Monday, October 6, 2014

Next Level Sewing, #1, calling all Sewing Newbies!


Around the blogosphere lately I have seen a fair amount of chatter regarding sewing books. There are so many new sewists and I personally find that thrilling. But it seems many newbies now want to up their game and pick up the next level of skills. On forums there is talk of the lack of middle level sewing manuals. While I disagree with that thought and will talk more about it in a moment, I do think many of our newbie sewists have really caught the passion and are looking to better their skills. They don't want to sew couture  and many don't have the time for epic garment sewing at this stage of their lives. Even if they did "To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose........" While one day couture level sewing may intrigue today's newbies, many realize they need to learn a bit more of the every day sewing before jumping that broom.

It energizes me to see our newest sewists looking for the next level of sewing. It is actually something that has been really calling for my attention for some time. I've started keeping a list of things that come up as I am sewing that might be of interest to someone who wants to get better at this craft.  What I have read on several blogs and forums is that the newest sewing books are not filling that need. Reports are many are one dimensional, or are single project oriented  or just simply have the basics. Many books I've seen ( remember, I work in a library) are rehashes of the same ole, same ole. Do you want the info A-Z, or the one with a ring binding, or the one with the funky trendy artwork?  Many new sewists are wanting more. It's exciting that new sewists want to get better at this passion. It makes my heart skip a beat.

I've really thought about this a lot. As I am working on my own projects, often simple practices come up that really make a difference. These are not epic sewing moments, but the small little techniques that you don't see mentioned in patterns or sewing books. They are the things the patterns assume you know. They are what you learned the hard way or from a dear mentor. So my list began. And once that list got started I knew I would have to address this on the blog.

The things I would love to share are mostly pretty simple. They are all those techniques that, as a young sewist myself, I thought were a waste of time, too much trouble, or just didn't seem necessary. Some are methods that I learned over the years as my sewing progressed. Now they are techniques I can't imagine not doing as they add so much to the finished quality of a garment. Nearly all take little extra effort but make such a difference in the final result.

With all that hoopla I have decided to write a series on "Next Level Sewing". It is intended to help our treasured new garment makers produce more professional results. No promises here but the plan is to publish this series once a week, on Mondays. So tell your sewing friends, those who are just beginning, those returning to sewing after a hiatus and all your sewing friends that on Mondays La Sewista  will be having her series: "Next Level Sewing". If there is anything particular you would like addressed, please let me know.

I am going to start this first post in the series discussing books. There are tons of newbie books out there. Most are very enthusiastic and inspiring. They often are one dimensional and you read them feeling like something is left to be said when you have completed the book. It's as if you learned a lot about making tote bags, or aprons, or skirts, or hats, or whatever, but did you really learn to sew?  Lots of books like this are out there and my suggestion is to get your new sewing books from the library. Unless money is no object, save your dollars to invest in some of the classic writings as well as some vintage sewing books. In case you're wondering how I formed this opinion, my work in the library gives me great access to books and I process all the incoming new books personally as well. 

At the other end of the spectrum are the highly detailed couture or textbook type sewing books. These really should be read. Again try them at the library but definitely invest in one or two so there is a reference for that special garment you know you will make one day, a wedding gown, prom gown, little black dress, or a couture inspired suit. These books are fun to read and inspire also. They will be there when you need them. So a newer sewist may want to have one in her sewing library for now even if she/he is not ready to try couture. It's always great to have inspiration as well as something to strive for.  My recommendations would be anything by  Claire Shaeffer, Kenneth King  or Susan Khalje.

So what's the in between you ask? the meat of  "middle" sewing?  My recommendation for the newbie sewist is GO VINTAGE! Many new sewists are fans of vintage clothing so why not vintage sewing books? Other than a few newer notions and tech fabrics, sewing has not changed much for a long long time. The garments and styles change but easing in a sleeve is the same concept and skill today as it was in those gorgeous 1930s tailored suits of yesteryear. Matching plaids is the same skill today as it was many decades ago. Edith Head, my favorite vintage designer, had skills that would make her an excellent designer today as well. The vintage books may have a different vibe but the information in them is just as good today as when it was written and many are specifically that next level of sewing reference that the newbie is looking for.

Look for them at your library  and/or pick them up on Amazon or from Alibrus.   Those two sources vary wildly in their pricing so be a sharp shopper. Read all the reviews. Because these books have been time tested, no gushing faux designer worshippers are reviewing the books and stacking the reviews in their favor. These are time tested tomes.   Try them out from the library. Then invest. Some of my favorites:


Anything  by Adele P. Margolis. She has numerous books and is a sewing icon who passed away last year in her nineties. She is very easy to understand, hilariously opinionated, and fun to read, not what you'd expect from a book teaching sewing. I recommend any of her books and keep your eyes peeled for them at thrift shops and yard sales. While the pages may be a bit yellowed and the illustrations a bit of a hoot, these are priceless. I guarantee you will learn a lot, never will feel overwhelmed and will enjoy her writing style. She's an amazing teacher.

The Singer Sewing Series by Cy Decosse   These books came out in the 80s and 90s if my memory serves me right. They are just as relevant today as they were then. What sets this series apart from other and newer sewing books is the clarity of the teaching and the phenomenal photography, some of the best I've ever seen in a sewing book. The pictures are glossy, in color, large, and very  very close up. Explanations are simple to understand and work perfectly with the photos, no need to reference or back track.  There are many books in the series. My favorites are "Sewing with an Overlocker", aka, serger, " Sewing Knits",   "Tailoring",  "Sewing for Children" and numerous others. Each topic has it's own separate book. The great photography and clear lesson planning are consistent in all the different volumes. There is a logic to the chapters that makes so much sense as one skill builds on another.  I still pull out my pants book and the serging book quite often. Concepts that are difficult to visualize and therefore understand in other books are clear as a bell in the Singer Sewing Books series. Highly recommend, again, a bit vintage but worth seeking out.  You will refer to these a lot, promise.
courtesy etsy.com

The Bishop Method of Sewing by Edna Bryte Bishop is a classic that starts with the absolute most basic information. It is very logical in it's progression and by the time you are done reading the Bishop Method you have an amazing font of sewing knowledge to help you along. Bishop is the queen of GRAIN and will stress that every chance possible. She also teaches directional sewing. Mastering just those two subjects alone will kick your sewing up big notches.

The Simplicity Sewing Book(s)  These books were released periodically by Simplicity from the 1950s through the 1970s. They carry good solid information in a clear format. The big advantage here? They can be found very inexpensively on Etsy and Ebay. Search for your best price. These are worth having in your sewing library. I think the covers are a hoot. Love that price too! So much info for one dollar!


The Vogue Sewing Book  This book has had many reincarnations with the 1970 issue being the most desirable among the cognoscenti. This is a great solid reference that will take you from starter sewist to tailoring expert if that is where you want to go. You need a book like this on your shelf. It is a go-to reference that will not let you down when you have a sewing quandary. I highly recommend. Again, shop around for the best price. Look on Ebay, Etsy, Alibrus and Amazon used.

Our first post on "Next Level Sewing" is now complete. I hope you get the opportunity to put some of these sewing books into your library. If you are looking to jump out of newbie mode with your next garment, any of these recommendations can help take you there. Good luck! Thanks for reading and I hope you are able to follow along with this series. Until next Monday when we will discuss some really simple techniques that can make a big difference...............Bunny

Edited to add:  Reader Valerie, from France, high up in the Alps, has been kind enough to hook us up with links to some wonderful bilingual sewing books, some French and English, some available in Italian and Spanish as well. I would like to add her email to this  lesson so our European sisters can have some excellent sewing references as well. It does sound like these books could benefit us all, however. Thank you so much, Valerie. Here is a note:

"........... We have a lot of books in France like in USA, but some are more technicals because they are edited by the French Schools of Modeling, especially ESMOD in Paris. I found some in "Amazon USA" because these books are bilingual.
I let you the links of my search if you are interested (although these books are expensive):
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Claire+Wargnier&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AClaire+Wargnier
(more on pattern drafting): http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=become+a+pattern+drafter&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abecome+a+pattern+drafter
And finally, we also have Teresa Gilewska, well-known in France for her books in sewing. Some were translated in English, some in Spanich, Italian or German, but unfortunately, not all the collection:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=teresa+gilewska&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ateresa+gilewska
Maybe you will find something useful for you or your readers...
Kind Regards,

Valérie M........"

Again, thank you so much, Valerie, for your contribution to Next Level Sewing. We all appreciate it....Bunny
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This was the last stretch of road, near my home, when I drove back from New Hampshire today. The blue cable on the left, actually a tube,  is used to transfer the sap from the maple trees to a main "sugar house" where the sap will be boiled down to make maple syrup in the spring. A glorious fall day with a hint of chill in the air, perfect!.......... Bunny


61 comments:

  1. What a fabulous idea Bunny!!! I hope that you'll attract many of these newbies and I know you'll inspire them to improve their skills. While I have many/most of the books you've mentioned, I've never heard of Adele Margolis. I will need to check that out!

    I can assure anyone reading this that any of these books mentioned will be an asset to your sewing library and will improve your skills. I continue to read books and test techniques to improve mine. :)

    I can't wait to see what your next Monday topic will be!!!

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    1. I reread my sewing books all the time. Right now I am re reading Fitting Finesse by Nancy Zieman. A good sewing book and a cup of warm milk is the perfect combo to end the day.

      You will love Adele Margolis, promise.

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  2. I just did a review of one of the Bishop books on my own blog a couple of weeks ago. It's a great book! I love Adele Margolis' writing style - and the mass of information in her books.

    I agree the mid level of sewing information is missing in today's books. I, too, go back to my vintage books time and time again. It's good to have a refresher course. I look forward to your posts!

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    1. Thanks for the validation, Susan. Greatly appreciated.

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    2. Just read your review, Susan. Very well written and informative. Check it out, friends. Just click on Susan's name to get to her blog and scroll down a bit. I signed up to follow you, Susan, nice blog!

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  3. I recently purchased the Bishop books, I think on your recommendation. I am also looking forward to your new series, as I have already learned soooo much from you. I have been sewing in the neighborhood of 40 years, but find that the more I know, the more there is to learn!!! So, I thank you, and my young proteges thank you, even though their mothers don't allow them on the internet yet!

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  4. Thank you, thank you for the splendid information for people new to sewing. I'll be taking your list to my library to see what's on hand this week, I do believe. And thank you for the photo of the beautiful trees; I can just about feel the crispness in the air.

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  5. Good Call!! The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction, teaches excellent basic sewing skills and traditional lady's tailoring skills, clearly and concisely. After following Mrs. Bishop's lessons, one should be able to sew a basic wardrobe, suitable for any occasion, in all weathers.

    I'd like to call your attention to The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I have the 16 volume set from 1933, as well as various pamphlets from other years, and I've found them to be extremely valuable. It is worth noting that Mary Brooks Picken who began the Woman's Institute also wrote many of the early Singer Sewing Books.

    One other thing...........I would be interested in learning more about the heirloom sewing you were taught by Spanish Nuns. That has long peaked my interest.

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    1. Thanks for bringing Mary Brooks Picken's work to our attention. Thanks also for the suggestion. I hope we get some more.

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    2. The Woman's Institute of Domestic Sciences series is now in the public domain and available online, too. Some sites have scanned the pages of the books with more data and slower loading and others have computerized the text with quicker load times but the diagrams might be out of place. Just for a sample here is "Individualizing tissue-paper patterns" with scanned pages. http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009116225

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  6. Bunny,

    Wonderful post! I've never heard of Adele Margolis, but will have to keep my eyes open for her books. I, too, am a fan of Claire Shaeffer and Nancy Zieman. I have one of the Vogue books (not sure which copyright date), and a couple of the Singer series, but they are for home sewing (drapes, pillows, etc.), not garments. I've been sewing on and off for more than 40 years, but there's still a lot to learn. I have a couple lengths of gorgeous wool boucle that I've had forever, that I'm still intimidated to cut into, as I don't think my skill level is worthy of the fabric! I'm looking forward to your series, Bunny; you are a great teacher!

    JosieLCPC

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    1. Forty years? I bet it is! I don't think we ever stop learning when it comes to sewing, self included.

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  7. Great list of books! I guess my book obsession has paid off. I have Margolis' "Make Your own Dress Patterns" which I started drooling over the first time I found it, and several of the Singer books. I don't have the Simplicity book, but have recommended it many times when it was widely available. Another book I would add to the list is "Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing". It is the book I always go back to when I can't find the info I need in other books - sometimes because it's not there, and sometimes because the other books are not easily searchable when you need a specific answer. Other resources I love are back issues of Threads magazine, and books by Sandra Betzina. I have found Half-Price Books to be a wonderful source for older books and back issues of Threads.

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    1. That's a good reference to have on hand and gets lots of great reviews. Thanks for mentioning it. Every sewist, IMO, needs a really good go to book that is not couture and not beginner, just really solid techniques that are time proven. We definitely need one or two couture books in our libraries to inspire and to be there when that time comes that we are ready to try something out of our skill set. But that go to every day reference is really important. You won't get that type of info on many of the newbie sewing blogs.

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    2. There are some very expensive older prints of Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing but you do not need to get those. Mine is from the 1976 printing and is still full of information and cost less than $5. It has already repaid me with a chart of infants' and childrens' measurements. I do not have a kid nearby to measure.

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  9. Excellent idea, Bunny! I bought a Roberta Carr book based on your references and tutorials, and I would add her to your book list. I've really enjoyed reading "Couture: The Art of Fine Sewing". Yes, the samples are couture but the skills and diagrams make basic intermediate techniques very easily understood and adaptable. It's also inspirational/aspirational. Do you agree?

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    1. I agree. I love Carr's book as well. As in most sewing books, the clothing styles get dated, but the skills being taught are good today.

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  10. I own all of the above books, but would like to add the Palmer/Pletch "Sewing for Anybody", it's jacket and pants books. I have ceased purchasing any recent fitting/sewing books. I agree that Half Price Books is the place to start.....Lydia

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    1. I am not familiar with that particular Palmer Pletsch book but have a couple of others in the library. I will order this one at the library to check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  11. Excellent series, Bunny. I look forward to following along.

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    1. GReat to hear from you Trudy. Give that baby a hug for me!

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  12. My library has lots of the new, pretty picture, glossed over technique sewing books that are currently coming out. I'll have to search and see if nearby branches have some of these books you recommend.

    I do wish there were an interest in publishing a sewing book with more advanced techniques and modern pictures. My mother-in-law was showing me some of her books (1960s-1980s) the other day, and while the written details are there, there is something about modern printing (maybe just color pictures) that makes it easier to learn if you are a visual person.

    In any case, as a "newbie" I'm looking forward to learning more from this series!

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  13. This has me very excited to try sewing for me. I learned to sew watching my mom make clothes for my sisters and I, and while she does beautiful, well-finished work, she never did any sewing for adults. I really know nothing about darts, fitting, linings, interfacing/interlining, etc. I am finally coming out of the four babies in 7 years haze (little peanut just turned one and started sleeping) and would like to sew more for myself. I will be watching for more from this series!

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    1. That is indeed a haze! I wish you well with your sewing efforts.

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  14. I'm so excited for this new venture of yours! Pretty much self-taught due to the stupidity of youth when I brushed off any offer by my accomplished grandmother or mother to teach me, I'm anxious to learn more from you. This hobby has been an on-again, mostly off-again affair for me, and I'm ready to jump in again. A book I love is "Couture: The Fine Art of Sewing" by Roberta Carr. When I just checked Google to see if it's still available (it is), your tutorial post of 01-10-2010 popped up. Not only did you show a great application of a technique from this book, but now I'm going to make an oak tag ruler to use in pressing. Thanks so much for continuing your teaching tradition and doing this.

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  15. Looking forward to this series! Thanks for taking the time to do this.

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  16. Oh Bunny, this posting just made my heart sing! What a wonderful, fantastic idea! I am so happy to be able to learn from you. I will be looking forward to Monday postings with great anticipation!

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  17. Oh, Bunny, I am looking forward to your series. Totally agree with you about the value of the Singer books. And now Margolis will be on my used book radar.

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  18. I have all of those books (including your bookshelf shot), and more. And love each one.

    Newbies really need to try to get past the Pretty Shiny mentality and just READ. In this instance, a (modern) picture is NOT worth a thousand words. Even much beginner info is getting lost in favor of new color photos and bloglike books. Learning takes time and study.

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    1. Amen, sistah! That is the real truth here. Like any worthy pursuit, it takes study and focus. The newer books today are selling the sizzle as they say in the sales business. But substance has to be there to last and these suggestions, mine and everyone' else's , those have substance. I have been at this many many years and being a really good stitcher does not happen overnight. It takes years of successes and failures and lots of practice, just like any other artistic pursuit. Having a great, inspirational reference can really help the journey along.

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  19. I agree wholeheartedly with Debbie Cook's remarks. It takes time, study and practice to learn how to sew well. Its takes time and patience but it is definitely worth it.

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  20. Hi Bunny, I have not commented on your blog before but felt I needed to after reading this post. I think this series has the potential to be such a great one because it is a bridge builder between two communities that share a common passion (the desire to create through sewing) that unfortunately are often divided into newbies vs highly skilled. Surely we are all just at different points on a journey of acquiring sewing skills? It iis unfortunate that the traditional handing down of this information has been lost and the new methods are at times questionable. I am looking forward to your series and the further development of my sewing skills through your direction! So far as suggestions for potential topics I would love for you to discuss fit. I think we are all so used to wearing once size fits no one rtw that many of us (myself included) struggle to identify fitting issues in our own sewing.
    Thank you for this really generous and kind offer. It is such a productive and thoughtful way to deal with a potentially divisive issue.

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    1. You are spot on regarding the standards of fit, Maryanne. We are not taught these things. That is a great topic and I will add it to my list. Thanks for that.

      I will be honest and say that I definitely have given thought to the idea of bridging the divide you mention and that is part of my motivation. As you mentioned, acquiring any information today is quite different in today's world, not better or worse, just different. We need to change our ways of disseminating information if we want to reach more people.

      Keep in mind that I am going to start with the most basic here and we will build from there. I will assume the reader knows nothing about the topic and will build from there.

      A word about my credentials: I am not a trained teacher. I have trained many successfully over the years in my career and think I was pretty good at it. I believe in being clear and simple. What I can offer is fifty plus years of experience sewing, much learned the hard way, some learned from great teachers. I don't claim to know everything and am always open to learning more and newer techniques. My way is not the only way.That is the nature of sewing. But I can show what works for me and what knowledge I have gleaned over time. There will always be other ways to do things and skills I don't have yet but I will share what I do know. I welcome others to share their knowledge in the comments and we can maybe get a great interface happening here. Spread the word and let your newbie sewing friends know. All are welcome. I really hope this reaches out to the new sewing community that is growing at a fast speed and craving more. Thanks for your comments, Maryanne, appreciated.

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  21. A great idea--and you are just the person to carry it out!

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  22. I will start a new page to click on beneath the header with posts in chronological order. That way anyone knew to our Monday fun can start at the beginning and not have to go searching through old posts, so time consuming.!

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  23. Hi Bunny,
    Bless you for starting this venture. It is a strong desire of mine to get back into sewing and I am quite intimidated. Quite a contradiction yet that is how it is. When I was a teenager I sewed from patterns and was quite clueless about fitting, so maybe the clothes didn't fit that well, yet fortunate because I was the exact measurements stated on the pattern and painstakingly followed the directions on the my own, taking a long time and using sewing books to try to continue when I got stuck ... (fortunately as well I had had the opportunity to take a sewing class at school and learned the basics to follow a pattern). I read about sewing all the time, (blogs, websites, etc. and am now more conscious about good fitting in clothes) and have collected various vintage sewing books and am always reading more sewing books, mostly from the library. So I am not a newbie, probably close to your age, and looking forward to following everything you will be posting to help someone get into sewing because that I really want to actually sew again (and am painstaking in my efforts in controlling my body measurements so fitting shouldn't be too hard. I intend to read and follow blog closely in your sewing venture to help others. Thanking you in advance.

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  24. Finally. Finally somebody who gets it and said it so eloquently. This is exactly how I feel. I want to advance in my sewing skills but have no idea how to go about it. I agree too about how there is really no newer books that address this need. I am not afraid to read books to learn, so thanks for the recommendations. I look forward eagerly to your series. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to do this!

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  25. I'm so glad you are doing this series; it's a fantastic bridge for some newer sewists and I bet I'll learn a thing or two myself! I have several of the Singer series and a Claire Schaeffer, as well. Love all of them! I also have one of the newer, beginner type books. I think that the fast sewing methods provided by some of the newer authors are okay for home decor and some simple baby/kids clothes and a great way for a new sewist to get his/her feet wet, but if you want to sew clothing for an adult and have it fit and last, you need to step up your game for sure. I never get tired of reading sewing books, despite the fact that I've been sewing for over 50 years.

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  26. This is a terrific idea Bunny, and I look forward to next week's post. I have lots of sewing books, and I absolutely love the Singer series. I collect those, and am always on the lookout for a well loved copy. The last picture is so pretty-I imagined cantering down that road with big Nick.

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  27. Oh Boy. I consider myself a Continuing Education student and always look forward to learning more about our chosen calling. I believe that this calling in inherent art in all of us and someday we activate it and "boom" we are on our way to experiencing this incredible journey. I lift my glass to all of those who have come before us and those who are yet to come. I had the honor of hearing Roberta Carr teach a sewing class in Winter Park, Fl in the 80's and it made quite an impact in my desire to learn to sew again. I also have clear memories of sitting on my mothers knee (in front of the sewing machine) as a small child as she showed me the quilt she was making.

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    1. What lovely memories, Corina! Roberta Carr is another sewing icon and I do love her book and highly recommend her couture sewing book.

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  28. I couldn't sleep last night and dug out a book I've had for awhile. It is "Fine Machine Sewing--Easy Ways to Get the Look of Hand Finishing and Embellishing" by Carol Laflin Ahles. No help with fitting here, and the concentration is on heirloom techniques by machine, but it has a wealth of info about fabrics,threads, needles, machine tension and which foot to use for what technique. Several heirloom techniques are covered, as well as some simple things like narrow hemming. Lots of really great photos.

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    1. That is a fabulous book. I refer to mine whenever I do heirloom stitching. Thanks for bringing her book up, White Feather.

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  29. Great idea, Bunny! Let me know if you're looking for a guest blogger. I might be interested in contributing. Claudine

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful idea, Claudine! I will PM you.

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    2. I was unable to find your email, Claudine. Can you contact me at bunnypep at gmail dot com? Thanks for your interest.

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  30. Just saw the post and ran right over here. Not a first time visitor and have already read week 1 and 2. Appreciation and Thanks for the time and effort you are putting into this series!

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  31. This series is for me, thank you. I am a beginner, having taken up dressmaking last year after my retirement and after a few false steps earlier (even then it was fit that failed me. I'm tall so that's always been an issue and now I also have age related fitting issues). I didn't learn sewing at school and don't come from a sewing family. I love reading (and had a Saturday job in a library when I was at school) and have many of the books you mention, some bought recently but some like Readers Digest, Vogue and Simplicity bought many years ago when they were published. I'm frustrated by the accolades given to some who post garment pictures when the fit is (IMO) not good. Now, I know that criticism should be constructive and many people will not comment if they cannot comment positively, indeed any 'negative' commenter can be disparaged, but this just perpetuates the poor fitting issues. In some of those new sewing books, the example garment given just does not fit the model. So how will the book help me achieve something that the designer didn't recognise was necessary? Darts are my biggest bugbear. Like you, I take sewing books to bed. I'm going to a technique sewing class now to try to develop those building blocks I didn't get when I was younger. I'm looking forward to the rest of your series.

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  32. I totally agree that *most* of the newer books are simply re-hashing a small part of the information in vintage books. Especially the books by blogger/designer/author celebrities of late. Nothing new other than color photos, and maybe more modern styles, although so many of those are definitely vintage based. In other words - less content, more flash.

    I look forward to your new series!

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  33. I forgot to add a bit of warning on the Singer series - some of them have been republished with no mention of Singer on the cover. I know the tailoring book was republished a few years ago, fortunately I was able to return the new book.

    Oh - and another good source to look for vintage books to buy - library book sales. We'll not discuss how many books on all sorts of textile-related crafts I've found there.

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  34. I am so excited about this series. I am not new to sewing, but I am always looking for ways to improve my skill. I have several sewing books, both new and vintage. I take to the library also as I am always looking for information on technical aspects of sewing. I have enjoyed reading your blog as it has motivated me to push myself to to better. Thank you

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  35. A great series. I am reading it as I purge my sewing room. What can I let go of, what do I need, and how will I store it when we downsize. As I read each topic, I go to that topic and purge. Unfortunately the books got boxed before I saw this particular topic. One thing that I need to buy is a nice bookshelf for books and items that can be stored in bins especially if I can find a bookshelf I like with doors on the bottom part.

    Most of the books I own are vintage. I do have a few newer ones and several DVDs that I like. I do searches for books in our library system and will ask the librarian to do a province wide search for me. I am finding that many of the vintage books have been discarded. I do look at used book sales for sewing books and have scored one book that was either lost in a move or accidently borrowed by someone who forgot to return it. I also look for books online and have several I want to buy that you have recommended.

    I am hoping that as I read your series that I can purge and still 1) learn and 2) have exactly the equipment I want to do a great job of sewing.

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