Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sewing Book Review: Illustrated Guide to Sewing: Garment Construction, edited by Peg Couch

Pros: step-by-step colour photos for everything, left and right handed instructions for hand sewing, progresses through basics to quite advanced techniques

Cons: some later instructions may be hard to follow without referring to the accompanying photos and even the glossary

The Illustrated Guide to Sewing: Garment Construction is a great guide for beginner and intermediate sewers who want to give their sewing a more professional look.  It starts with the basics, touching briefly on some machine and hand sewing techniques, fabric preparation and essential notions.  It assumes some knowledge and suggests reading through your sewing machine guide if you're a complete beginner before starting with this book.

This book teaches garment construction specifically.  From the hand stitching techniques of basting (to check fit before sewing) to hemming, the book moves on to the correct construction order for garments and then to professional style finishing techniques.

Each set of instructions is accompanied by a series of full colour photographs with the different steps numbered for reference.  The photos certainly help with clarity.  Actual beginners will find themselves flipping to the glossary at the back of the book and to earlier sections where some procedures are given in more detail.  I imagine many of the techniques taught (as with everything skill related) take time and practice to master.

The book recommends taking extra time with pre-sewing adjustments to ensure that you only sew once to create flattering, well constructed garments.  And this is certainly a great book to help you achieve your sewing goals.

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