Rating: 5 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Fox Chapel via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Review: Sewing is a rather new interest of mine. My mom is mostly a quilter, though she used to sew Barbie clothes for me, and my maternal grandmother made clothes for me when I was little. And both my aunts sew and quilt as well. In fact, though I’ve just gotten really interested in sewing (my new obsession, truthfully), I recall first being put in front of a sewing machine at the age of nine. My aunt had me practice by sewing quilting squares together in the evenings. Despite my only mild interest, my mom gifted me an older machine of hers many years ago, and it still works beautifully, so when I got the itch in the past few months, I had tools, but no guide (my mother and aunts live on the other side of the country). Enter Complete Book of Sewing Techniques by Wendy Gardiner.
When it comes to instructional books, I love pictures and clear instructions and this book has both. It assumes you know nothing and have nothing to start with. Need to know what kind of machine to get? This book will help you. Struggling to understand the different parts and attachments? This book will help you! It covers sergers and fabric types, has charts for converting yardage based on fabric widths, talks in detail about thread, needle types, rotary cutters and scissors, and all the little notions that go along with sewing. Interfacing, applique, patterns and pressing…it covers all of that, too!
After your tools are covered, it’s time to learn about technique: what stitches are used for what, what should be hand sewn vs. machine sewn, how to deal with seams and hems. And then it gets into the good stuff like darts and pockets, collars and cuffs, zippers, tucks and pleats. While there are no patterns or projects in this book, there are tons of well-explained examples supported by pictures. It isn’t overwhelming large or complex, just complete. If you’re pattern calls for interfacing, but you’ve never done that before, look it up in Complete Book of Sewing Techniques and you’ll be well on your way!
If you have any interest in sewing and don’t know where to start, this book should be your first purchase. Though I got it as a review copy, I’ll be buying it for myself. J