Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Review: Vogue Sewing

Vogue Sewing, Revised and UpdatedThis book should really be called the sewing bible. It is a must-have for any sewing library -- beginner, intermediate and advanced. At about 450 pages, there is little it doesn't cover. Best of all, it's dedicated to fashion sewing. No pillows and towels here!

This book takes the fashion part seriously. The first chapter is all about fashion and explains things like color, prints, texture, proportion and balance, body profile, etc. I've never seen all of this is a general sewing book before.

Construction Basics (darts, pleats, tucks, etc.) and Construction Techniques (bindings, collars, cuffs, pockets, etc.) are where the book starts to get really good. This info is very similar to what you'd find in the Reader's Digest sewing book and The Complete Book of Sewing. Best of all is a section on pressing. Everyone tells beginning sewists how important pressing is, but there are few resources to tell you how to do it right. This book is one of them -- eight whole pages!

Chapter 8 is Advanced Pattern Alterations. You won't get this in any other general sewing book. Those 30 pages are jam-packed. They are sectioned into "Dresses, Skirts, Bodices," "Pants," and "Fitting As You Sew." This will not replace a specialized fitting but, but it's a great start.
Fabric That Require Special Handling is a wonderful chapter. It covers leather, suede, synthetic suede and fur in addition to the things you'd expect like knits, sheers, etc. Plaids are handled elsewhere in the book.

The Tailoring chapter is very detailed. It's almost 30 pages.  It covers the skirt, jacket, interfacing and lining.

I love that the book explains what Couture is. It also has sections called "The Shapekeepers" and "The Finest Fastenings" that I really like. However, I think overall, The Threads Sewing Guide gives you  better info on how to make a couture garment (among the general sewing books).

An added bonus in the book is "The vocabulary of Fashion." It's a glossary of fashion terms and has illustrations of the different types of collars, dresses, jackets, necklines, pants, skirts and sleeves.

If you are brand new to sewing, this may not be the book to start with, but you'll need it eventually. The Reader's Digest book takes a much more basic approach. This is a book that will grow with your skills.


Picnicfan said...

Thank you very much for your review. I have an older version of the Reader's Digest Complete Book of Sewing ( 1978) and it contains just about everything including details about pattern alteration and tailoring.It doesn't seem basic to me. I haven't seen Vogue Sewing Book so I can't compare but I wonder whether it is worth buying that too.

narcissaqtpie said...

Thanks for the review, I've been back and forth for a while about this book. I have the Reader's Digest which I thought was pretty thorough. I just may have to add this one to my knowledgebase.