Because one day I really want to go to the Venice Carnival and wear this
and because I’m a perfectionist so I can’t buy an ‘ok’ readymade version and because I can’t afford the hefty price tag for someone to make it for me, I need to learn to sew.
The current plan is to go for my 30th birthday, so I have about 4 years – phew!
Anyway, everyone has to start somewhere, so I’ve been on the lookout for a good how-to-sew-for-idiots book and I think I’ve found one that actually surpasses all my expectations!
This is a little gem of a book, which I would recommend to anyone, whatever their level of sewing experience. It caters for beginners with clear instructions of how to do the very basics (different types of seams, machine and hand stitches, hemming, etc), but also provides the more advanced sewer with ideas for gorgeous and fun projects that would make wonderful gifts for friends, family and yourself! I can see this being a wonderful reference for people with mid-level skills, too, with it’s detailed how-tos on some funky and useable techniques, such as frills, ruffles, suffolk puffs, pleats, frog fastenings, beading, sequins, tassels, shirring (so pretty!), smocking, quilting, applique, patchwork, trapunto (seen loads on expensive cushions), embroidery, and loads more. Here’s an idea of the other projects inside: curtains, cushions, bags, understanding and altering commercial dressmaking patterns, repairs, a circular skirt.
This book really does have it all and I’m so pleased I picked it up – I can’t wait to get going! I am so going to make this cuff – I’m so in love with it. It’s already helped me to understand different types of fabric and a lot of dressmaking terms I’d heard used elsewhere.
My only criticism is that some of the basic techniques are displayed on a patterned fabric, making them not as clear as they could have been, especially as the book relies on photographs and doesn’t have any diagrams. A plain fabric with a lighter-coloured reverse and contrastic thread would have made the step-by-step instructions even clearer. The addition of diagrams for some of the techniques would have helped, too. But all in all, this is only a tiny negative in what is really a brilliant book.
Hmm… so this post has turned into a review of the book, nevermind – I’ll post more on-topic another time.