Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The D & G Collar


While I referenced the collar last night I did not really get into its construction. The edge treatment required that I do away with any seam allowances on the outside edges of the collar. The top collar was interfaced with fusible weft insertion while the bottom was left unfused. In retrospect I should have fused both. Its the only  way to control the ravelly nature of this fabric. You can see here that there is no facing on this jacket. I chose to line it edge to edge like the Chanel. But how was I going to hide those nasty collar seams?

The right side of the upper collar was placed against the right side of the lining. The right side of the under collar was placed against the right side of the outer jacket. In other words you have a sandwich with the lining and jacket between the two collars. The collars are not sewn together at all at this point. I then stitched across the neckline ONLY, from edge to edge. This seam was pressed open over a ham, then graded. Then the two collars were put wrong sides together and pinned along the neckline edge. The outer edges are still raw and unsewn. I then triple zigzagged along the neck edge to secure the seam like an understitching. You can see it in the pic of you look close. It nicely sinks into the boucle. The jacket was then put on the dress form and the collar arranged and steamed heavily. There was much turn of cloth so the under collar was trimmed to match up the upper collar while on the dress form. Once the steam was dry the edges were pinned together and the jacket then removed from the form.

This time the silk bias was done a bit differently. I ironed the strip in half along the length. It was then placed around the collar edges like a binding on both sides. With one pass of the machine the same distance away as the other strips the binding was attached to both sides and complete. Out came the toothbrush and done.

I really like the results of putting this together "sandwich" style. I think it is a nice clean finish. In its next iteration, and I know there is more boucle in my future, I would fuse both collars with interfacing and quilt them together as well. Hindsight is always so clear.

The rest of the binding has been attached all around the jacket. I've decided on covered buttons and will pick those up in town tomorrow. It will be time to buy the chain as well. Gotta have the chain!...Bunny

Monday, February 27, 2012

The D & G Collar

Today I worked on the collar, all day! First I had to draft one and that was interesting. Luckily there was enough on the internet to help me out there.
This is from www.pattern-making.com.  Its a bit of a puzzle but eventually I got it figured out. I changed the shape to work with my vision. I think it looks pretty good. It is sitting on the dress form, flooded with steam, and hopefully will dry out and hold its shape. The lapels you see are hanging out of the way but this will be double breasted. Tomorrow I will work on that part and the  button holes. The sleeves will be last of all. I have to make sure I have enough bias before I finish those.


I am so pleased with how this pattern fit that I committed it to official TNT status by working it up yesterday on some oaktag. It will get added to the TNT collection but I already have plans for another out of faux leather. As far as when that will get stitched up, well, it depends on the weather. We are back to full blown winter so it may be soon. I also have in the queue a couple of dresses for Sophie and Carly. Lots of sewing going on here!

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I have had numerous emails/questions on the seam treatment. I just want to mention that the garment seams are normal 5/8 inch seams as you would sew on any garment. They are not inside out, on the front, or bound in any way. They are simply stitched and pressed open all on the wrong side. The bias silk strips are all surface embellishment topstitched over the seams on the right side of the garment. Hope this makes it all a little clearer. If not, please let me know. Tomorrow the buttonholes!!!.Bunny

Saturday, February 25, 2012

D & G Seams


This is the completed seam treatment on the center back seam of the D&G jacket. It will go on all the vertical seams on the bodice and one of the sleeve seams.  I will be flipping from the actual jacket to a small sample in the pictures as I show how I did this. The strips were first all cut on the bias, an inch and a quarter wide,  and the center back seam was sewn.

 Right sides together the raw right edge of the strip is lined up with the well of the seam, right side of jacket facing up. With a 1/4 inch foot I stitched that amount away to the left of the raw edge/seam well.

 The strip is then pressed first as sewn then over and  toward the right.
Now it is topstitched. I used my regular foot, lining up the left side with the fold of bias. I changed needle position a couple of clicks to the right. You want to stitch this so both sides of the jacket seam allowance, inside, are stitched down.
Next, brush the edge gently to fray it up a bit. . FWIW, I tried using strips cut on the straight of grain and the brushed edge were very messy. The bias strips stayed looking pretty. They will flatten out when you press the garment but will fluff right back up with a pass of the toothbrush.
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I have chosen to make this with what I call a Modified Chanel technique, cherry picking the parts of a Chanel construction that I wanted to utilize. Here are some of the changes I have made already.

*  The boucle is fused to a light weight knit interfacing. I don't want to deal with "wooly mammoth" frayed seams.

*  The seams are not overcast. The bias treatment of the seams will manage to topstitch down each side of the inner seam allowance so therefore, no need.

*  Sleeves are two piece and will have no vent. The original D&G jacket has simple bound edges for the sleeve hems. I'll honor that.

* There are no pockets, mock or otherwise, on this design.

* I did hand stitch the lining together as you can see here. I used a fell seam. Because I was not using the usual huge SAs as you would in a Chanel, the SAs were all 5/8ths. I pressed one lining SA over the stitched jacket SAs and then pressed under 5/8 inch on the remaining lining SA. This laid right on top and was easy to pin and fell stitch.

*  I did not tie the quilting threads into the interior of the jacket. I found on my last jacket that led the bottom stitches to loosen. Obviously, I am not skilled enough at that technique but this time I tried something different, faster and easier. I quilted all the pieces. I threaded a needle with the thread from the lining side. Then I backstitched into the last stitch, coming out on the public side of the jacket. From there I tied each pair of threads with a square knot. Then I rethreaded the needle with both threads and ran them into the intereior of the jacket and coming up a few inches away. It ended up being much tighter and nicer looking than my last jacket. The knots on the outside are TOTALLY invisible, sinking into the boucle.

My next plan is to now do the rest of the seams on the bodice and then tackle the collar. I have redrawn the front of the pattern to give it a slight double breasted look and have cut a collar from another pattern to fit on. Lets cross those fingers!
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I did manage to score a gorgeous piece of white melton wool at the Fix this last trip. It will be dyed when the warm weather comes and I can do it outside. I also got some interfacings. They were new to me but 60 inches wide and "professional". We'll see. I prewashed them  all and now it is time to go put them up on rolls.
Isn't that embroidered selvedge gorgeous?....Bunny

Friday, February 24, 2012

Where Have All the Fabrics Gone?

Gone to graveyards, everyone? (Thanks Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Joan Baez. I am showing my roots.)

Well it seems they are disappearing for some retailers and it really upsets me. First, let me share a bit of fabric shopping history that I know a few of you share.

Once a upon a time there was this decrepit ram shackle old building on probably one of the busiest corners in Manchester, N. H. It's parking was awful. It's smell sometimes worse, but oh, the fabrics! Mr. and Mrs. Harold Levine were the inhabitants of this building, or rather their "rag" business was. The Levines were real characters to say the least. I watched them age. I watched Mrs. Levine scream "Harold, get down here" at her loving husband more than once. Their bickering, the kind often seen in older couples so sure of their love that they know they can say anything and nothing will change, was entertaining. You could see how time had worn them into a couple who knew each other inside out all. It was fun to shop at Levine's. The place was jammed with rolls of fabric in niche after niche. The huge cutting table was manned by Mrs. Levine while Harold always seemed to be off somewhere. She would snip and cut and always throw in that bit of "lagniappe", the end of the bolt. She would inspect for defects and if found would just start cutting where they disappeared and throw in the rest. She definitely knew how to make you come back. Their staff was VERY knowledgeable. I bought some incredible fabrics at that store. Harold's trips to the Garment District would bring in the very best at rock bottom prices.

One day Mrs. Levine became ill with cancer and eventually passed on. I don't think Harold was ever the same after that. He sold his  valuable corner property to a major convenient store chain and went to retire without his precious wife to Florida. The business was sold to a passionate employee and her spouse. The women who worked in the store loved fabric as much as you and I and it was a natural transition. Her husband was hooked up with Harold's contacts and reopened the store in an old mechanic's garage of Rt. 93 on the West Side of Manchester. Most of the Levine staff was kept on and it was my absolute go to place for fabric. Now it was called the Fabric Fix and yes, I had to have my Fix whenever possible.

A couple of months ago I went in and was surprised to see a corner set up to display some nice jewelry and other consignment items.  Because what I saw was quite nice, I didn't really mind that valuable fabric space was being taken over by consignments. Heck, it was a tough economy. I left there purchasing nothing. But that was not unusual. This was a hit or miss store. Sometimes I walked out with dupionis and cashmere and other times I didn't. That was OK because part of the charm was never knowing what you would find.

This trip I went to the Fix as per usual. I was shocked at how little fabric there was. The staffer told me a trip was being made to the Garment District in NYC the next day for goods but that they were just having a hard time finding fabric. Several years back they had twenty various vendors that they would visit to bring back the deals we all so loved to shop for. They are down to two vendors. Textile manufacturers have all gone off shore and there is no manufacturing being done in the district any more, well maybe a teensy bit, but not enough to have leftover bolts that a merchant from New Hampshire could gladly relieve them of.

This all breaks my heart. I will keep going there, of course, hoping to hit it right as one certainly can. This is my place of touching, draping, feeling. Its a place where others, including the staff, love to touch, drape, and feel. While we all know we must support local merchants so they can continue to feed our passion, that is not so much the case here. This place has a following. It just needs fabric. I know I can buy online, but what will feed that spark, that vision, that creative high I get when going to a fabric store? Not a click of the  mouse........................Bunny

Friday, February 17, 2012

D&G continues...

I am trying to squeeze in one more post before I hit the road. Above is 8 yards of bias. It should be enough but I am crossing my fingers here. The only thing nastier than cutting silk charmeuse is cutting bias strips of silk charmeuse. I got it done but it was a tad fiddly. I used the  technique found in the tutorial "Bias, bagged". I literally have nothing left of the lining fabric. I am going to deal with my sleeves last just in case I am short on bias. I can cut them for stripping and use another lining in the sleeves. Who will know but us?
At this point all of the pieces, except the sleeves are quilted. I am going to bring them with me on my ride to tie off the threads, so many threads! " Idol hands are the devil's workshop" even in a car. At least my grandmother would have said so.
Often a princess seamed jacket has those seams front and back. There is usually a side panel  under the arm, connecting the fronts and back. But this jacket, Simp 2284, has some interesting details here. The back is a center seam back, no princess seams. But do you see how the side front extends into the back, past the center of the bottom of the armscye?The top arrow is the shoulder seam which sits right where it should. Its the side seam that is pushed to the back. Interesting detail but I like it and the way it affects the shape. I am liking this pattern more every day. It will definitely be committed to TNT oaktag status. ...Bunny

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The D & G Jacket, Simp 2284

On to some long thought about garment sewing with a touch of Spring. This jacket is going to be a knockoff of this Dolce & Gabana jacket that I fell in love with last fall.
My version will have shoulder princess seams but only a center back seam in the back. The sleeves will be two piece. The charmeuse lining will be quilted to the jacket as in the original and I haven't quite worked out the the seam situation yet. The seams appear to be  bias silk and rather sloppy, I might add! I think I will do a raw edge. The front of this jacket has a small double breast and collar. I am using Simplicity 2284, View D, which meets at center front and no collar.
So a wee bit of drafting will take place here. I may morph something from another pattern to pull this off. In the meantime I worked up a muslin this morning. This jacket is one of the "cup" patterns. I did a size 6, C cup, and morphed to 12 at the hips.

I did all my usual "petiting" business and it looks pretty good, I think. It can use some slight tweaking but I think once it is made up in another fabric that will be the time to just further tweak it. There's a bit of space in the upper chest, as always, but using a fluffy boucle might eat that up so we'll see what happens at that time.  I put in shoulder pads for the back view and obviously they slipped . I will add some "slim" shoulder pads, homemade, once I do the jacket. I'm am comfortable enough with this to start cutting. A word to those who don't do muslins: This took me one hour from start to finish, including sleeves which you can't see here, well worth the effort, IMO. Off the soapbox....

For the construction I will block fuse the boucle to some Pam Erny interfacing, I believe its a weft insertion, light weight. It's actually yummy. I am not doing a full blown Chanel here but will use a few techniques as I see fit. This will evolve, but I have a much better handle on this evolution than I did on the slipcover! So I am feeling confident it will work out nicely. I just have to try some seam samples.

Glad you all liked the slipcover project. It was stressful and a great learning experience. You have to be open to new techniques and you have to stick with them. How else would we learn? Thanks for all your lovely comments. I am so not a wadder person. I just feel that my efforts have a value and it behooves me to see things through to the end. Nuff philosophy!

DH and I will be traveling next week, our usual Southern New England/Boston/NH circuit. I am not sure when we will be back but I am anxious to get this jacket going. Till I am back from the other side......Bunny

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Office Chair Slipcover Completed


I just love it. DH is calling it the Throne. But it wasn't easy getting to this point. Come on along for the ride.....

  This is what I woke up to yesterday morning. I had been using my great Sunset slipcover book but very quickly I figured out not much in there applied to making a slipcover for an office chair with these arms. Yes, I could have taken the arms off easily and reuphonstered the back and seat but that's not what I wanted. I wanted the slipcover "look" and I wanted to be able to remove it for cleaning. I was now totally in the dark. I just went bit by bit and figured it out as I went along. I decided to make the back section and the seat section separately and then worry about putting them together after. I was almost at wadder stage but you all know that if nothing else I am persistent.
I added the skirt to the sides and made it long enough to go all the way to center back. But it is only stitched to the seat up to the green dot you see. From there it is connectd with velcro around the back and ties in a sash. I used up every border of the bedspread to get out all the scalloped edges for the box pleated skirt. From the green dot and right to the center back nothing is connecting the skirt to the slipcover other than velcro. This posed a major issue. This fabric is VERY thick and the box pleats gave me three layers of the matelasse as well as the two layers of cotton covering the welting. How on earth would I ever get that to turn in neatly? It definitely did not want to cooperate. This was bulk nearly a half inch thick. I know my old Kenmore is a workhorse but lets not tempt fate here. Then the light went on.
I used the old "blue jean trick".  This is where you pound the blue jeans with hammer until the bulky seams are flat and stitchable. I did the same here, I first put down a clean cloth on the concrete basement floor. Then I laid down the skirt/piping, covered it with another clean cloth and started hammering down the welting and box pleats along the top of the skirt. It worked wonderfully. The welt stayed turned in and was easy to sew through. In the pic with the green dot you can see how it was then topstitched with a zigzag next to the welting for a bit more insurance. It was now nice and crisp and time to put on the velcro.
This slipcover consists of two separate pieces, both of which tuck into the join of the back and seat very tightly. So each piece needed securing. The top of the cover connects under the arm and you can see the velcro application here along the binding. The seat cover is very securely tucked into the join and rests on top of the seat with long pleated extensions that meet in the back and tie with a black satin ribbon.
With this construction I now had a slipcover I could remove and throw into the wash.

Here's a few details more:

Credit for this glorious monogram goes to my cyber sewing friend , Jerry "Niener". She suggested it and offered to help with the design and stitch it out. It makes the chair in my opinion and I am really thankful for good friends like Jerry. You are special, Jerry.

Here is a shot of the boxing around the tops of the chair. It doesn't follow the chair's boxing as that had a weird shape. I just used a four inch strip.

In case you missed it the fabric used is a 100% cotton matelasse bedspread, queen size, and I used nearly every bit. Didn't tell you I cut the back twice because my original idea wouldn't work.  At the suggestion of another cyber sewing friend, Sivje, of Goosegirl Sews, I underlined the fabric. This will help keep it from stretching out and prevent the dark original chair showing through.

The  welting is a simple quilting cotton from Joanns, heavier than regular gingham.



I am not sure when I will do this again. It actually only took three full days of sewing, a lot of it spent on the floor with a pin in my mouth as I tried to figure it all out. I do know that this is one of those projects that really has me beaming and proud, I guess because I persisted and figured it all out on my own. Special thanks to Jerry and Sivje for their valuable contributions.

The decorating project is nearly done. I need to do a wee bit more organizing and hang some shelving tomorrow. DD also has some shelves for me as well. This  project has really got me excited about starting on the great room. That will happen as soon as the studio is finished. In the meantime, its time for some garment sewing. Its been a while.....Bunny

Saturday, February 11, 2012

So gifted...

Another voice is now in the eternal choir.....

Friday, February 10, 2012

Office Chair Slipcover

My valance project is waiting for a measurement from DD and until I get it I can't continue. So while that project is in a holding pattern I decided to get going on the office chair. I made the welting this morning and have the back front and seat complete at this point. I can't  do the back of the back (!) until I have the seat and ruffle complete and I'm not there yet.This has been a journey, I tell ya'. Once the front was all welted and sewn to the band it was time to connect the back, or so I thought. My plan for the back totally fell apart as my brilliant idea would not make a smooth transition to the sides/front of the chair. Back to square one for the back. I decided it would be wiser to get the seat completed and then fit in the back last. Hope I'm right, but who knows?
This matelasse is like sewing iron curtains. I wanted a gathered skirt utilizing the scallop of the bedspread. Are you kidding? There is no way this stuff gathers. So I am putting in box pleats which by the time they are stitched in look like soft gathers. I really like that look. I should have jjjuuuusssttt enough scallop border to go around. We are close to the end and I should finish this weekend. Then maybe, just maybe, I might get to sewing some clothing for myself. Many things have been on the back burner for my own wardrobe since last fall and I am itching to get started on some. I also need to get a handwork project going as well, not sure what yet.

And as happens whenever anyone sews an all white project, the never fail needle prick spits blood here and there, always before you feel anything. I am hoping the spit treatment will work.

We are rounding the bend with this decorating project in the studio.  Tomorrow DH and I are hitting Lowes for some crown molding shelving for over the cutting table. Hopefully that will be up soon. I'll post a grand tour when all is done....Bunny

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Home Dec Returns, Scallops Tute

I am working on a valance for DD#2. She has shown me a design with a scalloped edge on the top. There are loops at the high point of the scallops that will traverse a pretty rod. We decided using the full width of the Home Dec fabric would give a gentle fullness between the loops. Too much fullness and the effect of the scallops is lost. Here is how I got the perfect sized scallops across the valance without benefit of a math wizard close by.

* Figure out your finished width of fabric. This measurement will not include seam allowances but you will be adding those to the total width for cutting later. In other words I had a 54 inch width. With two half inch SAs I would have a FINISHED WIDTH of 53 inches. Hold that number!

* Get yourself some adding machine tape or a very long strip of paper taped together. Make it at least three inches wide. Cut it to the FINISHED WIDTH of the valance, in this case 53 inchs.
* Fold the strip perfectly in half. Saying that word "perfectly" so reeks of Martha Stewart. Ok, now fold it in half again, then again, and keep folding in half until you get the width of the scallop you want for your window treatment or hem or whatever you need a scallop for. This is your guide. Crease it sharply. Unfold it and place it against your valance width. You should have a perfect fit with a half inch extra for SAs on each side. Yippee! Now to get it on the fabric and cut.
* Now you need a manila folder or some other type of card stock. Cut two pieces appx 4 inches high and the exact width of your finished scallop, basically the width crease to crease of one scallop.  Use your rotary cutter to get an exact length and width  cut. Find the center and mark with a vertical line. At this point we are only considering finished measurements here. Don't worry seam allowances yet. Decide how deep you want the scallop to be. I used one and a half inches.Line up a bowl or other round object to mark your card stock with this shape. Make sure at the corners you leave a seam allowance. This will accommodate the loops. The scallop does not go from corner to corner because of that.  I wanted a half inch finished space at the top of my scallops so I needed each scallop started a quarter of an inch in from the edge. You can see the bowl is not on the point of the card but its edge is a quarter inch in from the edge of the card. This is card number one. Cut the scallop out. Trace its line onto the folded paper tape and cut that out. Unfold your tape and you now have a finished size template for placement on the fabric width. You also have a card the same shape of one scallop.
* Now cut another card the same rectangular size as the first card. Don't cut out any scallop. Use the first card to trace the shape of the scallop on to the second card. Add your seam allowances to this second card. They are ONLY added to the top edge of the scallop, no side edges. You can see the paper tape template is the same size as the line drawn on the second card as well as the SAs added.

* So here is Card 2 with seam allowances added to the top edge. Take a ruler and line it up with the bottom edge of the finished scallop, the scallop  line closer to the bottom of the card. Mark two spots equidistant from the bottom edge on the left and right sides and the same distance away from the lowest point of the finished scallop. Put a tiny notch on this side, where the arrows are.
* Lay out the wrong side of your valance fabric. It should be cut to the proper width including seam allowances. Decide how long it will be. Use your finished Card 1 to figure out placement of the low point of the scallop on your fabric. Mine was 12 1/2 inches from the bottom edge, the bottom edge being a half inch SA. Mark that and make a line across the width on the wrong side at that mark, 12 1/2 inches for me. Take Card 2 and line up the notches with this drawn line. Trace around the scallops on Card 2 to give you the cutting line for the top edge. Move Card 2 down the width butting the left side to the right side of the previous scallop. If you are using my measurements, this will give you a one inch seam allowance across the top point of scallop. I am calling this a seam allowance only because this is where my loops will be sewn.  What you see above shows the cutting line for the valance top edge. If you did it right it will be a perfect fit across the width of fabric with just the right size SAs remaining on the sides. Which brings me to say that when you start laying out your card two for marking you must start in a SA's width away from the edge, very important.

Now all I have to do is cut my lining the same size and stitch it up pillowcase style, easy peasy. I'll show you how I do the loops and bows when I get to that. I need to buy some lining in town tomorrow. I don't even have an old sheet I can scrounge. Any  questions, let me know.

This technique would also work nicely for hems on a skirt ...Don't forget Thing One and Thing Two, oh, I meant to say Card.....Bunny

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Back to Sewing!

After doing too much lifting and shoving and pushing of large objects I am down to reorganizing my back room where the connection was. My back is feeling the brunt of it so no more until this weekend. I spent all day yesterday fiddling with buttons, the perfect thing to not bother my back.Today I have made the decision to get back to sewing now. No more grunt work till the weekend. I am no sure what I will start with but will spend the afternoon looking for opportunities. Here is the result of my button reorg. I must have a couple of thousand, seriously. I inherited a huge amount of wonderful buttons from my friend IMA and last winter made a head start on getting them in like groups. That is done now and you can see the result.
When you open the closet in the studio this is what you face. The two DMC boxes are on top of some shelves holding pattern boxes. Everything here, except for the yellow handled floss boxes is filled with buttons,lots of buttons, all sorted out by size, color, and style. The drawers in the green cabinets barely close. Each drawer in the green drawers has dividers as well. I used my PTouch to do some labeling. That is surely one of my favorite toys.

I also like to save like jars. If I have learned anything looking at craft and sewing studios on Pinterest it is that having like containers adds greatly to the sense of organization. I tried my best here, dealing with what I had on hand. In a perfect world these would be on tall white shelves but for now they are quite functional and look fairly awesome. Need a turquoise and white vintage button? Second cabinet, third drawer down on far left and so on. Order makes me feel good. How about you?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Alleluiah!

I'd never thought I would be so glad to see one of these trucks pull up the drive. Alleluia, we are back in business (no pun intended ;). A couple of days of cleaning and we should be back to our uneventful lives and that is good.....Bunny

Friday, February 3, 2012

Unplanned Leave

This is one of the more pleasant pics I could show you of an unplanned nightmare. I am going to spare you the nasty, gory details and just call it a major interior and exterior septic problem. Yeah, septic as in poopy. We hope to have things under control over the weekend and then it will be cleanup time. My studio is fine but there is damage going from one floor through the ceiling and down to the next floor. Nuff said.

I will be taking maybe the week off to get this under control and back to sanitary conditions. I need a motel.....Bunny

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Little Gem of a Book

Yesterday DH and I went for a three and a half hour one way trip to Albany and back. With that long ride and no current handwork getting done I grabbed a few sewing books to read along the way. I have, like many of you, a whole library of sewing  books that I have collected for years.  They never cease to give me pleasure. I read and re read them over and over, redundant, but that's how much I enjoy reading them. I started rereading for the umpteenth time this ancient gem from Nancy Zieman, "The Busy Woman's Sewing Book" . It came out back in the day when her shows were all about garment sewing, 1984. Her philosophy is to make help you make your sewing as easy and as professional as possible. That's not easy to do because the easy way is often the Becky Home-Ec-y way but Nancy pulls it off beautifully. Many of the techniques in this book I have used for years and you can see her collar method  and collar band tute in the tutorials on the right.

Isn't that eighties jacket a hoot? Don't let that fool you. Everything in this little book is just as pertinent today as it was back in the eighties. What shines most here is the very clear, simple, and understandable writing style. You can't not get what is being taught here. The illustrations offer perfect depictions of the points she is trying to get across and make for great clarity. 

This is the first page of one of the chapters. Other than her fly technique (I prefer Betzina's) I have learned and used all of these over and over. I particularly love the elastic waistband technique. Her chapter on blousemaking techniques cannot be beat. You will find the easiest collar stand method and lots more.

Here I am, having sewn for 52 years now and I still learn from this book every time I read it. I think because of its clarity of instuction, clear simple illustrations and Nancy's patient pleasant teaching style this is the perfect book for a beginner sewist. While the scope and size of sewing tomes like Vogue's Guide to Sewing or the Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing can be bit intimidating for a newbie, the concise size and the massive info inside make this the perfect book for the beginner sewist, IMO.  You just can't go wrong here.

At this time Nancy has republished much of the same info, albeit enhanced, in later publications but the great content and inexpensive price makes this one special. I highly recommend, NAYY. Do you have this book and do you refer to it as much as I have over the years? It's my go to for quickly locating much needed info on sewing. ....Bunny