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I’m a huge fan of any book I can learn from and that has left me with a quite nice craft book collection. I thought it would be fun to go through each of my books and give you my review, in case there are other non- fiction lovers out there like me. Hopefully it will give you some reference ideas if you are looking to further your craft skills or some new project inspiration.
It seems one fitting to start this series of craft book review with one of the first craft books in my collection, Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing. Soon after I started sewing, I began the search for a good sewing technique reference guide. I looked at several books before finally buying this one. It appealed to me because of how visual the instructions were. I need pictures; some things just don’t click until you have seen them done. As a new sewer, I needed the clear instructions that comes with pictures.
This book is focused more on Garment Making and Home Decor Sewing, which was the type of sewer I was when I started out. If you are more interested in quilting, bags or accessories, this book wouldn’t appeal to you as much. It does include some general things that all sewers could benefit from, the breakdown of a sewing machine, supplies needed and information about the different types of fabrics.
If you have ever wanted to try making clothing, you will find this book especially helpful. It covers everything from laying out a patterns to detailed instructions on every technique you will need to construct a garment. With more than 1200 picture showing how to do things like pattern adjustments, darts, zippers, gathers, collars, closures and tailoring, this is a valuable guide to have on hand.
That is just the Garment Sewing Section — the Home Decor section is packed with just as much information on how to make all kinds of things for the house like curtains, cushions and duvet covers.
Like I said, not every sewer will find this book useful, but for someone who dreams of making their own clothing one day, it is a good one to have in your collection.
I barely touched the surface on how much detail this book contains. I doubt there is a technique not covered in this book and the clear photos make it even better. Even if you are experienced in making clothing I think you will enjoy the refresher, and I’m sure you will find new methods to help you in your projects.
Now, the second book isn’t something you can just go to Barnes and Noble and find, but I feel so lucky to have it in my collection. It is the 1969 version of the Singer Sewing Book. It was given to me by someone who found it at a yard sale. It covers all of the techniques that The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing covers, with more like diagrams than pictures.
I can’t say that I honestly refer to it in my sewing, but it is a little piece of sewing history that I cherish. My favorite part of the book isn’t actually the sewing references. It is the tone of the book, it really is like stepping back in time. It tells how to dress for your shape, for dinner parties and talks about a time when dresses were more of the standard and high heel shoes were the way (classy, not those border line inappropriate stilettos.) While I flip the pages, I can’t help but wish to be in a time like that.
If you are ever treasure hunting at a yard sale, thrift shop or grandma’s attic and come across this book I would highly recommend getting it. You just wont find anything like it in today’s modern books.