Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Book Review: Sew U

Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe by Wendy Mullin with Eviana Hartman Published in 2006 ISBN: 0-8212-5740-4
Some Chapter Headings: Getting In Gear
Chop, Chop
I liked:
  • That the book is very easy to read.
  • The wonderful inspiration for "designing your own" based on a pattern.
  • The notions and supplies chapter because she points out that you don't have to have much to get started and encourages you to wait until you know what you need before investing.
  • The "Anatomy Lesson" defining and describing pattern pieces.
  • Page 82 that has an excellent explanation of thread tension and why it is so important.
  • The Project Ticket Form
My dislikes:
  • The section on measuring yourself is not detailed and only includes instructions for measuring bust, waist, and hip. In my experience, using only these 3 measurements leads to ill-fitting garments and loads of frustration.
  • I found the A-line skirt pattern to be almost a pencil skirt.
While this book isn't as thorough as other "Complete Guides..." it certainly has its place. I personally picked up the book because the look of it appealed to me. And, the book is actually quite detailed for the beginner, describing and explaining techniques that more intermediate and advanced sewers would take for granted: stay-stitching, stitching direction, finishing seams, topstitching, understitching, and even sewing on a button!
Another feature that appealed to me: the book includes 3 patterns. While only the skirt has worked for me, the shirt and pants provide new options and can be a jump-start for a new sewer. That said, the limited measuring instructions and virtually no fitting information are potential roadblocks in sewing your own wardrobe.
Would I buy it for myself? I do own this book and I've made the skirt several times and in several ways.
Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? I whole-heartily recommend this book to a tween, teen, or even 30-something beginner--as long as they have a fitting resource (like a very, very good friend) handy.

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