Synopses & Reviews
Sewing is attracting lots of young people looking to express their individuality by making their own gifts and fashions. Fueled by popular home decorating shows like Trading Spaces and Design on a Dime, interest in making placemats, window treatments, and other decorative items for the home has risen as well. More than 100,000 people took sewing classes at Jo-Ann Stores in 2004! This book is like getting a private sewing lesson on every spread. It shows readers how to operate a sewing machine, choose fabrics, do a variety of basic stitches, and follow patterns. Proceeding at their own pace, readers see and learn how to hem and mend garments and make simple sewing projects, such as a messenger bag and a gift bag for a bottle of wine.
Debbie Colgrove (Elizaville, NY) has served as the sewing expert for About.com since 1997. She teaches 4-H sewing groups and has been employed as an assistant manager at a fabric store. She also has sewn for local manufacturers as an independent contractor and has produced her own line of sewn products. Colgrove has a wealth of experience on both home and industrial sewing machines.
"Even the accomplished sewer will find new and improved techniques and tips presented in a user-friendly way." (Decorating Digest’s Craft & Home Projects, Fall 2006)
If you're tired of items that just fit so-so—sew, sew! This guide will have you expressing your personal in no time. You'll learn the basics of hand sewing and sewing with a machine and get detailed information about tools and fabrics. From there, you'll progress to sewing seams, darts, facings, zippers, fasteners, and more. You'll learn to use patterns and try your hand (and your sewing machine) on warm-up projects like a tote bag or a baby receiving blanket. Then it's on to more creative designs like a stylish messenger bag and fun, flanged pillow shams. If you learn by seeing and doing and want to create chic, unique accessories and home décor, this book is a perfect fit!
Concise two-page lessons show you all the steps to a skill and are ideal for quick review
- Each skill or technique is defined and described
- Detailed color photos demonstrate each step
- Step-by-step instructions accompany each photo
- Helpful tips provide additional guidance
About the Author
Sewing has always been a part of who Debbie Colgrove is and what she does in her spare time. She started sewing with her mother as a youngster, taking her first tailoring class at age 14. Since 1997, Debbie has been the sewing guide for About.com and continues to build an extensive library of sewing information on the website. As the former Web editor for Sew News magazine, she traveled extensively meeting sewing enthusiasts from all over the United States. She enjoys introducing sewing to children and adults through teaching sewing classes and individuals at charitable organizations such as 4-H clubs and charity sewing nights. Debbie serves on her local Home Economics advisory board and also provides leader training for 4-H. She works with many sewing machine companies to keep the world abreast of the latest options available to home sewers. Debbie lives in upstate New York with her family.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine.
The Parts of a Sewing Machine.
Sewing Machine Needles.
Sewing Machine Options.
Setting Up Your Sewing Area.
Chapter 2: Selecting and Using Sewing Tools.
Straight Pins and Pincushions.
Marking Tools and Seam Rippers.
Ironing and Pressing.
Chapter 3: Fabrics.
Beginner Fabric Choices.
Test Fiber Content.
How Fabric Is Sold.
Find Bolt End Information.
Prepare Fabric to Cut and Sew.
Chapter 4: Lining, Interlining, and Interfacing.
Interlining and Underlining.
Chapter 5: Hand Sewing.
Threading a Hand-Sewing Needle.
Knotting the Thread.
Double Thread or Single Thread.
Hand Basting/Running Stitch.
Buttonhole Stitch/Blanket Stitch.
Ending Hand Stitches.
Chapter 6: Basic Techniques.
Threading the Bobbin.
Placing the Bobbin in the Machine.
Threading the Sewing Machine.
Cutting Fabric with Rotary Cutting Tools.
Squaring Fabric with Rotary Cutting Tools.
Cutting Fabric with Scissors.
Removing Stitches with a Seam Ripper.
Marking Fabric with Dressmaker’s Carbon.
Marking Fabric with Tailor’s Chalk and Quilting Pencils.
Sewing Badges and Purchased Appliqués.
Chapter 7: Sewing Seams and Seam Finishes.
Testing Seam Guides.
Zigzagged Seam Finishes.
Lace Set in Seams.
Turning Corners with Seam Insets.
Chapter 8: Making Darts.
Pinning and Basting Darts.
Special Finishes for Darts.
Chapter 9: Sewing Facings and Edge Finishing.
Preparing a Facing.
Grading and Clipping a Facing Seam Allowance.
Exploring Bias Tape.
Double-Fold Bias Tape to Enclose Edges.
Making Facings with Bias Tape.
Turning Corners with Bias Tape.
Chapter 10: Sewing in Zippers.
Parts of a Zipper.
Types of Zippers.
Finishing the Ends of a Zipper.
Chapter 11: Adding Fasteners.
Hook and Eyes.
How to Sew Hook and Eyes.
Hook and Loop Tape.
Chapter 12: Hemming Techniques.
Amount of Hem.
Mark a Garment Hem.
Turn and Prepare a Garment Hem.
Stretchy Knit Hems.
Decorative Hem Additions.
Chapter 13: Warm-Up Sewing Projects.
Sew a Sachet.
Bottle Gift Bag.
Simple Tote Bag.
Reversible Table Runner.
Baby Receiving Blanket.
Balloon Window Valance.
Straight Window Curtain.
Chapter 14: More Sewing Projects.
Pillow with a Zipper.
Round Pillow with a Zipper.
Small Pouch with a Zipper.
Flanged Pillow Sham.
Tabbed Valance and Curtain.
Gathered Bed Skirt.
Chapter 15: Using a Purchased Pattern.
Find a Pattern.
Inside the Envelope.
Layout, Cutting, and Marking.
The Instruction Sheet.
Chapter 16: Expanding Your Horizons.
Marking Fabric with Tailor Tacks.
Shortening a Zipper.
Serger/Overlock Machine Possibilities.
Machine Embroidery Possibilities.