Sewing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing
By The Editors of Creative Publishing International, Inc.
18705 Lake Dr. East, Chanhassen, MN 55317
Hardbound and spiral bound
Written for the unmitigated beginner, the book offers thorough
instructions and step-by-step photographs in a reader-friendly format,
designed to teach anyone the basics of sewing.
If you’re not familiar with books published by Creative Publishing International, Inc., you should be. Every one of them, including Sewing 101, follows a terrific format, offering up quick references, a glossary, project lists—along with detailed instructions and product needs lists. Sewing 101 is “designed to make your learning experience as painless as possible and to instill confidence as you take on new projects and learn new techniques.”
The book is divided into four sections: Sewing Basics, Sewing Garments, Sewing Home Décor and, finally, Glossary & Index.
In the section on Sewing Basics, you first learn about the sewing machine, which for some can be likened to a computer, so complex and unnerving a machine. Sewing 101 offers a full-page diagram, showing back, front and side views of a typical machine and labels for each part. Turn the pages and learn about each part in more detail, from needles and presser feet to bobbins, threading the machine and adjusting the tension.
Next, learn about sewing seams and seam finishes—which for the newbie can be daunting.
Need to put together a set of supplies? The book not only lists what types of supplies you should purchase, but also why you should purchase them. For example, the difference between straight pins and quilting pins is discussed—briefly—so you can decide if you need both.
Fabric information, covered in the following chapter, is a definite bonus for anyone not only working with fabric, but also specifying it. Learn about wovens and knits, tightly woven versus loosely woven fabrics.
Once you have learned all you need to know about matching fabric patterns, sewing straight seams and more, the book moves into the second section, Sewing Garments, and begins with a simple T-shirt, then moves on to pull-on garments such as skirts and pants and finishes up with unlined jackets. Starting with something simple and moving along to the more complex make this section a winner.
SEWING HOME DÉCOR
Is this our favorite category, or what? Of course it is! The section begins with Raw-edge Flange pillows—definitely one of the easiest of the sewing projects, requiring only minimal skills in sewing. And the end result is so beautiful! Check out the first page and you not only will see a sidebar showing “What You’ll Learn” and “What You’ll Need,” but also a finished product to work toward.
Turn the page. Five simple steps, easy to read and easy to follow, will help you accomplish this easy project. Photographs of each of the steps are clear and uncomplicated.
Projects for additional pillows, blankets, placemats, tablecloths and runners and—you guessed it—shades, swags, rod pockets and grommet curtains follow. Truly a winner of a section.
Finally, you meet up with the glossary. It’s easy to know what terms are defined in the glossary, as any word placed in capital letters throughout the book (such as CASING, for example) will be in the back as well. If you can’t find it in the glossary, however, look to the index to find your reference.
In general, I honestly couldn’t find a thing wrong with this book—the photography is great, the writing and step-by-step instructions are lucid, the sidebar boxes highlighting what is to be learned, what is needed and also, quick references, make a terrific book. If you are in need of a tutorial and want to learn to sew, this book is like a teacher standing at your side, at the ready, waiting to answer your questions.
Kathleen Stoehr is president of Chemistry Creative, based in Minneapolis, MN. She has more than seven years' experience covering trends, window treatments and interior fashions, and is a former editor-in-chief of Window Fashions magazine. Stoehr can be contacted for comments, queries and trend information at firstname.lastname@example.org.