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Skirt-a-Day Sewing: Create 28 Skirts for a Unique Look Every Day Paperback – July 16, 2013
"Children of Blood and Bone"
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From the Back Cover
Stylish skirts for wherever the day takes you.
Sew a month of skirts using four classic styles -- wrap, straight, flared, and high-waisted -- as your starting point. Draft custom-fit patterns for all four styles (complete instructions included), and then play with seven variations for each skirt silhouette. Before you know it, you'll have 28 unique skirts - more than enough for every day and every occasion!
About the Author
Nicole Smith moved from Texas to Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches sewing workshops, private lessons and classes at 3rd Ward. She is part of the Etsy marketing and merchandising team and designs clothing, jewelry, accessories and sewing patterns. She is a regular contributor to Stitch magazine and has also written for Seventeen, Teen People, Cutting Edge, Adorn, SewStylish, CraftStylish, and Threads.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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The reader than goes about creating a sloper from measurements. This again is described to a novice. You are recommended to create your muslin sloper, which will then be used for all the other skirts in the book. The information is accurate, though I would have liked to see more actual fitting advice as this book is so much geared for the novice. There are some common problems that may come up in fitting, where some diagrams could be helpful, such as sway back, body shape issues, adjusting for protruding tummies, etc.
Chapters thereafter describe changes to your sloper to create the various skirts in the book. What I love is that there truly are several variations described that give quite different looks, and many of them simulate "ready to wear" styles with exposed zippers, interesting seaming, etc. There is a whole lot more here than the basic pull-on versus zipper in the back versus A-line that so many skirt books have already done. These truly area interesting variations for your basic sloper. However, given the focus of the book towards the very novice seamstress, I'm a bit concerned that someone would be overwhelmed trying to create some of these variations as they involve at times a skilled hand at sewing, e.g. the one with the curved asymmetrical darts. Even the example picture has some puckering at the darts, and a novice might end up frustrated with final his/her attempts at that. It's a fine line between enough of a challenge and a completely frustrating learning experience in the beginning.
Some of the skirts also show some challenging fabrics, such as working with velvet or aligning stripes, and I feel not enough information is given to the reader to be able to handle the nap on the velvet or the alignment of the stripes confidently. If this book were geared towards the moderate to advanced seamstress I would expect no extra help in that regard, but again the introduction and preliminary chapters make it clear this is geared towards the novice. As such, some more information on the fabrics chosen would be helpful to give the reader the very best chance of duplicating the project.
So, I give this book 4 stars as a moderate seamstress, but I would not recommend it to my most novice friend as I think she would be frustrated at the turnout of the projects if using only this book as a guide. I give it 4 stars because it is so very visually appealing (Storey publishing always has the most visually appealing books IMHO), and appeals to a modern woman (up to date styles). I love that it does not require pattern sheets with the book but rather teaches you to draft your own sloper. This gives you ultimately endless possibilities for variation (showing you several of course in the book). I do highly recommend it for those with at least basic sewing experience as a fun book.
I received a complimentary copy of this through Netgalley.
There is a lot of basic information about clothing construction, tools for handsewing, pressing, a directory of machine needles and how to choose the correct one for a particular fabric, types of threads, various basic drafting tools and their use, instructions for pattern drafting, how to measure yourself--lots and lots and lots of good instruction and information with large clear illustrations and photographs. I think a determined novice could self-teach from the information provided, but access to a mentor (check out older ladies who've been sewing for decades and love to share their experience) would accelerate the learning process and minimize mistakes. A beginner with some construction experience under their belt would have a better chance of completing a wearable garment.
The skirt patterns are not graded for difficulty and some of the designs may prove overly challenging for the inexperienced. If you have never made a garment before, may I suggest beginning with either the straight skirt ("pencil" skirt), or if your figure is a little "hippy," as in pear-shaped, the A-line skirt. Either of those will teach you (in addition to pattern drafting a simple shape) straight seams, attaching a waistband, inserting a zipper, hemming, and of course fitting. And that's more than plenty for a first project.
The Kindle version does have some odd little hitches in a few places, but all the pages are accessible. I usually use Kindle for PC for instructional books to blow the illustrations and pictures to maximum size. The little slider button makes it painless to move back and forth over the places where the pages "stick." I can't imagine trying to use this book on a standard Kindle or the smaller Fire. Books like this are perfect for the Kindle for PC app. I didn't deduct any stars over this issue--the sheer volume of information trumps the sticky page issue.
My only complaint about this book is that some instructions are not clear and sometimes steps are left out. The author assumes a greater knowledge of sewing than many people have, which can make this book frustrating. I've used it as a textbook in a sewing class, and marked up my copy to correct these shortcomings.If you are new to sewing, be aware that this isn't a beginner's book. But if you have sewing experience and want to break free from patterns, this book is for you.
Great detailed instructions perfect for a novice or an experienced stitcher. Simple fun ideas that we can really get creative with.