Saturday, January 20, 2007

Linda's Dolls and Craft Book Review Series - Book#3 - New Complete Guide To Sewing

I was very fortunate to learn how to sew from my mother and my mother's best friend when I was 9 years old. They showed me how to use the sewing machine, explained how to read a pattern, showed me how to cut out the pieces, and explained what the various sewing terms meant, etc. I learned the basics from them - the rest I learned through trial and error. And, I have been sewing now for over 50 years.

At times I wished I had a comprehensive sewing book that would explain everything there is to know about sewing with detailed illustrations and pictorials. Well, in 1976 my mother bought one that I just loved.

So, I decided to review "The New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories Updated Edition with All-New Projects and Simplicity Patterns (Reader's Digest)"from Reader's Digest.

In 1976 Reader's Digest published their first "Complete Guide To Sewing" and it became the standard reference book for beginners and sewers. It had everything but the kitchen sink in it. And, best of all it had detailed step-by-step instructions to explain everything, including the kitchen sink. I was thrilled when my mother bought her copy and I borrowed it multiple numbers of times over the years.

Well, I decided several years ago that it was time for me to have my own copy so I bought the Reader's Digest "New Complete Guide to Sewing - Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories."

If you want to learn how to sew then you don't need any other book but this one. It has so many detailed directions, so many illustrations, so many pictorials, so many work saving tips, and practical advice that it's hard to comprehend it all in one sitting. Plus, it also has 20 fun projects for you to try. It is a virtual smorgasbord of a sewing encyclopedia.

There are eleven chapters, which cover: Sewing Equipment and Fabrics, Cutting, Stitches and Seams, Neckline Finishes and Collars, Waistlines and Belts, Sleeves and Sleeve Finishes, Pockets, Fastenings, Tailoring, and Patchwork and Quilting.

The projects include an evening blouse, dress pants, pleated skirt, christening dress, curtains, summer dress, tailored jacket, short blouse, sheer curtains, Bermuda shorts, skirt, girl's skirt, boy's short, safari jacket, pillow cover, beach towel, lace blouse, bench cushion cover, patchwork vest, and baby blanket.

I've only had my copy for a few years but the pages show evidence of a lot of use. Even an old dog can learn new tricks and I find that every time I pick this book up to look at something that I learn something new or re-learn something I obviously had forgotten.

There's a lot to digest in this book. But, if you want one book to teach you how to sew this is the book you should have. Best of all it's a book that can be used by beginners and expert seamstresses alike.

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