Essential Sewing Reference Tool: All-in-One Visual Guideby Carla Hegeman Crim
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
Comprehensive, this must-have book, Essential Sewing Reference Tool, by Carla Hegeman Crim, is an indispensable guide for anyone who sews (or wants to start). Organized for easy readability and usage, it covers everything you need to know whether you’re making a home decoration, piece of clothing, or an accessory. Contents include an extensive overview on tools and materials, step-by-step instructions on various seams and finishes, information on zipper installation, size conversion charts, over 300 how-to photographs, and so much more.
This guide is small enough to tuck into your sewing tote, library shelf, or even a drawer in your desk. It has loads and loads of charts, photos, instructions and sidebars. It is bound with a type of binding called wire-o binding. This type of binding is nice because you can read the title on the spine like any other book on your shelf while it still allows the book to lay flat while you are using it.
Every aspect of what to buy and what to use in certain situations is broken down into simple charts and lists. Pictures accommodate most descriptions, such as of scissors and presser feet. In charts that show sizes that are counterintuitive or not self-explanatory, like thread weight or batting loft, there is a triangle visual on the side to show relative thickness. There is also information on things you may never have considered before, like the compositions of elastics.
Photos also accompany step-by-step directions of potentially confusing processes, like making bias strips or sewing curved seams (how do you match up a convex and concave curve??).
For those who are interested in home decor, Crim gives detailed directions and measurements for making duvet covers, comforters, bedspreads, pillows (including poufs), bed skirts, curtains, and table linens. If you're more of a wearable accessories gal, there are instructions for making fabric belts and bags.
For making clothes, the book covers how to alter what you have rather than how to start from scratch. For instance, it shows how to draw darts on a pattern, or adjust a pattern for height or girth. Crim also discusses steps for processes of clothing sewing that can be confusing, like facings, sleeves, and linings.
Perhaps the most unusual element in this book is the chart of name brands of interfacing and whether they're sew-in/fusible, woven/knit, and what fabrics they're meant for. At first I was confused by this, but then realized that it would, in fact, be super handy to have when you go to a fabric store and see a package of interfacing - how do you know if it's the right kind for your project? (I should add that the book is very portable, so bringing it to the fabric store is no big deal.) The interfacing chart is exemplary of the care and attention to detail Crim put into this book. She really seems to have thought of every aspect of the sewing process and the questions that may arise.
Drawing upon 30-plus years of experience, Crim (Sewn Hats) condenses all things sewing related into this quick reference. The topics covered range from tools, notions, and sewing machine feet to concise how-tos for common sewing topics such as zipper installation, hems, and seam finishes. Beginners will be able to follow Crim's step-by-step lessons, and experienced sewists will appreciate the quick refreshers on less-common techniques. The book is small enough to fit in a purse or sewing tote, making it easy to take along to the fabric store to help select the appropriate notions for a specific project. VERDICT There are plenty of large reference guides to sewing but few pocket-size ones. The balanced coverage of basic and advanced subjects, combined with the simple and useful directions, makes this a solid purchase.
Meet the Author
Carla Hegeman Crim, founder of Scientific Seamstress LLC, is a molecular biologist turned patternmaker. She has been experimenting with fabric for over 30 years. Her first book, Sewn Hats, was published in 2013. Visit Carla on the web at www.scientificseamstress.blogspot.com
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >