Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Review: New Complete Guide to Sewing

This is a wonderful general-reference sewing book.  In almost every chapter, there is a project for you to try. As contained in this edition, I found them useless because none were of anything I wanted to make.  The newer version will reference updated Simplicity patterns.  I'm still not certain if that's how people will use this book, but I'm not the publisher. When I'm working on a project I use this book to look up a technique.  It seems like Reader's Digest thinks you want to sew your way through the book.

With regard to content, the Stitches and Seams chapter is excellent. It helped me understand understitching and for that I am grateful. The section on fabrics is disappointing.  It's a fabric glossary with some pictures, but you have no idea what the pictured fabric is. There is a section on basic pattern alterations this is useful as a quick reference. The Tailoring chapter is pretty good. The book uses illustrations to show the techniques.

Here are all the chapters:

  • Sewing Equipment and Fabrics
  • Cutting
  • Stitches and Seams
  • Neckline Finishes and Collars
  • Waistlines and Belts
  • Sleeves and Sleeve Finishes
  • Pockets
  • Hems
  • Fastenings
  • Tailoring
  • Patchwork and Quilting

I also have The Complete Book of Sewing. The topics are similar (they are both references pieces).  However, I think the Reader's Digest versions goes into more thorough detail. I also think it is a bit more advanced. Together, both would take a beginning sewist to advanced techniques.

1 comment:

Tara said...

It's great to have a reliable sewing book when you get stuck on a technique. I love sewing books and will sometimes read them from cover to cover like a novel. I know there are many who have fallen in love with the internet, but for me there's no comparison to turning a printed page. Also, sometimes when searching for a technique on the web I am easily overwhelmed with information overload. I tend to use use my reference books just as you, looking up techniques as I need them. My sewing library is huge; I should be embarrassed but I'm not.