm sure I'll use the mending section extensively to keep my new clothes in top shape. I love the projects at the back and I'm planning to modify the book cover to make my Kindle case look like a cloth-bound book, and eventually try that lovely kimono design *wistful sigh*.
I recommend this book as a learning tool for the advanced beginner up, and as a reference for anyone!
That being said, I would also suggest that the reader understand how to use a sewing machine and be familiar with it's use in sewing. There are so many machines that it would be almost impossible to describe them all. The beginning person must decide that for themselves. Start small and simple to move on to some of the more complex.