Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Book Review: 10, 20, 30 Minutes to Sew

10, 20, 30 Minutes to Sew by Nancy Zieman Published in 1992 ISBN: 0-8487-1118-1
Some Chapter Headings: Minutes to Organize Fast Fashion Elements Serging, the Ultimate Time Saver Super-Quick Knits Elastics--Fast and Fun to Sew Needle Know-How and Feet Smarts Begin to Sew

I liked:

  • The idea that I don't have to spend a whole day to do some worthwhile sewing.
  • The tip about using a recipe card file to keep track of alterations for yourself and others you sew for.
  • That she writes out this tip (I knew this, but I'm not sure how I knew it, so seeing it in writing was reassuring that I was doing it correctly): "When you are sewing together 2 fabric pieces of different lengths, stitch with the longer layer down (next to the feed dogs of the sewing machine) and the shorter layer up (next to the presser foot). The feed dogs will gently and evenly ease the longer layer to meet the shorter layer." (page 25)
  • The great introduction to a serger.
  • The "Seams Great Elastic Casing" ( I wish I'd used this on this dress.)
  • Her "Favorite Gathering Method" (page 133) that uses a zig-zag stitch rather than 2 rows of basting stitches.
My dislikes:
  • Some of the fashion ideas are a little dated.
  • Her centered zipper instructions (pages 35-36) didn't work for me.
Conclusion: This book works to dispel the notion that "I have no time to sew". As she points out in her introduction, so much of sewing is the prep and the pressing, rather then the actual time stitching a seam. With that in mind, it becomes easy to take a project and break down into smaller steps that fit much better into a crazy, busy lifestyle. On a side note, McCalls patterns are now offering some "10,20,30 to Sew" patterns that are supposed to have Zieman's tips include in the instructions. I haven't looked at them, but I'd be interested in knowing if they break the project down into smaller steps like the book suggests. Would I buy it for myself? I probably would have never chosen it for myself, simply because the book screams 1990! However, I grabbed it off Mom's shelf on a lazy weekend at her house and discovered the tips. I still haven't returned it. Oops! Would I buy the book for a beginner? I think a beginner could benefit from this book, particularly if she is having trouble finding the time to start and finish her new projects. Plus, the elastics and serger chapters are great for trying new techniques.

1 comment:

Dee Light said...

So true, that sewing can be broken down to small steps. Now to break it down and get to sewing. I have 3 simple dresses cut out for my 1 year old, but have yet to start sewing. I think I'm waiting for the day that I can do it all in one setting. I need to face the fact that, that day isn't coming, and just get started!!