Book Review: The Sewing Bible

I got another book in the mail the other day (thank you Random House) and I have to say, The Sewing Bible by Ruth Singer did not disappoint! 


So, first let me tell you my problem with sewing books in general.  They just don’t work for me.  Now, I am not great at sewing.  I’d probably wind up blowing my brains out before successfully sewing something really complicated like a fitted blouse or blazer.  BUT, I do like to sew.  I like to quilt.  I like to make things.  I’ve successfully sewn handbags and satchels and little zippy pockety things.  I have made quite a few quilt tops that didn’t suck.  I would like to say that I am not sewing illiterate.  But some of these sewing books – Sheesh!  I just can’t get through them (Sewing With Nancy, I am sooooo lookin’ at you).  Either you need a master’s degree in garment construction to understand what’s going on OR you are functionally retarded and don’t know what thread is.  I fall somewhere in the middle.

The Sewing Bible was quite obviously made for someone like me.  I need instruction.  I am woefully under instructed.  But I am a fast-learner and very self-taught.  Also, I am under the age of 50 and want my shiz-nit to look good.  Hello, Sewing Bible!

Ruth Singer has put together quite an attractive and useful tome.   She covers all the basics, from shortening a zipper to embroidery stitches and applique but she goes in for fun techniques too like shirring and box pleating.  Then, gorgeous woman that she is, she provides projects (about 20 in all and none of them suck – no, I’m serious, they really don’t suck) to put into practice some of the different techniques.

The book is divided up first into Practical and Decorative techniques.  Then, within each subheading, there are different “Master Classes” which cover a specific technique area with related techniques right after.  For example, under Practical Techniques>Couture Hem Masterclass you’ll find how to create the perfect hem, then there are a ton of hemming techniques including fusible webbing, glued, rolled, bound, biased bound, curved, mitered, faced etc. etc.  Okay, now I know that wasn’t a very glamorous section to choose, but it was very useful!  Here’s a fun one – under Decorative Techniques>Trapunto Masterclass (yes, a whole little area devoted to this fun technique) you’ll get an easy to follow tutorial then info on all sorts of applique, including how to applique with unusual materials.

I was very happy with this book!  I have been looking for ages for a really good, all purpose sewing guide that had some projects but focused more easy to follow technique.  Finally, finally, this is my book.  Go check it out and see if it’s yours too!

Also, I don’t know if its just me….but the binding on the book (its a HC) is works well for a sewing book.  When you open to a page, it actually lays flat (without too much work).  Maybe that’s just my copy and I got lucky, but it makes me happy.

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