Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book Review: The Sewing Stitch & Textile Bible by Lorna Knight

Sewing Stitch & Textile Bible

Hardcover, spiral bound, 256 pages
Published in 2007
ISBN:  9780896895270
$29.99 USD
Details from Amazon here

Book Chapter Headings:

1. Tools and Equipment
Nothing ground breaking here.  Essential tools for cutting, measuring, etc.  This is the first book I've seen that listed the different types of irons (including a tank iron) and hand sewing needles.  Learning the differences between hand sewing needles can be easily done in the store, however, by reading the packaging.  Basic parts of sewing machines and sergers are included.  There is a small section on presser feet with pictures.  This section gives a beginner a great shopping list for basic presser feet to own (straight stitch, invisible zipper, blindhem, narrow hem/picot, overcasting, walking/even feed, pin tuck, gathering, and clear/embroidery).  I do like the small section about threads, including all the basics plus bobbin fill, basting, top stitch, wooly nylon, and embroidery floss.  I haven't seen other books that included so many thread options.

2. Stitch Directory
For each stitch you get: step by step directions with colored drawings, recommendations for use, fabric selection, notions and stitch size, pressing/finishing, and alternatives (how to duplicate a hand stitch on the machine and vice versa).  Most of the alternatives are pretty self-evident.  I'm pretty ignorant of hand stitching and I've always just made up whatever worked for the situation.  The only section of this book that I really like is the pages with hand stitches on them.  Serger/overlocking stitches are included in this section.  There is a section of decorative stitches (pin tucks, knotted hem stitch, smocking, etc.). This book includes more decorative stitches than other books I've seen so this book could be a supplement for those that use lots of decorative stitches but I'm guessing there are other more complete books on the market. 

3. Techniques and Finishes
Includes all the different types of seam finishes, including Hong Kong, flat-felled, interfaced hem, horsehair braid, boning seams, etc.  Sewing buttons, buttonholes and zippers are included.  I do like that this book included tips for buttonholes in stretch fabrics, when a keyhole buttonhole is appropriate, corded button loops, and making eyelet holes. 

4. Textile Directory
This fabric guide section is useless compared to the wealth of information you can get from either of the 2 popular fabric guides: More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina and Claire Schaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide.

Additional information:
This book has many photographs, pretty detailed but many are small. 

Would I recommend this book as a MUST HAVE?
No.  I would recommend checking it out of the library or borrowing someone else's copy for some great tidbits of information.  If you are a beginner, this book could be a great supplement to your basic sewing book.  Several sections of the book just aren't helpful but there are some real gems in a few sections.  

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