Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book Review: Vogue Easy Sewing

Vogue Easy Sewing by Lynn Ferrari and the Butterick Company, Inc.
Published 1985
ISBN: 0-06-181128-9
Some Chapter Headings:
  • Easy Wardrobe Planning
  • Fabric Dos and Don'ts
  • How to Press
  • How to Sew by Hand
I liked:
  • A great detailed "Needle and Thread Chart" on Page 31.
  • The chapter labeled "How to Press", which had good guidelines, but even better pictures and diagrams! This section included fool-proof instructions for pressing darts, gathers, pleats, sleeves, hems, and seams. Probably the best pressing instructions I've seen.
  • The chapter labeled "How to Sew By Hand", which included only a few stitches (back stitch tacks, slip stitch, blind stitch and thread chain), all essential to any sewer.
  • The last section "Easy Sewing Techniques" that is broken down into chapters based on the techniques that "scare" some sewers, including bands, buttonholes, darts, pockets, sleeves and zippers.
My dislikes:
  • There is no information on invisible zippers or collars with a stand.
Conclusion: This is a great reference for any sewer that has progressed past pillows and PJ pants and is now ready to tackle garments. The book is really easy to follow and has great illustrations for the techniques. I'll tell you again--I love the pressing chapter! One small warning--you'll have to look past the mid-1980s photos in the middle of the book. Gotta love shoulder pads! Would I buy it for myself? Absolutely. I've already looked it up on Amazon. Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? Maybe.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Book Review: New Complete Guide to Sewing

New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-step techniques for making clothes and home accessories Published 2002 by Reader's Digest ISBN:0-7621-0420-1
Some Chapter Headings:
Sewing equipment and fabrics Neckline finishes and collars Fastenings Tailoring I liked:
  • The format! It is very easy to open this book to the contents and quickly identify the chapter I need.
  • The great fitting section. There were lots of photos showing how and where to measure for 16 useful measurements.
  • The great diagrams showing fit alternations on pattern tissue.
  • The diagrams showing common "wrinkles" and how to adjust fit for each.
  • 14 pages of hand stitches!

My dislikes:

  • Only one-The extensive list and descriptions of fabric has pictures, but they aren't complete or labeled.
Conclusion: I refer to this book at least once a month. It has more information than I could ever list. In fact, it would be easier to list what's not included than to tell you everything that is! So far, every time I've need information, I've found it here! I use the fitting chapters more than anything else! This book has 20 projects throughout that use the techniques covered in each chapter. It also has a quilting chapter, but you should note that it consists of only 2 projects and no additional diagrams or explanations. The book also contains a 4 page glossary. Would I buy it for myself? It's the most used book on my shelf! Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? Absolutely.